What is a church?
A building where Christians meet together in a group every week to worship God and learn from his Word. Churches could also be described as communities of Jesus’ followers who meet together in one place.
Can anyone go to church?
All churches are open to visitors and newcomers, although some are now locked during the day to prevent vandalism. The members of a church usually come together on Sundays for meetings called ‘services’ – these are usually the best times to visit a church. In the UK, church buildings usually have a noticeboard outside that gives the times of the services. You do not need to be a member to visit a church, and you will be made most welcome. However, if it’s your first time to go to church, the service may be strange to you, so you may want to ask a friend to go along with you who can explain what is happening.
How can I find a church near my campus?
We have written a guide to churches near you. Simply click on the link in the menu for looking for a church near the Campus where you study (Belfast, Jordanstown, Coleraine, Londonderry). There you will find a short description of several churches who would love to welcome you, along with information on their location, activities for international students and links to their websites.
In addition we have a guide for Christian students looking for a good church. This includes articles on: ‘Tips on how to find a good church’ and ‘questions to ask of a church’.
A Warning about cults
Be aware of possible approaches by cult members, although it is unlikely to happen. A cult is a group that generally appears very friendly when you first meet them. However, the leaders of a cult usually try to stop the members from thinking for themselves, and to control their lives. They generally have very authoritarian leaders/founders. As you are unsure of the British culture and not so familiar with the different religions in this country it may be worth speaking to your student union, international advisor or university chaplain if you are in doubt about any approaches made to you. You can also find information about cults on the Cult Information Centre website.