St Giles Church
Horsted Keynes

More than a thousand years of sharing God's love in the Community

Welcome to Worship at St Giles Church

Worshipping at St Giles

For details of our services see our Regular Services page.

You can also find out more details of services on our calendar on the Home page

How to find us

St Giles can't be seen from the main road in the village. It iis at the far end of Church Lane, there's a sign at the top of Leighton Road, more or less opposite the bus shelter, pointing the way.

For more detailed directions see our Map & Directions page

What happens in our church on a Sunday morning?

There is a free public car park in the village, but on a Sunday morning we can use the school playground as a car park. The entrance to this is round the bend, past the church. There's a short path back to the church opposite the main entrance to the school.

There are normally two options for worship each Sunday. The main service is at 10am and we call it the Parish Eucharist.  On some special Sundays, for example Mothering Sunday, the 10am service is replaced by a slightly shorter, All Age Eucharist and the service should be appropriate for children of all ages. At 8am there is a Eucharist, or Thanksgiving, service, which follows the Common Worship liturgy most weeks, with a Book of Common Prayer form of worship on the last Sunday in the month. This service lasts about half an hour and there is no music.

It's good to arrive about 5 minutes before the service starts, so you can find somewhere you'd like to sit, you may of course sit wherever you like.

The church is a very old building and can sometimes be difficult to make really warm, so wrap up well if coming in the winter. When you enter the church you will find our Welcomers. They should give you what you need to join in the service, usually this will be a hymn book and a printed order of service booklet. They will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Our church is very traditional and so the clergy, servers and organist all wear robes. You and I are free to wear whatever we feel most comfortable in!

The main service will last about an hour. We call it the Eucharist - a word which means thanksgiving. We come together to worship God, to receive his blessing and to share  in Holy Communion, the last meal Jesus shared with his friends.

The 10am service includes music. Before the service our organist will be playing music to help us prepare for worship. It's good to meet our friends, but we suggest that the best time to chat to them is at the end of the service, when coffee will be served.

We sing several hymns during the service and there are a few other times when we sing together. There are some hymn books which have music in them. Please ask when you come in if you'd like one. Unfortunately we don't have copies of the music for the other parts of the service which we sing - but you can join in if you like, or just listen and reflect. There will be a few times in the service when music is played as we sit quietly. The service begins with a hymn, which we stand to sing. You'll find we sit, stand or kneel at different times. The service booklet should help you to know what's happening next.

We think of the first part of the service as the Gathering, as we come together and reflect on the past week, asking God for his forgiveness for the not-so-good things in our lives. Then we move into 'the Word' section, when we listen to up to three readings from the Bible. There may also be a Psalm and we're invited to join in a response during this, which you’ll find in the service booklet. You might be interested to know that all round the world people are hearing the same readings in their churches - whether Anglican or Roman Catholic as the readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Next we have the sermon - still part of 'the Word' section. This is given usually by the priest and occasionally by a visiting speaker. Usually the speaker will ‘unpack’ the Bible readings for us, hopefully linking the teaching to our twenty-first century lives. After the sermon we reflect for a short while and then join together in affirming our faith as we say the Creed, which is included in the service sheet. Following this a member of the congregation or clergy will lead us in prayers. Then we greet each other briefly, exchanging a sign of peace through a handshake, hug or nod of the head. As we move from the ‘Word’ to celebrating the Eucharist, we sing a hymn and there is a chance to make a donation to the work of the church during this. Like all other charities, we benefit from the Gift Aid scheme, so if you are a tax payer we’d love it if you filled in one of the envelopes in the pew.

Then we move into celebrating the Prayer of Thanksgiving in preparation for making our communion, when we receive the bread and wine. This is led by the priest, and in our church the first part of the prayer is sung. This preparation happens at the altar just beyond the organ, known as the nave altar, but we go up to the high altar, at the east end of the church to receive the consecrated bread and wine, or a blessing. In our church anyone who would receive communion in their own church is encouraged to take communion with us. If you prefer to come for a blessing, kneel at the altar rail and keep your hands lowered. People sitting at the front of the church usually go to the altar first, walking up on the right hand side of the nave altar, and returning via the opposite side. If you need help getting to the altar, or if you would prefer to receive communion in your pew, please ask the Welcomers about this.

When the altar has been cleared, we have a final prayer and then usually there are notices to be shared. Banns of marriage are also read at this time. We are then sent out with a blessing. The last hymn follows this, during which the priest and servers process out of the church.

Then the coffee arrives! If the weather is fine and warm this is served in the churchyard.

It's probably taken you nearly as long to read this as it would for you to come and be part of it. Why not come and see for yourself?

To become better disciples and servants of Christ by loving God and loving others

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