Rysia’s Story

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rysia1My experience of the Church on the Heath…

“I had not attended church for many years, since I was a child. About three years ago, I felt a pull to attend a service, but left it until the end of last year to actually go. I remember walking past the Church on the Heath and feeling interested to go in and yet also daunted at the prospect. I am married with two small children and felt I wanted to attend a service on my own to see what it was like before bringing my family.

I used to look at the church when I went into the neighbouring supermarket and I felt intimidated at the thought of walking into somewhere new, by myself, into a place where I did not know anyone. It felt as though the church was a private club and that it may have rules or rituals that would be alien to me. One morning, when I ventured near the door, I noticed from the sign that I was there ten minutes late for the Sunday service. I thought I could not possibly go in, as I would get disapproving stares from the congregation for not being punctual.

When I finally went in, about three weeks later, rysiaquote4my apprehension started to melt away. I was greeted at the door by a smiling face, given a sheet of paper with details about the service, and I then walked down one clear corridor into a large, modern room with ample seating. The congregation was made up of people across the age range, including young children. They chatted happily and noisily amongst themselves before the start of the service. The atmosphere was inclusive and welcoming, while also giving me personal space to experience the service. I felt at ease. I noticed people arriving late with no stares or attention directed at them.

I found the Reverend’s sermon to be thought provoking and inspiring. The Reverend himself was approachable, witty and warm in his words and manner. The music added to the atmosphere, with the lyrics clearly displayed on the walls if you wished to join in with the singing. The option for coffee and biscuits afterwards gave me the chance to talk to people afterwards if I wanted to stay.

I remember leaving the service feeling happy, refreshed and glad that I had gone inside. I feel the Church on the Heath welcomes everyone and does not expect only a certain person, with specific beliefs, to attend. After taking the first step of opening the entrance door to my very first service, my experience was positive, warm and worthwhile.

I have now been coming to church regularly since December, along with my husband and our two sons. We enjoy being part of the church family and seeing our faith grow.”

Rysia

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