Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Everyone has questions when they try something new. Here are some questions that we are commonly asked, we hope that they will answer some of your queries. If we have missed anything, just get in touch and we will do our best to answer.

What is a service like?

We have three services on a Sunday at St Paul’s and all are open to both new visitors and regular members. At 8am we hold a traditional Holy Communion service that is based around the Book of Common Prayer (1662).

Our 10:30am service is a service for everyone of all ages and aims to be especially family friendly. We start the service all together, with the children and young people going out to their groups part of the way through the service. We offer groups and activities for 0-14 year olds.

We have a projection system for all the words and songs that are used at both this service and the 6:30pm service, so it’s easy to follow along. A hearing loop is also in operation in the church during our services.

Our 6:30pm service is a more informal service starting with an extended period of worship.

There is free coffee and refreshments served after the 10:30am and the 6:30pm services to which everyone is invited to stay.

How long are your services?

Our 10:30am and 6:30pm services normally last 90 minutes, except for the first Sunday morning of the month which is suitable for all ages and lasts for 60 minutes. Our 8am service also lasts for 60 minutes.

What should I wear?

At St Paul’s we welcome people as they are. Our services are informal and our dress is casual, so please come as you feel comfortable.

What is the music like?

Most of our worship is led by a band of mixed instruments, except at our more traditional 8am service which uses just our grand piano. We also have a church organ which is occasionally used in our services.

We use a selection of modern and traditional songs. Our 8am service usually uses hymns from the Anglican hymn book. Our 10:30am and 6:30pm services use more modern songs, some very recent, and the occasional traditional hymn.

For more information, visit the Worship section of our site.

Will I know what to do/say?

Most people find their first visit to church less scary than expected. We are a very welcoming group of people and our services are set up so that you can relax and get to know us as a church. All the words at most of our services are projected on to a large screen at the front and you will be prompted by the service leader when to join in. We are happy for you not to join in with anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

What about communion?

Sharing bread and wine is an important part of our church community, reminding us what Jesus did for us. We come up for communion in rows and the ushers will indicate where to go. We welcome all who are committed Christians and usually take bread and wine in their home church to join us for communion (members of St Paul’s will normally have been either formally admitted to communion or confirmed). If you would rather not receive communion, please still come for a blessing, keeping your hands by your side, or you are welcome to remain in your seat. Gluten-free wafers and non-alcoholic wine are always available, the service leader will indicate where.

What do the children (0-11yrs) do during the service?

We want to invest in the spiritual development of children of all ages, starting from the very youngest in Stepping Stones (0-1s) through to those in Explorers (7 – 11s). Please visit the kids’ pages for further information about our Sunday groups.

Parents are always welcome into the groups to both settle their children and to see what they are doing. Children are also welcome to remain in the church with their parents if preferred. Our Children’s Minister, Jennifer Fellows, would be very happy to talk to you and give you further information.

After a section of family-friendly worship at the start of the service, children and young people are invited to go to their own groups in the church halls. We have five children’s groups (0-11 years) that run during the 10:30am service. All our leaders have full DBS checks and we have a child protection policy that may be read in full on our website. You can also find out about our mid-week groups for this age too.

What do you have for young people (11-18yrs)?

We have one youth group, Pathfinders (11-14 years), that meets during the 10:30am service. DEEP, our 14-18 year old youth group, meets after the 6:30pm service.Our Youth Minister, Michael, would be very happy to talk to you and give you further information. There are also groups that run midweek for various ages on different evenings. Please visit the youth page to find out more details.

What do you do to cater for those with additional needs?

At St Paul’s we want everyone to be feel welcomed, loved and accepted when they come to Church. There is disabled access to all parts of the church building as well as disabled parking spaces and we have a hearing loop fitted. We use makaton signs (signing to assist communication) in children’s groups, some worship songs and especially in our all age services (first Sunday of the month). We also have an additional needs area at the back of Church which is filled with soft cushions, sensory toys and ear defenders which provides a quiet, calming space for any who need it. If you are bringing a child or young person with additional needs to Church, Children’s Minister, Jennifer or 0ur Youth Minister, Michael are happy to chat through what provision can be put in place. This may involve meeting up with Karen, our inclusion coordinator, to help implement these strategies.

What is the access and parking like?

Our building is fully accessible to everyone and has a ramp to the main entrance as well as steps for those using buggies or wheelchairs. Our entrance also has automatic doors for easy access. Please ask those welcoming as you come into the building and they will point out the ramped entry to the church or show you the lift to get to the first floor. The church has a small car park, but please note that during the week (Mon-Fri) there is restricted parking in Blandford Road, with parking by permit only between 1.30-3.30pm.

What is prayer ministry?

Prayer is vital to our on-going relationship with God. Prayer at St Paul’s is both organised and spontaneous. We believe that prayer can really make a difference in people’s lives. After every 10:30am service, a team is available to pray with anyone who asks. It can be about something from the service, for healing of a health problem or for any other needs. Anyone can receive prayer. If you would like to be prayed for and there isn’t a prayer ministry team member available, just ask the leader of the service and they will always find someone to pray with you.

Do I have to give money?

Absolutely not. We make no collection during any of our services, but a plate is left near the rear of the church for those who would like to make a donation. If you do choose to join St Paul’s, we would encourage you to give regularly, please pick up a leaflet from the tables at the back of the church. Many church members give by direct debit or using envelopes that allow us to receive gift aid on your donation.

What next?

Come along! Sunday services are a great place to meet with God, but if you would like to go further or find out more please have a chat with one of our service leaders.

We have some great opportunities, our Alpha course is a really good next step, or you may wish to become part of a home group (please contact the office to register your interest). Both these groups meet weekly.

If you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us, or just ask someone when you arrive. There is always a welcome team on the door if you are unsure who to ask.

Our Alpha course starts with an Alpha Supper (an introductory taster session with a meal) and continues on the same evening each week for a further 10 weeks. To find out the dates of our next course, please check the Alpha pages,  contact the office, or pick up a leaflet in church.