Is this Church for me?

The short answer is – YES!

We know there are loads of reasons why people might feel uncertain about joining or visiting a church.  But, whoever you are, whatever your background or beliefs, you are welcome here just as you are.

 

I’m divorced / a single parent / estranged from my family / it’s complicated

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
Families and relationships come in all shapes and sizes.  Nobody’s going to judge you for the way you live your life (or what life has done to you).

 

My kids are noisy / won’t sit still / make a mess / are just a bit nuts

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
Children of all ages, abilities and noise levels are welcomed and valued at all our events and services.  They are free to sit with you, make use of the Creation Station (art table), wander around, climb into the pulpit or stand with the Priest at the altar.
Oh, and if you want to breastfeed, then breastfeed.  Wherever, whenever.

 

I come from a minority ethnic community / I’m a refugee or asylum seeker / English is not my first language

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
If you live in Gosport, you’ll already know that most people here are white British, and our current congregation reflects that.  But we are fully committed to equality for everyone, and to challenging racism wherever it occurs.
If you need help accessing the language, please tell us and we will do our best to provide it.

 

I am Autistic / Neurodivergent / I have a learning disability

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
The St John’s community already includes people who are Autistic and/or have LDs, as well as neurotypical allies.  They are fully involved in all areas of our ministry and community life, including being elected onto the PCC (our church ‘governing board’).
We try really hard to make this an Autistic friendly and safe space, but we know that everyone has different needs, sensitivities and preferred communication styles, so please tell us what works or doesn’t work for you.
PS Masking is exhausting, stimming is awesome.  Be your own beautiful Autistic self.

 

I have a disability / physical health condition / mental health condition

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
The building has a ramp at the main entrance, and the main worship area is fully wheelchair accessible.  There is one accessible toilet.
The main worship area is fitted with a hearing loop (use setting T).
If you need a BSL interpreter, please tell us and we will try our best to provide one.
Service books are printed black-on-white in Calibri point 14.  If you need the text in a different format (e.g. large print, different coloured paper or a PDF for an e-reader), please tell us what you need and we will do our best to provide it.
Gluten-free wafers are available for Holy Communion – please ask before the service starts (or in the first 10 minutes or so, if you’re running late!).
The service books normally contain guidance for when to sit or stand, but please feel free to do what is most comfortable or possible for you.  Nobody will judge you.
If you have access needs we haven’t mentioned here, please do tell us and we will do our best to meet them.

 

I am LGBTQIA+

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
However you identify (or if you’re still working it out), you will find acceptance and affirmation here.  Some worshippers here are also members of OneBodyOneFaith, and we aim to be a safe and celebratory space for people of all genders and sexualities.
Unfortunately, Anglican churches like ours are currently not legally allowed to conduct same-sex marriages – though we’re really looking forward to the day when that changes!  In the meantime, if you are getting married or entering a civil partnership, we’d love to pray and celebrate with you and your family and friends before, after or on the day.  Please get in touch!

 

I’m nervous about coming to church / I don’t understand all this God stuff / I’m not sure what I believe / I’ve done a lot of bad stuff in my life / I’m angry at God / I’ve been hurt by the church before

This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
Also – join the club!  Nobody here is perfect.  We’re all on a journey, trying to live the best lives we can (and sometimes messing up completely).  Your doubts, questions and even rants are all welcome here.
If you’ve been put off or hurt by Christianity in the past, we’re sorry.  We know the Church doesn’t always get it right, and sometimes gets it badly, badly wrong.  We can’t promise to be perfect, but we’ll do our best to welcome you, affirm you and help you heal.
If you feel uncomfortable about coming to a Sunday service, Open Church might be for you.  It’s very informal, and you can join in as much or as little as you want.

 

I am a dog

Woof!  This Church is for you.  Come as you are!
Seriously, you are very welcome at all our events and services.  We even have dog treats.
Please keep your human on a lead.

 

 

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