New to Church?

Welcome!  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 St Michael's Church.

Key information about the Church...


When is the main Sunday service?

Our main Sunday service is at 10am.  On the first Sunday in the month, this is usually a less formal Parish Praise service that lasts for about 45 minutes and is especially suited for children and newcomers.  On the other Sundays in the month the service is Parish Communion, a service using modern language, with hymns and a sermon, and with a creche and Junior Church sessions (during term times).  If you are new, it is best if you can aim to arrive 10 minutes early so that we can welcome you and find you a seat in time for the service to start.

We meet in the main Church building at:

Bishop's Stortford
Hertfordshire CM23 2ND

You can see a map on our contact us page


What should I expect when I visit the Church?

We try to give everyone a warm welcome.  The Sidesmen (those giving out the service books) will be able to direct you as to where to sit, and our Churchwardens and Welcomer (wearing badges) will try to make you feel welcome.  After the service we operate a Welcome Desk where there will be someone who should be able to answer any questions you may have about the Church.

If you are coming to Church with babies or small children, and are attending our Parish Communion service, then it is probably easiest to sit towards the back of the Church.  There is more space to park buggies and our creche is held in the kitchen area at the back of Church, so that you can take children out there if they get restive.  T
here is also a toilet beyond the kitchen area.

For the service itself, if the service is Parish Communion, then we use a service book which sets out the prayers that we say together as part of the service and a hymn book for the hymns we sing.  The readings from the Bible are set out on another sheet.  In the first part of the service, we focus on the Bible readings followed by the sermon and intercessions (prayers for particular things), and then we move to the communion part of the service, when the bread and wine are prepared and distributed.  If you already receive communion as a member of another church then you are welcome to receive communion at St Michael's, but if not, you are still very welcome to come forward for a blessing (please keep your hands together and bow your head when you come up to the altar, so that we know you want a blessing).  The Parish Communion service takes about an hour.

If the service is Parish Praise, then the structure is more informal but the service will be built around a theme, again with short Bible readings, prayers, hymns and songs, and with a short talk instead of a sermon.  Children and families will usually be involved in helping with readings and prayers.  The Parish Praise service lasts around 45 minutes.

At some point in the service we take a collection of money to help fund the work of the Church and meet expenses.  If you are a taxpayer then it is most helpful if you can put any contribution that you wish to make into a Gift Aid envelope, since that increases the value of your gift to the Church.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are served after the service in the Charnley Hall (in the Windhill Churches Centre just outside the Church) where there is plenty of time to meet new people and ask more questions.  There is also a corner with some toys for children to play with.  If you want to get to know other members of the Church community, then meeting them over coffee is the best way to do that.


What happens to the children at church?

On the first Sunday of the month, we hold our Parish Praise service at 10am, and children are encouraged to stay with their parents but are invited to participate in various aspects of the service (for example, during one of the hymns they are invited to come up to the front and beat a drum or bash a tambourine or shake some bells).

On the other Sundays in the month when we hold our Parish Communion service, then during term times we run our Junior Church sessions over in the Windhill Churches Centre.  For more information click here.

Outside term time, children are very welcome to stay in the Church with their parents, and there is a space at the back of the Church (on the green carpet) where there are some children's books.  For babies and younger children, the kitchen is used during services as a creche area and there are some toys for them to play with.  Please note that the creche is not officially staffed so parents will need to remain with their children. 


Is there a dress code?

No - please just be yourself and come dressed in your 'normal' clothes.


Will I have to join in?

No - you are free to simply observe or participate as much as feels comfortable for you.

What about access for people with disabilities?

More information is available here


I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask them?

Please feel free to contact us.