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2546: Hinde Street Methodist, London W1
Hinde Street Methodist, London (Exterior)
Mystery Worshipper: Aileen.
The church: Hinde Street Methodist, London W1.
Denomination: Methodist Church in Britain.
The building: The present church is the second of two, dating from 1887. The interior is very attractive, in a traditionally Methodist style, with a gallery around three sides and a high pulpit. The organ is above the people, and there is a piano on the worshipping floor. There is a lovely blue colour all round. Nearby is a memorial stone to Charles and Sarah Wesley.
The church: They have a number of groups that meet, and Thursday Tea Time each week. They support the West London Mission and a winter night shelter from January through March for homeless people.
The neighbourhood: This is the Marylebone Road area, very busy with cars, not buses, and with many shops. There is also a Marylebone School not far north of the road.
The cast: The Revd Sue Keegan von Allmen, minister.
The date & time: Trinity Sunday, 26 May 2013, 6.30pm.

What was the name of the service?
Evening Worship.

How full was the building?
Quite full on the main floor – with all organised to sit around and in front of the communion place.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
People smiled at us as we entered and gave us the books we needed to use in the service, and after the service they chatted to us, as also did Pastor Keegan.

Was your pew comfortable?
Comfortable seat, coloured red, and big enough to sit on.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
I got there just in time and my friend had kept the seat just beside him for me. People were chatting and listening to the nice music being played on the piano.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Welcome! Praise God!"

What books did the congregation use during the service?
Methodist Worship, Singing the Faith, and The Holy Bible, New Standard Version.

What musical instruments were played?
A really good piano.

Did anything distract you?
I remembered my grandad from Wales, who always called himself "Wesleyan." I wished he was here with me.

Hinde Methodist, London (Wesley Grave)

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
All sung well but stood still. This was also a communion service – bread but no alcohol, of course.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
25 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
9 – The minister showed us pictures for us to walk up to and think of God being Lord, and Jesus, and Holy Spirit. I've never experienced that sort of doing and thinking before!

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
There is one God, with three persons: the Trinity. There is community in God. The life of the Trinity offers us a life of giving, and shows the power of love. God longs for us all to be involved. God is in life and we pray to God to hear us. God restores us always.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
Hearing about God loving and saving us was helpful. I felt close to God.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
I felt guilty about not being "perfect."

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Immediately a man came to collect our books, and others beside us chatted to us, as did the pastor. This also felt really happy. Nice people!

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
We did not have that.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
9 – If I lived closer to the church I would love to go there regularly, as it seemed really excellent.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
I felt really pleased to be a Christian and also my family has been Christians for many many years!

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
I will remember the Triune God loving and caring for us.
 
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