Worship in church

What happens inside a typical church?

  • Church buildings are everywhere. You will find one or more churches in virtually every community across the country. There are over 47,000 churches registered in the UK. A lot of their activities centre around worship services, almost always on a Sunday and sometimes during the week as well. But most churches offer activities and events throughout Monday to Friday, most often for elderly people, young people and families.

    You could walk into two different churches on a Sunday morning and experience very different things! But most church services contain common features – just in different styles and in different orders.

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    Singing

     

    Whether it’s to the sound of an organ or a guitar, Christians often sing together in church. This tradition of singing praise to God goes back thousands of years. The Book of Psalms in the Bible is a collection of songs that the Israelites used to sing, telling God how awesome He was. Many songs used in church today say the same thing.

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    Learning about the Bible

     

    Christians believe that the Bible contains God’s words that will help them know Him more and understand how He wants them to live. Church provides an opportunity to study the Bible with other people. Some churches will read 3 or 4 short sections from the Bible during the service – others may only choose one. The Bible readings are usually followed by a special talk, often called a sermon or homily. In the sermon, somebody (often a priest or minister, but not always) will share some thoughts on what the passage from the Bible means to Christians today.

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    Communion or Mass

     

    Jesus’ death on the cross is a really important part of the Christian faith. Christians believe that when Jesus died on the cross he took God's punishment for the wrong things that they have done. Jesus said that the bread and wine shared in Communion/Mass is his body and blood. As Christians eat and drink this they remember Jesus death on the cross and thank God that because of this, He has forgiven them.

    Offering

     

    Giving is a key part of Christian worship. Jesus spoke a lot about how people should use their money for God’s glory. Usually, there will be an opportunity every week for the congregation to give money. This might go for use in the life of the church, or to support Christian charitable work.

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    Prayer

     

    Prayers

    Most church services will include time to pray. Church prayers often fall into four different categories:

    • ADORATION – Telling God how amazing He is
    • CONFESSION – Saying sorry to God for the things which the people have done wrong, or not done as they should
    • THANKSGIVING – Saying ‘thank you’ to God for all the good things He has done
    • INTERCESSION – Asking God to help people – for example, for difficult situations in our world, for people who are sick. 

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Salvation Army

What is it like to be a member of the Salvation Army?

  • Life
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“The Salvation Army was started by William Booth in 1865. It was known as The East London Christian Mission. In 1878 the name ‘The Salvation Army’ was first used – a picture which caught people’s imagination. This Army never fights against people but against wrong […]

Prejudice and the Bible

Is the Bible racist?

  • Issues
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ISSUES-PREJUDICE-RACISM

Prejudice and the Bible

Is the Bible racist?

  • Issues
  • Text

Jesus was a victim of both religious and racial discrimination. Israel was under occupation by the Roman Empire, causing tension and animosity on both sides. There was hatred between the Jews and their neighbours of mixed race, the Samaritans (i.e. people from a region called […]

The Eastern Orthodox Church

What is life like in the Orthodox Church?

  • Life
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The Eastern Orthodox Church

What is life like in the Orthodox Church?

  • Life
  • Video

The Orthodox Church is one of the three main Christian groups alongside  Roman Catholic and Protestant.The word ‘Orthodox’ comes from the Greek words orthos (‘right’) and doxa (‘belief’) so literally means correct belief or right thinking. The figure head of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the […]

Giving

What do Christians think about giving?

  • Life
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Giving

What do Christians think about giving?

  • Life
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A good test of how much something or someone means to you is how much you are willing to give for it. You may spend a huge amount of money or effort on a gift for a special person. You may spend all your time […]

Communion

What do Christians celebrate at Communion?

  • Life
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Communion

What do Christians celebrate at Communion?

  • Life
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What are the most important events in your life? How do you celebrate or remember them? Why is communion so important for Christians?   Communion is based on a real event, known as the Last Supper. On the night before Jesus died, he had a […]

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How do Christians Pray?

