New To Church
Frequently asked questions
I haven’t been to church before…
It can be daunting to go into a church for the first time but you’ll receive a warm welcome, and given what you need to join in the service.
Many churches now livestream their worship, so you can watch or join in from your own space if you don’t yet feel ready to go in person.
Do services follow social distancing rules?
Churches ensure they follow the government’s guidance for places of worship rigorously. This includes using hand sanitiser, wearing a mask, sitting in designated places to ensure distancing and following other precautions. Those welcoming you will explain what’s involved.
What happens during a service?
This varies from church to church but usually, services will include prayers, readings from the Bible, and a talk or sermon. Music (socially distanced) is important, and usually includes hymns, songs and instruments. There may be keyboards, guitars and drums or more traditional music with an organ and choir. Churches ensure their music observes social distancing requirements.
How will I know what to do?
Either the worship leader or the service sheet or prompts on a screen will indicate when you need to stand or sit, and give any other guidance needed. If you’re not sure, those around you will be happy to guide you.
Do I have to join in?
It’s entirely up to you. No one will expect you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
How can I find out about services etc at particular churches?
It’s best to check the church website for details, as arrangements can change at short notice due to coronavirus pandemic.
How long does a service last?
Usually about an hour to an hour and a half.
What should I wear?
Come in what you feel comfortable. There is no dress code, no right or wrong.
Can I bring my children?
Children are welcomed and included. Most churches offer a creche or play corner for small children and Sunday school for school age children. Some churches have family services designed for parents and children. However, it’s worth checking the facilities offered on the church website. Churches have strong safeguarding policies to protect children and vulnerable adults.
I’m not a believer...
Church is for everyone, including sceptics and enquirers. Everyone’s faith journey starts somewhere. If you’d like to ask questions or talk to the minister, priest or worship leader, he or she will be receptive. Let someone know after the service that you’d like to do this.
Will I have to provide my contact details?
Some churches put a welcome card or pack in your seat asking you for contact details, but you don't have to fill it in. If you do, you are not committing to anything. It simply helps churches welcome you and answer any questions you may have. Churches are governed by the same strict GDPR obligations as anyone else.
Do churches have disabled access?
Churches do their best to provide access for disabled people. However, if you have particular needs for accessibility contact the administrator or church leader in advance - contacts are on individual church websites
I went to church recently but felt cold shouldered...
Like all groups of people, churches don’t always get it right. If you weren’t made welcome, or other things disappointed you, please communicate this. It’s important feedback. Either talk to a leader after the service if you feel able to, or email the church concerned or ask someone you know at the church to convey your message.