What sort of Church is St. Margaret's?

St Margaret’s is a Parish Church of the Church of England. It was built in 1879 at a time when many new Churches were built in the Church of England which had an “Anglo-Catholic” tradition. Our spirituality is therefore both Anglican and Catholic.

Are services in modern or traditional language?

St Margaret’s offers services in both styles of language. Our three Sunday morning services are all in modern language. On Sunday evenings Choral Evensong is in traditional language from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Most mid-week services are also in modern language, though on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 11am a Communion Service is held in traditional language from the Book of Common Prayer.

I've never been to St. Margaret's before...
I'm worried about not knowing what to do?

Each of our services does have a different style and we do try to offer very good liturgy. However we are very keen to welcome those for whom our worship might be a new experience. When you arrive make yourself known to the sidesmen. They will give you what you need and they will guide you, if you wish, to a seat where you might feel comfortable. Service booklets and leaflets guide you through the service and hymns usually come from the hymn book in the seat in front of you. It can seem a bit daunting to start with, but we are very much known locally as a welcoming and friendly Church!

Some people will bow, or genuflect, or make the sign of the cross at various points during the service. Don’t feel anxious if this is new to you. People develop various actions to involve themselves in the worship, but none of it is compulsory! You will probably want to enter into the movement of standing when everyone stands, kneeling or sitting when others do. Most people turn and face the gospel procession which is read from the centre of the Church.

Can I take Communion?
What should I do if I don’t want to receive Communion?

All communicant members of any Christian Church are welcome to receive Holy Communion at St Margaret's. Alternatively, you are also invited to come forward to receive a prayer of blessing. Should you prefer a blessing, please bring with you your service booklet and hold it in your hands. This will indicate to those administering communion that you wish to receive a blessing.

We want to have our baby/child christened. How do we go about it?

At St Margaret’s we are always delighted to welcome children or babies into the Church through baptism. Baptism normally takes place in one of our main Sunday morning services. For more details, see our Services section, Special Occasions.

Is it possible for us to have our wedding at St Margaret's?

We hope so! However there are always some legal preliminaries to be completed before a marriage can take place in a Church of England Church. These are to do with where you live, or whether you have a “qualifying connection” with St Margaret’s, or whether you have been married previously. For more details, see our Services section, Special Occasions.

My loved one has died. Can the funeral be held at St Margaret's?

Yes, if that is what your loved one has asked for, or you would wish as next of kin of the deceased. Funeral arrangements are usually made by your undertaker and our Parish Priest. For more details, see our Services section, Special Occasions.

Does St. Margaret's welcome children to Sunday Services?

Yes! Most families bring their children to our Family Service at 9.15am. This service normally lasts about 35 minutes with a talk that includes the children. Our Children’s choir, “Cant and Dec” (age 7+) sings at this service during school term time and there are usually many children present of all ages. At 10.45am there is a small Sunday school attached to the service which is always staffed by a teacher and chaperone. The children leave shortly after the service has begun and return at the point of the Holy Communion. This service is more traditional and usually lasts a little over one hour.

Special Needs

Does St Margaret's have a sound system to aid the hard of hearing?

Yes, and this includes a “loop system”, as well as normal sound magnification. This means that if you have a “T” facility on your hearing aid, voices speaking in the service will be played directly into your ear piece so that you can hear everything.

Is St Margaret's wheelchair-friendly?

Though the main entrance to our Victorian Church has steps, access can be gained into Church on the flat directly through the Parish Hall. To enable access this way there are disabled parking spaces outside the Parish Hall at the side of Church, or your mobility vehicle can be driven up the slope and into Church through the Parish Hall entrance opposite Heather Court. Once in Church there is plenty of space for your mobility vehicle to be parked.

I need to receive communion at my seat. Who should I tell?

As there are steps up to the High Altar, there are always a number of people who receive communion in their seat in the nave. If you would like to receive communion in your seat do please mention it to one of the sidesmen when you arrive and those administrating communion will be pleased to come to you.

Does St Margaret's have gluten-free communion wafers?

Yes, when you arrive before the service please mention that you need a gluten free wafer to one of the sidemen. They will ensure that you receive one at Holy Communion.

I cannot drink alcohol. What should I do about communion wine?

At St Margaret’s we do use alcoholic wine for communion. If you are unable to take a small sip of wine at communion it is perfectly acceptable to receive the communion host alone. Some people move immediately once they have received the host, others kiss the chalice rather than drink. Those who administer communion will always respect your actions.

Christian Giving

Will there be a collection and, if so, what will I be giving the money for?

There is a collection at each of our Sunday Services and they will normally be to support the ministry of St Margaret’s Church. Like all organisations we do have bills to pay for things like electricity, gas, Church requisitions and maintenance, as well as the cost of ministry. St Margaret’s also supports other charities through outward giving. However, what we each give individually is primarily a response to God’s generosity to us and we give to his Church for this reason first.

For detail of Christian Stewardship, read...