Our services are at 11am & 5pm, every Lord’s Day.
Parking in Aber is notoriously terrible, though it is slightly easier for blue-badge holders. You are welcome to try to find spaces near the church which are (usually) without restrictions on Sundays. Many of our members park on the seafront and make the five or ten minute walk from there to Alfred Place. Others park in Tesco which is a three-hour-stay (last time we checked), although it may mean you have to dash off without having a long chat after the service.
Depending on where you’re walking from, you’ll either see our church-bookshop, (which is closed on a Sunday), or you’ll see our iron-gates. Either way, if you are on foot, you are encouraged to walk towards the stone-steps, towards the—hopefully—open double-doors. (See below, information for wheelchair users). Please do take care on the steps and make use of the hand-rail.
We encourage wheelchair-users and those pushing buggies to attend our church, but are also painfully aware of the limitations of our Victorian building!
If you are a wheelchair-user, or if you are with children who are in a buggy, what we do have, is a ramp to the right-hand side of the door (as you face the church) which is accessed through a gate on that same right-hand side of the church. It’s fairly easy to get up that ramp, but the obstacle comes when you get to the double-doors and realise that there are two steps into the church-building! What we have tended to do is get a couple of our stewards to help and carry. They can either help lift your buggy up the steps and they can even help lift those in wheelchairs up those two steps.
As you can imagine we are working to get better wheelchair-access to the building but currently we are unable to provide wheelchair-users with step-free access to toilet-facilities, knowing this you may—understandably—find it easier to attend online as opposed to in-person.
Plans are already written-up by our architect to improve wheelchair-access into the building, as well as toilets. Thank you for being patient with us. Please accept our apologies that we have not done more, sooner.
We are sometimes asked whether four-legged friends are allowed in our church-building. Our answer to that question is “yes”, for assistance dogs; but a regrettable “no” for ordinary pooches and other pets.
You should be welcomed at the double-doors by a member of our welcome-team who will beckon you in and aim to tell you where you may sit, as well as give you a handshake.
If you’re new, they may ask you where you’re from and make sure you’ve got everything you need.
Non wheelchair-users will be free to sit any pew that you’ve been directed towards. Please let the stewards in the porch know if you have any requirements for seating (e.g. near an exit).
If you’re a wheelchair-user and you have managed to get into the building, there’s room near the front for you to sit in your wheelchair. Again, we’re sorry that it’s so hard for those using wheelchairs to access our building.
Worship in the Christian-life takes place in different spheres. There is worship which takes place in private; worship which takes place in a family-setting; and then there is worship which takes place in public. Our church-services are in that latter category—on Sundays we engage in public-worship.
The fact that our Sunday-services are in the public-worship category therefore means that the expectation on our members is that there should be talking—encouragement, greeting, fellowship—taking place before the service. This may take some getting used to for some, because there will not be silence before the service; however, we do sometimes have times of silence during the service, and would encourage silence as part of private and some family-worship.
One rule-of-thumb we would have in AP, however, is that as soon as those leading the service arrive on the platform, we should try to bring conversations to an end, so that we are ready for the public-worship of the Living God.
In terms of the service itself, we start at 11am on a Sunday morning and 5pm on Sunday evenings.
Please do note that our morning and evening services are two separate services—the evening service is not a repeat of the morning—our members know that they are expected to attend both the morning and evening services, as this is one of the best ways of ensuring that we spend the whole of the Lord’s Day (Sunday) worshipping our God.
Whoever is leading our services will introduce themselves and go through the various notices for the week, giving reminders of the meetings that we have on, and anything else people need to know.
We then tend to have what we call “a call to worship” which is usually a reading from the Bible, or simply a prayer, which reminds us of what we’re doing, which is worshipping the Living God.
Whoever is leading the service will then either pray or announce our first hymn, Psalm or song. We love to sing in Alfred Place and we tend to stand to sing (if you’re able to).
Some people worry about when they are meant stand in our services and when they are meant to sit down, generally speaking the rule is stand when we sing (when the music begins) and sit down for everything else. The only other standing-up bit is after the final hymn, when whoever is leading the service either blesses the congregation by raising his hands, or simply prays for us. If there are any other standing-up bits, then we’ll tell you.
There will also be a prayer which is said on behalf of the congregation (remembering that we’re all praying together). And at least one reading from the Bible, as well as other songs.
The biggest chunk of the service is usually taken up with the sermon, when we get to hear what the Living God has to say to us from the Bible and have it applied to our lives.
There may be other elements to the service but what is outlined above are the main things.
We aim to finish our Morning Service by 12:15pm, and our Evening Service by 6:15pm. They sometimes run on a little longer.
We have a firm conviction in AP that when the Lord Jesus said ‘let the little children come to me and do not forbid them’ that part of that includes an encouragement for children to be present in our Sunday-services. This may not be what you are used to, as many of our brothers and sisters in other churches have ministries that take place parallel to the Sunday-services for children, however that is not our practice in AP. We want children to be “in the way of grace” in every service where the church is gathered for worship.
However, we understand that sometimes children struggle either to stay still or to stay quiet during services and so if you feel that you need to take your children out, then please speak to one of the stewards about where the best place to take your child is. We have a downstairs-space which is used as an overflow and relay for those who are not in the main-building.
Please be aware that since our expectation is that children are in the service we also expect a certain level of noise during the services from those children; so please don’t be too self-conscious about your children’s noise, we love that they are present and so will happily put up with squeals, moans, giggles and bangs.
When Pastor Rhodri is preaching in the morning during term-time, he tends to prepare worksheets for children to fill-in and follow along with the sermon. They are usually available in the porch.
Please still come, however late you’re running. We’d much prefer you to come late, than not to come at all. Although of course, the ideal is that you arrive in good time.
If you are late, you’ll be helped to slip-in quietly. Ideally that will be during one of the songs, but slipping-in quietly at other times is fine.
Do listen out for any announcements about what’s happening after the service, whether there are refreshments or a meal or just time to chat. Either way do stick around, and if we’ve somehow managed to miss you and no one has said hello, we’re so sorry, but please make yourselves known to us, we would love to get to know you.
We usually celebrate the Lord’s Supper (AKA communion) on the first Sunday of the month, as well as on other Sundays. This is when we partake of broken-bread and poured-out wine which represent the broken-body and the poured-out blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Communion is a very special time, when those who partake in it get to experience the Lord Jesus Christ’s presence through the Holy Spirit. With that in mind therefore, communion will only be offered to those who are members in good-standing with a gospel-church (either members of AP or any other gospel-church).
If you have any questions about the Lord’s Supper in AP then please do get in touch.