Accessibility at St Nicolas
At St Nicolas Church we believe that Jesus sets the example for welcoming everyone.
We want to make sure that whatever your needs you feel able to take part in everything that happens within the life of the church. We have made improvements to help achieve this goal, including improving the information you can find here on our website ahead of your visit. However, as the church building is over 800 years old in places, there are limitations in what we can do structurally and for certain adaptations and provisions.
We always aim to be welcoming and continue to learn about how best to support every member of our community. We’ve collected some information below which may be helpful, but if you have any specific questions or requests, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Accessibility to and around the church and church buildings
The church is fully accessible for wheelchair users using the main entrance via the tower at the west side of the church facing Church Road, which is step-free. The south door is generally restricted to use as an emergency exit and has a step down into the church.
The inside of the church is either block tiled or has wood block flooring. We have individual linked chairs for our congregation, which can easily be unlinked to accommodate wheelchairs at the end of rows. We also have chairs with arms available for those who need them.
There is ramped access to the altar for communion. Alternatively, if you have limited mobility or other needs making it difficult for you to go to the altar rail, our Ministry Team is very happy to bring communion bread and wine to you. If you would like this, please let the Sidesmen or Warden know as you enter church and take a place at the end of a row for easy access.
This is located behind the church via a block-paving path and best accessed from the main double door entrance. Alternatively, it can also be accessed from inside the church, via the ramp beside the organ pipes to the vestry (when open), though there are two standard size doors which may be difficult for some wheelchair users, especially at busy times.
This can be accessed via a short level walk at the back of the church along a path through the churchyard to the gate or via a short, slightly upward sloped path between the barber and Coffee Shop on Church Road. The latter option is gated with a padlock, which is opened when the Pastoral Centre is in use.
All areas of the churchyard, pastoral centre garden and memorial area gardens are accessible via step-free block-paving paths. However, some areas are unpaved with turf, which may be uneven.
Emergency Access and Exits
In the event of an emergency, please follow signs and instructions available to exit the church, church buildings or Pastoral Centre. During services and events, our Ministry team and Sidesmen will guide and support those with restricted mobility, following our emergency guidelines.
Car Parking and Public Transport
St Nicolas Church does not have its own car park. However, a row of parking spaces is available in front of the parade of shops on Church Road, including two disabled parking bays. Parking is free and not time limited on Sundays, however, you are advised to note the parking restrictions at other times before leaving your vehicle.
There is also a pay and display public car park on Lower Road (KT23 4DG), just before Bookham Baptist Church and behind the Co-Op. This includes four disabled parking bays. Please note that there are then two roads to cross to access the church. There are lowered kerbs on the corner of the squareabout toward the Old Crown Pub and a crossing with an island across Lower Road toward the Church, where you can enter the church grounds via the lych gate on the corner.
There are bus stops on Lower Road near to the church, outside the Old Crown Pub carpark and on the church side of the road just beyond the church wall and grounds.
The nearest railway stations are Bookham (0.7 mile, 15mins walk) and Leatherhead (2.5miles).
Restricted Mobility and Wheelchair users
Our arrangement of chairs in church can be adjusted for you to sit with friends and family in church. Please speak to one of our Sidesmen or welcomers on arrival so that we can help. They will be wearing name badges.
The Church, Church Room and Pastoral Centre are on ground level only and accessible for wheelchairs.
You are welcome to join us at St Nicolas with a mobility scooter. We can accommodate small scooters in the church. However, there is limited space for larger ones during services. If you are able to park your scooter and walk a short distance into church, there is space to park outside at the back of the church, toward the church room entrance, though we request that paths are not blocked.
We have an accessible ground floor toilet in the foyer to the Church Room which is suitable for wheelchair users (left-hand transfer) and has a baby-changing facility. This is best accessed from the main entrance to the Church Room, but can also be accessed from within the church via the ramp beside the organ pipes through the Vestry and Church Room. Please note that there are two standard size doors which may be difficult for some wheelchair users to negotiate, especially at busy times.
There is an accessible toilet in the entrance hall to the Pastoral Centre, accessed via the main entrance.
Large print service sheets, hymn books and newsletters, are available. Please let us know if a particular font and size or black print on yellow paper would be helpful. However, we are unable to provide written information in braille at this time.
We use dyslexic-friendly non-serif text fonts and preachers and speakers are advised not to use red and green on the same slide.
‘Torch Trust’ is an ecumenical Christian ministry that focuses on the spiritual support and encouragement of blind and partially sighted people. They provide accessible resources and a variety of ways to connect and support people living with sight loss. They can be contacted for further information at:
Email: email@example.com Tel: 01858 438260 Website: https://torchtrust.org
We have an induction hearing loop and improved audio system which is used for all services to help everyone hear in church. However, we are aware that the nature of the church building may make hearing difficult for some. The best place to sit is toward the middle of the nave and weakest signal is around the southeastern pillar.
Audiologists can make sure that an induction coil is fitting into hearing aids along with a Bluetooth receiver. The typical maximum range for Bluetooth hearing aids is 10metres and optimum around 5metres (front two rows in church). If you have a microphone specifically paired with your hearing aid, we can ask ministers and speakers to wear it.
Please feel free to change your position if you wish, including for example, if you use speech to text on your phone and want sit in the right place for your phone to pick up speech or to sit nearer the front to help with lip-reading.
We project the words to hymns and services on large screens at the front of each aisle at 10am Sunday services and seasonal services.
We are unable to provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for deaf people. However, our readings, sermons and intercessions are normally recorded and published online with subtitles after the service.
We also offer free hearing aid servicing for NHS hearing aids, including battery changes. Please speak to our Hearing Champion for further help and information or look for our posters detailing hearing aid clinic dates and times.
Music is normally provided via the organ for our 10am service, and a worship band at the worship service on 1st Sundays. If it is too loud, the quietest part of the church is at the back as you enter from the tower or near the south door. Feel free to move about during the service to find somewhere comfortable.
Children and families
Families are very welcome at St. Nicolas. We aim to ensure that each and every child is valued and enabled to fully take part in the life of the church. This will be different for every child.
We have a Families and Children’s Minister who will be happy to welcome you and your family. Information about our family services and events can be found on the web-site and Facebook page – see link below.
We have a dedicated area in church for families with younger children and babies, where there is a selection of suitable toys and activities.
There is ample space for prams and push-chairs and baby-changing facilities are available in the Church Room foyer toilet.
Allergies and Dietary Needs
Gluten free communion wafers are available, please ask.
If joining us for refreshments after our 10am service, we also have gluten free biscuits.
Alcohol-free communion wine can be provided with sufficient notice, as stocks are not routinely held.
If attending any other events with refreshments, please advise the organisers of any allergies or dietary needs.
We are on a journey in terms of the welcome and support we offer. We realise that church can be a difficult and confusing space for people of any age who have additional needs. We may not always get it right – but we hope that we are always learning how best to help people meet Jesus. If there's more information that we can usefully provide on this page, do let us know.
If you have any questions about specific support you might need – please don’t hesitate to contact us, whether it's a simple query or investigating access for visitors with more complex needs.
Please call the Parish Office on 01372 452709 (Monday to Friday 9am-12noon) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can direct you to someone who can help.
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stnicolasbookham
Everyone is welcome at St Nicolas. We believe that we are all made in the image of God and whatever your age or needs, we want you to find a place within our church family.