We welcome everyone to our Church and strive to ensure we are fully inclusive and can meet all the needs of anyone who has a disability or a special need. If we can help in any way or you have a need we are not meeting please let a sidesperson or the vicar know so that we can address it. If you have any questions or requests prior to visiting our Church please Contact Us
There are level tarmac paths to the Church from St Annes Road East and Headroomgate Road. The path from Headroomgate Road (opposite the Parish Rooms) is lit if you are visiting us after dark. There are disabled parking spaces on the north side of the Church, which can be accessed from the entrance by the traffic lights at the junction of Church Road and St Annes Road East. There is level access to the main entrance to Church which is wheelchair accessible. Level access is also available at the north door (opposite Heyhouses Infant School). This door is generally used for services on Monday to Saturday.
Seating inside is on wooden pews and in a number of places the pews have been shortened to create wheelchair/pushchair spaces and allow adjacent seating for a companion. A sidesperson will greet you when you arrive and can assist you in finding a suitable seating place if required.
A disabled toilet with baby changing facilities is available through the choir vestry which is at the rear of the Church. Please ask for directions.
The Church is lit via large chandeliers hung from the roof and uplighters on the walls. There are no fluorescent lights within the Church. Candles are lit at the front of Church and are carried through Church in the procession at the start and end of each service.
Large print service booklets, hymn books and weeksheets are available. With seven days notice the office can produce even larger print documents or documents on different coloured paper (eg blue) if needed.
At various times during services the congregation will stand or kneel. These are all indicated in the service booklet. You are most welcome to remain seated if this is more comfortable for you or is necessary in your circumstances. The service booklet also includes the words the vicar will speak during the service and the responses from the congregation (which are in bold type). The hymns are usually contained in the orange hymn book, but occasionally may be on a separate sheet of paper which will be given to you by a sidesperson. The hymn numbers are shown on wooden hymn boards hung around the Church and are also included on the “weeksheet” together with the text of the bible readings. If you lose your place during the service just ask the person next to you for help, please don’t be embarrassed.
There are two steps up to the main altar, please ask if you need assistance. You are welcome to receive Holy Communion from a standing position at the communion rail if kneeling is difficult. Holy Communion is also available from a station in the north aisle (in front of the Lady Chapel) during our main Sunday service, which does not involve steps or kneeling. It is also our practice to bring the bread and wine to the pew for anyone who prefers this for practical reasons, please let a sidesperson know before the start of the service.
If you should need a quiet space to withdraw to during the service you are welcome to use the choir vestry at the back of Church, although please be aware that our Children’s Church may enter Church via the choir vestry shortly after 11am on Sundays, so it isn’t so quiet in there for a few minutes!
Sensory differences at special services during the year
During most services incense is not used, but it is used during special services which are normally indicated on our calendar as a “Solemn Eucharist”, for example on some Holy Days of Obligation .
Holy water is occasionally scattered on the congregation, for example to bless the palm crosses which are handed out on Palm Sunday and at the Easter Vigil service where we renew our baptism vows.
The congregation are occasionally asked to hold individual candles, for example at the Easter Vigil service and the Carol Service.
On Mothering Sunday small bunches of flowers are handed out. At Easter time the Church is full of flowers and their scent.
During the Christmas period the Church is decorated with many Christmas trees (with fairy lights) as part of our annual charity Christmas Tree Festival.
On Ash Wednesday the symbol of a cross is applied to worshippers’ foreheads using ashes.
On the second Saturday of the month there is a Healing Eucharist where those who wish can be annointed with healing oil.
There is disabled parking available at the Parish Rooms and ramp access to the main entrance. A disabled toilet with baby changing facilities is available on the ground floor. The two function rooms on the ground floor are accessed via two steps down. We have a moveable ramp that can be used to enable access when needed. Access to the hall on the first floor is via stairs, but a lift is available if required.
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