|64: St Michael with St Paul, Bath, England|
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Mystery Worshipper: Barth Simpson.
The church: St Michael with St Paul, Bath, England.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: Elegant, Georgian (like everything in Bath), with a stuffed partridge in the belfry that can been seen from Green Street. It's in the photo above, but far too tiny to make out. Go and have a look for yourself. Bath is always worth a visit anyhow.
The neighbourhood: The church is smack in the middle of the retail area in Broad Street, opposite the Podium shopping centre.
The cast: Vicar: the Rev Martin Lloyd-Williams. Preacher: the not-yet-Rev Jane Campbell.
What was the name of the service?
Morning Prayer and Baptism.
How full was the building?
Just over half full.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
I was greeted at the door and handed a satisfyingly solid wodge of books (see below). The Vicar also came over when I and my friends had taken a pew and greeted us.
Was your pew comfortable?
No. It was narrow and high-backed, producing a boxed-in feeling that suggested restraint was in order.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Chatty with incidental organ. It didn't prepare me for worship.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
'A very warm welcome to you all this morning...' (feedback)... 'I wonder if that might be turned down a touch?'
What books did the congregation use during the service?
'Mission England Praise', 'Mission Praise', a small, green ASB Morning and Evening Prayer booklet, the notice sheet (with two songs), and the service sheet.
What musical instruments were played?
Grand piano, semi-acoustic guitar, acoustic bass guitar, and two slightly self-conscious singers.
Did anything distract you?
There was a moment of potential comedy during the first reading, as the reader tried desperately to stop the unnecessarily-long embroidered bookmark from slipping onto the floor as he was reading. He almost lost it, but not quite. I wanted to stand up and cheer, but the pew reminded me not to.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
A somewhat subdued prayer-hymn scoobie snack (more than a sandwich, as we had a hymn after everything). I got the sense that everything had been 'turned down a touch'.