|61: St Mary the Virgin, Tewantin, Queensland, Australia|
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Mystery Worshipper: Sunseeker.
The church: St Mary the Virgin, Tewantin, Queensland, Australia.
The building: Light and airy modern building c.1996.
The neighbourhood: Part of the parish of Noosa. Noosa is a tropical tourist retreat 1.5 hours north of Brisbane. Seen by many as a 'yuppy' holiday destination.
The cast: From the bulletin: 'Rector: The Lord Jesus Christ. Priest in Charge: Fr John Graham-Freeman' (celebrant and preacher).
What was the name of the service?
9.30am Holy Communion. The service also included a welcoming to a new member and the anointing and laying on of hands for a sick baby.
How full was the building?
Two-thirds full (seating capacity of about 100).
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes. With notebook and pencil, so that Fr John could welcome us by name at the start of the service. Fr John couldn't read the sidesman's writing, however!
Was your pew comfortable?
Very upholstered chairs.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Chatty, with hymns (complete with descants) piped through the sound system.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
'Let's turn to number 92 in the hymn book and omit verse 4.'
What books did the congregation use during the service?
'An Australian Hymn Book' (known as 'With One Voice' in the UK), the Holy Communion service booklet from 'A Prayer Book for Australia', and photocopied song sheets handed out during the service (they couldn't get the OHP to work).
What musical instruments were played?
Tape deck sing-along Karaoke style! There was an organ and drum kit present, but no one to play them. The pew bulletin called for musicians.
Did anything distract you?
The sanctuary had a tropical setting, with lots of palms, and yet it was a service in Eastertide.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Semi-informal middle of the road Anglicanism no extremes. After the offertory hymn, the priest and congregation bantered about how wonderful the singing was and how good the organ sounded on the tape.