Visiting Ministers

This is intended as a guide for our visiting ministers and lay-preachers and we will be glad of your suggestions as to anything else you might find useful to be included on this page.

Bible

We read from the New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized edition) of the Holy Bible. 

Communion

There will be Communion Stewards to assist you during the Communion service; they assemble in the Gallery before the service where they will be introduced to you.

Our normal practice is to come forward* to receive Communion on the 2nd Sunday, and for the bread and wine to be distributed by Stewards to worshippers in their seats on the 4th Sunday.

* Please advise the congregation to hold a hymn book if they require a blessing instead of Communion.

Contact

Three to four weeks before you are due to lead a service at Central Church we will write to you either by letter or email to confirm details for the day. It will include details such as the date and time of the service and what type of service it is.

You will also be informed whom the Vestry Steward will be and this person will be glad to answer any queries you have on the day.

You will be given a date by which you are kindly asked to send your order of service to the office, and whether anything else will happen during the service such as an Ecumenical Minute or perhaps the Lighting of the Advent Candles.

Copyright

No pictures or text should be used during the service (whether printed or as a film presentation) unless the copyright owner has permitted its use for this occasion. Thank you for your understanding.

Data Projector

We have a data projector which you can use for a presentation during the morning service. Please let us know in advance if you require to use the projector and we will put you in contact with the operator.

Ecumenical Minutes

Occasionally we would like to include an Ecumenical Minute during the service when a member of the congregation will speak briefly on a subject. If one should fall during your visit we hope to be able to tell you when we first contact you a few weeks before the service, but occasionally we may need to contact you in the week of the service.

If there should be one, please indicate where you would like the Ecumenical Minute to be when you send in your order of service details.

Hospitality

If you would like lunch after the morning service, please let Chris Durant know at your earliest convenience and she will arrange this with a member of the congregation. Please phone Chris on 07762 210407. Alternatively phone or email the office and your message will be passed on to Chris.

Please indicate any dietary requirements you have or food you don’t eat.

Hymns

The main hymn book used at Central Church is Rejoice and Sing.  However, hymns may also be chosen from a variety of alternative hymn books including, Hymns and Psalms, Baptist Praise and Worship, Singing the Faith, and Songs of Fellowship.  

Any other hymns you may wish to choose will be subject to copyright.

Junior Family Church:

During most morning services our youngsters stay to participate in the first part of the service then leave to go to their own groups. We have approximately a dozen youngsters up to age 14, but attendance varies dramatically from week to week - from around 2 or 3 up to around 10. On the first Sunday of the month JFC stay in for the whole service.

As the youngsters leave us during the service to go to their own groups - normally after the second hymn - a prayer/blessing is said by the preacher as they prepare to leave. We will indicate their departure in the order of service after the second hymn unless your service details show otherwise.

On occasions such as Christmas and summer holidays, JFC will remain in the service and you will be told of this in advance.

Length of service

We request visiting preachers to respect the fact that another church uses our Worship Area from 12 noon.

Lord's Prayer

We normally use the modern version of the Lord's Prayer and, unless shown otherwise in your order of service, it will be assumed we will use the modern version.

There are printed copies of both the traditional and modern versions on the table lecturn should you need to refer to them. They are printed on the inside back cover of our hymn books.

Healing

Some services will include a time for Healing and we ask that appropriate time and prayers are included in your service. There will be nominated healers at each service.

Music

The laws regarding the playing music in churches have changed recently and we are still trying to interpret them.

Some music will need a Public Performance Licence and we do not have such a licence. Until we are clearer about what music can be played during an act of worship - whether a CD or part of a film presentation - we ask that you do not include playing of music during your service unless you know its use is permitted lawfully.

Please note this is not concerning music for congregational hymns which are covered by our Christian Copyright Licence.

Offering

We collect an offering during the service and will be grateful if you will include time for this and a prayer of thanks when receiving it. Please indicate in the order of service when it should be taken so the stewards will know.

Order Of Service

At Central we like to have a printed order of service to follow. For practical reasons, the office needs to receive details of your service the Wednesday before your visit - or any time in advance of this if you have it prepared earlier. We will be pleased to receive it by post, fax or email, whichever is easier for you.

If the office has not received your service details by Wednesday afternoon, someone may phone or email you to see whether we can expect to receive it from you. In reality this often is just a reminder as people have simply forgotten about it amongst their busy lives.

Ideally the order of service will be posted to the organist on Wednesday. The organist requests this to give her time to study it and choose appropriate music to be played during the whole service.

Please be aware that if you are unable to send details by Thursday lunch-time, only responses in Rejoice & Sing can be used during the service as the congregation will not have the words printed to enable them to join in.

Thank you for your understanding.

Parking

The Pilgrim Centre is located in the centre of Swindon and there are plenty of public car parks within a very short distance of the Centre. 

On Sundays, the Residents Parking in streets close to the Centre allows anyone to park there with no time restrictions.

There is Disabled (Blue Badge) parking just outside the Town Hall in Regent Circus.

Readers

Each service has one person assigned as a Reader.

Vestry Steward

For your visit there will be a Vestry Steward who will welcome you on the day. The description of duties given to Vestry Stewards state "Vestry Stewards are responsible for the well-being of visiting Preachers, advising them of procedure, and for prayers in the vestry before the service". Please be assured that if you are unsure about any of our procedures or have any questions, you can ask the Vestry Steward who will do his or her best to help.

The Vestry Steward will also arrange for safe-keeping of any valuables you may bring with you - please ask him/her if you would like anything to be stored safely.

If you have questions please contact the office and we will be pleased to help.