|736: CORE, Dublin, Ireland|
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Mystery Worshipper: Jaffa.
The church: CORE, Dublin, Ireland (CORE stands for City Outreach through Renewal and Evangelism).
Denomination: Church of Ireland.
The church: According to the church website: "CORE was set up in 1993 as an Anglican Church, although our congregation is made up of people from all kinds of backgrounds who are drawn together through a longing to know God more. Our desire is to be a people who would express the Kingdom of God in a way which is relevant to our generation."
The neighbourhood: The church is in the heart of South Inner City Dublin with shops, hospitals, flats and entertainment venues in close proximity.
The cast: Eoghan Heaslip was the worship leader and the preacher was called Brian.
What was the name of the service?
I didn't notice a name for the service. Evening praise celebration would suit it best.
How full was the building?
About three-quarters of the 150 seats were used.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
There was no one on welcome duty. I just went on in and found a seat.
Was your pew comfortable?
A comfortable, cushioned chair.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
People were moving about, talking and chatting. The service was advertised to begin at 7.00pm but didn't get under way until 7.15pm.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good evening everyone. Let's begin with some worship."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
There were New International Version pew Bibles and all the song words and notices were displayed via PowerPoint on four screens at the front.
What musical instruments were played?
A keyboard, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar and drums.
Did anything distract you?
There were some sound system problems and, because the PowerPoint operator wasn't always with it, I missed some of the words of the songs.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Very happy clappy. People felt able to raise their hands, kneel, sit, lie, clap and freely praise.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
The sermon was from Judges 3:12-31. God's help is the cause of each success; God's forgiveness is sufficient for each failure. In God's kingdom, people are of use despite their weaknesses. God has brought us freedom. We should assert that, remind each other and spur each other on in what God has done for us.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The prayer ministry at the end. It was encouraging to witness people wanting prayer and being prayed for, even though I was only observing.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Not being talked to after the service for a while was a bit disconcerting. People weren't quick to notice newcomers.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
I stood around, but it was a while before people came up and had a chat. I did end up have some pleasant conversation after a while, though.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
There was a good supply of Fair Trade coffee and tea available after the service, served in bright, sturdy mugs.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
6 I don't think this would be my ideal church to attend on a weekly basis. But as somewhere to go for a kind of charismatic fix, it was great.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes. The expressions of praise were very free and it was an encouraging, Spirit-filled experience.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The acrylic lectern and the huge wooden cross behind the worship group.