Help! I’m new here

Thinking of joining us? Unsure of what to do?

Frequently Asked Questions

What to wear

You don’t have to wear anything special.  If you’re coming to church for a special occasion like a Christening or wedding, you will probably want to dress up a bit but if you come to a normal Sunday service you’ll find people in anything from jeans and T shirts, to ‘smart casual’.  The best thing to do is to think what you’d normally wear to go to the shops. 


Just like going to the cinema, we ask that you turn off your phones or put them on silent, just so you don’t disturb anyone during the service.

Does it cost anything?

No. There is usually a collection, and a plate or bag is passed along, this is for the work of the church (and we support different homeless charities, debt counselling services, the family centre next door etc as well).  You do not have to give anything; you can just pass it along. If you do, that’s great, but it’s entirely your choice and no-one will think worse of you.  Many of our congregation give by direct debit so they will be passing the plate along too! FYI, we’re planning to get a card reading machine so at some stage it will be just tapping your bank card.

Do I have to join anything?

No. When you come to a normal service there will be people near the entrance to welcome you.  If you’re new you can ask them any questions and if you want, you can give them your contact details so you can find out more about church activities, but you don’t have to say anything or give any information and you do not have to join anything!

Are there lots of books to deal with?

No. Some people prefer print and there will be some service/song books available, but all the words will be up on a big screen at the front and TV screens to the side.  You don’t need to have any books.  You may be given a monthly news sheet, which is just to tell you what’s coming up in the month, but nothing else.

Where to sit

No-one will mind where you sit, there are no ‘saved’ seats.  For your first visit, it’s a good idea to sit in the back half of the church, just so there are plenty of people to copy so you’ll know  when to sit/stand.

When to sit

Most of the time you’ll be sitting.  You stand for the singing and a couple of the prayers, just copy everyone else, but the leader will usually say something like ’please stand…’. We stand as a way of showing our respect and also because standing helps us to sing loudly! But if you struggle to stand, you’ll notice there are others in the same boat, and they stay seated.  If this is going to be you, try to sit to one side of the church where you’re less likely to have someone in front of you, or you might not be able to see the words on the screen(s).

I’ll be bringing my toddler with me

On the second Sunday of each month, we have a special Informal Worship service which is geared to young families.  Don’t worry if your toddler wants to wander about or is a bit noisy; we love children and they are just as important as anyone else.  However, if your little one gets so noisy that you feel embarrassed, there is a creche room where you can go with your child and play whilst still listening to the service.  We are planning to get an extra TV screen put into the creche soon. For other services, it might be a good idea to bring some toys with you and sit near the back, feel free to get up and wander round with your toddler, the important thing is that you’ve come along! 🙂

What if I need a wee?

If you can, wait for the next song, then just slip out the back of church and you will find the loos just off the entrance lobby. If you can’t wait, just go for it 😊 no problem!

Do I have to talk to anyone?

You can be as chatty or quiet as you want!  You’ll probably say ‘good morning’ to the welcomers as you come in to the service but after that, you can stay quiet, and leave straight after the service ends.  But, if you want to get to know people, we have a café style coffee and biscuits after the service (donations welcome, there’s a bowl for change at the serving hatch) and you can join any table and start talking.  People will probably have noticed you’re new so just ask them to tell you all about church/Carterton/themselves and sit back and relax!

Do I have to join in the prayers?

The prayers will all be up on the screens.  The leader will say anything in normal type and the congregation will join in with anything that is in bold. You can join in, or not, as you want.  No-one will judge you, you may wish to read them through before deciding whether you feel comfortable in saying them.

Do I have to go up for a blessing?

No, you don’t. When people go up to the front to take communion, you can, if you wish, go up and the priest will bless you.  Someone will be telling people when to go up, and they’ll ask you if  you want to.  Just shake your head if you’re not interested.  No-one will judge you 😊

How can I find out more?

Use the contacts page on this website.