We’re so glad that you’re here! We hope it provides some interesting and helpful information.
Whether you have been to Guildford United Reformed Church (URC) previously, are just looking around or have never been to church, we hope that you have been made to feel welcome among us. Guildford URC is an open and inclusive church, which means you are welcome whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey. You will find a welcome space among us.
One of the characteristics of our church is that we are enquiring and we all have questions. You would be surprised at the things we don’t know! But we are journeying and finding out about faith and life together.
Some helpful things…
Click on the questions to find out more, you may be surprised by the answers!
What is a church service like?
Sunday is one of our main focuses of gathering for the week. We gather to worship God.
Worship is usually led by our minister, church members or visiting preachers from the area. The service is a mixture of singing, bible reading, prayer and a talk.
Some services are live streamed to our website, but there is a designated area of the church – on the organ side towards the back – which is intentionally move live streamed.
Café Church on the last Sunday each month takes place around tables, conversation and food together.
You are very free to join in as much or as little as you like. If anything feels unfamiliar feel free to ask the person who welcomed you before the service or anyone sat near to you.
How long does a service last?
Our Sunday services last around an hour and are usually followed by coffee and chat.
What about music?
Music is important to us and can very often be a means through which we connect with one another. We sing a mixture of modern and traditional hymns and use organ, piano and a small music group. On special occasions we have a choir who help us in the worship.
How will I know what to do?
There are no fixed rules so you will be fine, but please do feel relaxed and join in as you are able. We frequently stand to sing hymns and sit to pray, but ministers will usually guide everyone as to what to do. We are a lot more relaxed about doing “the right thing” than you imagine.
What is communion?
Communion takes place once a month usually on the first Sunday and is a moment when Christians share bread and wine to remember Jesus, particularly that Jesus breaks down social divisions to bring us all together. As an “open and inclusive” church everyone is welcome and invited to share communion with us – being invited to share bread and wine together is a gift to us and a sign of being one people.
Usually bread and wine are brought to you in your seat, but again the minister will guide the congregation through the service.
What should I wear?
Simply whatever you are most comfortable wearing. There are no expectations about clothing, so please feel relaxed and be yourself in all that can mean for you.
What about children in the services?
Children join in the first twenty minutes of the service and then leave to join Rainbow Club where they enjoy stories, crafts and fun that is focused on then. Children usually share in communion and share what they have been doing in Rainbow Club.
At Café Church children stay for the whole service which is usually inclusive and all-age in approach.
All our children and young people leaders are DBS checked and take part in regular training.
What about giving money to the church?
There is no expectation or requirement to support the church financially. But if you feel like you wish to, there is a collection plate and a card-reader at the door for members and regular attenders. There is no collection plate passed around, so please don’t worry!
Most people support church through cash donations, standing orders, or an envelope scheme that enables us to Gift Aid donations.
Prayer is part of our regular worship and important, though it might feel odd. Prayer is essentially about us making room in our thoughts, hearts and minds for someone or something and for a moment holding them tenderly and closer to us.
We hope you have felt welcome among us and have found something special from your time with us – whether you call that friendship, God, neighbour, community.
You may still have some questions, that’s okay! If we have missed anything or could improve our welcome, do please let us know!
Maybe you’d like to come along to something happening at church in the near future, a Sunday service, group, or activity?