|376: West Street Baptist, Crewe, Cheshire, England|
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Mystery Worshipper: Snave.
The church: West Street Baptist, Crewe, Cheshire, England.
Denomination: Independent Evangelical.
The building: The exterior is quite pleasant; late Victorian red brick extended to provide a small bookshop and coffee shop, on the corner of tree-lined streets. The interior has been completely altered from the original design with the introduction of a suspended ceiling, a raked and carpeted floor, comfortable chairs and stage at the front. Any architectural details that once existed have been completely obscured, a few banners struggling to add some interest to the vast expanse of empty wall.
The church: A friendly bunch, not necessarily from the surrounding area, with a good mix of ages. Some very nice teenagers, many about to go "on mission" during the summer.
The neighbourhood: The church is in an area in need of rejuvenation, with lots of small Victorian terraced housing and tatty shops.
The cast: Rev. Paul Davies, Assistant Pastor.
What was the name of the service?
The 6.30pm service.
How full was the building?
Every seat was full and a few were standing at the back. About 300+.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
I was welcomed at the door with a handshake, a "good evening" and a pink notice sheet full of very organized information, including preachers for all services, prayer topics and creche details. This gave me something to read before being engaged in conversation by a member of the church until the service began.
Was your pew comfortable?
Extremely comfortable orange hessian-covered wooden, interlocking chairs on a carpeted floor, raked to enable good visibility.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Pleasant chatter, a sense of eagerness issuing from the musicians, who were keen to get started.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good evening, good evening, welcome, welcome, welcome to West Street Baptist Church... we're expecting great things of God this evening."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
There were no books at all. The words to the songs were all projected onto the wall at the front. Of course everyone had brought their own Bible.
What musical instruments were played?
Keyboard, drums, and two guitars.
Did anything distract you?
Yellow obscure glass in all the windows to block out distractions (replacing original stained glass?) and a "lovely" shade of pink on the wall behind the stage.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Very organised, with some gentle hand waving. We sang each chorus through twice, five before and three after the sermon.