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Inspired from ba k to church Sunday thread

(22 Posts)
Inneedofbrandy Sat 29-Sep-12 22:44:14

I would really like to start going to church. I have never been before or would consider myself religious. Just have a nagging kind of feeling to go, would love to socialise and join in more with the community. I am christened in a church of all faiths according to my mum so guess I can start anywhere??

Anyway I don't know where to start or what type of church would suit me and my two dc or if we should even go! Something that's not to strict or homophobic. Please help I don't know the difference between a baptist or a Quaker.

DoodleAlley Sat 29-Sep-12 22:55:41

Do you know what? I've always just tried a few out, maybe looked at their website beforehand but then made a decision based on my impressions and the feel of the place.

I know it's not much help but churches can vary greatly between denominations. I currently go to a baptist/Anglican joint church having always been raised Anglican but I'd really rate the baptists stuff. They do a little less of the festivals you might recognise but it's good so maybe try a local one out?

But more than anything try try try. I online and see if it sounds "sounds" but also see what they are doing, do they have kids and teenager stuff, do they do things outside of a Sunday morning. Church is after all the people
Not the building. And I love a good mix of ages too.

And if it looks "alive" then see if it feels right. And only you can decide that.

Sorry if that's a bit confused Im v tired. But good for you for stepping out and trying. I'll pray for success for you

Inneedofbrandy Sat 29-Sep-12 23:14:32

Doodle I've been googling and there's 4 in walking distance to me. One is a beautiful old church but not much of a website just Sunday service times and holy communion. 2 look busy and have crèche 2 diff age Sunday school and youth club and last one I haven't looked properly. Stupid question but can I really just turn up? Would it be better to ring the vicar first?

Also I thought holy communion was catholic, all these churchs do it?

DoodleAlley Sun 30-Sep-12 07:44:03

Nope holy communion isn't just catholic it's Christian though there are varying degrees of formality with it.

And no you def don't need to phone first.

Churches are public places of worship and they don't own God or the right to meet with him! Jump right in!

What does your gut instinct say about which to try?

Inneedofbrandy Sun 30-Sep-12 09:02:46

Thank you for your time doodle smile

Im going to research a bit more and go to each of them before deciding. And also find out what everything means!

DoodleAlley Sun 30-Sep-12 10:23:47

Sure. If you've got any questions feel free to ask. I might not have all the answers but I'll help if I can.

In my opinion the most important thing are the people who make up the community. That's what I love about church - all the different people.

Tuo Sun 30-Sep-12 12:22:35

Hello Inneedofbrandy! It's wonderful that you feel drawn to going to church. Welcome!

Great advice here already from Doodle. Keep asking questions if you have them. There are some wonderfully helpful people here from all denominations who will be able to answer them.

All churches will offer communion services, though not all will have it as their main service every week. Sometimes you'll find there's a holy communion service at, say, 8 a.m. and then the main 'family' service a bit later (10-ish?). Depending on the church, that may incorporate holy communion, or it might only do say, say, once a month. Different denominations believe different things about what actually happens during the communion service (sometimes also called the Eucharist), but for all it is commemoration of how Jesus died for us and therefore central to what Christians believe.

I think that trying out all the churches that are near you is a great idea. That way you'll get a sense of what suits you. Even within the Anglican tradition (which is where I am coming from) there's a huge variation in the level of formality of the service, the kind of language used, and so on. But don't let a more 'formal' style of service put you off... I have found that the welcome can be just as warm in places that might look rather 'stiffer', and if you're a newbie the fact that the service has a very regular pattern and rhythm can actually be reassuring. OTOH, some people prefer something more down-to-earth and free-flowing, and that's cool too -- the great thing is that all those preferences can be accommodated.

I really hope that you find what you're looking for... and do keep asking questions.

Tuo Sun 30-Sep-12 12:24:14

Gah! English-language breakdown there... "might only do that, say, once a month..."

Inneedofbrandy Sun 30-Sep-12 16:18:53

Yes doodle the community part is a big part why I want to go. I would love to be able to help out. Doodle I have loads of questions please don't get me started I will bend your ear off for days ha!

tuo Thank you for your post I do want somewhere friendly and child friendly as I have two dc, with people I could imagine going down the pub with and having a good natter to. Nothing to judgemental as I'm a unmarried mother or stuck up. I don't know about formal or informal because I've never been, ever I guess this is part of why I haven't gone yet, because I don't know how to go.

