Trinity United Reformed Church St Albans
Services at Trinity.
We meet at 10 o'clock every Sunday morning for worship. The Minister of the St Albans Pastorate is the Revd John Hardaker; he has responsibility for Greenwood URC in Chiswell Green, Homewood Road and Trinity URCs. Services not led by John are led by teams of people from within Trinity or visiting ministers.
On the first Sunday of the month we celebrate Holy Communion which everyone, young and old, regulars and visitors are invited to share with us.
Our pattern for worship: We meet at 10 for a worship session, which on the first Sunday of the month will include Communion. This will normally finish at about 10:30 when we share news and notices then break for coffee and conversation. At 11 o'clock a short song signals that we reassemble for a learning session: this may be a sermon, possibly followed by a general discussion on the points raised, or may be a time of discussion in small groups. This session finishes at about 11:30. People are welcome to come for either or both sessions. There is a crèche for the very young.
Worship planning is done initially in group Bible Study sessions once a month (as advertised in the church diary) and everyone is invited to attend.
We enjoy a relaxed, open style of worship. The chairs are arranged in an informal semicircle and there are armchairs for those who need them. We try to maintain a peaceful silence in the five minutes before the service begins. At 10 o’clock the Elder on duty brings in the Bible to signify the start of worship, followed by someone carrying in the Peace Candle which is placed in the centre of the church. The service is different every week, with hymn and songs, normally from the URC’s hymnbook Rejoice and Sing or from Church Hymnary IV. We will often choose Wild Goose songs. The hymns and songs are interspersed with Bible readings and prayers. Everyone has a chance to participate, sometimes in congregational prayers, or as a volunteer reader leader of intercessory prayers. The music is led on the organ, the piano, the Clavinova or occasionally unaccompanied.
At the end of this part of the service the duty Elder gives out news and notices; anyone can contribute. We then share in coffee and conversation. After this section we sit back down and listen to a sermon which normally concludes with an opportunity to comment on what has been said. Anyone can say something if they want to, and the forum is a safe place to voice anything; we are a questioning church and have no problems with people expressing doubts or discussing controversial opinions. The service finishes with a hymn, the Grace, and the Elder carrying the Bible from the church.
Trinity is a church which enjoys a variety of music, but especially music from the Iona Community. We have recently refurbished our organ, but also use the piano and the Clavinova to accompany services. Sometimes we sing a cappella!
We have a singing group which normally sings to call people to the third (exploring) part of worship after the pastoral break. Anyone may join with the singing group. Hymnbooks used include Rejoice and Sing, Common Ground, Church Hymnary IV and the Wild Goose books.
First, a bit of history. In 1981, Trinity was gutted by fire. The organist at the time, Peter Holt, commissioned a new organ from Copeman Hart. Copeman Hart digitised the organ in August 2008, and it remains in regular use.