St Augustine's Church Thorpe Bay
St Augustine's ChurchThorpe Bay

Sidesmen Rota

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The sidesmen rota for 2022 can be found on the back wall of the church




The following is a general list of duties and some suggestions as to the best way to carry them out; however circumstances can alter with each service and your initiative may be necessary.

  • Arrive 30 minutes before the service is due to begin. Check that orders of service/ newsletters are set out in the correct locations (one each at the Vicars seat, the Curates seat, the Altar and one in the Hilda Field room by the Hymn boards so that the boards can be made up correctly) and establish from the churchwarden if there are any extra requirements or duties.
  • Meet and Greet – Undoubtedly the most important duty. Weather permitting at least one sidesman should try and meet people outside the main doors. Apart from handing out orders of service/newsletters, time should be given to talking with newcomers or visitors, escorting them to seats and ideally introducing them to those sitting near them.
  • Throughout the Service – At least two sidesmen should remain at the West end of the church to greet latecomers, escort people to the toilets (via the path outside), or deal with any emergency.
  • At the first Hymn the count should be taken – This is most easily done by dividing the church in two, one sidesman in the north side aisle and one in the south side aisle. Remember to include the choir and organist, and the clergy procession – but only once!  Totals of adults and children (including infants/babes in arms) should be entered on a slip of paper and left on the side table with the elements, then given to one of the acolytes before taking the offering up.
  • At the Offertory Hymn – Two sidesmen should go to the front pews and two to the row by the wardens wands; bow to the altar and start collecting from those rows towards the back of the church (the front two stopping at the row before the wardens wands). This gives worshippers time to have their donations ready and avoids embarrassed fumbling.  Then retire to the back of the church and wait to go forward with the elements and present the offerings.
  • Ushering at Communion – One sidesman should usher worshippers to the altar for communion. Wait until the choir have gone up, then start from the front pews and work your way to the back. You should be the last person to take communion at the altar, then walk back to the congregation and wait next to anyone who needs to take communion in their seat.
  • After the Service – Two sidesmen should be at the back of the church to collect orders of service etc., whilst the other two should quickly tidy up books, kneelers, orders of service etc. from the front pews, working your way to the back, ensuring the church is ready for the next service.
  • During special services (Baptisms etc.) – It may be necessary to usher worshippers to different parts of the church.
  • Problems or Queries – Should be addressed to one of the church wardens or, in their absence, the officiating deputy.


And Finally …..... Sidesmen are the first people seen by worshippers and are key to their first impression of St Augustine’s.  The importance of what you do, and how you do it, should not be underestimated and we are very grateful that St Augustine’s has such a willing, co-operative and helpful team. Thank you.

Where to find us

Google says we're right here!

We are located in the middle of Thorpe Bay, about two miles east of Southend on Sea and just a short walk from the sea front.  We are easily accessible by train (Thorpe Bay station is on the main line from London Fenchurch Street) and bus (Nos 1, 7 and 9), and there is ample on-street parking around the church. The church itself is on an island site at the junction of Johnstone Road and St Augustine’s Avenue.


Our address is:


St Augustine’s Church,

St Augustine’s Avenue,

Thorpe Bay, Essex.

SS1 3JH.

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27th June 2022

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