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Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here. We recommend that you start here to find out more about everything that we do.

Check out the ‘Start Here’ drop down in the menu to find quick links to what’s on, Sunday Gatherings, work with kids and in the community, and much more, including baptisms, weddings and funerals.

This page also aims to give you all the information you might want before your first visit; the stuff that you might be embarrassed to ask! If you were particularly looking for information on baptisms, weddings or funerals, or if you were trying to find out about getting a memorial put in the churchyard, check out our Life Events page here.

We’ll try and add more things here as we think of them – please let us know if there’s anything that you would have found helpful, and we’ll probably add it!

Services

Where is the service?

First, check on the Sunday Gatherings page if you’re wanting to go to a specific service. If you’d just like to come and visit, there is normally a service every week at 10.30am at Mistley & Manningtree, and there are normally services on all but the first Sunday of the month at 10.30am at Bradfield. Very occasionally, if we are having a service with the other churches in the area, we will not be meeting in normal places or at normal times. If this is the case, there will be a notice on the church door. See the Who We Are page for a map of how to get to our two locations. There is a small car park at Mistley, and there is also plenty of space on the road outside Mistley and Bradfield.

What time should I arrive?

Again, check the Sunday Services page for service times. Generally, morning services start at 10.30am and evening services start at 6.00pm. We’d advise planning to come with at least five minutes to spare, just to give you time to find a seat and get comfortable. Where specified, we also have refreshments before the service at Mistley, so feel free to come any time from 10.00-10.30am and have a coffee and a chat before we start.

What can I expect?

First off, we really hope and pray that whatever service you come to, you will find a warm welcome, a family atmosphere, and a worshipful people and experience. However, for the details of what to expect, please make sure to check the calendar for the service you are coming to.

In our more ‘formal’ type services (Holy Communions, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer) you can expect to find quiet and calm service, using words and songs from books of a generally older style. If you come to these services, you’ll probably find you start to recognise the liturgy (the words) as we use a small selection regularly. These services are normally held with everyone sitting in pews, standing for relevant hymns and words (please see below for those less-abled).

In our ‘less formal’ type services (Family Worship and Quiet Communion) you can expect a more flexible structure, with a range of words, songs and items included, using old and new material. These services sometimes run a bit longer and sometimes give more opportunities (all non-compulsory) for people to interact, get involved or respond. Our Family Worship services start with coffee from 10am, and have a family-friendly beginning, suitable for all ages, normally including more lively worship. These services also include our kids work: please see below and the page about all of our Children’s Activities. These services are generally held using the pews and chairs, but are very ready for wrigglers!

In our most informal type service – Cafe Church – you can expect a really relaxed atmosphere and a very friendly welcome. We sit around tables with coffee and bacon sandwiches (or veggie sausage sandwiches) and there are great opportunities to chat but no pressure for those who’d prefer to listen. There’s kids work at this service as well, so hopefully the whole family is catered for!

 

What should I wear?

We don’t mind! We’re happy for you to wear what you like and to be comfortable. Our church-family members wear anything from suits and ties to jeans and t-shirts. That said, we would ask that you consider not wearing anything too revealing (very short skirts, very low-cut tops!) or slogans that might be offensive, but you probably thought of that already! Over all, we’re more concerned that you come as you are, and that you make yourself at home.

Will I be singled out?

No. We won’t ask you to do anything different to anyone else, and we won’t make you do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. We won’t make you wear a badge or a funny hat. We won’t make you give us your money. We just want to welcome you in and make you feel at home.

What if I am ‘less-abled’ or disabled?

We welcome everyone to our church, and whatever your disability, we will do what we can to not just accommodate you, but help you to fully participate in and enjoy our services.
  • If you don’t find it easy to stand (particularly for longer periods) then we’d encourage you to come and sit near the front, and please feel free to stay seated!
  • If you would like to participate in Holy Communion but cannot get to the rail, those giving Communion will come to you. Please just let one of the Welcomers or Sidespeople know on your way into Church.
  • We have space and facilities in both buildings for those in wheelchairs and would advise that you come and sit near the front so as to be able to see.
  • Our buildings are fitted with hearing-induction loops. Check the signs in Church for the correct hearing-aid setting.
  • If you have sight problems, we can help you best if you can please let us know in advance. We normally print a few copies of the news-sheet in large-print, and we have a large-print copy of the Holy Communion book, but our family-style service normally just use the screen. If we know that you’re coming along, we can make sure that there are suitable news-sheets, Communion Orders and/or service orders ready for you.
  • If you have learning disabilities it would be really helpful if you could let us know your needs in advance. We’d love to be more accessible to those with learning disabilities and any guidance that you can give us would be really helpful.

As with all old churches, our buildings were not best designed for those less-abled or disabled. In our improvements to the buildings and our systems, we are always considering how best to serve our less-abled and disabled congregation members and visitors, but please do let us know your thoughts on how you might be most comfortable, and how you might see, hear and participate best in our services.

What about my children?

We are thrilled to welcome children to our services. We would advise that the family-type services (Benefice Family Communion, Family Worship and any other service with Treasure Seekers included) are the most suitable services that we have for families, but you are welcome to any service where you’d like to bring your children. We run Treasure Seekers at most of these family-services which is our children’s group for threes and over. They normally stay in for the first fifteen minutes of the service which we try to make engaging for them, and then go out to have teaching that is more suitable for their interests and abilities, to a room within the church building. No children have to go out however, and parents are welcome as well if children are at all nervous. For the under threes, we also have a Wriggle Pen Area so that your little ones can stay in the service but have toys out and space for a bit of a crawl/toddle. See the Sunday Services section for details of services and the church calendar, the Children’s Work section to find out what else we’re doing, and please do contact the Church Office if you have any other questions or concerns.

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