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528: St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, Australia
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St Peter's, Adelaide
Mystery Worshipper: Nobleoz.
The church: St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, Australia.
Denomination: Anglican.
The building: Magnificent Gothic Revival church designed by William Butterfield. First part completed in 1876; nave and towers completed in 1902. Behind the high altar is a beautiful reredos with carvings of the life of St Peter and statues of 20 saints. A large rood cross hangs above the chancel.
The church: This is the cathedral of the diocese of Adelaide – one of the "high church" dioceses of Australia. This service was for the priests and people of the diocese of The Murray – a country diocese within the Province of South Australia.
The neighbourhood: The cathedral overlooks the city of Adelaide and has a grand vista. It is also well known to cricket lovers as the cathedral that overlooks Adelaide Oval.
The cast: The Most Rev. Ian George, Archbishop of Adelaide: celebrant. Canon Peter Wales: preacher.
What was the name of the service?
The Consecration of Ross Owen Davies as a Bishop in the Church of God.

How full was the building?
Packed – even the gallery was filled.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
I made approaches to people I knew. I was told where I could get a service book.

Was your pew comfortable?
Very nice modern chair.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
An atmosphere of quiet prayer and also excited expectation – some people whispered to each other.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"My name is Steve Ogden – I'm the dean." He then welcomed us in a joking way. One got the impression he was nervous having another diocese in his cathedral!

What books did the congregation use during the service?
All was contained in a printed service book, including the hymns.

What musical instruments were played?

Did anything distract you?
The MC swanning around the sanctuary in a pious pose – and wearing a black scullcap! His two assistants and the verger also kept ducking in out all through the service.

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Anglo-catholic, with incense and choir – but with a relaxed and enthusiastic feel.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
18 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 – The preacher was a young canon from the diocese of The Murray. He had a refreshing and enthusiastic style, and various stories pervaded the sermon. He began with a Monty Python type story, complete with voices!

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
That a bishop must hold fast to the Catholic faith, and has a special role as a guardian and transmitter of the faith. He proceded to demolish liberal theologies common amongst Anglican bishops today – and did it well. A recurring phase was "the way that leads to life".

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
When the choir sang three anthems (by Byrd, Bruckner and Rutter) during communion.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Being distracted by the MCs!

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
I wasn't left alone for long. But I did know a few people there.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Excellent party, considering they catered for over 200. Good sandwiches – but instant coffee and teabags.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
1 – Cathedrals are OK twice a year!

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes, indeed.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The newly ordained bishop being clothed in his new cope by his wife and her two sisters.
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