The Parish Church of St James
St. James's Road, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ (Parish Office 020 8941 6003)
The Parish Church of St James

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Putting out the hymn books and service booklets

Preparing hymn books and service booklets

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When you arrive in church, the first person you are likely to meet is a sidesperson. A sidesperson used to be called a 'sidesman'. The name is a corruption of the term 'synod's man', a title referring to prominent members of the congregation who represented the parish to the Diocesan Synod. A more meaningful term is welcomer.

There are three people on duty as welcomers at Sunday’s 09.30 service. They arrive early enough to make sure everything the congregation will need is ready for them - hymn numbers on the boards, service and hymn books to hand, magazines and notices on display.

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Making sure that Welcome cards are on the pews

Making sure Welcome cards are on the pews

During the service, particularly if there is a baptismal party, sidespersons may need to guide visitors through communion. They also take the offertory and carry the bread and wine up to the altar, sometimes encouraging the children to help. They may help latecomers or parents with young children. After the service, they put away the books and tidy up.

Handing out books and pew sheets as people arrive gives sidespersons the opportunity to welcome visitors or newcomers and invite them to stay for coffee after the service. They provide all the help they need to make them feel at home in our church.

The duties are not onerous but you do need to arrive early, stay focused and be alert to the needs of latecomers and visitors. You can be on duty once a month or once a year but your appointment, which has to be approved by the vicar and P.C.C. at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, is for a year.

At the All-age Service on the first Sunday of the month when the youth groups take a turn on duty, there is only one sidesperson who should be needed only in an advisory capacity. The presence of the young people, the Brownies, Guides, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Sunday School has added greatly to the running of the service.

Preparing the hymn boards

Preparing the hymn boards

Preparing the hymn boards

Putting out the pew sheets

Preparing the collection bags

Preparing the collection bags

Further Information
Contact Janet Taylor on 020 8979 0046
Documents Latest Sidespersons APCM Report

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