New to Church?

Going somewhere new is never the easiest thing to do, so we hope this part of our website helps you learn more about us, and makes that first visit easier.

The Whitewater benefice is in North East Hampshire, it encompasses the town of Hook and the villages of Heckfield, Rotherwick and Mattingley, and is about 6 or 7 miles east of Basingstoke. Click here for a map of where to find our Churches.

Zoom with Bishop DavidFollowing government & Church of England guidelines, we are mainly holding our services using Zoom, but we also provide a page for each sunday, with some things you can read and watch/listen (and if you find a talk interesting, and wanted a second listen, you can do that). We also have some interesting visiting speakers for example from the charities we support.  Our services may be all age and intentionally having children lead parts of service or child friendly videos or may be more adult orientated with teaching that is biblically based, we also may have a mix of traditional or contemporary styles of service and music.   We aim to be inclusive.

We would love you to join us worshiping via Zoom, you can join with or without your camera, and during the services the microphones may be muted.  At the end of a Zoom we will have the opportunity to chat, so you can say hello. We may hold some services in our churches, but in that case, you may need to book a place and wear face coverings when in church.

If you are a parent, we also have a number of things run for children - every Sunday, under the Services tab we provide activity sheets for children. Every Sunday, but for the first Sunday of the month we hold a Junior Church Zoom (11:00am to 11:30am for 3 to 8yrs and 11:30am to 12:00 for 9-14yrs each Sunday (except the first Sunday in the month). For under 11s and their parents or carers once a month we hold Messy Church over Zoom, this is a session with crafts, stories and fun ways to explore some of the bible stories and messages. We also run a number of special events throughout the year such as pancake parties, look out in the Weekly Notices for details.

As an Anglican church, we belong to the Diocese of Winchester within the Church of England. Our church family is made up of people from different denominations, and you will be made welcome whatever your spiritual background.

Your first visit to Church

Usually we arrive 5 - 10 minutes early and use that time to sit quietly. For some it's a time of prayer. For others, it's a time to clear the mind and to prepare for the service.

When you arrive, you will be welcomed at the door and given a service leaflet, you may also be given a sheet of paper containing the hymns being used.  Any hymns not on the sheet of paper will be in the hymn book, this may be in the pocket in front of your seat or will be given to you when you arrive.  Please feel free to ask any questions at this point. If the church is very full or it is a special service, the people who greet you may also show you to a seat, otherwise you are free to sit anywhere.

We have a carpeted area at the back of church with toys and books suitable for babies and toddlers to enjoy during the service.  Silence is not required!  At St John's if you do want to take children out of church, one of the adjacent rooms can be used as a creche (there is a sound system so you can listen to the service) - please ask and someone will show you.

communionOur main services each Sunday is often a Communion service, sometimes called Eucharist. In this service we remember the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his arrest, and eventual crucifixion. At the meal Jesus ate bread and wine and instructed his disciples to do the same in memory of him. If you are a visitor and would normally take communion, you are most welcome to receive communion in our church. If you do not want to receive communion, you can, if you wish, take your service sheet to the altar and you will receive a blessing.

At some point in the service, a collection may be taken for the work of the church. Although a collection basket is passed round, not everyone will make a cash donation. As visitors, please feel free to let the collection pass by. If you wish to donate, and you are a tax payer please complete a gift aid envelope. Any details given on the envelope will only be used to reclaim tax, and will not be used for other purposes.

If you are worried about what to wear, please be assured that you can dress as you feel most comfortable and blend into our congregation. Some of our members like to dress in their Sunday Best, whilst others are happier in jeans and t-shirts. God doesn't judge anyone on their outer clothing and neither do we.

After the service, you are warmly invited to join us for tea, coffee and biscuits, and a chance to say hello and ask any questions you may have.