Hello. Welcome to Greyfriars.
Whether you’re new to Lanark and looking for a church – or you’re completely new to church or the Christian faith – then you’ll find a welcome at Greyfriars Parish Church.
On this page you’ll find answers to some of the most frequent questions people ask us. However if your question isn’t answered below or you just want to know more then please contact us – we will be delighted to hear from you!
What is Greyfriars?
Greyfriars Parish Church consists of a diverse mix of people of all ages and backgrounds – from young people, singles and families through to senior citizens.
We’re friendly, progressive and relevant and a great place to be for anyone looking for a spiritual ‘home’ where they’ll be made to feel welcome. As someone said recently, Greyfriars is a church where we hope you’ll never feel excluded or lonely – we try to make it like one great big family!
When are your services held?
We hold services on Sunday mornings and a range of different services on Sunday evenings.
If you’re new to the church, the best way to start is with our Sunday morning service, which starts each week at 11am (although we advise you to check our events diary on our home page to get the latest times ... some services, partiuclarly in the summer months and over Christmas, take place at 10:30am). If you come along at about 10:50am, the welcome team at the front door will meet you and you can find a seat. You can sit anywhere in the church and if you would like help to know where to sit you can ask a member of the welcome team who will be delighted to help you. They might even introduce you to the people sitting around you.
On the last Sunday of the month (Jaunary - April, August - November) we hold a traditional service with the Sacrament of Holy Community at 9:30am. This is a shorter service and lasts around 35 minutes. Again, if you come along 10 minutes or so before the service starts and introduce yourself to a member of the welcome team they will be happy to help you find a seat.
Make sure you leave time to get to the church as there is limited parking outside the building. However, just a few hundred metres away there are plenty of free car parks in the town (Castlegate, North Vennel, South Vennel) and on street parking in Hope Street across from the church. For directions on how to reach us please see the Visiting page.
What should I wear?
Just wear whatever you feel comfortable in. We are an informal church and accept people just as they are. Our congregation attends dressed anything from casual to all dressed up. You don’t need to dress up… but you can if you wish.
What should I expect?
Going anywhere for the first time can be a bit daunting. So here’s a quick summary of the kind of things you can expect at Greyfriars.
First of all, you’ll receive a warm, friendly welcome. Our Welcome Team can introduce you to people you can sit with and who can tell you more about the church – or you’re welcome to sit on your own. And if you don’t understand anything or want to know more, please just ask. We also understand if you would rather come in and sit without really speaking with anyone.
Our Sunday morning service usually starts with a piece of music sung by our choir, a welcome from the minister and then we sing our first hymn. We have a mix of hymns and songs and our music is led on the traditional pipe organ, modern clavinova and, from time to time, other instruments as well. We normally sing around five songs during the service and all the words appear on a large screen for the congregation to read from. If you have sight issues, books and large print books are also available – just ask at the doors as you come into church. Whilst we normally stand to sing we understand that not everyone finds it easy to stand. If you feel you would rather sit down during the songs we completely understand.
For the first part of our service the children are normally a part of worship and after a reading from the Bible and a talk for people of all ages they leave for their own activity groups. There is also a crèche for the little ones. We recognise that some parents want to stay in church with their children and that is fine with us. Feel free to have them stay with you in the pews or in the comfortable parent and baby area at the rear of the church. We also have an area at the front of the church reserved for the children filled with comfortable bean bags. All of the leaders in our children’s activities have been through our rigorous application process to ensure that we safeguard the children in our care. When you have your children in church with you, we encourage you to move about if you need to. No-one will mind, we are used to children moving around ... and parents following them from time to time. Everyone tries to look after the children in the church, it would be unusual for them to come to any harm moving around the building.
After the children leave there is a short though for the day to help introduce our theme and then a talk (the sermon) that we hope is relevant and meaningful to our modern lives. The service lasts around an hour and is usually followed by tea and coffee in our church hall.
We broadcast our service live every Sunday on our website – we call it ‘Greyfriars on Demand’ – so even if you cannot join us in person, you can join us online here. You can also watch videos of previous services so that you know the type of things that we do.
Whether you’re just looking into Christianity for the first time or have been a Christian for many years, it’s our aim that you will be encouraged and inspired. By being part of Greyfriars Parish Church, we hope you will draw closer to God – and make new, and lasting friendships, too.
Do I need to give money to the collection?
Absolutely not! A collection is taken during the service but, as a visitor, please feel free to just pass the basket on. However, if you wish to make a donation, you can rest assured your money will be put to good use in our work within the community. If you do choose to attend Greyfriars, and would like to give regularly, you can find out more on the Giving to Greyfriars page, from our church office or by ask a member of the welcome team at the front door. Many church members give by standing order, or using envelopes that allow us to receive gift aid on your donation.
What about communion?
Sharing bread and wine together is an important part of our church community. It reminds us of our relationship with God and what Jesus has given us through his life and teachings. At Greyfriars we believe that people of all ages are welcome to share in communion together and you are welcome to share with us as well. Bread and wine is served to you in your seat and so you will not need to move to the front of the church. We celebrate communion on around 14 occasions during the year. You can find out the next celebration on our What’s on? page.
What do you believe at Greyfriars?
It is difficult to say what we believe as we are a diverse church made up of people of differing beliefs. Broadly we are a Christian church and believe that everyone can have relationship with God. We believe that Jesus shows us a way to live our lives, love other people and draw closer to God. We believe that all people, at all stages of life, and in all circumstances are able to be a part of our church. You can find out more about why we believe we are here as a church here.
If you are interested in exploring the Christian faith then please come along on a Sunday or contact the office to ask about our next series of discussion evenings on this topic.
Is Greyfriars really for all people?
Yes! We aim to be an all-inclusive church. Our premises are wheelchair accessible and we have areas around the church where wheelchair users, children in prams and car seats can sit without having to move into another seat. If you have specific needs and would like to talk to us, please contact our office and someone will get back to you and make arrangements to help you access our services.
You are welcome to join us. We hope that, even if it’s your first visit to church, that you will have a great experience.
We look forward to welcoming you to Greyfriars. And remember, if you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us, or just ask someone when you arrive. There are always people on the welcome team who will be more than happy to help you.