NEW TO CHURCH?
Whether you've just moved to the area, or have lived here all your life, we hope our website helps you to find out everything you want to know about our Church family.
Wanting to get married, or explore baptising your child? This page gives answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Just click on the relevant question to find out more.
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, please do get in touch and we'd be happy to help.
New To Church - FAQs
I’m new here…
Travel - Getting to the Church
What can I expect on a Sunday?
What about my kids?
I have special needs, is there any provision for me?
I don’t want to come on a Sunday but I do want to come to church…
I want to get involved…
Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals
Can't find the question you are looking for?
Please feel free to contact us using our contact form here
I’m only in Bristol for a short time – is it still ok to come?
Absolutely! We would love to welcome you for however long you are in Bristol.
I’m from another denomination – am I still welcome?
Of course you are! St Peter’s and St Andrew’s are part of the Church of England, so if you are from a different denomination you may find some of our traditions and practices different from what you are used to. If this is the case, please do ask us to explain them so we can help to you feel at home.
Do I need to be a Christian to go to Church?
No! Everyone is welcome at St Peter’s and St Andrew’s, regardless of whether you would call yourself a Christian or what you believe. You will find a warm welcome and a place where you can explore the Christian faith at a pace that suits you.
Will you try to convert me?
We are very aware that each person has a different journey to walk when it comes to faith. If you’d like to know more about Christianity, we’d be only too happy to talk with you. We will also be running an Alpha Course which is a very easy way to explore the Christian faith and what it could mean for you, further details can be found here. There's no pressure!
Will I find friends here?
St Peter’s and St Andrew’s seek to be a friendly, loving community and our hope is that you will quickly find your place within our church family, whatever your personal circumstances.
How do I find you?
More details about where we are, including directions on how to get here, are available here.
Is there parking?
If you are coming by car, we have a limited amount of parking available on site. There's also free on street parking near to the church sites.
Are all of your services the same?
We provide a range of services at both churches on Sundays throughout the month:
St Andrew's church has been developing its services to have a more informal modern feel with a mix of contemporary songs and older hymns. We now also run a fun children's group on three Sunday's each month.
St Peter's church has a more traditional feel and currently we're not able to provide a regular children's group on Sunday mornings. However, we've started a monthly informal, lively and fun all age service, and on the other Sundays we provide a simple craft and activity for children in the play area at the back of the church building.
Click the link here, to find out more about the pattern of services at St Andrew's and St Peter's
Where do I sit?
Please feel free to sit wherever you like within the chair and pew area.
What happens if I am late?
We try to start our services on time but don’t worry if you are late. You will still find a warm welcome.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code, and so most people come casually dressed.
How long will it last?
Our communion services generally last 1 - 1 ¼ hours depending on which service you attend. The all age family services are about 45 minutes long.
How will I know what to do?
At St Peter’s the worship leader will make clear what to do and the order of service is in printed booklets. St Andrew’s has a more informal feel, with words projected onto a screen but the worship leader will be guiding you through the service. If you're uncertain about anything, just ask!
What kind of music do you have?
We use a wide selection of traditional hymns and more contemporary worship songs. These are either played with live instruments or using worship song videos on screen.
Do I have to know the songs?
Not at all and it’s highly likely you won’t be the only one new to some of the songs! We encourage you to listen and read the words but please do not feel under pressure to sing if you do not feel comfortable.
Will I have to participate?
At St Peter’s and St Andrew’s most of the participation is through singing or saying prayers together. These are optional and if you do not want or don’t feel able to join in there is no pressure.
Are there refreshments?
Complimentary refreshments are served at the end of each service and before the service at St Andrew’s. Please come to the back of church and we would love to serve you and get the chance to say hello!
Is there a toilet?
Both of our churches have toilets on site, with hand washing and baby changing facilities.
Do you give out communion and am I allowed to take it?
If you normally receive communion in your home church, you are welcome to share bread and wine with us. We celebrate communion regularly through the month, for more information see our 'Services' webpage. The congregation will be directed by the team to the front where they can receive the bread and the wine. You will be given a piece of bread and then the chalice of wine will be handed to you to take a sip. If you do not feel comfortable receiving communion but would like a blessing, please bring your service sheet forward or cross your arms on your chest.
Will someone pray for me?
If you would like someone to pray for you, there is an opportunity to receive personal prayer at the end of each service where a member of the team will listen to you and pray for any needs you have.
Are my kids welcome?
Absolutely! We love kids and are keen to welcome them into our church family! St Andrew’s 10:15 service is especially suitable for families with children of all ages and has a group running for those aged between 0 and 14. There's currently no children’s group at St Peter’s but we do run a monthly informal service. On the other Sundays each month we provide a craft activity for children at St Peter's. There's a creche area at the back of both church buildings.
What happens for my children on a Sunday?
On most Sundays during term time our St Andrew’s 10:15am service starts with everyone together in the main church for about 20 minutes, then children leave for their own group geared towards their own ages and needs. For younger children (year 4 and under) an adult will need to take their child to the groups. The groups are held in the church hall.
Do I have to stay with my kids in their groups?
No, we have fully supervised groups and unless there are extraordinary reasons for you to stay with your child (like a particularly inconsolable little one!), we would encourage you to make the most of it and enjoy the service!
What if my child won’t sit still?
