Information for visitors
Who are we?
The Papworth Team includes a wide range of Church of England churches and people of all ages and backgrounds. Whoever you are, you will be very welcome at any of the churches.
When to arrive:
It's probably best to turn up around 5 minutes before the start of the service, or 10-15 minutes for services which are likely to have a lot of people, such as christenings, weddings and carol services. Weekly service times in each church are given on their parish page, along with information about where the church building is.
What to wear:
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. We accept people as they are and there's no need to dress up unless you want to.
What to expect:
Going anywhere for the first time can be a bit of a nerve-racking experience but please don't worry about 'doing things wrong'. We aren't super-spiritual beings who will look down on you and we've all had a 'first day'. We are a friendly bunch and will be only too pleased to help if you have any questions. You'll be greeted on the door by someone who will give you all the books and information you need. People often use the time before a service to think or pray quietly, so if they're not all talking to you this might be why.
During the service
Each church has some variations in how they do things but generally you can expect a mixture of prayers, hymns or songs, readings from the Bible and a fairly short sermon of up to 10 minutes.
Generally the service should last up to an hour.
Some services use traditional language and the Book of Common Prayer (often in the early mornings or evenings), while some are more modern and use the Common Worship book or informal service with service booklets. You might need to flick backwards and forwards through service books sometimes but page numbers should be announced. If not, please just ask a nearby person (or look over their shoulder!).
We normally stand for hymns or songs and sit or kneel for most prayers but just follow the other people in the pews if you are unsure. We sit for the first 2 Bible readings, often read by members of the congregation, but stand for the Gospel reading, which is generally read by the priest or other person leading the service. We also stand when we say the Creed or Affirmation of Faith.
We may 'share the peace'. This just means shaking hands with people and saying 'Peace be with you'. You can join in with this or not as you please. People may also use this time to say hello if you are new.
After the service
There may be tea and coffee after the service, depending on when and where you go, which is an opportunity to get to know people if you would like to. You will also find that the person who has led the service will be available to talk to, often standing by the door, or you can chat to the rest of the people in church.
Our hope is that whether you just want to visit us for a one-off service, are looking into Christianity for the first time, or have been a Christian for many years, you will be encouraged and inspired by your visit. We hope that everyone who comes through our doors will meet with God and feel welcome among us.
There may be separate activities for children which you are welcome to join in with but it is also fine to keep your children with you in the main service. Please don't worry about them making noise or moving about: we won't!
Not just Sundays:
During the week many of our churches run Bible study groups where you can learn more about faith and the Bible and ask questions. There are also café churches and enquirers groups. These are opportunities to learn more about Christianity in a relaxed setting and ask whatever questions you would like. There are also many social events going on around the Papworth Team, which you can attend whether you're a Christian or not. You can find out about all of these things on this website or from the church notice sheet which is given out at services.
If you would like more information about what happens in Anglican (Church of England) churches like ours please see What to expect at an Anglican church (opens in new window) or
Lower Pendrill Court
Ermine Street North