|18: St Thomas's Church, St Anne's on the Sea, Lancashire|
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Mystery Worshipper: Bagpuss.
The church: St Thomas's Church, St Anne's on the Sea, Lancashire.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: A beautiful, red brick listed building in Victorian Gothic, with an imposing tower.
The neighbourhood: St Anne's on the Sea is a wealthy retirement area and holiday spot near Blackpool. Every street corner seems to have either a church or an old people's home (some connection, surely?).
The cast: Rev. Terry Scholz (assistant curate). Sadly, Rev. Peter Law-Jones, the Vicar, was preaching elsewhere. He wrote to Ship of Fools a few months ago asking not to be Mystery Worshipped which is why his church was selected...
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Only a quarter full, but as the church seats 700, this wasn't a bad turn-out for a hot, sunny morning (rare in Lancashire)...
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes, too many to list including choir members as I was searching for a loo for my child, sidespeople who were giving out books, and the people sitting around us in church.
Was your pew comfortable?
Traditional hard wooden pew but despite that, very comfy for an hour's service, with plenty of leg room.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Quite reverential, with organ music in the background, but some chatter in the congregation.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
'Good morning and welcome.'
What books did the congregation use during the service?
Order of Holy Communion Rite A (red book), Mission Praise.
What musical instruments were played?
Did anything distract you?
A weird and wonderful sound system which had an annoying habit of transforming priests into Daleks at the most inappropriate moments.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Good old-fashioned Anglican liturgy at its best, with a humorous touch from the priest. I particularly liked his encouragement for us to sing loudly and raise the roof to make the insurers pay for the repair work it needs.