Welcome to St Paul's Winchmore Hill
If you are new to Church or to the area then you are very welcome at St Paul's Church. The following may be of help when you are planning to come.
Who are we?
Your Church consists of a wide range of different people, from all ages and different backgrounds. Whoever you are you are assured a very warm welcome at this, your Church.
When to arrive:
If it's your first visit then it's probably best to turn up around ten minutes before the start of the service. The main Sunday service starts at 10 am and this is the one to which most people come. There is parking in the Church car park but when this gets full there is parking on neighbouring roads. Many people walk to Church. When you arrive you will be greeted on the door by our welcoming team who will give you all the things you need for the service.
What to wear:
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Some people come smartly dressed, most dress casually. The only rule is that men should remove hats on the way in.
What to expect:
For some people going anywhere for the first time can be a bit of a nerve-racking experience. To help avoid any worries here's a quick summary of what you can expect at Church. First of all, those who will be at Church with you will all be genuinely pleased that you are there. If there is anything you don't understand then ask and someone will help you. When you arrive sit where you like. There are no reserved places, you'll probably find somewhere in the middle the best place to start. The main morning service starts at 10 am and you will be given instructions when to stand or sit or kneel and where to turn in the hymn book and service books.
What happens at the different services:
The 10 am service on the First Sunday of each month is the Family Service. This is a less formal service and children are in church throughout. The music, readings, talk and prayers are aimed at all ages. On other Sundays the service is called the Parish Eucharist. This is a more formal service with traditional and modern hymns, readings from the bible, a sermon and, most importantly, Holy Communion.
What children do:
Children are welcome. Other than during the Family Service and some Sundays in school holidays there are activities for Children during the service. There is a creche for babies and toddlers, Story Time is the group for pre-school children (those aged 3 and 4 preferably without parents, younger ones welcome with parents), Starseekers is for those aged 4-7 (from the September when they start school) and Sunday School for those aged 7-11 (years 3 - 6). All children's groups will start and finish in Church. Look out for the leaders at the front of church before the beginning of the service. We do encourage families to make use of the children's groups. They can become restless if kept in Church. There are toy bags at the back of Church for younger children in church, but when children get restless parents find it easier to take them out of the service for a short while.
If your child is going to one of the groups for the first time, please go with them to register with the leaders on the first occasion.
Who may take Communion:
Our main service is Holy Communion where we share the holy meal of bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ. If you are here for the first time it can be confusing as to what to do at this point of the service. If you are a member of the Church of England, baptised and confirmed and have been admitted to Communion you are welcome to receive here. If you are a baptised member of another Christian Church, which subscribes to the doctrine of the Trinity and are in good standing with that church and would normally receive the bread and wine of Holy Communion there then you are welcome to receive here. If you do not fall into one of these categories (and many don't) then please come forward to the altar rail with everyone else and keep your hands below the level of the rail. You will then receive a blessing. We prepare people each spring for Baptism and / or Confirmation. Please speak to the clergy if you would like to find out more.
About School Admissions:
St Paul’s Church of England Primary School, Winchmore Hill is a popular school and consistently over-subscribed. The governing body of the school is responsible for admissions and manages the admissions process. The Vicar and Parochial Church Council do not manage admissions. The governing body publishes a clear policy and guidelines for admission. These are available from the school or online. Some of the criteria for admission are based in part on the pattern of church attendance of the parent or parents applying for a place for their child. The current practice is for the school governors to ask for information from the minister of the church attended as to how frequently and for how long the parent or parents have attended Sunday worship. In a large church like St Paul’s it is difficult accurately to monitor attendance. For that reason there is a register kept by the duty churchwarden at Sunday services. Parents who are present at worship and who might wish to apply for a place at St Paul’s school are asked to indicate their attendance on the register in the two years prior to the deadline for admissions for their child. This allows the information presented to the school to be accurate and thus eliminate unfair or subjective elements. Please note that this list applies to Sunday services only and that attendance at church means attendance at the whole of the Sunday service concerned. Also, the current admissions criteria refer only to the pattern of attendance by applicant parents and not grandparents, other family members or the child themselves.
For those with disabilities:
We aim to be an all-inclusive church. However our resources are limited so we try to provide for our current attendees. If you wish to discuss specific needs please contact the parish office. Our premises are accessible for those with disabilities. We have reserved parking spaces to the rear of the hall and step-free access from the back of the hall to the Church door. There is a disabled loo in the foyer of the hall and a loop system in the Church for the hard of hearing. Communion can easily be brought to individuals in their pew - please ask the duty warden to arrange this for you.
New to the community?:
The following community websites contain all sorts of information about Winchmore Hill, Grange Park and the local area: