Whether you are a regular member of our congregations or a monthly visitor to our Wild Messy Church groups, a warm welcome awaits you at all our services and events. As well as our Sunday services we also have daily prayers throughout the week. Please refer to our What’s On page to find our where and when these services are taking place. Here is a little bit of information about what you can expect at our services.
Café Church is a more informal type of service, held in St Michael’s, Reepham each month. Tea, coffee and pastries are served from 10am together with the Sunday papers before the service starts at 10.30am. With singing and music and a chance to worship informally whilst sitting at tables with friends and neighbours, Café Church is a very popular service within the benefice. Younger members of the congregation are also welcome to attend.
Celtic prayer is rooted in creation and the belief that as God made all of creation, he is present and involved in all parts of our everyday life. Prayers are spoken in plain language and relate to common human experience. Many take inspiration from nature. Celtic Prayer services often have candlelight and music and moments of peace and reflection. Evening services tend to last around 45mins.
Compline is a service of evening prayers which were traditionally said or chanted before retiring to bed. Our Compline services tend to be at St Mary’s, Reepham, many by candlelight, and offer a space of peace and reflection at the end of the day. Services tend to last for 20mins and service sheets are provided with responses for the congregation.
In the summer months, evening prayer is held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in St Michael’s Chancel, Reepham and on Zoom on Thursdays. When the clocks go back, all services move to Zoom. It offers prayer and reflection at the end of the day and the service is generally 20mins. In the summer months, St Peter and St Paul, Salle also has an Evening Prayer service on the 3rd Sunday of the month.
Holy Communion / Holy Communion (BCP)*
Holy Communion (or Eucharist) is at the heart of our worship and church life together. For many it is the main “traditional Sunday Service” where the congregation meet to ask God’s forgiveness for its sins, listen to readings from the Bible, including one from the gospels, sing hymns and pray together. Both CW and BCP* services have service sheets with words in bold where the congregation are invited to join in. Often there will be a sermon as well as news and notices from across the benefice. At our Holy Communion services bread and wine are brought to the Altar to be blessed with a Eucharistic Prayer of thanksgiving by the president after which we say the Lord’s Prayer together. The congregation is then invited to the Altar to share the consecrated bread and wine or receive a blessing.
After the service, the congregation meet for light refreshments. The service is generally about one hour, however services earlier in the morning tend to be around 45 minutes. As with all our services, everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be confirmed or receive communion to attend.
*BCP refers to Book of Common Prayer (1662) which remains the only permanently authorised liturgical resource of the Church of England. It has a more traditional tone and is loved for the beauty of its language. This text is used for BCP services. Other Holy Communion services use Common Worship (CW) which is written in a more modern and diverse language and seeks to draw together the best of modern liturgy and the tradition of worship stemming back to the Book of Common Prayer.
Midday Prayer is a short service of around 20-30minutes, with no hymns.
Morning Prayer (Weekdays)
Morning Prayer is held daily from Monday to Wednesday in St Michael’s Chancel, Reepham and on Zoom on Thursdays. It’s a short service of around 20 minutes and includes Celtic Daily Prayer and Common Worship. Whilst there are no hymns, people are invited to join in with prayers. In the winter months, these daily services move to Zoom.
Morning Prayer / Matins (Sundays)
Our Sunday Morning Prayer or Matins is a traditional service of around 40 minutes.
On A Sunday In Sparham – An informal lay-lead service (not taken by a member of the clergy) we have a mixed congregation from surrounding villages. We sit around three tables at the back of church. All services are built around a theme. They usually consist of three hymns, accompanied by the organ or guitar; at least one bible reading and possibly a poem or comments from a modern writer, and prayers. Then coffee/tea is served with delicious home-made cake or sometimes scones. While we eat and drink, we discuss a specific topic, sometimes with a brief introduction. The service is planned to fit in with the particular subject. OASIS is around an hour, but sometimes people go on chatting after we’ve wound the service up. Some recent topics have included:- Does the end justify the means? Are good manners old-fashioned? Is the church afraid of sex?!
The Said Communion service is shorter than our usual communion services as there are no hymns. It is a little less formal than usual the Common Worship communion service and takes place in the more cosy atmosphere of the Chancel, sitting in the choir stalls which hold up to 15-20 people. Said communion usually starts at 9am. There are no refreshments after the service but people are still welcome to have a chat before they leave for home.
Taizé Prayer originates from the Taizé community, a monastic order founded in 1940 in rural France. Prayer and silence are at the heart of the Taizé experience and during our services there is repeated chanting of prayers as well as other phrases from scripture that are sung. The repetition encourages an atmosphere of meditation and prayer. Before our services we have a time of practice, followed by a period of silence and the beginning of the service. The Taizé community has a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation.
Wild Messy Church
Wild Messy Church is a free session for families. Held in Lyng, Weston Longville and Great Witchingham Village Halls, the sessions run for around 1 hour, where we share crafts, activities, stories and a bite to eat! With an emphasis on outdoors and our world, each month has a theme which relates to the Bible story we will be exploring and various craft activities to make. Children of all ages are welcome; we have toys for younger children to play with and tea and coffee for the grown-ups!
Word & Praise
Words & Praise is a short, very informal modern service, led by a church member (usually church warden). It isn’t out of the Prayer Book at all but designed simply for our own parishes to use. We have hymns and Bible readings and prayers, and a little talk about the understanding of the readings. This usually lasts no longer than half an hour, and we then finish with coffee/tea and biscuits and a friendly get together and chat. There is a collection during the service to help with our expenses.