Hi, we just moved to near M25 from overseas, Far East, English speaking country. Both DH and I went to school and University in the U.K. left in 2003 so we are not complete strangers to the British culture.
We will be here for 3 years, DC are 7 and 5. Though DH and I had secular upbringings our boys went to a Kindergarten run by missionaries and they quite like their prayers and bible stories and I quite their teachings too.
Now we are settled in we'd like to know our community, we have few friends locally, I got to know some parents from school, had a few play dates, getting on well with nice neighbours on both sides of the house. Now I am thinking maybe we should attend the local church, DH and I can get to know the community and the boys can go to Sunday school. So I would really appreciate your thoughts on the Dos and Don't about family attending Church. We've never been to one before.
I emailed the lady running the family groups in our nearest church, she wrote back and was most kind and welcoming.
Then I had a chat with my neighbor who is the most nice Scottish lady in her 80's, she recommended the methodist Church that her kids grow up in, it's a bit further away and she said the one nearest to us was Church of England, and they have little rules and she prefers the Methodist which is open to everyone and there is a young 'coloured' gentleman coming to preach..
That reminded me, I then had a look at some of our nearest church's websites, there are three closest to us, a Baptist, a Methodist and a Church of England. All have Sunday schools, I know very little about the difference among them, apart from what I can find on Wikipedia. What would you do and what would you recommend?
Look for somewhere where you feel happy to get involved, other people you can imagine getting on with and where you feel welcome.
Some churches run events for people exploring faith or new to church so look for that sort of thing. Don’t shush your children, but explain to them what is going on, and ask if you don’t know or something doesn’t make sense.
Don’t shush your children, but explain to them what is going on
Bear in mind all churches are different. The above very reasonable action would in no way be acceptable in the (mainstream) church I was brought up in. Really look into what you are getting yourself into. Don't be taken in by super- friendliness and trust your instincts.
I would visit the local churches to see which one you feel most comfortable in. Ours is fairly informal and it's accepted that children will make noise but others are more formal and children are expected to be quiet.
The M25 covers a fairly wide area...what main A road or motorway are you close too? Someone may be able to recomend somewhere more specific... I would try a few and see how you feel, also see what other kids activities they do during the week.
If any of those churches do a Messy Church service every month, I would say that's an excellent one to start going to as they are aimed at families and are seeker-friendly. They are themed around a Bible story, which is presented in such a way that children can relate to it. There are then various activities set up that enable you and the children to learn about an aspect of the story in more detail. During this time you can chat informally with the person leading the activity as well as other families doing the activities. After about half an hour there's a whole group activity, such as a song. Then we say a short prayer and all join together eating a buffet lunch - plenty more time to chat and get to know people and more about the church.