What happens in Church?

A Guide for those who have never been before.

(A Dramatic Performance in Two Parts)

Cast in order of appearance:

Greeters - 1 or 2 church members say hello and give out hymn books and a service book

Organist - Michael or Ann play music before the service starts and during the service play the hymns and music

Congregation - the people arrive and sit down. If in doubt ask a greeter where you can sit.

Crucifer - John carries a cross on a stick into Church as the service begins.

Choir - some people in robes walk up the central aisle as the service begins, that's the cue to stand up

Vicar - Adrian, or a colleague walk in behind the choir and welcomes everybody, reads notices of marriage, and announces the hymns.

Reader - Lisa sometimes takes the first half of the service, wearing a black cassock, white surplice and blue scarf.

Readers - members of the congregation may read the Bible readings and lead the prayers.

Chalice Assistant - helps with the cup

Act One

The drama takes place half way up the church.

Scene 1 - the Opening Hymn, the welcome
Scene 2 - the confession - we say sorry to God for the things that we have done wrong and hear that he forgives us
Scene 3 - the Bible Readings are read - the Old Testament Reading which tell us how God loved his people the Jews
- the New Testament Reading which tells us about how the church started
- the Gospel Reading which tells us about Jesus, God's Son who was born at Christmas and died at Easter and came back to life again.
- the Bible Readings are explained to us
Scene 4 - the Prayers - prayers are said for the church, the local community, for people in need, including the sick and bereaved

Act Two

The drama takes place at the top of the church.

Scene 1 - the Offertory Hymn and prayers - bread and wine are placed on the table and a collection of money is taken to help pay for the upkeep of the church
Scene 2 - the Communion Prayer - which reminds us of the Last Supper Jesus had with his friends
Scene 3 - the Lord's Prayer - which is a prayer Jesus taught his friends
Scene 4 - the Communion - the vicar gives most people some bread and wine, or a blessing to others.
Scene 5 - the blessing and dismissal - the vicar encourages us to go out and live a Christian life.

Refreshments may follow - tea, coffee, juice and biscuits rather than anything stronger!

Dress Code
This is a Church of England church. You do not need to wear special clothes to go to church, unless you are taking part in the drama itself. Some like to wear Sunday Best, but you don't need to, smart casual is fine.

What to take with you.
Some money to put in the collection, preferably more than a £1 coin.
Glasses if you wear them

Try to arrive 5 or 10 minutes before the service starts, to allow time to park.
People sometimes arrive late or leave early, that's fine.

People become church members through a ceremony called baptism or christening, which often happens to babies, but can happen to adults.
People do not have to be members to come to church, but we encourage it.

How much does membership cost?
Membership is free because your membership price was pre-paid by Jesus.
We hope you will make a donation when you come to church though.
To receive communion you should normally be confirmed in the Church of England or have received the Lord's Supper in another church.

Club Rules
Men should not wear hats.
Women may wear hats but don't have to.
Please do not smoke or drink in church.
Please switch off your mobile phone.
Please join in singing hymns and saying prayers in bold text.
Please do not run or shout out
Children are welcome. There are toys to help keep them interested, and family services help them join in.
If you want a blessing please take a service booklet with you.
If you want to receive the bread and the wine but have never done so before please speak to the vicar.

There is a toilet at the back of Darrington church which is suitable for all, but the door is heavy.
The service lasts about an hour you may need the toilet! (Unfortunately there is not one at Wentbridge or Kirk Smeaton yet.)
Please join us for refreshments at the end of the service.