The main service of the week at St Giles’ is our Parish Mass, which takes place every Sunday morning at 10am.
Mass is another name for the Holy Communion service which includes a re-enactment of the last supper which Jesus and his friends ate on the night before his crucifixion. Bread and wine is consecrated by the priest and the words used repeat what Jesus said to his disciples. Other names used for the Mass are Eucharist or Lord’s Supper.
On very busy Sundays, up to 200 people may attend including children. The service usually includes hymn and psalm singing, accompanied by the organ and St Giles’ Church Choir. There is a sermon and during this, children are welcome to join either the junior or senior Sunday school groups. Towards the end of the service, Holy Communion takes place. Worshippers who have been confirmed or admitted to communion are invited to go to the altar and take some of the consecrated bread and wine. If you haven’t been confirmed, admitted or are unsure you are very welcome to come to the alter for a blessing. Or you may prefer to sit quietly in your seat and listen to the music which is played or sung throughout. At the end of the service, you are welcome to stay for our ‘famous’ Camberwell coffee!
You may find the following questions and answers helpful about Parish Mass at St Giles:
Am I likely to sit in someone else”s pew?
There are no reserved pews – not even regular members sit in the same place every week!
How do I know when to kneel down and stand up?
There are no hard and fast rules. No-one will look at you if you get it wrong. Every week there are new people not used to the service and some people come every week and don’t do the same as others. Feel free to sit near the back and take a view of what everyone else is doing if you’d like.
What do I do when the collecting plate comes round?
St Giles’ collects money to pay for building maintenance, youth work, service expenses and the work of the wider church. Annual expenditure is over £100,000. Regular members of the church are asked to give 5% of their income after tax to support our work. But this is only a suggestion and there are no checks – it’s personal. You might see lots of envelopes on the plate – you can make an offering by putting money in these using the empty envelopes on pews. If you pay tax in the UK, please fill in the details as this allows us to increase the value of your donation by requesting a tax rebate. Any details you provide are confidential. Again – there are no checks and you may prefer to put cash on the plate instead.
How do I find out what else is going on?
Every week there is a news sheet available and last minute notices are read out at the end of the servce.
At the end of the service will people rush up to me when I’m not ready for it?
The last thing that happens in our service is the organ voluntary. Some people like to stay and listen, others use this time for prayer and others will rush to the back for coffee! People might not know that you’re new to St Giles’ so if you’d like to chat to someone it’s a good idea to talk to one of the clergy team or visit the information desk at the back of church. They will be more than willing to answer any questions you might have or introduce you to some of the congregation.