Melbourne Parish Church

In the heart of the Community

First time Visitor?

We have put together some information that you may find useful if you are visiting our church for the first time. Perhaps you are newcomer to the area or just wanted to come to one of our services. We do have quite a number who come to the church for the first time for baptisms, weddings or funerals. Whatever your situation, you would be most welcome.

How to find us

We have a section on the website that has details of the bus times, has a Google map and some information on parking. Please click here for details.

Church Opening Times

The Church is normally open from 9am to 5pm each day, and entrance is via the South door to the church (this is the door on the opposite side of the church to the war memorial). Your are welcome to look round our church during this time, and we have various leaflets and guide books explaining some of the history of the church.

There are weekday services, and deatils can be found at the following at our Church Services page.

On Sundays, we have services at 8am (Said Communion), 10:30am (Parish Communion) and 6:30pm (Evening Prayer). The church is normally open 20-30 minutes before the start of the service.

Disabled Access

The North door to the church (opposite the war memorial) has level access into the church, suitable for wheel chairs. This door is used for the Sunday morning services, but is also available by request for all our services.

Toilet Facilities

We now have a new building, St. Michael's House, which has toilet facilities on the ground floor, enabling disabled access to the toilets. The entrance is to the right of the white vicarage garage. 

There is also a toilet in Church House (the building to the right of the entrance into Melbourne Pool). Please note that there are 2-3 steps into Church House.

In addition, there are toilet facilities near the Melbourne Tea rooms, with flat level access. These can be found by going through the entrance into Melbourne estate courtyard (opposite the war memorial), under the archway, and the toilets are on the right hand side. They are generally open during daylight hours.

Church Services

For some of our visitors, it may be the first time at our church service, so here is some information on what to expect. The details here are based on our Parish Communion 10:30am service, which is also the service where the baptisms normally take place.

The bells are normally rung before the service, and at Melbourne the ringing is undertaken at the front of the church. Five minutes before the start of the service, the bells will stop and will be followed shortly afterwards by some music on the organ.

The priest who is leading the service will give his welcome to the congregation and will also give out any notices. The first hymn will be announced, during which a procession will move up the aisle – led by a crucifer (who carries the Cross) , the choir, and one or more of the clergy who are taking part in the service. The service then follows the order shown in the service booklet. For some parts of the service we stand, others we sit, and for some we kneel (or sit with our heads bowed) for prayers.

After the second hymn (known as the gradual), the crucifer and the server (who assists the priest), with the person who is to read the Gospel process into the nave with the Bible. In the Gospel, (which means good news) we hear the words of Jesus being read, so we turn to face the person reading the Gospel.

The sermon then follows. The purpose of the sermon is to explain the meaning of the bible readings and how they relate to our lives. After this we all join in a statement of our faith, the wording of which is in the service leaflet. Everyone then sits or kneels for prayers. These are known as prayers of intercession when we pray for the Church, the world, our local community and those in special need of prayers, also pray for the souls of those who have died and those who mourn them.

Following this we remember Christ’s words – “My peace I leave with you” – by sharing the peace with each other, by shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you”. Many people move round the church to share the peace with special friends, visitors, or those on their own.

During the next hymn a collection is taken (for the work of the church), this being taken up to the altar together with the bread and the wine. This represents our thank offering to God who has given us all we have. The service then moves to the solemn moment of the communion service. Some people may not wish to receive communion, but they can go up for a blessing, keeping their hands by their sides so the priest knows this is their intention. Having received communion first, the choir either returns to their seats or moves to the back of the church where they sing an anthem and the communion hymn (which is sung by everyone, seated).

The Sunday School returns from their activities in church house, and they go up to the alter rail for a blessing. They then sit on the benches just in front of the choir. After everyone has received communion, one of the clergy will talk to the children and discuss with them what they have been doing that morning. This is our way of involving their learning with the rest of the congregation.

The service ends with a hymn, a blessing – and a procession of Cross, choir and clergy to the back of the church while the congregation remains standing. We turn to face the procession as it moves towards the back of the church.

We normally have coffee after the 10:30am service, which is good time to meet other people. The clergy greet people as they leave the church.

If this is your first time with us, please introduce yourself to one of the clergy, if we haven't introduced ourselves first.

Children

During the Sunday 10:30am service, the Sunday School meets in St. Michael's House. We normally ask parents to take their children to St. Michael's House before the service, and introduce them to the Sunday School leaders. If you are unsure where to go, please ask one of the church wardens or sides persons who are on duty (the ones giving out the service sheets) and they will gladly help you. The children are brought by the leaders into church at the beginning of the service, and then return back to St. Michael's House for their activities.

For the very young, there is a small creche/play area near the North entrance to church, which you may wish to use. Some parents like to take their very young children for a walk outside, and the sides people will help with any needs that you may have, including using the toilet facilities in St. Michael's House or Church House (for example if you want to change a nappy).

We do have a child protection officer, Ros Bell, and if you have any questions for her, please feel free to contact her on 01332 863139.

Weddings

These are a special time, not only for the bride and bridegroom, but for all their family and friends. The is normally a service sheet, produced by the bride and bridegroom. At Weddings, there is often a verger on duty (who wears a grey robe) and she will gladly answer any questions that you may have.

Funerals

As with weddings, there is normally a special service sheet and this will give details of the service. There will normally be a verger (again in a grey robe) on duty who can answer any questions that you may have.

A  servant church for the whole community at the heart of a thriving village

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