Welcome!

Whether you’ve attended church your whole life, or have never visited one, we know it is sometimes not easy to visit a church for the first time. You may not be sure what to expect, and you might have some questions and possibly even some reservations. We want to start your experience off right by giving you some practical information about our church.

St. Thomas welcomes all people.  However you understand yourself, and however you describe yourself is fine with us!  Your background, race, gender, orientation and spiritual journey are welcomed and celebrated here.

 

What To Wear

Once we re-open for in-person worship, please come as you are! We wear anything from jeans, shorts and t-shirts to slacks and suits and dresses. Wear what feels comfortable to you.

Parking

Free parking is available in four places around the church:

  • In the parking lot beside the church hall on First Avenue
  • On First Avenue itself
  • In the parking lot just off the right side of the cul-de-sac at the end of Gore Avenue
  • On Gore Avenue itself

For wheelchair parking with ramp access, please park on Gore Avenue. 

Entrance

Come on in! Our entrance is on Gore Avenue, at the top of the steps or the ramp.  When you first come to the door, our priest will welcome you.  Inside the foyer of the church, greeters will be available to answer any of your questions and show you around. As you enter the sanctuary, a sides-person will hand you a ‘bulletin’, which is a photocopied order of the service. 

Our Worship Space

When you enter the sanctuary of St. Thomas, you will be immediately drawn into a warm and welcoming place to worship God.  In the rich wood paneling of its walls and the beauty of its stained-glass windows, you can almost hear the echoes of more than 145 years of Christian prayers and songs. 

Please feel free to sit in any of the pews. None of them are reserved!  If you’re not sure, a sides-person can help you. 

You will find ‘visitor cards’ on the back of each pew.  These cards will give you some brief information about St. Thomas, and will invite you to leave your contact information if you would like to have a chat with our priest.

Children

We love having children at St. Thomas! They are valued and precious members of our community who are encouraged to experience the rhythm of prayer and worship along with us.   We have a children’s area at the back of the church, where you can worship while the children read books, colour, work on puzzles, or play with toys. Do your kids make noise? Don’t worry, that’s normal! But if you wish, a nursery/parents’ room is available for use.  Just ask one of our greeters or sides-persons to show you where it is!  

The Church Service

Our service will last about an hour. If you are unfamiliar with the customs and traditions of the Anglican church, just relax and let the congregation carry you in worship. Our service is easy to follow and is printed entirely in the bulletin, except for a few hymns, which you'll find in the large blue books in each pew. 

You may wonder when to stand or kneel. You will see that practises vary among our members. Most people stand to sing, to listen to the Gospel, and to say our affirmation of faith. We sit during readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament letters, the sermon, and the choir anthems. We stand, sit, or kneel for prayer.  

You may also see some people bowing or making the sign of the cross at certain times, but this is a personal choice.

If you would like a detailed description of our service, please click here.

Coffee

We often meet for coffee, refreshments and conversation in the church hall after the service. (The hall is the big, yellow building behind the church.)  You're welcome to join in and mingle. This is an ideal time for you to ask any further questions you may have.  And most importantly, come back! We’d love to see you again!

Questions?

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call our office at 604-792-8521, or e-mail us at stthomaschilliwack@gmail.com