What should I wear?
Bottom line, wear what you are comfortable wearing. We gather as God’s loved people; some casual, others more dressed up. It’s not a surprise to see shorts, t-shirts, sandals, jeans and bright vibrant colours in equal numbers with dark suits, ties, and dresses. It’s your call. After all, we are thrilled that you’re joining us and want you to be more focused on the experience than on what you’re wearing.
Will I fit in?
Whether you are old or young, coming as a family or on your own, like more traditional forms of worship or prefer something more modern, or even if you are totally unfamiliar with an Anglican church, you will find a place here and people who are just like you.
How will I know what to do?
Inside the front or side entrances of the church, you’ll meet our greeters who’ll give you a friendly welcome and a leaflet explaining what will happen during the service. Just sit wherever you want. There are no reserved seats. There are times during the service when people stand, sit, or kneel. The leaders of the service will invite you to do so as you are able. If you lose track, just watch what your neighbours do. It’s not necessary to kneel for the prayers; some people like to kneel, and others prefer to sit. If you have difficulty standing or are minding a baby or toddler, feel free to sit throughout the entire service. Many people do.
Do I have to put money in a collection plate?
We do take a collection during the service. This is done by passing a plate along the pews during the “Offertory Hymn” about midway through the service. Like everyone else, we have to pay the bills, but making a financial contribution during the service is totally voluntary. If you don’t want to put anything in the plate the day you visit us, just hand the plate along to your neighbour. Many regular members donate by pre-authorized payment or write a monthly cheque, so you won’t be the only one who doesn’t put anything in.
When are the services and what are they like?
You can find descriptions of our Sunday services here. Our regular weekly services are at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am. Not all Sundays are alike, so the best way to get a feel for our services is to come on a Sunday … and come again on the one after that!
Can I take communion? What do I do?
All Christians regardless of denomination are welcome to take communion. When it comes time for communion, people are directed row by row to the front of the church. (At the 9:30am service we gather around the communion table in a casual circle and in the front pews; it’s somewhat free-forming so just follow the crowd.)
When you receive the bread, hold your hands palm up in front of you. The cleric will speak a small prayer and place a thin round communion wafer or piece of bread in your open hand. You don’t need to say anything, but a lot of us reply with a quiet, heartfelt Amen. You can then take the wafer or bread from your hand and eat it. In the Anglican Church we drink real wine from a common cup (we sometimes call it “the chalice”), which is offered to you by church members assisting the clergy (we sometimes call them “chalice bearers”). They too say a few words, and you take a sip from the proffered cup. It’s okay to touch, hold, guide, or steady the cup. It’s also okay to receive only the bread. If you would rather not consume the wine, you can pause at the cup to hear the words of communion, or you can just walk past the chalice bearers and return to your seat. At the 9:30, crossing your arms or giving a slight shake of the head is a way of saying you don’t want the wine. If you don’t want to take communion at all but would like a blessing, go up to the front with everyone else and just cross your arms over your chest the whole time. You’re also perfectly welcome to remain in your seat during this part of the service. If you have mobility concerns and would like communion brought to you, just signal an usher or chalice bearer, and they’ll make it happen for you.
How do I get into the church?
You can come through the big oak double doors that face out onto Dundas Street, or there’s also a fully accessible side entrance on Centre Street. There are greeters at both doors to welcome and direct you. In each case, you’ll enter into a foyer first and have time to get your bearings and hang up your coat if you wish.
Where do I park?
The church has a small parking lot off Centre Street at the north end of the church and plenty of street parking on Dundas and Centre streets. Your best option may be the parking lot on the east side of Centre Street; it is usually free of charge on Sundays, with entrances on both Centre and Byron streets. If the Byron Street gate entrance arm is up, it’s open for free parking. Otherwise, it costs $3, payable by coin upon exiting at the Bryon Street gate. Remember, Centre Street is for one-way (southbound) traffic only.
Is All Saints’ a kid-friendly church?
We are welcoming of all kinds of families, and if yours happens to include children or grandchildren, we want them to feel at home with us, too. Our belief is this: children and youth are not future members of the church; they are present with us now, and their interests and their contributions are important to us. We also believe you and your family should choose to take part in our services and programs in a way that best supports your needs. You can go to our Children & Youth page for more on the options available for children worshipping at All Saints’.
Where do I get more information about All Saints’?
This website is a great place to start. On a Sunday, you will find there is general information inside the Sunday service bulletin, which you are welcome to take home with you. There are newcomer introduction cards in the pews that you are encouraged to fill in, especially if you have questions or are thinking about becoming a regular worshipper. You can leave the completed form on the table at either entrance or give it to one of the greeters. Someone from the church will get in touch with you, and you can ask any questions you may have. No obligation! You can also call the church office for information.
I’m shy coming to a new place. How do I get to know people?
We make an effort to greet and welcome visitors and make them feel at ease. The goal is to make the experience agreeable to you, so we’ll follow your cues as to how your visit will go. We won’t single you out or mob you. If you want to be anonymous for a while, we respect that. If you want to get acquainted right away, we have people who will be happy to get to know you and introduce you to others. And everyone is welcome on a Sunday – shy or not, members or not — to the church hall for complimentary coffee or tea and some friendly, casual conversation. You’re welcome to be a part of that and get to know us in a social setting.
What if I say or do the wrong thing while I’m at the church?
We all do from time to time, but honestly there aren’t that many ways to slip up. You will find we each individually have our own habits or preferences or come from different traditions. Some people kneel, some stand. Some cross themselves, some don’t. Some sing along to all the parts, some prefer to listen. And even seasoned churchgoers get muddled sometimes. If you happen to get off track or go astray, don’t worry about it. No one is likely to notice. And after all, it’s church. We don’t judge!