What sort of Church is St. Thomas?

We find that 'labelling' a Church gives only half the picture. The best way to find out is to join us in worship for a few weeks and draw your own conclusions. We believe that Jesus calls his followers to be 'salt', 'yeast' and 'light' - to make a difference in the local community and the wider world. So we are not the kind of Church that offers its members all they might need in the way of social activity; rather we offer them a base from which to 'go in peace' to love and serve the Lord. We try hard to be a real 'Parish Church', embracing people from different traditions and denominations as well as those new to the faith and listening to everyone with patience and love. Above all we seek to be friendly, welcoming and open.

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What services do you have?

Our Sunday pattern is: 8am Said Holy Communion;10am Parish Communion, sung with hymns; 6.30pm Evening Service (During British Summer Time, Evening Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, otherwise Compline.) When we have an Activity Weekend our pattern changes to: 9am Said Communion with hymns; 11am Service for All Ages; 6.30pm Evening Service (as above) On Wednesdays there is a said Holy Communion at 10 am Full details can be found on page 4 in our Calendar for Services and Events.

On the first Sunday of the month we have  Celebrate Together, a service for Adults and children, with communion.

2nd Sunday of the Month, Contemporary Evening Worship and 3rd Sunday of the month, CTWA united ecumenical

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What service books do you use?

For most Sunday and mid-week Eucharists we use Common Worship Order One, as printed in our own service books. The readings follow the Revised Common Lectionary. Collects and readings are printed in the weekly newssheets. We draw our hymns from a variety of sources and try to use the best of traditional and contemporary music.

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What is your Access policy?

Since 2002 the main entrance and North doorway have been sloped, giving easy access for everyone, including pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

There is a tarmac parking area at the East end of the churchyard and walking access via the choir vestry with a handrail by the steps into the nave.

There is a sound system, including radio microphones, and an induction loop system for use with hearing aids with a “T” setting.

We provide large print copies of service books, current hymn books and the weekly newsletter.

The Church Hall also has a new sloped access and contains the nearest adapted W.C.

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What about the musical life of the church?

The central philosophy to music at St Thomas's is that it involves the congregation. Music for services draws on several traditions (eg Iona, Taize), but is, at heart, accessible Anglican. The choir meets every week; this is a nucleus of about eight singers who sing during the Communion. In addition, we have an extended choir who join us from time to time, usually for larger services; for example, Midnight Mass, Patronal Festival Evensong.

New singers are always welcome to join us. Speak to Gill Tucker or leave a message at the Parish Office.

St Thomas's is fortunate to have a small, but pleasant sounding and versatile Hill 2-manual organ, which is well maintained and has had small tonal changes made to it in the last decade.

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How do I arrange a baptism?

You should contact the Priest-in-charge or the Parish Office. Baptism is sometimes called "Christening" and this is just what it is: being made a Christian or a member of Christ's family. Baptisms can take place at the Parish Eucharist when the Church family is assembled, but other times are possible by arrangement.
More on Baptism here

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How do I arrange a wedding?

You should contact the Parish Office. The 2008 Marriage Measure has greatly increased the scope of those who can marry at St Thomas's, so it is best to enquire.
More on Weddings here

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How do I arrange banns to be called?

If you are being married at St. Thomas', you will be in contact already with the priest who is marrying you and you can arrange when the banns will be called on three consecutive Sundays within three months of the wedding. If you are being married elsewhere but one of you lives in this parish, it will be necessary to have the banns called here, unless you are being married by licence. Details should be given to the Parish Office and there is a fee. Banns are called at the 10.00am Sunday service on three consecutive Sundays.

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How do I book a funeral or arrange a burial?

Funerals and burials are normally arranged in the first instance through the Funeral Director. Everyone who lives within the parish has a right to a funeral in the church, whether or not they have been a worshipper here. When the service is to be at the cemetery or crematorium, one of the Clergy or Readers is always willing to conduct it, and again it doesn't matter if that person has not been a regular member of St. Thomas' congregation. Those who live in the parish may be buried in the churchyard at Horrington. We also inter cremated remains in St. Thomas' churchyard, and there is space reserved on the west wall (outside) for memorial plates of a uniform design.

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How do I arrange to see someone from the church?

We are pleased to help those who want to talk over their faith - or doubt - or who want to discuss any other matters. If you would like to talk to someone from St Thomas's, please do not hesitate to phone the Parish Office for an appointment. You can of course speak to the Clergy or to the churchwardens before or after a church service.

Don't forget - Clergy have no mystical way of knowing if someone is ill or in need of a visit. We may not necessarily realise that a regular churchgoer has missed a few Sundays. So please tell us, preferably in writing. A note can always be left at the Parish Office.

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How can I have someone's name added to the prayer list?

At our Eucharists we include in our prayers for the sick by name those who have asked for our prayers. The Guild of Intercessors also prays regularly, but privately, for those known to be in special need. We do not pray publicly for anyone unless they themselves have given permission. Names can be given to the Clergy or Churchwardens, or left in the Parish Office, please in writing - one Christian name is sufficient.

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Do you pray for the departed?

Yes, at the Eucharist we always pray for the departed and by name for those who have recently had funerals here. You may also request that someone who has died is remembered at the anniversary of their death. Names in writing should be left in the Parish Office please.

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Is there a Sunday School?

Yes. St. Thomas' Sunday School exists to teach the essential elements of our Christian faith to children, to welcome them into the Church family and to enable them to learn about and join in the regular worship at St. Thomas's. The Sunday School meets in the church hall every Sunday during term time. We start at 9.50a.m. We sing (sometimes action songs), then have a story and craft activity. We play games too, and join with the other Sunday schools in Wells for special activities two or three times a year. The Sunday School comes into church during the Eucharist and children are encouraged to receive a blessing. Clergy are keen to relate the activities of the Sunday School to the Sunday congregation. All children are welcome whether they are able to come every week or only occasionally and whether or not parents are able to be in church.

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Are children welcome in church?

Children are also always very welcome in church, and at the 10a.m. Parish Communion there are nearly always some children and babies. We understand that sometimes they may be noisy, and that's OK. There are books and quiet toys in the children's corner and the choir vestry is available, if you feel an escape is necessary, with a loudspeaker so that you can follow the service.

On occasion both primary schools in the parish use the church for special services eg. at Christmas.

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How do I book the church hall?

Bookings are handled by Mrs Caroline Maycock, Parish Office 01749 672335.

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Do you have a car park?

Yes, there is a car park next to the church in front of the Church Hall, holding approximately 20 cars, and on-street parking in St. Thomas Street.

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