What to expect (2)
At Communion services the priest blesses the bread and the wine before we share them. People go up to the altar rail to receive first the bread, then the wine. If you have been baptised, you can take Holy Communion. If you are unsure about receiving Holy Communion or this is all new to you, please feel free whether to remain seated or to come forward with everyone else, but keep your hands behind the Communion rail. The priest will then know that you want to receive a blessing. He or she will hold his or her hand over you and say a short prayer for God’s blessing on you.
Before Communion the priest will invite us to ‘offer one another a sign of peace’. We shake hands with those around us, saying, ‘peace be with you’, or similar words.
At most services a collection will be taken during the second hymn. This will be announced, and a collection pouch will be passed along each row. The money pays for the upkeep of the church. How much you give is entirely up to you.
There is a table the left hand side of the church with crayons, puzzles and toys for children. If you have children with you, please encourage them to use it if they wish. And do not worry if they make a noise. Nobody minds.
It is perfectly OK to leave the service part way through. The toilet by the door to the north entrance is always open during services..
At the end of the service we usually remain standing until the person or people who have led the service walk to the back of the church, then we sit in a few moments of silence. Feel free to stay and chat. As you leave, give your service books in to the person at the back of church, and say goodbye to the priest, who will be by the door.