St Paul's Church
- The main Sunday Service is at 9.30am. Most people park in the Parish Rooms Car Park on Reading Road, or on Reading Road itself.
- There is no toilet in Church- the only toilet is in the Parish Rooms itself so it’s worth trying to slip in there before you head over to Church.
- Please just wear whatever clothes you feel comfortable in- there is no dress code when it comes to God!
- When you walk in you will be made welcome by one of the Sidespeople who will hand you the books you need to join in with the whole service. They’re great people to ask if you have any questions.
- There are no reserved seats in Church (apart from the organ stool) so pause, look round and decide where you would like to sit. Most people try to sit near the central aisle so they can get the best view of the main East window and the front of Church where the service is led from. If you sit somewhere in the middle then you can see and hear everything but also copy what the people in front of you do when they stand and sit.
- Please don’t worry about anything. If you’re not sure what to do, look around and see what others are doing. If you don’t know which book to hold then ask someone nearby. Anyone around you will be happy to help with anything.
- St Paul’s has a strong Eucharistic focus, which means that (every Sunday and during the week as well) we obey Jesus’ instruction to share bread and wine and remember him. Services are structured to allow us all to focus on the beauty of holiness. The building, the music, the smell of incense (which rises to heaven like our prayers), the sense of timelessness and excellence, all help us come close to God. If you find it strange just let things happen around you for a time and allow God to speak to you.
- There are groups for those aged 2-11 during the Service, which meet in the Parish Rooms. The groups are prayed for at the front during the Service and then go out together. If you’d like to find out more details about J-Club, please ring Becca on 0118 327 9116.
- Excellent Fairtrade coffee and biscuits are served in the Parish Rooms which is a great chance to meet people, to talk to people and to ask questions.
- There will always be a member of the Clergy and/or a Churchwarden on the door for you to talk to. If you’d like to find out about anything, ask. If you’d like one of the clergy to visit you, ask.
- And remember- everyone sat around you came to St Paul’s for the first time once. And they are all delighted to be praying and singing and worshipping with you.
Saint Paul's Church is an Anglican church in the town of Wokingham, Berkshire. It is part of the Diocese of Oxford. It is open every day for peace and reflection, and visitors are always welcome. Our worship is at the centre of our life, but many different activities flow from it as we seek to reach out into our community. We impose no conditions upon those who come through our doors other than a willingness to be open to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The worship tradition at St Paul's can probably be best described as Anglo-Catholic. For what that means, click Anglo-Catholic A reflection on who is welcome at St Paul's - A Warm Welcome
In his book "Anglicanism", Martyn Percy, the Dean of Oxford Cathedral writes of the Church of England and of each Parish Church of places where building something vital is a journey, a thought with which we entirely agree:
"As a Church we tend to cook issues slowly. We savour and discern the varying flavours of the issues that unite and divide us. We believe that to become church takes time; that unity is not uniformity; and that some of the sharpest and seemingly bitterest things we chew on are best taken slowly. Sometimes, that frustrates and infuriates. But it is also what we celebrate too. Church, like prayer itself, is a banquet to savour even if not everything at table is to our liking. Perhaps above all else, this really should not be hurried. Church, like prayer, is for growing into; we break bread apart so we can share in Christ's body corporately. So we always break it together; and this necessarily takes time- which is what the church ultimately is; rich time, shared with each other, feasting on the bread of life." [p. 9-10]
In a sermon in September 2018, our Rector, Fr Richard, put it like this:
Inspired and called by the Holy Spirit, we must be Jesus in the world. We must see people the way he does. We must treat people the way he does. We must just live love. We must just live love.
Our meal is bread broken and wine outpoured. The rules are different here. The world has turned upside down.
Do we choose what we eat? We do not- we eat grace, we eat acceptance, we eat selflessness, we feast on love. And we are what we eat.
Do we choose who eats next to us? We do not.
Do the rich take more and the poor and voiceless get less? Not here, no, where all are made welcome by Jesus. There is no such thing as too young or too old to matter in this world, or too foreign or too poorly or too lonely or too anything. Those judgements do not belong in this new world, where Jesus makes all one.
And together, called together, re-enacting the story of our salvation together, learning to be family together, we are called to move. The Church is not a static building. The Church is a movement, the Jesus movement. We are called together to the road, to the Way, pilgrims and disciples. We are called to live lives which make no sense unless Jesus died and rose again over the grave. For us the world has turned upside down. And our job now, our duty and our joy, is to get out there and to do the same for others, heart by heart and life by life, through the selfless, generous, outpoured love which is Christ in us.
Father Richard Lamey
Father Patrick Mukholi
Mother Julie Mintern
the Rev'd Judi Hattaway
Reading Road, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 1EH
Open every weekday from 10am to 12 noon