Blairgowrie Evangelical (Exterior)

Blairgowrie Evangelical, Blairgowrie, Scotland


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Mystery Worshipper:
Church: Blairgowrie Evangelical
Location: Blairgowrie, Scotland
Date of visit: Sunday, 7 April 2013, 12:00am

The building

The congregation moved here in 1989 from an older building that still stands but is in disrepair and not used. It is beautiful inside, with the words "Be still and know that I am God" on the wall in back of the platform. The walls are green, and the floor is covered with soft green carpeting. The windows have bits of pink in them but do not depict any scenes. There are plants scattered about. There is a separate room downstairs for the children.

The church

They have a mothers' and toddlers' group, a youth group, and Bible study. A men's night and ladies' night are held separately once each month, and they also invite guest speakers to preach at one worship service each month. They are a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.

The neighborhood

Blairgowrie, or simply Blair, as the locals call it, is the larger of two burghs (the other being Rattray) that were united in 1928. It is located just north of the city of Perth. Blairgowrie was an important textile centre in the 19th century, but all the mills are now closed. Today the area is known for its cultivation of raspberries, strawberries and other soft fruits. The hills and river provide many pleasant opportunities for walking.

The cast

The Revd Steven Goring, pastor.

What was the name of the service?

Family Service.

How full was the building?

There were many children with their parents – at least 60 people. It seemed quite full, as it's not a huge space!

Did anyone welcome you personally?

Several people smiled at me and said that the hymns were shown up on the front wall, and that I could have a hymn book if that was easier for me to see. When I sat down, the people beside me spoke to me nicely.

Was your pew comfortable?

We all had comfortable seats, with pretty green wool. The children had small wooden pictured seats.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?

People chatted with each other, and we all came in from the cold and snow to a nice place, taking off our wet coats.

What were the exact opening words of the service?

"Good morning, everyone. Welcome, you all, to the church!"

What books did the congregation use during the service?

Songs of Victory (words edition) and pew Bibles.

What musical instruments were played?

Piano and violin.

Did anything distract you?

I thought of the children here again, and remembered the hymn I had sung as a youngster, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so" and wished it had been included in today's service.

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?

It began with a children's presentation about the reality of God. During the whole service everyone sang well, and many moved their arms up and down and around.

Exactly how long was the sermon?

30 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?

8 – It was good to be constantly reminded to love God and obey God.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?

From Hebrews 11 and 12, we were reminded of so many who had faith in God. We must keep our faith in God and must never let go of holding faith. Some knew they were going to be killed, though they believed in Jesus rescuing them. What we do regarding faith is a bit different from those in ancient times, as we know Jesus now. Jesus was killed and we respect his grace. We must fight against our bad behaviour and continue to live our life by faith. We have the gift from God. We must always strive by faith to become more obedient to God. Trust God, who gives a us a better life. Follow and love Jesus.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?

It was really wonderful seeing the children singing and telling us about God, and also feeling that everyone here appeared so devoted to God.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?

I felt sad for those people in Blairgowrie who were not here this morning because perhaps they do not all love God and believe in him and the Bible.

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?

People said that nice tea and coffee would be out directly and that I should be sure to stay for it. They also chatted with me, lots of them!

How would you describe the after-service coffee?

The tea and coffee were both very nice, in pretty cups, and there were cakes too! I enjoyed that.

How would you feel about making another visit (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?

9 – I really enjoyed coming to this church on Sunday as a visitor. It was a nice place, nice people, nice music and nice sermon.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?

Yes, and I must always behave better and better and keep loving God and doing what God wants.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time ?

We must believe that God loves us and must obey his will.

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