If you have not been to a church before you may be wondering what goes on in a church ‘service’ or perhaps you are curious as to how Penwortham United Reformed Church (PURC) compares with other experiences and we trust the following will give you some idea. Sunday Services are normally at 10.30am together with Junior Church and are followed by refreshments in the Church Hall. This site gives details of the services in various locations and special services (e.g. Christmas/Easter) are detailed on the ‘Home’ page. Click on the questions to reveal the text:
There is a Car Park at the front of the church buildings where you are welcome to leave your vehicle; adjacent streets also have unrestricted parking facilities.
Head for the main entrance in the corner of the building where there is a ramp as well as stepped access. You will be greeted at the door and hymn books and any other resources for the service will be handed to you in the reception area where toilets are also sited. Access to the worship area is inside the building up a few steps to the right of the reception area. If you require wheelchair access or cannot manage steps, there is dedicated access available around the rear of the church and you will be assisted in making use of this.
We have chairs (not pews) and you are welcome to sit wherever you like in the worship area. Services are led by visiting ministers, lay preachers and our own Worship Groups. The service normally comprises Hymns, Prayers. Bible Readings, Notices and a Collection as well as a Children’s Talk and a Sermon. Normally we stand when the service leader enters and for the singing of hymns and we sit for other parts of the service. If you are new to church, there’s no pressure to take part. We are very happy for you to come along and see what worshipping in PURC is like.
We have a small church organ which we use for most hymn singing. We use hymns from the United Reformed Church hymnbook “Rejoice and Sing” as well as other songs for which a song sheet and/or overhead projection will be provided. Hymn numbers are displayed on boards and will also be announced as the service proceeds.
Most people find their first visit to church more relaxed and informal than they expected. We are a friendly bunch of people and our services are set up so that you can easily follow what is going on and get to know us as a church family. If you are unsure of anything, please ask or nudge someone sitting near you and they will be delighted to help. Feel free to just sit and observe if you wish.
Children of all ages are certainly welcome to our services and there are activities and toys available for the younger ones to use during their time in the service in church. A “Junior Church” (or Sunday School) is available for the younger ones and is run by the Junior Church Leaders in the “Side Rooms” just to the left of the Reception area. A Safeguarding Policy is in place for all children’s activities. Parents are invited to accompany their children to see what goes on in Junior Church. The Junior Church normally leave after a monetary collection/offering has been made. On arrival feel free to mention if you would like your child (children) to join in with Junior Church. Alternatively you and your child (children) may accompany the leaders as they take the children out during the service.
There is absolutely no requirement to give money during the collection/offering. As a visitor, please feel free to just let the collection bowl pass. Many church members and regular attenders support the work of PURC by giving cash, standing orders, or gift aided donations, but the choice is a personal one and visitors are most definitely not expected to give unless they wish to.
Normally at the end of one of the services each month, as part of our belief in what Jesus Christ did for us and at His invitation, we share the taking of bread and wine and the Junior Church also join in (churches variously call this Communion/Eucharist/Mass/Breaking Bread). In doing so we remember Jesus sacrifice for humankind. The gluten-free bread and the non-alcoholic wine are served to you in your seat. You and your children are welcome to take the bread and wine, or not, just as you wish. There is no need to feel uncomfortable about not taking it and it is a time when we can all quietly reflect as the organ music plays.
Please dress comfortably in whatever you wish. Our congregation attends dressed in anything from casual to more formal.
The service leader(s) will normally be in the Reception area after the service to say hello. We have a Church Hall beyond the Reception area where there are tables laid out and volunteers will be serving tea/coffee/juice and biscuits. Everyone is welcome to gather and chat together and it is a good opportunity for you to meet folk and ask any questions. Once again there is no obligation to join in if you would rather depart straight after the service.
First and foremost we are Christians and this particular URC church located in Penwortham is made up of a variety of folk who have originally come either without a Christian background or from Christian denominations as they are called (e.g. Congregational, Presbyterian, Churches of Christ that formally make up the URC, as well as Baptists, Methodists, Church of England etc.) You will see a link on the right hand side of our Home Page to take you to the URC website that hopefully will give you more information about the various aspects and activities of the URC denomination. Do please ask if there is anything that you feel is not adequately explained.
We hope you will feel that, as we believe that Jesus welcomes us just as we are; whoever we are; from wherever we have come and with whatever life experiences we may have had, so we Welcome You to Penwortham United Reformed Church and to all the activities that take place here.