  • Life
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There are all kinds of different ways Christians choose to pray. Some Christians practice meditation. In this type of prayer a Christian will think deeply about God. This involves organising a time when you will be on your own in silence. You might use something […]

Prayer

What is Christian prayer?

  • Life
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Archbishop of York

Prayer

What is Christian prayer?

  • Life
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What kind of picture do you have when you hear the word ‘prayer’? Have you ever prayed? What did you pray about? Why did you pray? For many Christians, prayer is just the name they give to speaking to God. It includes listening and thinking, […]

Worship

How do Christians worship?

  • Life
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Worship

Worship

How do Christians worship?

  • Life
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What would you say is the most important thing in your life? How do you show that to other people? For some people the most important thing might be a football team. They might go to see them play regularly. They might have posters of […]

The Orthodox Church

What does an Orthodox Church look like?

  • Life
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The Orthodox Church

What does an Orthodox Church look like?

  • Life
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  Here are some images from inside an Orthodox Church. You can discover some of the worship in the Orthodox Church by watching this film.

The Methodist Church

What is life like in a Methodist Church?

  • Life
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Swan Bank Methodist Church 2

The Methodist Church

What is life like in a Methodist Church?

  • Life
  • Video gallery

Methodism is the name given to the group of churches that came out of the Christian revival of the 18th century, led by the Wesley brothers, John and Charles. At first, Methodists were known as troublemakers! Nowadays the church is just as ‘respectable’ as any […]

Roman Catholic Mass

How do Catholics worship God?

  • Life
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Catholic Mass

Roman Catholic Mass

How do Catholics worship God?

  • Life
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At the centre of Roman Catholic worship is the Mass. Some Catholics go to Mass on Saturday or Sunday evening; all Catholics are supposed to go to at least one of these services. On entering a Catholic Church next to the door there is a […]

Resurrection evidence

What happened to Jesus' body?

  • Jesus
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Resurrection evidence

What happened to Jesus' body?

  • Jesus
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After Jesus was crucified, his body was placed in a cave and a large rock was rolled in front of the entrance. Roman guards were ordered to stand and keep watch over it to ensure that the body wasn’t stolen. However, after three days, Christians […]

The Baptist Church

What's life in a Baptist Church like?

  • Life
  • Video gallery
Baptist Church 2

The Baptist Church

What's life in a Baptist Church like?

  • Life
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What makes a Baptist Church different from other Christian churches is partly found in the name. Unlike some other churches the Baptist Church does not baptise infants but instead once a person has made a commitment to the Christian faith then they will be baptised […]

Church of England Worship

How is the liturgy used in the Anglican Church?

  • Life
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Church of England Worship

How is the liturgy used in the Anglican Church?

  • Life
  • Text

At the heart of the Church of England lies worship. Christians believe that it is through encountering God within worship that we are changed to be more like Jesus. One form of worship that is encountered in church services is liturgical worship. Liturgy simply refers to […]

The Church of England

What is life like in the Anglican Church?

  • Life
  • Video gallery
St Mary Magdelene Church of England

The Church of England

What is life like in the Anglican Church?

  • Life
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The Church of England – also called the Anglican Church – has a long history. Its buildings which are used for worship on Sundays can date back hundreds of years. But despite its age, there is a lot of life and activity in the church […]

Churches Organisations

What organisations help Christians work and worship together?

  • Life
  • Timeline

Churches Organisations

What organisations help Christians work and worship together?

  • Life
  • Timeline

Churches Together

Do Christians from different churches ever meet together?

  • Life
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Churches Together

Do Christians from different churches ever meet together?

  • Life
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There have always been different ideas around in the Christian Church. The Bible teaches that some things are really important – and on others we can agree to differ. Churches are united in central beliefs – for example, those in the Nicene Creed – and […]

Maundy Thursday

What do Christians remember on Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
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Maundy Thursday

What do Christians remember on Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of Holy Week, the Thursday before Easter Day. On this day Christians remember the event known as The Last Supper. It was also the night when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He was later betrayed by […]

Churches Together

How do churches work together in their communities?