Firstly, please don’t worry! We are fully aware that church can be a bit tricky for little ones. At both St Peter’s and St Andrews there is space for the children to play at the back of the church which your children are very welcome to use.
Can I get my child baptised?
We would love to help you explore the options for celebrating the arrival of your child. If you don't currently attend St Andrew's or St Peter's churches please do come along to one of our services on a Sunday morning to meet one of our clergy, and begin the conversation about baptism (have a look at the church calendar to find out when services happening). However, please do get in touch with the church office (contact form). Baptisms take place within our All Age Family Sunday morning services so it's really important that you come along, meet the church family, and spend time reflecting on the significant promises we make as part of baptising a child.
Once your family has been to some of our services, and you've chatted to one of the clergy, they will arrange a time to meet at your home to talk in more detail about the plans and help you prepare for this very special event.
I have special needs, am I really welcome?
Everyone is welcome at St Peter’s and St Andrew’s and we would love to hear from you if you have particular requirements that mean attending church is sometimes difficult.
Is there disabled access?
We have a ramp leading up into the church buildings and an accessible toilet.
I’m hard of hearing, is there a hearing loop?
There is a hearing loop at both churches. If you are unsure or need help please just ask one of the church wardens or a member of the leadership team.
I have poor eyesight – and therefore struggle to read screens, is there any assistance?
We are able to provide a large print version of the liturgy at St Peter's churches. The song words are projected on the screen, so we don't routinely print these words on sheets. However, please do get in touch to let us know you are coming (before Wednesday), and that you need large print song words, and the office will happily print these for you.
Do you offer any interpretation into BSL/Other languages?
Unfortunately we do not offer this as this moment in time. However, we are able to provide printed versions of sermons at the communion services and are happy to do anything to try and help.
Is there any support for those dealing with addictions?
Everyone is welcome in our church family, and we'd be very happy to support you. However, we don't currently have any in-house programmes available for those challenged by addictions, but we do recommend the Bristol Drugs Project or Crisis Centre Ministries who have trained members of staff to help. More information about these charities can be found online.
Are there any services in the week?
We do not currently run midweek communion services, but we do have a listening cafe that runs each week in Lawrence Weston & Avonmouth. More details can be found here. If you are unwell and would like a home communion visit then please do contact the church office.
Can I come and pray in church during the week?
Sadly we are not able to leave the church unlocked all through the week. However, St Andrew's is open on Monday mornings for the Foodbank between 10am and 12:30, so you are welcome to come along, have a hot drink and spend time in the building. However, do get in touch with the church office if you'd like to arrange a time to visit either church outside of this time. We'd be happy to help.
How do I speak to the vicar or arrange for someone to come and visit me in my home?
If you would like to get in contact with someone at the church to help with anything please use the contact form which can be found here.
How do I become a member?
Within the Anglican Church there is no formal membership structure. However, if you attend regularly and consider St Andrew's or St Peter's as your spiritual home we would encourage you to join the 'electoral roll'. Being on the electoral roll does not cost anything or entail signing up to any additional commitments. However, it does help the church show its strength, both locally and nationally. And joining the electoral roll is necessary if you want to stand for election to the church council or other synodical councils (such as the Deanery, Diocesan or General Synod) or attend and vote at the annual church meeting. Do chat to Andy or one of the church wardens if you want to know more.
How do I go about getting my child baptised/christened?
We would love to help you explore the options for celebrating the arrival of your child. If you don't currently attend St Andrew's or St Peter's churches please do come along to one of our services on a Sunday morning to meet one of our clergy, and begin the conversation about baptism (have a look at the church calendar to find out when services happening). However, please do get in touch with the church office (contact form). Baptisms take place within our All Age Family Sunday morning services so it's really important that you come along, meet the church family, and spend time reflecting on the significant promises we make as part of baptising a child..
Once your family has been to some of our services, and you've chatted to Andy, he will arrange a time to meet at your home to talk in more detail about the plans and help you prepare for this very special event.
I'm an adult, can I get baptised?
Yes, adults can be baptised! We'd love to help you explore this. Come along on a Sunday and we can begin the conversation. If you've been baptised (or christened) before, then you can 're-affirm your baptismal vows'. Andy, the vicar, can talk this through with you, along with any questions you might have.
I would like to get married at St Peter's or St Andrew's - what do I need to do?
First of all - congratulations! In order to get married, you will need to meet one of a number of qualifying connections - this is a legal requirement and must be satisfied. You can find the list of qualifying connections and other useful information here. If you do meet these one of these connections, or just simply want to find out more, then please contact the church office (contact form).
How do I arrange a funeral at St Peter's/St Andrews'?
Arranging a funeral for a loved one can be a stressful process during what is already a very difficult time. We understand that you will want to arrange things as quickly as possible. It is always best to make full use of the funeral director and have them contact us to establish availability of the building and of clergy. They will need to co-ordinate this with their own availability and that of the crematorium or burial ground, so having them involved in the arrangements makes the process faster and easier for you and your family. Please note that on Fridays the church office is closed, and this is also the clergy's regular day off, so it is not possible to make funeral arrangements on that day. However, please do leave a message on the office phone (0117 325 8720) and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
The family will always have the opportunity to meet with the member of clergy who is taking the funeral. They will talk through, not just the practical arrangements, but also any sadness, grief, pain or reflections you wish to share - as much or as little as you wish, with no pressure or expectation. The Church of England has created a website that can help you through this difficult time (click here).