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The Church of St John, Ainsdale

The Parish Church of Ainsdale, in the Diocese of Liverpool, Church of England

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How long before the service should I arrive?

If you have walked or arrived by public transport then it really doesn't matter. You will be able to get into the church around half an hour (sometimes more) before a service begins. You can arrive anytime after that, even after the service has started (although if you arrive after the service starts you may find that everyone turns around and looks at you!!). If you are coming by car then you should aim to arrive at around 15 minutes before the service if you want to get a parking space (obviously this varies with the popularity of the service).

What will happen when I arrive?

You will be greeted inside the door by our friendly sidespeople (except weddings where the family provide ushers) who will give you a service booklet, a notice sheet and perhaps a hymn book.

Where should I sit?

Weddings - traditionally the groom's family & friends sit on the right-hand side of the church (as you look towards the altar) and the bride's on the left-hand side.

Baptisms - We hold a baptism service once a month and so there may be several babies/people getting baptised in the same service. Each family will be allocated a number of pews based on the numbers of guests they are expecting, look for the surname labels at the end of the pew.

Other services - There are no reserved pews/chairs so you can sit where you like. We are a friendly congregation and you should be made to feel welcome (although we are all human so if you are really unlucky and come across someone having a bad day please don't take it personally!).

I have mobility problems, can I access the church?

There are no steps or steep slopes between the street/car park and the main body of the church. Wheelchair users are welcome. The only part of the church which you may have difficulty getting to is the Chancel (where the altar is). If it is a Communion service and you can't make it to the Communion rail then let one of the people standing at the back know when you come in and they will arrange for communion to be brought to you in your place.

Can I have my baby baptised (christened) in your church?

If you live in the parish then the answer is almost certainly yes. We hold baptism services on the 2nd Sunday of most months. At each service there will almost certainly be more than one person/baby baptised. When you book you'll be asked how big your party will be so that we can make sure everyone gets a seat (the church seats around 200 people). We sometimes get booked up a couple of months in advance so, we're sorry, but you may not get the date you ask for. We'd also like to send someone to visit you before the baptism to talk to you about just what it means to be baptised into the family of the church.

If you live in another parish then you will probably need the permission of the vicar in the parish where you live. We ask people who live outside the parish to come along to church for six Sundays before the baptism to show their allegience to St. John's. Only then can we seek permission from the parish where you live to perform the baptism.

There is no charge for the baptism service.

For more information telephone our vicar, his number is on our contacts page.

For more information on what baptism means see the Church of England website.

Can I get married in your church?

In the Church of England you can be married in the Parish Church if all of the following are true:

a) If you are over 18 years old [or over 16 with parental consent.]

b) You are a bachelor and spinster; i.e. you have not been married before (if you have been married before then things are more complicated, please contact the vicar for advice - you may at least be able to get a blessing in church).

c) You, or your partner, live in the parish.

If you live outside the parish it is still possible to be married here if any of the following apply:

i) If you live in the parish for the three Sundays when the Banns are being read, and the days in between.

ii) You come regularly to church before hand to be enrolled on the church's electoral roll (6 months).

iii) You obtain a special license. This requires you to have some contact with the church; i.e. at least one set of parents must live in the parish.

For more information contact the vicar, his number is on our contacts page.

The Church of England website also gives some more details, including legal information - follow the 'Planning your wedding' link on the Lifechanges page.



C of E

Liverpool Diocese

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