What to expect

Here’s what you can expect to find during your visit to Bilton Grange United Reformed Church!

Let’s try and answer some of your questions …

What is a service like?

We’re very happy for you to come along or join us on zoom and see what worshiping here is like. (Email our Church Secretary on [email protected] beforehand for the Zoom link.) If anything seems unfamiliar, feel free to ask one our welcome team, or someone sitting nearby, or our host on zoom.

standing congregationWe use a projector and screen and sharing on Zoom for all the words and songs, so it’s easy to follow along. 

The service starts with the worship leader offering words of welcome from the front of church. At this point for those online the Zoom camera will zoom in. (It is operated from church so it can zoom in and out as needed in the service). 

When the service start our host will mute all the ‘zoomers’, but if there are times in the service where the worship leaders asks for contributions you can unmute and then share with the congregation. We also sometimes put the ‘zoomers’ on the large screen in church so we all feel like one fellowship. 

For those who are able we generally stand to sing the hymns and sit to pray. (Those on zoom usually sit). 

We don’t take an offering during the service as most people give through their banks through Standing Order but a plate is available at the back of church should you be able to give.  

All children and babies are invited to go out to our Junior Church when announced, which is usually after about 20 minutes. They meet through the door at the front of church in the adjoining hall. Unfortunately we do not make provision presently for any children on zoom to join Junior Church but this is being considered. Our Junior Church leaders follow our Safeguarding Policy and are DBS checked. 

At the close of the service, the worship leader goes to the main door to greet people and share in the refreshments, which are served from the table at the back. 

laptop showing zoom meetingSadly ‘zoomers’ will have to get their own refreshments but a tablet is available at the front of church showing zoom so fellowship can be shared together with members of the in-person congregation. 

Toilets are through the door at the front of church in the corridor to the left. 

How long are your services?

Our Sunday services usually last around an hour and you are invited to stay for refreshments and a chat afterwards. Refreshments are served at the back of church where you came in. 

What is the music like?

We have a small music group who play most weeks, however, sometimes we project music through Zoom. Our music is varied. We use a selection of modern and traditional hymns. Words are projected onto a screen at the front of church, so they are easy to see. If you prefer a hymn book then these are available at the back of the church.  

Will I know what to do?

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.

What about communion?

We celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion on the second Sunday of the month. The elements of bread and wine are distributed to the congregation by Elders; the congregation do not need to get up and move. Children usually return to the service and share in the Sacrament with the adults. We eat the bread and drink the wine as guided by the worship leader.  

Our Communion Table holds an open welcome to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. 

What should I wear?

Please dress as you feel comfortable. Our congregation attends dressed in anything from casual to dressed-up. Take your pick!

What happens to my children during the services?

Children are welcomed at services and the first part of the service is usually age appropriate, and there are toys and activities available for their use during the service. Children are invited to leave the service after a short time of worship – it is not obligatory, but we think they will have far more fun with the Junior Church, so do give it a try. Baby changing facilities are available in the disabled toilet.  

All our leaders have been DBS-checked. We have a full safeguarding policy in place, and review this regularly. We ask that visiting children are accompanied to the hall by an adult relative and make their identity known to the staff before returning to the service. Please return to collect your child/ren straight after the service. This is for safeguarding purposes. 

Do I have to give money to the collection?

Absolutely not.  

Many church members and regular attenders support the work of the church through cash donations, standing orders, or using envelopes that allow us to receive Gift Aid on donations. 

Should you wish to donate, there is an offering plate at the back of the church.

What about prayer?

Prayer is at the heart of our church life, and we believe that it can really make a difference in people’s lives. It’s one of the ways we can discover that God loves and cares about everyone and is with us always. If you would like to learn more about prayer at Bilton Grange and other opportunities we have for prayer or would like us to pray for you or a loved one then just speak to the person on the door who will arrange this for you, we will be happy to help. We also have a book at the back of church where prayers can be entered, and we will pray them during the service.  

I'm visiting for a baptism: what do I need to know?

The baptism is in the first half of the service: (see above under “what is the service like”?)  

The parents and godparents are invited to stand with the minister. Everyone else remains seated for the Sacrament. We encourage that photographs are taken after the service – this is a sacred moment for us all. 

After the baptism all children are invited to join our junior church when they leave for their special time together, although of course children are welcome to stay with their parents should you wish them to do so. We operate a safeguarding policy, and all our junior church leaders are DBS checked.

What next?

Please remember, if you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us, or just ask someone when you arrive. There’s always a welcome team on the door if you’re not sure who to ask.  

Do come and visit. We’ll be pleased to welcome you.