PHYSICAL ACCESS TO THE CHURCH and HALL

Opening Times: The Church is generally open during office hours each day.  The Hall is open during the times of Sunday services and, during the week, when it is in use by groups and hirings.

Car Parking: A large Car Park is supplemented by ample road side parking.  The closest parking to both buildings is in the Church Car Park adjacent to the Church Hall.  Two Parking Bays for blue badge holders are marked out adjacent to the Church Hall.

Ramped Access: Ramped access is provided at the doors to the church.  Although permanently in position the ramps are removable.  The modern Church Hall is all on the same level.

Which Door?  For the Church, the best access is through the north door which is the one you approach from the car park, on the side facing the Church Hall.  At the top of the ramp is a double door which opens inwardly and both parts need to be open to allow a wheelchair to pass.  The left hand door, if closed, is secured by bolts which can be undone on the inside.  For the Church Hall, again the main door is a double door although a wheelchair can pass through one side of the door.  The doors open ‘outwards’ and no doors on the premises are self opening.

WHEN INSIDE THE CHURCH

Sidesmen: In the Church of England we call our stewards ‘Sidesmen’.  They are there to greet you at every service and they will be pleased to assist you with any enquiries or practical help at any stage during a service.  Please don’t hesitate to ask them.

Books: Large print versions of our hymn books and services are available on request from the Sidesmen.  If you would like other large print materials providing then please contact the Clergy in advance of the service and we will do our best to make materials available so you can enjoy the service.  A member of the church has some braille hymn books which may be available to borrow by prior arrangement; please contact the Clergy.

Seating:  You can choose to sit on soft chairs with lumbar support or the harder upright pews.  A number of chairs are provided with arm rests.  There is one extra padded chair at the back of church which, upon request, a ‘sidesman’ will move in to a position of your choice for you.

Wheelchairs:  The floor of the main part of the church is all on one level.  Wheelchair users are encouraged to choose where to sit and to sit anywhere among the main seating of the church, a ‘sidesman’ will be happy to remove any soft chair to allow your chair to join a row of seats.  An emergency wheelchair is located in the Choir Vestry at the back of the church.

Communion: If receiving Communion or a prayer of blessing, please advise the sidesmen if you would like any help in attending the communion rail (up two carpeted steps) or if you would like to receive communion whilst comfortably seated in the pew or chair.

Loop:  The Loop system is switched on at all services.  If you are unable to hear what is happening please advise a ‘sidesman’.

Signing:  If you are Deaf or hard of hearing please note that we are unable to provide a Signer or Lip Speaker at our regular services.  However, for a special service you are invited to ask the Diocesan Chaplain for Deaf People who is happy to arrange for someone to help (Fax: 01280 265922 or Tel: 02380 265897).

Learning Disabilities:  If you or a member of your family have a learning disability or other special needs that will make access to our church or worship difficult then please contact the Clergy to see if help can be provided at the service(s) you hope to visit.

Toilet:  The Toilet at the back of church is available but not easily accessible (one step and narrow space) although it does have a hand rail.  The only modern and fully accessible toilet is found in the Church Hall which is open during Sunday service times; at other times by request of the ‘sidesmen’.

Gluten Free: Gluten Free communion wafers are available, please advise a ‘sidesman’ at any time if you would like one.

Alcohol Free: Communion wine is fortified for hygiene purposes, if you would like an alchohol free alternative please contact the Clergy in advance.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

If you have any further enquiries about access to St.Mary’s then the Clergy would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact them via the Church Office.