New to Church?

Welcome

Welcome to Christ 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.

For details of how to find us click here
For details of how to contact us click here
For details of the times of our worship Gatherings click here
The rest of this page gives the answer to most of the frequently asked questions that newcomers have, but if you can't find the answer you are looking for, please contact us.

I’m new here…

Travel - Getting to Christ Church

What can I expect on a Sunday?

What about my Kids?

Values - What kind of church are you and what do you believe?

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. If you want to contact a specific member of staff, click here.
 

Answers

I’m new here…

Why do you call your services "Gatherings"?  We call our collective worship "Gatherings" rather than "Services", as it sets what we do on Sundays and Wednesdays within the context of our lives over the rest of the week. As a church family, we gather in all sorts of ways – small groups, ministry teams, prayer meetings: "church" is the way we live, not simply what happens on one day out of seven.
 
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!  Christ Church is 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 Christ Church 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 only be too happy to talk with you. We also run an Alpha Course which is a very easy way to explore the Christian Faith and what it could mean for you. 
 
Will I find friends here?  Christ Church seeks 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. Do let one of the welcome team know if you are new and they will try and link you with someone that you may find common ground with. We also have a number of small groups that are an easy way to meet people in a more intimate environment.
 
I’m interested in the Creative Arts – is there anything for me at Christ Church?  We love to encourage creativity here in Christ Church. If you have a particular gift or vision to express worship through creative means, please contact Erica Bebb, a member of our clergy team focusing on the Creative Arts.
 

Travel – Getting to Christ Church

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, please give yourself plenty of time to park as we do not have our own car park.  You are free to park on the local streets on Sunday but you will need to be aware of the parking restrictions around church which apply Monday - Saturday from 9am to 9pm. For more details about the RPZ scheme, including a detailed map and information on where you can park click here.  Please remember to park considerately of our neighbours!   If you are cycling, there are some bike racks to the left of the front door which you are free to use at your own risk.
 

What can I expect on a Sunday?

Are all of your worship Gatherings the same?  Please see our worship page to find out more about each Gathering.
 
Where do I sit?  Please feel free to sit wherever you like within the chair and pew area. Do ask a member of the Welcome Team if you are unsure.
 
What happens if I am late?  We try to start our Gatherings on time but don’t worry if you are late.  You will still find a warm welcome and our welcome team will help you quickly to find a seat
 
What should I wear?  There is no dress code, and so most people come casually dressed.
 
How long will it last?  Our Gatherings generally last 1 - 1 ½ hours depending on which Gathering you attend.
 
How will I know what to do?  Our Gatherings have an informal feel and the leader will guide the congregation on when to stand and sit.  There are no song books or prayer books to worry about – any words that you need are projected onto the screens.
 
What kind of music do you have?  We use a wide selection of traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs.  These are usually played by either an organ or a contemporary band (piano, guitar, bass, drums etc). 
 
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 on the screen but please do not feel under pressure to sing if you do not feel comfortable.
 
Will I have to participate?  At Christ Church most of the participation is through singing or saying prayers together.  Very occasionally we break into small groups for a few minutes of prayer or discussion but you don’t need participate in this if you would feel uncomfortable doing so. 
 
Are there refreshments?  Complimentary refreshments are served at before and after the 10am gathering and at the end of the 5pm gathering.  Please come to the back of church and we would love to serve you and get the chance to say hello!
 
Do you give out Communion and am I allowed to take it?  We hold communion regularly at each of our Gatherings.  If you normally receive communion in your home church, you are welcome to share bread and wine with us at Christ Church.  The congregation will be directed by the stewards to a ‘station’ near-by 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. Alcohol-free wine and gluten-free wafers are also available – just ask the person serving you.  If you do not feel comfortable receiving communion but would like a blessing, please mention it to those distributing and someone will pray for you.
 
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 Gathering where our prayer team will listen to you and pray for any needs you have.

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What about my Kids?

Are my kids welcome?  Absolutely! We love kids and are keen to welcome them into our Church family! Our 10am Gathering is especially suitable for families with children of all ages and has groups running most weeks for those aged between 0 and 14.   
 
What happens to my children on a Sunday?  On most Sundays during term time our 10am Gathering starts with everyone together in the main church for about 20 minutes, then children and young people leave for their own groups 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 downstairs in the Crypt or in our other building, Linden Gate, and we have people on hand each Sunday to show you where to go.  All children in years 4 and under will need to be collected from their groups at the end of the Gathering (follow the crowds!)  You can read more about our children's groups here
 
Do I need to register my children?  Yes, all children must have a registration form completed and signed by their responsible adult. You can either download a form here and bring it along with you or else your child’s group leader will ask you to complete a form on your first Sunday.  We have a registration available in the foyer before the Gathering starts so you can register your Children and deal with any questions you have at this time.  For your first few visits, we use a simplified form each week but once you feel at home at Christ Church we will ask you to complete a more detailed form which we will add to our database.
 
I’m just visiting - do I still have to complete the paperwork?  Yes, in the interest of safety and proper practice, every child is required to fill in a registration form but we use a simplified form for visitors which you can download here.
 
Is there a mother/baby room – or somewhere to nurse my baby?  While we don’t have a room specifically aimed at nursing mothers you are welcome to go downstairs to the Tots Church room where we have an audio/video feed from upstairs.  You are welcome to feed upstairs in the main church, as there’s often a quiet corner at the back but appreciate there may not be the privacy you prefer!
 
