Public Worship

All Salvation Army worship services are open to the public, irrespective of colour, creed or religious affiliation.

Congregation cropped no CO

A typical Sunday morning congregation

What to expect

Christian worship services at Hadleigh Temple are open to all people regardless of their faith situation. Normally they are held at 10am and 6pm every Sunday, but please check the Forthcoming Events page for any changes.

The Salvation Army style of worship is very easy to follow and is visitor-friendly. It doesn’t follow a rigid pattern and usually every item is announced. You are always informed at points to stand and sit down. This is usually for the hymns, but not all of them. The purpose is often no more than to give you change of posture to maintain your comfort!

The service usually lasts just over an hour. It is normally led by the officer (minister). Sometimes there are special weekends (e.g. for young people) and sometimes we having visiting leaders (individuals or musical groups).  The words of hymns are projected onto a screen at the front of the hall. If you prefer to sing from a book, ask the person who greets you on arrival to borrow a hymn book. Large print books are available.

You can usually expect a band and a choral contribution and there are prayers, which are not usually pre-written. There is always a Bible reading (we generally use the NIV translation) and a sermon based on the bible reading. If you would like to follow the bible reading, you may borrow a bible from the person who greets you if you don’t bring your own. There is a freewill offering during the service; in other words it’s a collection that you don’t have to give to.


& comfort

The building is accessible to wheelchair users. There is an amplification system which includes a facility for hearing aids on ‘T’.

The main hall is carpeted and has individual upholstered seats. It is equipped with underfloor heating and has a ventilation system. The use of moveable walls means we can extend the seating area when required.

Want to try us out?

Come on a Sunday. Turn up, say, 10-15 minutes before the advertised start time and that will give you time to be welcomed, select a seat and settle before the worship starts. Call us in advance on 01702 558913 and we’ll look out for you.

Oh – and there are Bible study and prayer meetings during the week if you prefer a smaller group. See Weekly Programme.


We worship God the Father, who is love; God the Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour whose death and resurrection made it possible to have a personal relationship with the living God; and God the Holy Spirit who helps and guides us and gives us power.

The Christian faith is not based on doing good or anything we achieve by our own efforts; it is therefore best not thought of as an ideology.  It is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Reading the Bible and going to worship helps us understand about Jesus, and grace—the undeserved favour of God—helps us to encounter a personal relationship with him.

More information: Read The Salvation Army’s doctrines in full.

Mercy seat

As is common in Salvation Army halls, there is ‘Mercy Seat’ at the front of the hall (you may also hear it called a ‘Penitent Form’). Salvationists revere this as a place of prayer, but do not consider that in itself it is anything more than a piece of wood. It is not magic or any thing like that. But because it is the place where many people have knelt to pray during a service and is where lives are changed, commitments are made to God, it holds a special place in the heart of the Salvationist. It is not the item itself, but what happens there that is important.

Mercy Seat

The Mercy Seat at the Temple

The mercy seat is available for anyone to use during a meeting. It is a place of prayer at which people kneel. Usually it is at the invitation of the meeting leader, near the end of the meeting. Using the mercy seat is voluntary, or rather under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Therefore a person may feel led to come forward at another point in the meeting – or even after the meeting has finished or at a completely different time. It is not every meeting in which a person feels led to come forward. In olden days, kneeling at the mercy seat had a stigma in that ‘you went there if you had done something terribly wrong’. Fortunately, that idea has long gone. People still use it to find Jesus as their Saviour, and those who are very saintly, good living people use it for fresh dedication or just to pray.

How to use it: If you feel there is a leading to go to the mercy seat simply rise from your seat and walk forward and kneel. Probably someone will come after a minute or so and kneel with you to pray with you. If you wish to pray alone. just say so when they arrive and that will be fine. If you want prayer support, and nobody comes, just make eye contact with the leader of the meeting and he/she will appoint someone appropriate.

If you cannot kneel: a chair can be brought forward for you to sit or, or you may stand by the mercy seat. Coming to the mercy seat is not pre-requisite for becoming a Christian or anything like that. God does not love you any more or less because you have or have not knelt at the mercy seat. Please remember you can make a commitment to God without coming forward but the act of doing it publicly often helps, and if you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to move forward then shouldn’t you obey?