Rev Dr Calvin Samuel
Tel: 07411 289469

Rev Norman Hooks
Tel: 07859 996054

Pastor Mike Webb
Tel: 07714 916263

Email the Church


Many people do not have a clear idea about what happens at a service. Here are a few questions we have been asked.

Is the Methodist Church a Christian church?

Most definitely!  About 250 years ago, the ‘Wesleyans’ broke away from the Church of England, but it still follows Christian principles. Our normal Sunday services do not rigidly follow a laid-down pattern, except when we celebrate Holy Communion.

Do I have to be a member to come to a service?

Not at all!  Anybody at all can come to a service to worship.  If you decide you like us, then you can become a member if you wish, but we won’t force you. 

I am not sure that I actually believe in God.  Would I still be welcome?

We will be delighted to see you, whatever you personal faith is.   We welcome everyone without judgement and on any stage of their personal path to faith.

Why do you sing so many hymns?

Methodism was ‘born in song,’ as the saying goes. During most of a service you will be listening, but singing a hymn allows you to properly take part, if you would like to.  If you sing a hymn as if it means something to you, it will be your chance to express your own personal faith.  We tend to stand when we sing, but the minister/leader will clearly announce this at the start of each hymn or song.  If you want to remain seated, that is absolutely fine, too!

But I can’t sing.

Nor can many of us - think of it as group karaoke!  We are usually led by the organist, but we also use other types of media, such as videos, which we will project/play through the sound system.

So many books, how do I know which one to use?

At Rochford, we project the words of hymns and Bible readings, so you don’t have to worry about finding these in books. If you do wish to use a book, though, these are available at the back of the church. By default, we use a version of the Bible called The Good News Translation. The Bible is the basis of the faith of all Christian churches.

Preachers usually choose hymns and worship songs from one of three books - Singing the Faith, Hymns and Psalms, and Songs of Fellowship. We can provide you with a list of hymns used in the service, if you want, and can also provide large print song sheets, provided you let us know in advance.

For special services, like Communion Services, we may also hand out a book of ‘standard’ services, or word sheets.

How will I know when to stand or sit?

Unless there are any other instructions, we stand when we sing hymns, when the collection is being taken forward, and after the last hymn (while we finish with a short prayer), and we sit for everything else.  Do what everyone else does and you can’t go far wrong, but if you wish to remain seated throughout the service, that is fine, too!

Do I have to book a seat?

Not at all – just turn up.  All are welcome!

Collection - What’s that?

Contrary to common belief, all churches are responsible for raising their own finances, and the members usually do this by having a ‘free will’ collection during the service. There is no set amount, and you do not have to give if you don’t want to, or if there are reasons why you can’t - we won’t ask why.  All the money we raise helps to pay for maintaining our premises and financing our work in the community.  We rely heavily on volunteers who receive no payment. During the service you may notice that many people don't put anything into the collection.   This is usually because they have chosen to give by Standing Order directly from their bank account.   If this is something that you are interested in, our Account Details are ...

What should I wear?

Whatever you like! Some people like to wear formal clothes, others prefer casual - it is the person inside that matters. Oh, and women don’t wear hats these days!

I’m not good enough to go to church.

Everybody is good enough to go to church, and you will not be judged by us!  Christians don’t think of themselves as ‘perfect’, but they recognise they could be better.  The only person we recognise as being perfect is Jesus Christ, who we believe is the Son of God. It is his teachings (found in the Bible) that we listen to and learn from.  The word Christian indicates a ‘follower of Christ’.

I would be embarrassed to arrive early, could I come after the service starts and just slip in at the back?

You could try, but churches tend to fill up from the back, so if you arrive late you may find you that you will have to walk through the congregation to find a seat. It’s ideal to turn up about ten minutes before the service starts.  If you find that you cannot make it for the start of the service, that's not a problem, either; please just come! 

Can I take Communion?

When we have a Communion service everybody can ‘receive’ the bread and wine, which will be brought to your seat. Unlike other churches, you do not need to have been ‘confirmed’ or even baptised. You don’t even have to be a member of a Methodist Church. If you don’t want to take bread or wine, just indicate to the steward at the time.

Why don’t you have the same preacher every week?

Ever since Methodism was founded, it has depended on lay people (people who are not ministers) to lead services. Amongst other things, this allows the minister to serve several churches in this area. You can find the name of our next Sunday’s preacher on the notice board by the front door.

What happens after the service?

Following the final hymn/song, we usually remain standing for the minister/leader to give a short prayer of blessing, and then people tend to sit down for a very short period of personal reflection/prayer.   Immediately following, a trolley is wheeled into the worship area where tea, coffee etc and biscuits are freely available for all who wish to stay for an informal friendly chat following the service.   It is also fine if you need to leave immediately following the service.

Do you have Wi-Fi?

Yes we do!   The password is clearly displayed on the church premises.  You are welcome to use this whenever you are in the building, but you may wish to refrain from checking your phone in the actual church service.

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