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Which church?

(34 Posts)
Namefordecember Thu 07-Dec-17 13:00:59

I live near two churches,the one in my parish is a High church.
The other one isn't although they are both C of E.
I really prefer the more informal church for many reasons.
Is it ok to make that one my regular church?What will happen about family funerals,pastoral care etc?

MissConductUS Thu 07-Dec-17 13:47:43

Of course it's okay to make it your regular church. Presumably many people do. Have a word with the priest, but he or she should be able to perform any rites you need.

Namefordecember Thu 07-Dec-17 14:47:06

Thanks.Hopefully I will not need any support,funerals etc for many years I just wondered if living outside the parish would affect that in the future.

NannyR Thu 07-Dec-17 14:51:08

I regularly attend a church outside of my designated parish, I would say 40 -50% of the regulars attendees are the same. You can still be registered on the parish electoral roll.

Namefordecember Thu 07-Dec-17 15:00:38

May I ask why you go and others outside your parish?Do you get asked why at church?

MikeUniformMike Thu 07-Dec-17 15:03:34

I go to one outside my parish. It was recommended by a friend. It's fine and nobody has asked why I don't go to a nearer one.
Go to one that suits you.

Namefordecember Thu 07-Dec-17 15:11:44


NannyR Thu 07-Dec-17 15:22:33

I go to the church I go to as it just "fits" me best, I tried lots of churches out when I moved into the area and this was the one I felt at home in. I like the teaching, the worship, the community outreach work it does.

NannyR Thu 07-Dec-17 15:24:05

I've never been asked why at church, but like I said, probably half the congregation are in the same boat!

MissConductUS Thu 07-Dec-17 15:40:54

Here they are so happy to have you in the pew no one asks questions. And people move. The last time I moved I had to make the drive to my old church because I was on the vestry.

Strawberrybubblebath Thu 07-Dec-17 16:58:22

We drive for 20mins to our church. We used to live in a city but moved out to the countryside. Local church is lovely but very old fashioned (still has dusty hymn books) We prefer our city church which is very large and has loads of babies, children and teenagers and 3 services a day to cope with the large number wanting to attend.
No one has ever batted an eyelid about us living a long way out. When I have needed support and when our youngest was baptised members of the church have driven out to see me quite happily.

Namefordecember Thu 07-Dec-17 19:16:40

Thanks,your churches sound lovely.
Both of the churches are nice,just very different.

Niminy Fri 08-Dec-17 08:04:52

Oh dear! I minister in one of those village churches with hymn books that people reject in favour of city churches with loads of children and families - we are near enough for people to drive to exactly the kind of Church strawberrybubblebath goes to.

It's bloody hard when you don't have the resources of the big church, and you're trying to cater for everyone (because that's what parish churches are supposed to do) and people sneer at your dusty hymn books!

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Fri 08-Dec-17 08:20:55

My church is quite unusual in that most of my congregation live in the parish. I've worked in a number of churches and this is the first time it has happened. It means we do,have a nice family feel about the place rather than a group of people who have commuted in for a style of worship. My local big evangelical church has about 20 members of staff and interns. Of course they can put on amazing children's and youth work. Their worship is practised and professional. In my church there is just me and I do all the admin, preaching, presiding, pastoral work etc etc. When I asked for one person from the big church congregation to help my much smaller church out on a one time project no one volunteered. They all lived too far away to work with the local community. That is the trade off for a gathered church.

The way it works in the C of E is that you are a regular in a church then you would expect any pastoral support to come from the church you go to. At some people point get yourself onto the electoral roll as that is the way you can prove to anyone who needs to know that you go to church X although you live in the parish of church Y.

BertrandRussell Fri 08-Dec-17 08:25:26

If I wasn't an atheist, niminy, I'd choose your dusty hymn books over a warehouse church any day!