  • Life
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Churches Together

How do churches work together in their communities?

  • Life
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Why did Jesus pray that his followers  ‘may be one?’ (John 17:21). What is the importance of unity for the church? How do different Churches in our communities meet and work together in? How do they celebrate their faith and share their commitment to loving […]

The Nicene Creed

What do all Christians believe?

  • Life
  • Text
CHURCH-Nicene creed

The Nicene Creed

What do all Christians believe?

  • Life
  • Text

In AD325, the Emperor Constantine called together 120 bishops from across the Roman Empire, to agree on a statement of what all Christians believe (The Creed). The Nicene Creed is named after the place where they met. Christian churches are united by this one statement […]

Not just Sunday…

What happens in churches during the week?

  • Life
  • Video
Church during week

Not just Sunday…

What happens in churches during the week?

  • Life
  • Video

Church is about more than what happens in the sanctuary on a Sunday morning. Jesus taught that his followers should love their neighbour and the local church provides a place for many Christians to serve the people in their communities during the week. Try to […]

The Church in the Bible

How does the Bible describe the Church?

  • Life
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The Church in the Bible

How does the Bible describe the Church?

  • Life
  • Text

  The Bible used a lot of word-pictures to help early Christians understand what the Church is designed to be. Church is a body – Jesus’ body, with Jesus himself as the Head (Ephesians 1: 22-23). Bodies are made of different parts – hands, feet, […]

The Early Church

What were the very first churches like?

  • Life
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The Early Church

What were the very first churches like?

  • Life
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When the Bible talks about church, it isn’t really talking about a building. ‘Church’ is the name given to people who follow Jesus, who meet together to worship God and learn to do what God asks them to. It is the people in the building […]

Life after death

What do Christians believe happens next?

  • Life
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Life after death

What do Christians believe happens next?

  • Life
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Whatever people believe about life after death, a funeral can help them to cope with the loss of someone they love. Surrounded by family and friends, they can share happy memories and comfort each other. For Christians, funerals give an opportunity to gain encouragement and […]

Marriage

What is Christian marriage all about?

  • Life
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Marriage

What is Christian marriage all about?

  • Life
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A couple’s wedding day is often called ‘the big day’. But it represents the beginning of something much, much bigger – life together as a married couple. The Bible talks about marriage as a man and a woman becoming like one person. What this means […]

Weddings

What happens at a Christian marriage ceremony?

  • Life
  • Timeline

Weddings

What happens at a Christian marriage ceremony?

  • Life
  • Timeline

Dedication

What happens in a dedication service?

  • Life
  • Video

Dedication

What happens in a dedication service?

  • Life
  • Video

Some churches believe that being baptised is something people should decide to do when they are old enough. But they still think that welcoming children into the church is important. In these churches, you might find a ‘dedication’ or ‘thanksgiving’ service. Infant dedication is a […]

Rites of Passage

How do Christians celebrate big life changes?

  • Life
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Rites of Passage

How do Christians celebrate big life changes?

  • Life
  • Video

What are the big ‘milestones’ you’ve experienced in your life? Maybe you can remember the first day you went to school. Maybe it was a time you moved to a new place to live. Maybe you’ve even moved country. Life is full of these big […]

Jesus’ Teaching: Prayer

What did Jesus teach about prayer?

  • Jesus
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Jesus’ Teaching: Prayer

What did Jesus teach about prayer?

  • Jesus
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Prayer is important for Christians, as they believe it is one of the main ways through which our relationship with God can grow deeper. Just as we grow closer to our friends when we spend time with them, so Christians believe that in spending time […]

Meet a Christian…

What unites Christians?

  • Life
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Archbishop of York

Meet a Christian…

What unites Christians?

