What to expect

You will be really welcome to any services at Earley St Peter’s – whether you’ve been churchgoing for decades, go occasionally to services, or have never walked through a church door before. Our services use a wide range of words from the traditional to the modern, they range from more formal to informal, and we often have music old and new from either our choir or worship band!
People come to church services for all sorts of reasons. It may be because we are committed Christians who feel this is part of what it means to follow Jesus. It may be we like the peace and beauty of the building or the music. It may be we aren’t sure what we believe and want to explore more. It may be we enjoy the company, or the space to be still amid a busy life. It may be more than one of the above, or we may not be quite sure!

Practical considerations:

    Before you arrive:

  • Times of services are advertised here on the website, and on our Facebook page.
  • Services are open to everyone and there is no charge.
    Getting here

  • We are near the St Peter’s Church bus stop for the 19a / 19c service, and about five minutes’ walk round the corner is the Three Tuns stop on the 17, X4, and 4 bus routes.
  • There is some car parking outside church, on Church Road Earley RG6 1EY. Occasionally we can use the adjacent car park in Earley St Peter’s School. There is also free car parking at Sol Joel Car Park or in some nearby streets.
    When you arrive:

  • When you arrive in church there will usually be someone to welcome you. They may give you a booklet with the words of the service to follow.
  • You’re welcome to sit wherever you like.
  • The church is equipped with a hearing loop, please set your hearing aid to the ‘T’ position.
  • At the rear of the church is an area with books and soft toys if younger visitors would like to use it.
  • Toilets are in the Church Hall, along with baby changing facilities (same location as the toilet for disabled people).
    During the service

  • Children’s Church (term-time, 10am on 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Sundays) begins from the worship area and then go over to the Church Hall. Parents accompany their children over to the Church Hall for worship and teaching. Parents of under 5’s remain with their children, older children can be left in the Hall if they are comfortable with that. All return to church before Holy Communion.
  • You are welcome to join in with as much of the service, or as little, as you like. There are usually words in bold type which we say or sing together. The service booklet will also indicate bits of the service where we’re invited to stand, sit, or kneel – but do whatever feels comfortable to you!
  • Sometimes we sing hymns or worship songs – these will either be on a printed sheet or in the blue hymn-books at the end of the pew.
  • There is an ‘All Age’ shorter service on the 1st Sunday of the month at 10am.
  • Some services include Holy Communion (also known as the mass, the eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper) where we share bread and wine. Anyone who normally takes communion in any church is welcome to here, just come up when directed and hold out your hands. If you would like gluten-free bread, please ask the person giving it out when you come up.
  • If for whatever reason you don’t receive the bread and wine, that’s fine; you can either come up and keep your hands down (a minister will then pray a short blessing for you and any children you bring with you), or you can stay in your seat.
  • During or at the end of many services there will be a collection. Don’t feel you must give anything at all – this is entirely voluntary and there’s no charge for coming to church. The collection is usually for the work of the church – parish churches like ours receive no direct public funding for their running costs and outreach. If you are able to give under the GiftAid scheme, please put your donation in one of the envelopes available in the pew and fill in the details on the cover. This allows us to claim back 25p from HM Revenue & Customs for every £1 given, at no cost to you. Your details will be kept only for GiftAid purposes and we will not contact you except to acknowledge your gift shortly after the end of the tax year.
    After the service

  • If you would like to speak to someone from the Pastoral Care Team, someone will be available after the service, in the Lady Chapel, to listen confidentially and if you wish, to pray for you (2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Sundays of the month after the 10am service.)
  • If you prefer, you can contact the Parish Administrator (weekday mornings, Parish Office) to ask a member of the team to contact you.
  • As you leave church, the ‘sides person’ will collect in the service booklet and the minister who has led the service will usually be by the door to thank you for coming and say goodbye.
  • There are usually refreshments after the 10am Sunday service in the Church Hall where there is tea and coffee, biscuits, and squash. There’s no charge for this, though you can make a donation to cover the costs. Do come over and meet members of the congregation and other visitors.

There are more details about what happens in our regular services here