|66: Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, England|
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Mystery Worshipper: A. Pewpolisher.
The church: Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: Large, old church.
The neighbourhood: The church is located in a pleasant, residential part of Newcastle, fairly close to the centre. In its immediate neighbourhood are three private schools, two universities, houses, flats, offices, hotels and part of the motorway. There is a large student population in the area.
The cast: The minister, Rev David Holloway, and the preacher, John Stephenson (a member of the congregation and a Scripture Union worker).
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Packed. There weren't many seats left when I arrived five minutes before the service was due to start. I think there were about 400 people there and this was the second service that morning.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
I was given a service sheet as I arrived.
Was your pew comfortable?
The pew was fine.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
The organ was playing and people were sitting talking fairly quietly.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
'We welcome you all to Jesmond Parish Church for our family service.'
What books did the congregation use during the service?
A service sheet especially provided for that service.
What musical instruments were played?
Organ, piano, drums, sax, trumpet and (I think) bass guitar.
Did anything distract you?
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
The worship included a mixture of traditional hymns and more modern songs for example, 'Thine be the Glory' and 'He is Risen'. Although the choice of songs was good and the music group led them well, the congregation seemed a bit passionless and not terribly enthusiastic. People mostly stood very still and sang in a rather restrained English way.