|149: General Synod of the Church of England, London|
|Other reports | Comment on this report|
Mystery Worshipper: Scepticus.
The church: General Synod of the Church of England, London.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: Church House, in Westminster. The worship space is like a wizards' temple: Synod meets in the Council Chamber, which is a round, domed, galleried room with a mysterious gold inscription round the top and a mazelike seating pattern.
The neighbourhood: Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, the Millennium Wheel just the usual, really.
The cast: We weren't told the name of the guy leading the service, but I guess you could say the ordinary minister is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
What was the name of the service?
It isn't called anything and it isn't listed on the agenda. You just turn up at the beginning of the day and find yourself doing liturgy.
How full was the building?
Pretty full, with a few empty seats.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
The steward smiled at me and called me "angel". Then he told me I was sitting in the wrong section.
Was your pew comfortable?
Yep. Padded cinema-type seat. Wish we had these in my church.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Quite a buzz. the networking would have done credit to a fishermen's convention. Which I guess it was, in a way.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning." Then a mumbled sentence about a farming theme which I didn't catch.
What books did the congregation use during the service?
"General Synod February Group of Sessions Westminster 2000 Worship." Catchy, huh?
What musical instruments were played?
Did anything distract you?
People walking around during the service. Being in the round, you notice.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Stiff upper lip, but with vigour. We stuck to the book but did it loudly. The psalm, for example:
You will show me the path of life,
(Silence is kept while we think of pleasures...)