|202: St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, Australia|
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Mystery Worshipper: Ecumaniac.
The church: St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, Australia.
Denomination: Anglican Church of Australia.
The building: Gothic style, reminds me of the Notre Dame in Paris, but with pointier spires.
The neighbourhood: Located at the point where all the northern bus routes into the city centre converge very close to the Adelaide Oval. You can sit there watching the cricket with the Cathedral in the background: it looks so English, the Poms love it! Several of the surrounding businesses are named after the Cathedral: Cathedral Fashions, Cathedral Deli and the Cathedral Hotel (the pub across the road). Oddly enough, there's a Cathedral Motors (car dealership) which is nowhere near St Peter's.
The cast: Rev. Joan Claring-Bould (Curate).
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Since this was a Wednesday night, the attendance was small: 12 people on my side of the choir, 15 members of the choir on the other side, and about 3 people who were sitting in the darknened nave. I'm told that the Sunday night Choral Evensong is much better attended, and features the full choir, too.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
The choir librarian said hello to me as he was handing out the service order.
Was your pew comfortable?
The back row of the choir has wooden partitions in between each seat, so that you can't see the person next to you. However I guess they would be good for leaning/sleeping against during a boring homily (not that I've ever done that, of course!). The kneelers are padded, but they are located far too close to the seat in front and consequently are uncomfortable to use.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
In the time after the choir had finished practising and before the pre-service organ music started, the atmosphere was quiet and reverential.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Welcome to this service of Choral Evensong, taken this evening from the Book of Common Prayer."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
We had an order of service leaflet. The Book of Common Prayer was available, if you could manage to locate where the service was in the book. The hymnal was "Ancient and Modern" and Bible readings were from the New Revised Standard Version.
What musical instruments were played?
Did anything distract you?
I was asked at the last minute to do the readings, so I got distracted during the Nunc Dimittis as I looked through the second reading. It was one of the letters of Paul, who sometimes writes really long sentences with verbs in strange places.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
It was very traditional and orderly. The old-fashioned Book of Common Prayer language was used during the service (except for the readings). There was a lot of getting up and down.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
There was no sermon.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The general atmosphere of peace, reverence and reflection. It was a contrast to my usual Sunday morning service.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The organist was showing off during the last hymn and so I got a bit lost, which was annoying because it was one of my favourite hymns.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
I couldn't look too lost in the Cathedral, so I chatted with some people and managed to get offered a lift home.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
None. It seemed like most people were eager to get home. Granted, it was late at night and very cold.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8. I'm not an Anglican, so coming regularly for the eucharistic services is not an option. However, I regularly show up for morning and evening prayer.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
Actually, I'll remember how thankful I was for the nice lady who drove me home, because it was a cold night and I would have had a while to wait for my bus.