What should you expect when you come to DGBC for the first time? Or perhaps you are coming back to church after many years (we find many people are doing this, as they consider some of life’s big questions).
We are a varied congregation in terms of age, social grouping and nationality, so come as you are! Most weeks we welcome people who have come to our church for the first time, so if you are a newcomer, the chances are you won’t be alone. Most people dress casually, but really there is no particular code and everything from shorts and a tee shirt through to suits and ties have been known to appear, so wear whatever you’re most comfortable in.
When you arrive, you’ll be welcomed in the foyer by one of our Welcome Team who will give you a Welcome pack which contains details of church life. They’ll also show you a seat if you are not sure of where to go. There are toilets (including a disabled toilet and baby changing facilities) off the foyer – please ask someone if you get lost. DGBC is a family church. We welcome children of all ages. If you are bringing pre-school children with you, we have a crèche run by an experienced, CRB checked team. Normally children are in church with the adults for the first 20 minutes or so of the morning service.
Most Sundays, the children and young people (from ages 0 to 14) then go out to their own group, the Zone. About once a month we have an all age service (family service), normally linked with a particular event in the church calendar. As the name suggests, these services are designed to be engaging and interactive for all ages, and we aim to keep them to around 50-60 minutes. Whilst we aim to make these services as accessible as possible for all age groups, we recognise the particular distraction that childcare can often be for parents and carers of the youngest children, so a creche is still provided for the benefit of children under 5.
The morning service normally has a mixture of songs and prayers, readings and a sermon, often with opportunities to interact with the worship in some way (though nobody is forced to do this, and you are very welcome just to sit and observe, or to allow quiet contemplation to be your means of engaging with our service). Our music comprises a mixture of some hymns as well as contemporary songs played by our music group. The words are projected onto the big screen at the front of church. Some people just sing, some people sing and put their hands in the air, sometimes people clap – sometimes people don’t. In other words, all types of people worship at DGBC and you are welcome to worship in the way that best helps you to worship God!
We normally preach from a passage in the Bible, either following a series in a particular Bible book, or studying something topical or relevant to the life of the church. Sermons are normally between 20 and 25 minutes in length. We believe the Bible can speak to us directly today through the Holy Spirit and therefore we always try to apply our preaching to our daily lives.
There is a service of Holy Communion, usually forming part of the normal service on the third Sunday of the month. We invite anyone to take communion who professes Christ as their Lord and would normally take communion in the church from which they have come. If for any reason you do not wish to participate, just feel free to allow the bread and wine to pass by you. After the service, most people stay around to drink a cup of tea or coffee. This is a great chance to meet others in the church. If you don’t know anyone, please introduce yourself to someone who looks like they might know their way around.
Those involved with our Welcome Team, Prayer Ministry and Children’s work will normally be wearing a badge so that they can be easily identified; or the minister, the service leader or speaker (if different) will be equally delighted to speak with you. If you decide that you’d like to make DGBC your home church, please speak to one of the Welcome team or Matthew, our Minister, and fill in the ‘tell us more about you’ form in the Welcome pack.