What to expect on a Sunday (FAQ)
Where and when are your services?
Our services are held at 10:30 am on each Sunday, except the next to last service of December. Our building is at 64 Hout Street just a few doors from Long Street in an historic area of the central city. The church is walking distance from the metro-rail station on Strand Street . You will find a Google map and directions here.
Is everyone welcome?
Absolutely! Anyone can visit or become a member of our church regardless of their beliefs, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or size of their ears.
Does that welcome apply to LGBT people?
Certainly! We respect people whatever their life style, so some members of our church are gay or lesbian. It’s not something they must keep secret.
What clothes do people wear?
Our services are very informal and most everyone wears casual or semi-casual clothes.
Where can I park?
Immediately across the street from our church is an inside parking garage. This is a safe area, but we do pay security people to watch our cars. Be careful pulling into the garage as the entrance is quite narrow. There is no charge for parking there.
What is your church building like?
We meet in a beautiful building acquired by the church around 1900. We have been working to preserve the heritage but also improve and upgrade the facility including our historic pipe organ. We have comfortable padded wooden chairs instead of pews and the seating is sometimes in the round.
Why is there a Free-Protestant Unitarian Sign above the entry door?
We have worked with the Western Cape Heritage Council on many aspects of our building. In order to preserve the valuable heritage of this building, we have left this sign intact although the name is obsolete and doesn’t reflect the wide scope of our faith tradition.
What are your services like?
There are exceptions, but the general format of a service involves beginning with announcements, some music or singing , and opening words. Someone then lights a chalice candle and there will usually be time for several people share the joys and concerns of their lives. There is almost always some kind of address–either a reflection from a minister, or a talk by a member of the congregation or from the wider community. We also ask for donations (to which you can choose to contribute or not). We tend to close the service with a song and thoughts to live by. The service generally lasts one hour and typically 20-40 people attend. The current month service schedule is found here.
What about the music?
We often sing two or three hymns accompanied by a piano or a beautiful 100 year old pipe organ. The hymns are quite different from what you might find in most other churches. They are almost always about a celebration of life, freedom, peace, justice, nature, humanity, hope or other topics related to positive living in the modern world.
Are all your services in English?
Our services and activities are conducted in English, but most of our members are fluent in Afrikaans as well. Individual conversations during refreshments sometimes turn away from English.
What happens after the service?
We serve tea, coffee and biscuits after the service and invite guests and the congregation to stay for conversation. There is e a welcome table where visitors may talk informally with someone who can answer questions about our services and provide helpful literature.
Is there a program for children?
You are welcome to bring children to our services and they, of course, may sit with adults during the service. On request, we can usually provide someone to supervise a child during the service. We are also in the process of implementing a small room where parents may sit with their very young children to view and hear the service by TV.
There is a program for children which you may learn about here. Acknowledging our children’s spiritual capacity reflects our Unitarian belief in freedom of choice. Rather than teaching dogma, we share with children concepts like kindness, compassion, a sense of wonder about the world, an appreciation of the beauty of nature – including important values universal to almost all religions. We also tell stories from age-old traditions and share thoughts about the important role science has in our world.