Why haven’t you got a separate church building?
Because the church is more than just a building. We don't feel that we need a seperate, physical building! We meet for worship every Sunday in Immanuel Church which is part of St Mark’s CofE School site. The church is open and accessible during school hours too and we welcome visitors (although it is also used by the school for worship and other activities). We are blessed with having the flexibility of worshipping either in the Church or School Hall which holds over 200 people. We have adaptable space depending on the numbers and style of worship and lots of on site car parking.
I want to come with my family and young children.
Fabulous! At Immanuel it's all about welcoming and including all. We appreciate that you might have had a negative experience at another church, but we can promise you that children are very welcome here and can wander around, take part in whatever way they'd like to, sit and colour or play. Whatever helps them and you worship and join us. This blog may help....HERE. We also recognise that 'family' can take many different shapes and forms - we offer a warm welcome to anyone and everyone who comes to Immanuel; it doesn't matter if you don't have children, whether you're single or have a partner, you're young or not so young - you're welcome here!
What happens in a church service at Immanuel?
We are a relaxed and friendly bunch! Whoever leads our service points everyone in the right direction and there are usually a few hymns, prayers, a Bible reading(s) and a talk to explain what the reading has been about and how it relates to our daily lives. The talk (or Sermon) usually lasts about ten or so minutes. Our services generally last less than an hour, and on the third and fourth Sundays we have Xplorers for young people (unless there is a baptism, when everyone is in church for the whole service); however, all of our worship is suitable for all ages. The person leading worship will guide you through the service.
Can I come if it’s a Communion Service?
Holy Communion is a regular feature in our Sunday Worship, but not something to worry about - we encourage everyone to take communion. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this you are welcome to come for a blessing or prayer. If you have not been baptised or confirmed, talk to us if that's something that you're interested in.
What do you do after the Service?
We serve fresh, filter coffee and a selection of teas and a biscuits. Most people stay around to chat and catch-up. If you're new we hope you'll find us friendly and approachable. We hope you're able to stay and chat and get to know some of the other members of the church.
Do I have to pay to join?
No you don’t, but those who commit themselves to church life do tend to give regularly. We do take a collection at each service but whether you want to give or not is entirely up to you. The money we raise each week goes to developing the Church’s work here in Hatch Warren and Beggarwood. Some of our regular members contribute financially by Direct Debit – you can ask our Treasurer for more information about how this works – and don’t forget, if you are a tax payer and make a donation, you can gift-aid your donation too! In common with any other Church of England church, we receive no money or grant from the government; we are funded purely by those who attend Immanuel.
What should I wear?
Anything. Come as you are. We're a jeans and t-shirts sort of church!
Are you part of St Mark’s Church, Kempshott?
No. The Hatch Warren and Beggarwood estates were originally part of the parish of St Mark, Kempshott and this is the reason the school is called St Mark's. In 2007 the Parish was split and Hatch Warren and Beggarwood became a Parish in its own right with Immanuel as it's centre of worship – which means that if you live in Hatch Warren or Beggarwood – Immanuel is YOUR Parish church!
“Happy-Clappy” or “Stiff-Upper Lip”?
We like to encourage people to worship God in the way they feel most comfortable. We do place importance on what we call the Sacraments and so Communion services are central to our worship - where we gather as a church family to share in the meal that remembers the Last Supper. However, we worship in an informal, but respectful way. It's not 'stiff upper lip' or 'happy clappy'! We try to worship in a way that people understand, find comfortable and enables people to connect with God and each other. We welcome everyone to our worship and exclude nobody.
How do I get in touch with the vicar?
During the summer of 2018, our Vicar, Fr.Michael moved on for pasture new. There is then a period known as an 'interregnum' where the church council and congregation led by the Churchwardens think and pray about who might be being called to be the next vicar of Immanuel. Services and activities continue as they always have done. Once we have details of our new vicar, we'll publicised them. In the meantime, we ask for prayers during this important time of discernment.