FAQs & Information
We have put together some frequently asked questions and general information about the church.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the office by calling 01425 655155.
What can I expect if I come along on a Sunday?
Sunday is a great opportunity to meet together! We meet every week at 10.30am and 6pm for services where we get to worship God together in song, prayer, a talk based on the Bible and sharing some time with one another. You are very welcome to come to either of these services - we frequently see visitors coming along. Both celebrations are fairly informal, open to all, and you won’t be asked to do anything you don’t want to.
If you have any questions on the day, our welcome team will be on hand to help.
In a morning celebration, we usually sing a few songs to begin with before having an all-age short talk. The children then go to their Lighthouse Club groups and there is a crèche available for babies and toddlers whilst we have our main talk, giving us usually around 35 minutes to get a good understanding of what the Bible says and why it is so important for our lives. We usually finish by around 11.45am.
Around 130-150 people of all ages come along and we serve refreshments afterwards.
Evening services at 7pm are a little shorter, an hour or so, and follow a similar pattern to the mornings though without a short talk. From time to time we run an All Age Bible School. We also have worship evenings known as ‘The Return’.
Do I have to bring anything in particular?
No, just yourselves!
Some like to bring a Bible, though there are Bibles provided under the seats if you want to follow along with readings. We don’t have a particular or ‘expected’ dress code either – many dress informally and that’s absolutely fine.
As part of our morning celebration, we do take an offering, though this is more for those who wish to give towards the work of the Chapel, but there is no obligation to give if you’re visiting us!
What version of the Bible do you use?
We usually use the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, and the readings are all taken from the version we have available for use at the Chapel. Others prefer different versions, and you’re very welcome to bring along a different translation if you wish.
What ‘sort’ of church is Alderholt Chapel?
The best way to understand what we’re like as a church is to come along or visit our website for more information. We love seeing new people join us and you’ll be assured of a warm welcome if you come along to any of our activities.
If you want a little more specific information, we are an independent and evangelical congregational church, affiliated with the EFCC (Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches).
We aim to be a Christ-centred, Bible-based church with a desire to reach out to our community with the good news of Jesus Christ. All of our activities help us to pursue that goal together.
If you would like to know about our core beliefs, please view our statement of faith.
How does leadership operate at Alderholt Chapel?
We operate with a core leadership of a pastor, elders and deacons.
The pastor is an employed staff member who also functions as an elder. Along with the other elders, the pastor takes responsibility for spiritual oversight of the church, the overall vision and outworking of that vision in the life of the church and heads up the work we do here at Chapel.
The deacons work to ensure the smooth running of the activities of the church, particularly in the areas of finance, maintenance and other practical needs as they arise. All these office holders are voted in by the members of the church at members’ meetings.
Many others serve in leadership positions in our youth groups, small groups and other ministries.
Do you have church membership at Alderholt Chapel?
We believe that anyone who has put their faith in Christ has joined his family of believers and become part of his global ‘church’. Therefore, if you’ve done that, you are a ‘member’ of the church!
For those who have come to faith, been baptised (here or elsewhere) and are committed to the Chapel as their home church, we do also give the opportunity to associate themselves more formally with Alderholt Chapel as ‘church members’.
We currently have a formal membership of around 100 people. Being a member means having an active and committed role in the ongoing life of the church, and is a position of some responsibility. At the quarterly members’ meeting we discuss business affecting the ongoing work of the church, share plans and vote on decisions and members are encouraged to be proactively seeking God for His will for us as a Chapel.
From time to time, we hold membership classes as and when required for those interested in becoming formal members of the church, and that is the best way to find out more.
What do you believe about Baptism and Communion?
As a church we follow the practice of believers’ baptism, and have a (heated!) baptismal pool for when we have baptism services. Baptism services are always really special services where we get to hear about how a person has come to faith in Christ and how they want to now share that publically by being baptised.
As we've suggested, we feel that the Bible outlines that it is only following a profession of faith in Jesus Christ that a person should be baptised, as that is what baptism is a symbol of. We therefore don’t baptise infants, but instead wait until they are able to make a clear profession of faith themselves before pursuing baptism.
We do, however, offer a dedication service for families wishing to celebrate the arrival of a newborn.
Similarly to baptism, we see communion (or ‘the Lord’s Supper’) as a symbolic meal that Jesus asked us to share together in order to remember Him. We share communion as a church family every first Sunday of the month in the morning service and third Sunday in the evening service.
How can I get involved?
There is always so much going on here at the Chapel and it’s easy to get involved in all kinds of ways, and we’ve got lots of people serving in all sorts of ways in the life of our church.
The best way if you’re new to us is to simply come along and be a part of what’s already happening! Come on a Sunday, or to a group during the week and see for yourselves - we’d love to meet you.