|25: Assemblies of God, Aberdeen, Scotland|
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Mystery Worshipper: Bookworm.
The church: Assemblies of God (AOG), King Street, Aberdeen.
The building: A recently-cleaned, silver-granite, Gothic-arched church. Inside there is a wooden beamed ceiling, white walls and brightly coloured banners.
The neighbourhood: The church is very close to Pittodrie, Aberdeen Football Club's home ground. It is surrounded by student flats of both Aberdeen and Robert Gordon Universities all granite buildings.
The cast: Rev. John Strachan (the church minister).
What was the name of the service?
Gospel service (in the evening).
How full was the building?
About two-thirds full, with mainly students and fortysomethings.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes the minister (or pastor, to use AOG parlance), who was very kind and friendly. He asked where I was from, introduced me to some people and showed me to my seat. Pretty scary if I hadn't been a Christian.
Was your pew comfortable?
The church has 1970s plastic chairs with little shelves at the back for the hymnbooks. Not bad.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Very cheerful and friendly. People were chatting, children were laughing and running about. It was very relaxing and not at all cliquey.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
'Where two or three are gathered, the Lord is there also, so let's all greet each other.' At this point, we all 'shared the peace'.
What books did the congregation use during the service?
'Making melody' hymnbook. An overhead projector displayed songs from 'Mission Praise'.
What musical instruments were played?
Keyboard, drums, electric guitars, tambourines.
Did anything distract you?
A little boy kept running to the front of the stage to play with a colouring book... until his mother swiftly removed him!
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Definitely happy-clappy but not false or manipulated. The worship leader was so cheerful and the keyboard player so frenetic, one couldn't help feeling part of a 'joyful noise'!