  • Life
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Christians come in all different shapes and sizes, but they do have one thing in common – they believe in Jesus Christ as somebody special who has changed their life. Hear some stories here.

LIFE-WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN

What is a Christian?

  • Life
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Perhaps the clue to what a Christian is can be found in the name. The word ‘Christian’ is actually a nickname – it literally means ‘little Christ’. It was a nickname given to men and women in the first century who went about talking about […]

Timeline of Jesus’ Life

What do the Gospels tell us?

  • Jesus
  • Timeline
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Timeline of Jesus’ Life

What do the Gospels tell us?

  • Jesus
  • Timeline

What do we know about Jesus? How do we know about his life and work? What are the key features of Jesus’ life?

Jesus and the Christian faith

Why do Christians worship him?

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Jesus and the Christian faith

Why do Christians worship him?

  • Jesus
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Jesus spent 3 years meeting and teaching people. When he died he left a devoted group of a few hundred followers. Today, 2 billion people worldwide call themselves Christians. What makes Jesus so central to Christians’ lives today? For many, he is seen in the […]

Jesus today

Why do people choose to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

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Jesus today

Why do people choose to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

  • Jesus
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It’s easy to think of Jesus as somebody who lives in history books. But Jesus is really important to Christians– not just as somebody who said and did amazing things 2000 years ago but as somebody who is a friend to them today. Most Christians […]

Jesus’ death

What do Christians believe about why Jesus died?

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Jesus’ death

What do Christians believe about why Jesus died?

  • Jesus
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Jesus died by being crucified. ‘Crucifixion’ means nailed to a cross. The cross was then lifted up outside the city walls (in Jesus’ case, Jerusalem) so everybody could see it. The people on the cross were then left to die in the hot sun. It […]

Jesus’ miracles: the feeding of the 5,000

How did Jesus treat people who were hungry?

  • Jesus
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Jesus’ miracles: the feeding of the 5,000

How did Jesus treat people who were hungry?

  • Jesus
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Miracles are often seen as signs by the Gospel writers to explain what sort of God Christians believe in and how Jesus his Son shows that. This story shows that Jesus can supply the basic needs we have – in John’s version of the story, […]

Jesus’ teaching: Money

What did Jesus teach about money and giving?

  • Jesus
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JESUS-TEACHING-money

Jesus’ teaching: Money

What did Jesus teach about money and giving?

  • Jesus
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Money. It can do wonderful things and change lives for the better. Equally, it can be a cause of stress, arguments and leave our lives in a mess. Having too much can make you greedy for more, having too little can make you desperate. The […]

Jesus’ teaching

What did Jesus teach people?

  • Jesus
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Jesus’ teaching

What did Jesus teach people?

  • Jesus
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Jesus was known as Rabbi or teacher as he taught people a lot about how they should live and the decisions they should make. But what exactly did Jesus teach about: revenge? worry? prayer? giving? These films show Jesus’ core teaching on these important issues.

Bible facts

How much do you know about the Bible?

  • Bible
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BIBLE-INTRO-book

Bible facts

How much do you know about the Bible?

  • Bible
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The Bible is: still a world bestseller and is still read by millions of people today   The Bible has: Been translated into more languages than any other book   The Bible was: written over a period of 1,500 years written in different places, at […]

What is the Bible?

Introduction to this best selling book.

  • Bible
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What is the Bible?

Introduction to this best selling book.

  • Bible
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Christians often refer to the Bible as ‘God’s Word’ and therefore see it as the most important book ever written. Although the Bible is more than 3000 years old Christians believe that, through this amazing book, God is still teaching, helping and guiding them today. […]

Questions about Jesus

What do we know about Jesus?

  • Jesus
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QUESTION

Questions about Jesus

What do we know about Jesus?

  • Jesus
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Did Jesus really exist? Yes. The New Testament part of the Bible tells us about who Jesus was, what he did, and why. But other writings by people who weren’t Christians also talk about a man named Jesus. Roman and Jewish historians such as Josephus […]