The best way to find out about us is to come to one of our Sunday Services. You would be most welcome at any of these, and you are free to participate as much as you wish.
Coming to anything for the first time can be a daunting prospect, and church is no exception to that. So, we have put together a short summary of what you can expect if you come on a Sunday:
Before the service
Our services start promptly, so it is a good idea to arrive a few minutes early. This also gives you the chance to meet a few members of the church family. There is no ‘dress code’, so please dress as you feel comfortable.
If you are driving, the best places to park for St Stephen’s are on Serpentine Road, Selly Park Road and Elmdon Road. For St Wulstan’s, the roads can be very busy during student terms, but there is parking on Alton Road, Bristol Road, Luton Road and also on Bournbrook Road.
As you come in, one of the Welcome Team will greet you at the door and you will normally be given a news sheet. This contains news and announcements for the week, and also an order of service which outlines what will be happening.
There are no special seats, so you can sit wherever you wish. The only exception to this is that some seats may be reserved near the front for members of the music group, or occasionally for visitors at a special service.
During the service
All of our services include:
We have found that this is how God has chosen to communicate with us, and how we encounter Jesus. You should find a Bible either on or in front of your seat and we will announce which page the reading is on.
This is a talk aiming to explain what God is saying in the Bible reading, and what that means for our lives today. It usually lasts 20-25 minutes. We sometimes have a time of ‘Insights and Questions’ where we discuss what we have heard. You can participate in this, or simply listen to others.
Songs and Hymns
We sing in order to express our praise for God, and also to encourage one another. ‘Songs’ tend to be more contemporary and ‘hymns’ more traditional, and we sing a mixture of both. We normally stand to sing, and the words are projected on to a screen. Again, you are welcome to join in or simply to listen.
This is a prayer we say together, in which we admit to God that we have done what is wrong and failed to do what is right, and ask him to forgive us. This, too, you are free to join in, or to listen to.
Various prayers are said throughout the service, some of which we say together. There is a specific time of led ‘intercession’ (praying for others), where we pray for the needs of world, the nation, the church, and individuals.
Creed or Affirmation of Faith
This is a short statement of Christian belief that we say together, sometimes in a question-and-answer form. We normally stand for this and everyone who believes the statement is invited to join in.
This will include news and announcements about the church and forthcoming events, and may include an interview.
Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper)
About once a month, we specifically remember Jesus’ death for us and share in the benefit of what he did for us. This takes the form of a symbolic meal in which we share bread and wine. Anyone who knows and loves the Lord Jesus is welcome to participate; those who do not wish to do so are free simply to observe. At the 10.00am the bread and wine are served by stewards from the four corners of the church; at the 4.00pm and 6.00pm service they are passed along the rows.
Click here to download a recent service sheet to get a feel for a service.
After the service
The service usually lasts 75-90 minutes (60 minutes for an All-Age service). It normally ends with a closing prayer, and then the music group will play. You are very welcome to stay at this point and to meet some of the church family.
Refreshments are served after the service at the back of church.
At the back of Church, there is an Information Table and a literature rack with further information about our church and its activities. Please feel free to browse these and to take anything that looks helpful.
We look forward to welcoming you to our church soon!
If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you.