Like many churches we meet to worship, sing, pray and learn together. The service lasts approximately 1 hour and will usually have a 10 to 15 minute sermon or talk, 3 or 4 songs, prayers and communion.
We follow a simple liturgy (the order that things will happen in) and usually follow the Revised Common Lectionary to guide our themes for worship, this means that we cover the whole Bible within three years. The songs that we use come from a variety of traditions, some may be older than 50 years old and others may just be a few months old. The people in the church come from a variety of backgrounds so our songs do to. In each service we celebrate communion (when we remember the last meal of Jesus) and everyone is invited to share in this symbolic act, whether you are a member of a church or of no church. We use alcohol free wine and gluten free bread in the hope that as many people can share together as possible. During the service there will also be a time for prayer and a time of learning (the sermon or talk).
The Metropolitan Community Churches believe that it’s not just the clergy who can serve the church through preaching, leading worship or celebrating communion so you will see many lay people (people who aren’t clergy) up the front too.
We are a fairly casual bunch, some people come in shirt and ties, others in jeans and t-shirts and others in skirts and heels. Come as you feel comfortable.
Children @ MCCinG
We regularly have one or two children in the congregation although because we are small we are not yet able to offer a crèche or a Sunday School. So, at the moment, the children sit with their parents during the service and there will be colouring or other age appropriate activities during the sermon. If you know you are coming and bringing children with you it would be great to know in advance so that we can make sure there are activities available for them. As the numbers of children grow we hope to be able to offer more.
We Grow Together
An important part of being a community of faithful people is growing together and deepening our faith. At various times in the year, for example during Lent or Advent, there may be weekly Bible Study and discussions. Throughout the year we also have Emmaus Groups.
These are small groups, usually 5 or 6 people, which meet together for 5 or 6 weeks to explore spirituality together. They are closed groups to allow for deeper sharing which is why they are short-term groups to so that new groups can be formed regularly.
We Laugh Together
We are a very sociable lot and there will often be ad hoc groups going to a film, the theatre, out for meals or to the pub or out walking together. We do also meet together in a less ad-hoc way! There is an annual barbeque and picnic as well as our monthly Sunday Squeeze.
The first Sunday of the month is Squeeze Sunday. It’s a chance to have a bit of extra social time and, if you come from further afield, a great chance to stick around and spend longer with us. After worship we get together in someone’s home (which is sometimes a bit of a squeeze), share a simple meal like pasta or soup, chat, sometimes watch a film, have games nights, discussions and things we haven’t thought of yet. These are great opportunities to make friends and get to know people and, whether you have been coming for a week or for years, you will be welcome.
We celebrate life’s events: Births, marriages and more
Metropolitan Community Churches recognise two Sacraments: Holy Communion and Baptism as these were ordained by Jesus. We also recognise several rites, and below is a guide to rites we are most often asked to provide.
Thanksgiving and Blessing of a Child/naming service
A thanksgiving or naming ceremony for a child normally takes place as part of the Sunday worship service. Unlike infant Baptism, there is nothing required of the parents in either religious belief or commitment. For a thanksgiving offered as part of a Sunday service there would be no charge. However if you would like the minister to provide a personalised service for your child in your home or other venue, there will be a small charge to cover costs and travel. Typically this is between £30 and £50.
Through the Sacrament of baptism a child or adult are welcomed into the family of the Christian church.
For an infant baptism the church expects at least one close member of the family to be a member of the church or willing to become a member. In the baptism service the appropriate adults profess their faith and promise to give the child a Christian upbringing. In the case of adult baptism the person himself or herself makes the appropriate promises.
Baptism is normally administered at Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises the nature of the sacrament as incorporation into the body of Christ and the life of the Church.
MCC does not apply a fee to the sacraments.
In the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches marriage is defined as “the spiritual joining of two persons”. Preparation for marriage includes meeting with the minister to discuss the expectation the couple have of each other as well as planning the actual service.
There is no charge for the actual marriage ceremony but the minister will charge for time and travel. The basic fee is £175 which includes meetings and travel. Additional charges may apply if long distances are involved or if you are planning something out of the ordinary. Additional fees will be payable for venue, musicians, orders of service, etc. In certain circumstance the minister’s fee will be waived. There may also be copyright costs if you want to video the service.
Blessing of a Relationship
It may be that you don’t want to get married or have a civil partnership but would like a religious service for friends and family to celebrate your relationship with you. The basic minster’s fee for a blessing service is £110. Again there may be additional fees for musicians, venue, orders of service, etc.
Funerals and memorial services can be arranged with the minster. Typically the fee is £110 which is covered in any funeral plan. Nobody in the situation of bereavement should be denied a service where funds are limited and recognising the huge costs of funeral services we will be very flexible in regard to the minister’s fees.
How to arrange one of these services
Contact Rev Jane Clarke on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/text 07972 139 128
What we do