Bovingdon Baptist Church consists of a wide range of people, of all ages and from different church and social backgrounds. So whoever you are, and whatever your background, you are assured a very warm welcome.
We know it's not easy visiting a church service for the first time. You may be asking yourself questions such as: Where do I park? Will anyone speak to me? Will they ask me for money? Is there anything on for my children?
We understand how this might feel, so we thought we would provide some information that might make your visit a bit easier...
If it's your first visit to a morning service, then it's probably best to turn up around 10.20 am (occasionally we start with breakfast at 10 am). For directions, please see the 'directions' page. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. We are an informal church and accept people as they are.
What to expect:
First of all - we aren't a bunch of 'Holy Joe's. We all had a 'first day' at church, so understand how daunting it can be to walk through those doors. Once inside, you'll find we're a friendly church, so if you don't understand something, please ask...
We start our meeting at 10.30 am, often with a few notices keeping us informed of church activities, then we spend about 20 minutes in whole-church worship. This time consists of modern songs (with guitar, keyboard and drums) and sometimes spontaneous prayer and testimony. Although the collection bag is passed round for those who want to give to the church's work, most of us give by standing order, and there's no expectation that visitors will put money in.
At around 11 am the children and youth go to their Sunday Club groups. There is also a crèche available for young children. For more information look at our Families page.
After the children leave, we continue our worship by studying the Bible and spending time in prayer for others. Our meeting ends at around 11.45 am and there's a chance to stay and chat over Fairtrade tea and coffee.
Our aim is that whether you are just looking into Christianity, or have been a Christian for many years, you will be encouraged and inspired by the morning. We hope that everyone will draw closer to God.
What we believe:
We are a Christian church and believe that all can have a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ. We believe this relationship with God is possible because of Jesus' death on the cross, and His resurrection three days later.
We belong to the Baptist Union of Great Britain, an association of churches together in the UK. Each local congregation appoints and supports their own minister / leadership team and has autonomy to decide how they serve and worship Christ in their community. What we have in common is that we all agree to BUGB's principles, which include reserving baptism for believers only - this means that we baptise adults who profess faith, rather then infants (who are too young to make their own minds up).
Although each local church is distinct, we work in association with other churches and aim to display Christian unity in our community. We have friendly relationships with other local churches, working with St Lawrence C of E to put on a 'Live Nativity' in the High Street, carols in the pub, and a walk of witness and joint service at Easter; also joining with other local Baptist churches once a month in the evening for 3VU (3 Villages United) service. We are involved in the local Women's World Day of Prayer group, which brings together folk from five different churches in Chipperfield, Sarratt and Bovingdon.
Is it just Sundays?
God is with us all week long and we aim to lead lives which please Him. We're not perfect and we do make mistakes, but we desire to make a positive difference in everything we do.
To further encourage us we have midweek 'housegroups' (a meeting of up to 12 people in someone's house). Small groups like these are a great way to get to know others in the church, to get to grips with the Bible and prayer and to be real with each other about the challenges of everyday living.
If you are just looking into Christianity you are welcome to come along to a housegroup but you may prefer to join an Alpha or Question group first. Alpha is a great way to find out more about God and the claims of Christianity. No question is too 'stupid' and you'll find other people also exploring God for the first time. If you are interested in Alpha, then please contact the church office.
We aim to be an all-inclusive church. However our resources are limited, so we have provided first for our current congregation's needs. Our premises are wheelchair accessible. There is a fully wheelchair accessible toilet and level access into the church. We are now looking into the possibility of installing a loop for hearing aid users. If you wish to discuss specific needs, or highlight an area for improvement along these lines, please contact the church office.