We welcome everyone at West Orchard, whether you’re a regular churchgoer or have never been before we’d love to see you at a service. Churches can be strange places, with customs that are familiar to regular churchgoers but hard to understand if you’ve never seen them before. We hope you don’t find our services too baffling but if you are unsure or confused by something then please feel free to ask someone.
We’ve tried to answer some of the questions you might have before coming below, if you’d like to know anything else then please get in touch and will try to answer.
Our Sunday services are a mix of singing, prayer and preaching. Prayers with responses and song words are projected onto a screen at the front of the church as well as images and videos used in Worship.
Services are led by our minister, visiting preachers and members of the congregation and there’s no obligation to take part in any part of the service. You’re welcome to sit anywhere and if anything seems unfamiliar please ask another member of the congregation – particularly those handing out notice sheets and greeting people at the start of the service.
Our services usually last about an hour with a time for tea & coffee and conversation after the morning service.
We use a mixture of traditional and more modern songs and hymns. Music is led by the organ or piano and sometimes joined by instrumentalists on violin or flute. In our evening services the music tends to be more traditional and led by the organ.
Most people find their first visit to church more informal than they expected. We’re a friendly group of people, and our services are set up so you can relax and get to know us as a church. All the words you’ll need are projected on a screen, and we’re quite happy for you not to join in if you don’t feel it’s appropriate.
Sharing bread and wine is an important part of our church community. It reminds us what Jesus did for us. We currently have communion once a month. The bread and wine are served to you in your seat.
We welcome any who know Jesus or want to know him more to take part.
Please dress as you feel comfortable. Our congregation attends dressed in anything from casual to dressed-up. Take your pick!
Children are welcomed at services and there are toys and activities available for their use during the service in church. They are welcome to go out to age appropriate groups, which leave part way through the service, where they can learn more alongside people of their own age. All our leaders have full DBS checks. We have a full child protection policy in place, and review this regularly.
Absolutely not. As a visitor, please feel free to just pass the plate on.
Many church members and regular attenders support the work of the church through cash donations, or using envelopes that allow us to receive gift aid. Some donate using standing orders so it is common for the plate to be passed on.
We believe that God cares about everyone, and we believe prayer can really make a difference in people’s lives. We have an active prayer life.
We have a prayer book at the back of the church for prayer requests (the worship leader will incorporate requests into the service) and a prayer chain, who pray together whenever needed.