|483: Christ Church, Hampstead Square, London|
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Mystery Worshipper: Marcellus.
The church: Christ Church, Hampstead Square, London NW3.
Denomination: Church of England.
The building: A stately Victorian Church with a slender spire, built of ragstone in 1851-52. Originally with both north and south aisles, but north aisle now closed off to form an area for play school or something similar.
The neighbourhood: The church is very near to Hampstead Heath, a fairly opulent area.
The cast: The vicar was away this week and the service was celebrated by a retired priest.
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Forty people, which included a professional choir of eight and two children.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Not really, I was very early and the choir was beginning its rehearsal so I introduced myself to them.
Was your pew comfortable?
Yes, the pews had runners on the seats which made them quite comfortable. Good kneelers but only just enough leg room to kneel.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Quiet, no chatter. There were too few people to make much noise.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"In the name of the Father..." etc.
What books did the congregation use during the service?
English Hymnal, service sheet, The Eucharist (a service book).
What musical instruments were played?
Organ with professional choir excellent voices.
Did anything distract you?
The blank north wall of the church where the arcade had been filled in for play school. Very ugly.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Middle class, middle of road, no incense, but vestments.