Niminy Fri 08-Dec-17 08:26:27

Thank you Bertrand! Hope springs eternal smile

Niminy Fri 08-Dec-17 08:30:48

Also, as Greenheart says, we do loads of stuff like running toddler groups and visiting sick and housebound people and generally being visible people of God in our community - you can't do that if you're going to somewhere else to church.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 08-Dec-17 08:33:38

"If I wasn't an atheist, niminy, I'd choose your dusty hymn books over a warehouse church any day!"

Me too. There's nothing lamer than a church trying to be 'modern', singing hymns by guitar etc.

BertrandRussell Fri 08-Dec-17 08:52:36

Don't get me started on the KJV and A&M........

Seriously though, and of course this is absolutely none of my business, surely part of the point of Christianity is community and fellowship?

"Sorry, Jesus, old man, but there's a more informal Supper over in Bethphage that suits me better. Have a lovely time, won't you?"

NannyR Fri 08-Dec-17 09:32:11

The point of Christianity certainly is fellowship and community, which is in abundance at the church I choose to attend which is a five minute drive away from my house but technically outside my parish, rather than the church at the end of my road where I didn't feel particularly welcome when I visited.

As much as you may dislike modern music and more reader friendly translations of the bible, they have their place in making Christianity more accessible to more people. Our church does a bit of both, a traditional service with old hymns and organ music and an informal worship service with a "band" - guitars, piano, violins, drums and a mix of older hymns and modern worship music. Both services are well attended but by different age groups.
If the first service was all that was on offer at a church, I can totally see why a family with young children might choose to attend another church.

Madhairday Fri 08-Dec-17 09:34:54

I'm always so glad there are different churches for different people. Niminy, your ministry is so very valuable, so much needed. I agree that referring to dusty hymn books isn't helpful. Dh has two churches; one town centre busy with lots of kids etc and one country church in a farming community. He loves them both for different reasons and finds them both a privilege.

I think it's sad when we attack one another - it's a shame another poster called modern worship lame, too - why do we do this? I long to be a church which is accepting and universal and inclusive and loving, and that appreciates everyone needs different things. It's wonderful that there is such a range. Expecting everywhere to be just as we would like would be narrowing God and God's church...

Op, no problem at all going out of parish, plenty do. I quite like the idea of supporting the local church if that's possible but it's not always.

Namefordecember Fri 08-Dec-17 09:51:58

Both churches are local but I get the point that the nearest is easier to take part in church life volunteering,visiting others who may need help etc which I would like to do.
I can walk to the High church and it is open mid week when I am shopping nearby anyway they have coffee after which I have been to.
The vicar is lovely, makes me and everyone welcome.
At the informal church the congregation are friendly but the vicar not so welcoming.
I do feel like I belong in the High church,it's my parish,I can talk to the vicar,there are some lovely people there.However I have depression and sometimes the seriousness of the service makes me feel scared when I am feeling down.Also people stay in their own groups saving seats I sit on my own.
In the informal church I felt like an outsider though because I wasn't from the parish,and couldn't pop in to events on in the week.

Namefordecember Fri 08-Dec-17 10:04:00

Thank you everyone for helping me to clarify my thoughts.
I am going to stay at my local High Church.
I am going to try not to take it to heart if some of the congregation are not welcoming to new people.
I think that I could volunteer on the cleaning rota etc,as it must be hard for the elderly who do this.
I don't know what to do about how I feel about when I feel scared by the formality ,any suggestions?
For example at advent the church was dark,choir chanting in hooded robes,it was atmospheric but on my own a bit scary.

C8H10N4O2 Fri 08-Dec-17 11:15:17

I have depression and sometimes the seriousness of the service makes me feel scared when I am feeling down

Have you talked to your Vicar about this? They may not realise this effect or they may have suggestions for positive meditations during those points.

There may also be some less formal services during the week or even some shorter services such as Evensong which you could go to instead some weeks.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 08-Dec-17 22:16:52

"The point of Christianity certainly is fellowship and community, "

THE point? Surely the point of Christianity is following Jesus Christ. You could do that one your own in a monastery if you wanted. Fellowship and community can be a part of it, but is surely not THE point.

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