Worship at St Gabriel's

St Gabriel's is first and foremost a parish church which exists to serve and pray for the community in which it has been set, it is an important part of that community and much appreciated even by those who do not regularly attend. The vast majority of people who worship at St Gabriel's live within the parish though many come from beyond our parish boundaries. As the Church of England parish church of Aldersbrook we are proud of our Anglican heritage and the tradition we represent.

 

Our regular congregation comprises people of all ages and backgrounds and, as one would expect of contemporary East London, is cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse, something we very much value. Many of our regular worshippers began their journeys of faith in different countries or in churches of different traditions to our own but have found at St Gabriel's a spiritual home and a welcoming faith community that values the unique experiences and insights that they bring. We are an inclusive church and as such extend a warm welcome to all who wish to join us in worshipping God regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, marital status or sexual orientation. We welcome and affirm the ministry of women in priestly orders and look forward to a time when women will be able to serve as bishops within the United Kingdom.

Our worship style is within the catholic tradition of the Church of England, but, we trust unfussy and unafraid of trying different things.  On the whole we like a printed order of service to follow and hymns and worship songs that we know. The principal service each Sunday is the Parish Eucharist at 10am when we gather together as Christ's people around the altar for Holy Communion. 

The liturgy and music however is varied colourful and engaging reflecting the seasons and changes of the liturgical year. We observe all major feasts and festivals and on these occasions incense is generally used, we try to remain faithful to the catholic tradition we have inherited whilst making our worship relevant to the needs of the present day and the people who attend our services. We have a robed choir, the clergy wear Eucharistic Vestments, and the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in order that we can extend communion to the sick and housebound.

Theologically we might best be described as 'liberal'. We are a Bible based church and we consider Scripture to contain the revelation of God, however we also believe that it is important that the Gospel is interpreted afresh to each new generation, we regard the Scriptures as a source of revelation, enlightenment and encouragement rather than as a book of rules. To this end we generally follow the Common Worship Lectionary, with 3 readings and a psalm at each Eucharist, (Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel). We also seek to offer a high level of preaching and teaching and opportunity for study, discussion and spiritual growth.

Our worship is always conducted using contemporary language, the exception being Sung Evensong which is according to the Book of Common Prayer.

During school term time a very energetic and lively Sunday School meets for its own worship and activities in our church hall and provides a high level of teaching, a crèche is also provided for younger children. Our young people, should they and their parents wish, are now admitted into full communion from school year 3 onwards.

A quieter said service of Holy Communion is offered at 8.30am on most Sunday mornings of the year and Sung Evensong on a Sunday each month as advertised. During holiday periods however you may wish to check with the website in advance as these are sometimes cancelled or times changed.

 

 

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