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 Gathering!
 
Is there a crèche?  Yes, we call it Tot’s Church and it runs at the same time as Kids church. It’s fully supervised and so if you feel comfortable, you are welcome to sneak away upstairs!  For those with small babies, there is an area in the back corner of church that might suit your needs.
 
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. You can either sit on the end of a row where there is space at the side of the church for your child to move around, in our dedicated kids’ corner at the back of church or head downstairs to the Tots Church Room where there are plenty of toys to occupy them!
 
Can I get my child Christened/baptised?  Yes, please contact the Church office for more information here 
 
How can I register for Pre-school?  All the information about joining Pre-School can be found here.

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Values

 
What Networks do you belong to? We are an Anglican church, part of the Diocese of Bristol. with strong partnerships with other churches in Bristol (especially Woodies and Hope) .  We are part of the New Wine Network, members of Churches together in Clifton, Cotham and Redland and the Evangelical Alliance.
 
How do you work with the local Community?  We support a number of local charities working to support families living in Bristol as well as working with local businesses to support the local community. These include:
 
How do you engage with Environmental/Fairtrade issues?  Although we know there is further to go on this journey, we firmly believe in being ethical wherever possible.  All of our coffee, tea and disposable cups are ethically sourced. We recycle as much of our waste in order to reduce our impact on the environment.

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I have Special Needs, is there any provision for me?

I have special needs, am I really welcome?  Everyone is welcome here at Christ Church 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 to the church and a fully accessible disabled toilet upstairs. 
 
I’m hard of hearing, is there a Hearing loop?  We have an infra-red audio system for those with hearing difficulties. Headsets are available at the back of church, and work either as dedicated headphones or as a localised loop to work with your hearing aid - just ask one of the Welcome Team if you need some assistance.
 
I have poor eyesight – and therefore struggle to read screens, is there any assistance?  We provide a large print version of all song words and liturgy at our Wednesday Midweek Gathering at 11am.
 
Do you offer any interpretation into BSL / Other languages?  We do occasionally offer interpretation for BSL.  If you would like to become a regular member of the Church and require interpretation, please contact us and we will see what we can do to support your needs.  While we do not offer any other interpretation for speakers of other languages during Gatherings, we do have a vibrant internationals ministry.
 
Is there any support for those dealing with addictions?  We currently do not have any in-house support 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,

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I don’t want to come on a Sunday but I do want to come to church…

Are there any worship Gatherings in the week?  Yes we have a Midweek Gathering every Wednesday morning at 11:00am. You are most welcome to attend this Gathering.
 
Are there any other groups that I can join?  Depending on what you’re after, we’re confident you should be able to find somewhere to get involved in church life as well as on a Sunday. We have a number of groups ranging from knitting groups to toddler groups, 50+ football and Hour of Power fitness for men keen to keep fit! Contact us for more information and we will try and help!  
 
Are there any social activities I can come to?  There are a variety of events that happen throughout the week, keep an eye on our Online Calendar or pick up a weekly notice sheet when you next visit. Certain events and courses require pre-booking which is normally done online through our website or in church at our InfoHub
 
Can I come and pray in church during the week?  Sadly we are not able to leave the church unlocked as our offices are in a separate building. If you would like to visit the church during working hours, please contact the Church Office who will arrange to let you into the church.  
 
How do I speak to the Vicar or arrange for someone to come and visit me in my home?  If you would like to speak to someone about a pastoral need, please contact the Church Office who will direct you towards making an appointment with the most appropriate member of staff for your particular needs.

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I want to get involved

How do I get more involved?  There are a number of ways to get involved in church life. Please contact the Church Office or take a Get Connected Card from a pillar in church, fill it in, and someone will be in touch to tell you how!
 
How do I become a member?  There is no membership system in the Anglican Church but we do encourage you to join the Electoral Roll. Being on the Electoral Roll does NOT make you a “member” of Christ Church; simply regarding Christ Church as your spiritual home does that.  Being on the Electoral Roll does not 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 PCC or other synodical councils (such as the Deanery, Diocesan or General Synod) or attend and vote at the APCM.  For more information about joining the Electoral Roll click here.

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Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals

How do I go about getting my child baptised/christened?  If you are a member of the church family, then please contact Helena at the church office, who will be able to provide you with a form and put you in touch with Janet Lee.  You are of course very welcome to chat with them directly after a Gathering!  If you don't regularly attend Christ Church but live within the parish then your family will have a qualifying connection - if you would like to explore baptism for your child, please come along to any one of our Gathering (you can find our worship Gathering times here) and ask to speak to Janet Lee.  They will arrange a time to meet with you and your little one and will take you through the process from there.  

I would like to get married at Christ Church - what do I need to do?  First of all - congratulations!  In order to get married at Christ Church, you will need to meet one of a number of qualifying connections - this is a legal requirement and must be met.  You can find the list of qualifying connections and other useful information in this document: Getting Married at Christ Church.  Please note that we don't conduct weddings during December due to extensive use of the church building during this time for preparations for Christmas events.  If you have gone through the list of qualifyng connections and believe that you are eligible to get married at Christ Church, please contact the Church office here

How do I arrange a funeral at Christ Church?  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, as they will also need to co-ordinate this with their own availability and that of the crematorium or burial ground.  This makes the process faster and easier for you and your family.  The family will always have the opportunity to meet with the member of clergy who is taking the funeral, and they will talk to you not just about practicalities, 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.  

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