Jargon Busting - what to expect from the service I have chosen.

Jargon Buster – we hope this might help you choose the service that you like or to decide which service to try.

Everyone is welcome at any service, anywhere in the Benefice (this is a name given to a group of parishes or churches working together). If a service is described as a Benefice service it probably means it’s a special day for that church (perhaps the day that remembers the saint that the church is named for or that it is the only communion service that day (e.g. when there are more than four Sundays in the month).

However, if a service says Family or All-Age – this means we are trying to explore bible stories in ways that are more interactive and that we try and keep this service shorter – up to 45 minutes long. You can come whatever your age and with or without a family. It won’t have Communion as well unless the service says so.

Communion is the sharing of bread and wine – part of Christian life from the earliest days. It is called by all of these names: Eucharist (from the Greek for ‘thanksgiving’), Mass (from the Latin for ‘Go home, we’ve finished’) and the Lord’s Supper. Church of England practice is that it is open to those who are baptised and have prepared for communion (often through confirmation) and ‘any who are in good standing’ in their own Christian tradition – which means if you would share communion in other churches you belong to you are welcome to do so with us. We always try to have gluten free wafers available but, at present, we do not offer a non-alcoholic alternative to communion wine. Anyone who would like to receive a blessing but not share the bread and wine is able to do so.

A word about language – some services are Book of Common Prayer or BCP. This is the old service based largely on the services from 1548 and 1662 when the Church began to use English (rather than Latin). Most services are Common Worship CW – a more recent version. The main BCP service in the Benefice is the Evening Service. The Wednesday communion at Lyneham at 10am may sometimes be BCP. Morning Prayer at Tockenham is a service that does not include Communion but is not usually a traditional BCP Morning Prayer.

Said is not the opposite of ‘silent’ but lets the people arranging and setting up services know that a service has no songs or hymns (these communion services are normally about half an hour); a sung communion normally means we sing other bits of the service as well as songs and hymns. The main services at 10.30am will normally have some hymns and songs.

Evening Services are at 6pm during British Summer Time but most move to 5pm when the clocks change.