One church near me does a healing session Sunday nights what does that mean?

Waswondering Sun 30-Sep-12 18:56:13

Brandy - I really hope you find something that suits. Almost all churches have people on the door to welcome you - if you say it's your first time they should be delighted to see you and explain where things are.

All the best.

DoodleAlley Sun 30-Sep-12 19:43:05

That will be a service where they pray for people who volunteer to be healed/ get better.

Inneedofbrandy Sun 30-Sep-12 20:29:05

Hello again waswondering I've got my action plan or churches and times, am guessing it's the Sunday worship part that's the one to go to. Going to try them all 2 or 3 times before I make a decision on what's the one that would suit me and dc the most. I could of gone today but I was up late last night googling different denominations and chickened out. I'm not actually a shy person don't know why I feel nervous! Need to man up!

Thank you again doodle you are lovely smile

Waswondering Sun 30-Sep-12 20:46:13

All the best ... I really hope that you find something that's right for you and yours.

DoodleAlley Sun 30-Sep-12 21:00:39

No problem. Remember churches are full of regular broken people who are slowly getting mended so they're not perfect yet.

But if a church judges you for being an unmarried mother then turn around and walk out. No-one lives the life we should and Jesus doesn't ask you to come pre-washed. He comes for the broken, the hurting, the burdened. He accepts you and loves you just as you are.

Tuo Sun 30-Sep-12 21:06:50

Brandy - like your 'action plan! I hope you enjoy the process of finding a place that's right for you. The first time you step through the door will be the hardest (stating the bleedin' obvious here wink); after that, it'll be easier each time. (I did go to church growing up, but didn't go for about 30 years between my teens and a couple of years ago, so it felt very odd for me to go back.)

I guess what I was saying about 'formal' vs 'informal' is just 'don't judge by appearances'. So I go to a church where the clergy, servers and choir wear robes and vestments and there's incense and processing about and what have you... But the people there have been lovely to me and to my dd and welcomed us with open arms. But equally that kind of service isn't for everyone. Our most local church is actually a lot less formal (band rather than organ, vicar in jeans, modern songs rather than hymns... that kind of thing) and my dds go there sometimes with Guides. I did wonder if my dd (only dd2 comes with me; dd1 doesn't believe in God, and I don't push it with her) would prefer it there due to it feeling more 'modern' somehow, but she actually prefers the more 'trad' service. So it's each to her own. And as you say, so much depends on the people.

You can find videos of some services online, which might give you a bit of an idea of what to expect. Don't know how representative what you get on YouTube might be, though. Could be a bit random...! I reckon you're better just turning up and seeing how it takes you.

Good luck!

Tuo Sun 30-Sep-12 21:07:35

Also... what Doodle just said!

Inneedofbrandy Sun 30-Sep-12 21:20:05

Argh I feel all emotional now.

tuo I think I would prefer a formal service to then someone in jeans trying to be cool but singing kumbuya. Will keep an open mind and give it all a go though.

Will definatly update next Sunday if you would all like me to.

Tuo Sun 30-Sep-12 21:23:59

Oh yes... You absolutely must come and update us. I will be thinking about you!

DoodleAlley Sun 30-Sep-12 21:24:02

Absolutely feed back! And feel free to ask any questions that arise.

I actually go to what some people would refer I as a happy clappy one but it's got a good mix of ages and is really bible based. I moved there because there were lots of young families and felt right for us as a family and esp for DS who was unhappy at our old church.

It ended up being an easy decision. Hope it's easy for you too

Waswondering Sun 30-Sep-12 21:31:40

Also ... some churches will have pews, altars, hymn books, kneelers, an organ and so on.

Others will have individaual chairs, possibly a stereo system and a sound desk to allow for a band, and also may have an overhead projector screen onto which the words are shown, along with any Bible readings etc. It's also not uncommon for there to be ipads or smart phones in use with Bible apps on them, and people to be reading these through the service.

Hope you find one that's right for you smile

Inneedofbrandy Sun 30-Sep-12 21:37:01

Thank you

I'm happy you and family are happy where you are now, can't wait to put my plan into action!

Waswondering Sun 07-Oct-12 21:05:34

Hi brandy - how did you get on?

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