Frequently Asked Questions
Not everyone is familiar with our way of doing things. You may be a visitor or you may never have been in a church before – except for a wedding when everyone is dressed up, or a funeral when everyone is very sombre.
The following questions will hopefully help you to know what to expect at our services if you are coming for the first time.
The Sunday morning service starts at 11.00 am and normally lasts about an hour. At the door as you enter the church there will be one or two people to welcome you. They will help you find a seat.
No – the church is open to all, and you do not have to be a member to attend worship or participate in most of the activities. If, after worshipping with us for a time, you would like to find out about becoming a member, please make an appointment to discuss this with the Minister.
Whatever you like, as long as it is respectful! You will find people wearing suits and jeans, trainers and high heels; you do not need to wear a hat. God does not look at the outward appearance, and neither do we!
We positively encourage children and young people. The first part of the service is specifically aimed at young people. There are crèche facilities for the under threes and older children can go out to the Sunday School or Bible Class if they do not wish to sit through the whole service. We also have regular all-age services when young people help to lead worship.
The service has several parts including talks, singing, readings from the Bible. We usually sit but stand to sing. We remain seated for prayers, bowing our heads. The hymns, Bible readings and any prayers or responses which the congregation should say will appear on the screen at the front of the church. If you would prefer to use a printed hymnbook or Bible, please ask the team at the front door when you arrive.
At the end of the last song we remain standing for the Benediction – a short blessing, at the end of which we sing "Amen". After the service, you are very welcome to join us in the Upper Hall where tea, coffee and lunches are served.
There is no fee or admission charge, except for some special events such as concerts or shows. As part of the service we collect an "Offering" but there's no obligation to contribute. You should not be embarrassed to put nothing into the offering bag as many members don't, perhaps because they contribute by standing order or other means or maybe they've just forgotten their purse or are having a bad week. The money goes to the upkeep of the church and to support its ministries, and also to pay for the organist, cleaners and so on.
You may wonder why people are putting small envelopes into the offering bags. These are given out so that members who choose to can fill them up weekly whether they're in church or not, and as a means of tracking what money is given under Gift Aid so that we can claim tax back from the Government.
Money is a part of life and therefore we believe that Christians have a responsibility to contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of the mission of the church. The offering forms a part of our worship and is not seen as something apart from it. That is why when you attend a service of worship you will hear the minister say ‘Let us worship God with our offerings to him’. It is a belief of the Christian faith that all that we have ultimately comes from God’s grace (gift/provision) and so we have a duty to return something to him, to be used for the work of the church. So we give what we can afford to.
An induction loop has been fitted in the church for your use. To receive direct amplification, switch your hearing aid to 'T' position instead of 'M' and you should have clear reception. Although there are steps up to the main door, there is level access from the street via the church hall on Armadale Street. A lift will take you to the main Sanctuary and to both halls. There is also a ramp for wheelchair or pram access to the Sanctuary via a side door on Finlay Drive. Accessible toilets can be found on the lower floor, directly facing the lift.
Some large print versions of the hymnbooks are available. Please ask any of the welcoming team at the door.
Whether you are attending a special event (such as a baptism) or simply on an ordinary Sunday morning, the main focus is on worship. Therefore you should make sure your mobile phone is off or on silent. You must first have permission from the Minister before taking photos, and should also wait until after the service.