The 10am service at St Nicholas’ is the parish’s main Sunday service and has a strong musical content led by a choir. Modern language is used and the music tends towards the more traditional. You can find out what hymns will be sung and what anthem the choir will be singing by checking the choir’s music links page.
As you come down the path for this service, you might hear the choir practising in the vestry and you will certainly hear the bell-ringers doing their thing. Tip: If you don’t go in the obvious door, but follow the path round to the right you come to the porch. This means you will arrive right next to the hymnbooks, where someone will welcome you and give you a service sheet so you can follow along and a hymn book.
Pick a place to sit – somewhere in the middle is usually a good bet, so you can take a cue from other people about when to stand and sit (although you don’t have to follow what they do!). Enjoy the service and take part as much or as little as feels comfortable to you.
The service usually starts with a hymn (whose number is displayed on the board at the front left of the church) then follows whatever is written in the sheet or booklet, with the words that everyone joins in with being written in bold type. Sometimes, we all sing parts of the service together, (when it’s a congregational mass setting) and at other times, we just listen to the choir do those bits.
There are 2-3 Bible readings to listen to, usually separated by some music, for example, the choir may sing a psalm, and then an approximately 10 minute sermon. After some prayers, the priest introduces “the peace” when people can shake hands with those around them (usually saying “peace be with you” to which the other can reply “and also with you”).
There is another hymn during which a collection of money is taken – contributing is entirely at your discretion (some regulars pay by direct debit so do not put anything physical in at this point). If you do wish to contribute and pay UK tax, we would love you to use the GiftAid envelopes available in each pew.
The priest gives thanks over bread and wine which is then distributed to those present (the Communion) – everyone is welcome to come to the altar rail either for a blessing (just bow your head) or to receive communion if you have been baptised. If you haven’t had communion before, you might prefer to have a blessing then chat to the priest about it after the service. You are also welcome to stay where you are if you are more comfortable with that.
After a final hymn, the service ends (11am) and we’d love to meet you over coffee and a biscuit, which is served in the chapel at the front right. If you’d rather not stay, the priest is usually on the path to say goodbye to people.
Feel free to pick up a parish magazine or souvenir from the back of the church before you go.