Q: Who are you?
A: We're a fairly new church, with an old background. Riverside was formed in March 2008 when Sleaford Community Church and Sleaford United Reformed Church came together.
Q: What denomination are you?
A: That's a difficult question to give a straight answer to! We are a part of the United Reformed Church, meeting in the buildings owned by the URC. We are proud of our URC background and membership. But we're also a little bit different from many URCs. You are welcome to have a copy of our constitution if you would like to understand a bit more, but perhaps the easiest way is for you to come and see for yourself!
Q: What do you believe?
A: We are a broadly evangelical Christian Church, which means we take the Bible very seriously as the authority for what we believe and do. To join the membership roll of Riverside, you need to be sympathetic to these beliefs though we recognise that there will always be differences of understanding in reading the Bible today.
Q: Do you celebrate Holy Communion/the Lord's Supper?
A: Yes. We believe that Communion, when we share bread and wine and remember the Last Supper that Jesus shared with His disciples before good Friday, is a time to remember what Jesus did for us when He went to the cross. We normally celebrate Communion on the second Sunday morning of each month.
Q: What about baptism?
A: We offer both infant baptism and believer's baptism by full immersion. Because parents are asked to make some serious promises about bringing their child up in the faith of the Christian Church, we only offer infant baptism where one or both parents, or at least one Godparent, are a part of our church. We are delighted to welcome other children in worship with a service of thanksgiving and dedication. For those old enough to make their own faith commitment, we offer baptism by full immersion.
Q: Are children welcome at your church?
A: Yes, definitely! We hold the "Child Friendly Church Award," a nationally-assessed award given to those who churches who can demonstrate their care for children and teenagers. Our Sunday morning worship starts with all ages together, before the children go out to groups where they can learn more about God in age and ability-appropriate groups. (Parents are welcome to keep their children in for the whole service if they prefer to do that.) We have groups for children up to the age of about 14. The oldest group (11-14) may rejoin the adults for Communion on the second Sunday of each month, and we have all-age Communion services at other times of the year. We do not expect parents to "sit on" children when they are in the main service - children like to make noises and move, and if yours do, they'll simply be joining the crowd!
Q: What sort of worship do you have?
A: Our worship is unashamedly contemporary whilst still embracing the best of traditional hymns. Most of our worship on Sunday mornings is led by our worship group (keyboard, guitars, flute, and singers). There are other forms and patterns of worship during the week, including a more traditional devotional time for our "All Rounders" group (mostly retired people) who meet on alternate Thursday afternoons.
Q: What about giving money to the church?
A: We expect our regular worshippers to give to meet the cost of ministry and mission of the Church, but do not require a tithe (10% of your income.) Our understanding of the Bible is that everything we have comes from God and should be used for His purposes, some of which will be used directly through the church, whilst other parts of your income should support your own favourite charities, and still other parts to provide a living for you! We encourage you to use all that you have (money, possessions and personal talents) in a way which pleases and brings glory to God.
Q: Do you work with other churches?
A: Yes - we are a member of Churches Together in Sleaford and District (CTSD), and seek to work closely with all other Christian churches wherever possible. We have volunteers working in The Source cafe and other projects of ours who are part of other churches in and around the town. We join for united acts of worship on several occasions during the year and value the insight we gain from Christian brothers and sisters of other traditions.
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: Why not come to Riverside and see for yourself what we are like, or use our Contact page by clicking on this link to send us a message? We look forward to meeting you.