|455: Christ the King, Bloomsbury, London|
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Mystery Worshipper: Marcellus.
The church: Christ the King, Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: Gothic Revival church designed by Raphael Brandon in 1853 for the Catholic Apostolic Church. Then used by the University of London and now by the Forward in Faith movement of the Church of England.
The church: Does not serve a local community as now used by the Forward in Faith movement of Church of England.
The neighbourhood: University buildings are in the immediate locality.
The cast: Principal celebrant: the Bishop of Fulham. Preacher: the Bishop of Ebbsfleet. Pontifical benediction: the Bishop of Wangaratta.
What was the name of the service?
Mass for Christ the King 2001.
How full was the building?
One-fifth full. About 150 congregation and about 30 concelebrating priests.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
No. I was just handed a service leaflet.
Was your pew comfortable?
Bench pews. I sat in the back row and mine was the only row with cushioned seats so I was quite comfortable. The kneeler was well padded, with plenty of leg room.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Quiet, except for the choir in practice.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"In the name of the Father," etc.
What books did the congregation use during the service?
Hymn sheet only, with a few additional service notes.
What musical instruments were played?
The organ, which was superbly played by Fr. Mark Elliot Smith. And the choir, who had superb voices.
Did anything distract you?
Benediction did not come over the speaker system very well.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
High Anglo-Catholic, with incense and the procession of the blessed sacrament and benediction.