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89: St Blaise, St Blazey, Cornwall
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St Blaise, Cornwall
Mystery Worshipper: Leo.
The church: St Blaise, St Blazey, Cornwall.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: Medieval village church, consecrated in 1445.
The neighbourhood: The church is a haven of peace by a busy road (the A390 east of St. Austell).
The cast: Fr Malcolm Bowers.
What was the name of the service?
Parish Mass.

How full was the building?
About one-third full, with 45 people.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
The woman who gave me a hymn book asked if I was on holiday.

Was your pew comfortable?

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Quietly gossipy.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning, everyone."

What books did the congregation use during the service?
"Hymns Old and New", plus a locally produced service booklet.

What musical instruments were played?

Did anything distract you?
The servers wore trainers under their albs, which I liked because I was drilled as a boy always to wear black leather shoes.

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Homely smells and bells.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
9 minutes.

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

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Just as Jesus stilled the storm, so he is is with us and with the Church in stormy times.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
I'm not a liturgical dinosaur, but I did enjoy being at a mass where the celebrant faced east. It was like the worship I attended in my youth and I felt nostaligic.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Nothing – except to observe that many of the congregation were over 60, so I wondered how many churches of this type would still be open in 20 years time.

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
The vicar asked me where I was from, and he knew my home church.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
I couldn't stay because my unbelieving partner was waiting outside, parked on double yellow lines, to take me to the beach.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes, because it was warm and welcoming.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The fact that we prayed (unsuccessfully) for fine weather for the eclipse.
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