|62: St Swithun, East Grinstead, Sussex, England|
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Mystery Worshipper: Corpus Cani.
The church: St Swithun, East Grinstead, Sussex, England.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: 18th-century rebuild in medieval style, with bland but interesting round windows in the clerestory.
The neighbourhood: The grave of John Mason Neale, Victorian High Churchman and hymn writer, is five yards from the grave of three Protestant martyrs. The irony of death...
The cast: The Vicar, Rev Canon Clive Everett-Allen.
What was the name of the service?
Parish Eucharist on Easter Sunday.
How full was the building?
A good three-quarters of the pews filled.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
A beaming smile came with the books on the way in and two or three folk in the congregation said hello.
Was your pew comfortable?
No. Not enough leg room and an upright support between the legs. I had a fine view of the pillar in front of me, but not much else.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
I've been in pubs with more reverential peace.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
'Erm... just a few notices before we start...'
What books did the congregation use during the service?
As the vicar himself said, you really need to take a briefcase to church these days. A whole sheaf of papers for this Easter Day service, although normally it's a hymn book (Ancient & Modern), a homegrown service book and a newsletter.
What musical instruments were played?
Organ, plus a choir of men and boys, with lady altos. Ah, the memorable sound of children singing through their noses.
Did anything distract you?
'Bellowing baby' is an understatement. Some ghastly brat at the creche in the vestry positively screamed throughout the service. Even with the vestry door closed and the microphones turned on (fluctuant), it was difficult to hear everything said in the service.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Middle of the road Anglican with slightly high leanings.