|720: West Vale Baptist, West Vale, Halifax, England|
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Mystery Worshipper: Jesus Freak.
The church: West Vale Baptist, West Vale, Halifax
The building: Late 19th century imposing stone building. Inside, the upstairs balcony seems to have been separated off with some kind of perspex screen.
The church: The church has grown over the last few years from a small core to a lively, growing community.
The cast: Rev. Allen Wolfenden.
What was the name of the service?
All Age Worship.
How full was the building?
Did anyone welcome you personally?
We were greeted with a handshake and hymnbook as we came in the door. Once we sat down, lots of different people came to talk to us before the service.
Was your pew comfortable?
There was a mixture of pews down the sides, and deceptively uncomfortable orange chairs in the middle.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Chatty and welcoming. The place filled up more at 10.30am.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning everybody, it's good to see you all. It's good to hear all this noise!"
What books did the congregation use during the service?
Mission Praise and words on overhead projector. The only Bibles around were ones people had brought with them.
What musical instruments were played?
Keyboard (with various different sound effects, including squeaky organ), guitar and a tamborine.
Did anything distract you?
The flickering strip light at the back of the church, plus a screaming child who cried during the quiet bits of the service.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Lively, with plenty of opportunity to raise your arms, dance around and pray out loud. As it was a family service, there was no sermon, but there was some drama. The overall theme of the service was Jesus: healer and helper.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The lively worship with good prayers.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The squeaking of the keyboard in organ mode.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Lots of people came up to talk to us, including the minister. Then somebody shouted at everybody (not just us) to go and get our drinks!
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Good coffee in proper cups, with a varied selection of biscuits.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8 I may well come back here from time to time.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
How friendly and welcoming the people were and how you could see God working through them.