St. Matthew’s has two services each Sunday morning, at 8.45 and 10.30, as well as evening courses.
The 8.45 service meets in the chancel (choir) area of the church and usually attracts about 20 people and has been steadily growing. It is liturgical but relaxed. The music is either traditional hymns or gentle choruses, using the organ or piano. The focus is on prayer, especially praying for the needs around us. There is no provision for children in the service. Twice a month (on the first and third Sunday) there is Holy Communion. After the service there is breakfast of croissants and coffee (or tea!)
The 10.30 service is much larger, taking place in the body of the church. A typical congregation is over 100 adults and over 30 children, and this service too has been growing. (The total congregation is considerably larger as many people come regularly but not every Sunday). The music is much more contemporary and there is use of screens, microphones etc. There are Sunday Clubs for the children and young people each week except the first Sunday, when there is a completely separate children’s service. Twice a month (second and fourth Sundays) there is Holy Communion; on the second service the children come back in to communion. An important element in the service is teaching from the Bible, including a children’s talk and a sermon. The general feel of the service is relaxed within the normal liturgical elements of the Church of England.
A few years ago St. Matthew’s stopped having evening services when the parish of Christ the King broke up. Attendance had been low and it was the opportunity for a new beginning. Instead we have occasional courses (of about 4-6 weeks with gaps in between). These courses are on many subjects e.g. Islam; Tom Wright’s book, “Surprised by Hope”; the Environment; the Anglican Church; the CPAS course, “Frontline”, Lent courses and so on. Between 20 and 30 people usually attend (but not always the same people) and it is the opportunity to do some in depth study in order to understand more on Christian doctrine and practice.