|816: Edinburgh Community Church, Edinburgh, Scotland|
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Mystery Worshipper: Son of a Preacher Man.
The church: Edinburgh Community Church, The King's Hall, 41a South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Denomination: Not stated. Having attended worship there, I would say Pentecostal.
The building: Appeared to be a Victorian building which has been restored. Galleried interior with a modern style of decoration.
The neighbourhood: Central Edinburgh.
The cast: The identity of the worship leader was not revealed. The preacher was Rupert Ward, who, according to the church website, is one of the church leaders.
What was the name of the service?
Morning Worship (10.30am).
How full was the building?
Only the nave was seated. Almost all the free standing chairs were full and there was a large number of people standing at the back. Attendance: about 120 in total.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes, a "Good morning" while I received the notice sheet. There was a "speak to someone you don't know" slot in the service, which let to a number of brief conversations with the young ladies sat around me.
Was your pew comfortable?
No. Plastic chairs.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Lots of talking and people wandering about.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good Morning. We're going to try a new song today."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
A video projector showed the words to the songs and was used for visual aids during the sermon.
What musical instruments were played?
Keyboard, drums and several guitars.
Did anything distract you?
The worship was quite free and during the songs people randomly went into the chancel area and started dancing and waving flags.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
It was very informal. There were plenty of hands in the air.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
7 The preacher kept putting himself down during the sermon.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
It was the second part in a series of two sermons, but a brief reminder of the previous week's offering was given. The general theme was the growth of both this particular church corporately and on an individual level. We were told that we needed to be released to worship, and having overcome sin, we should stop holding back.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
Some of the worship songs were very moving.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The service was far too long. The church's website states that worship lasts for a maximum of two hours. As I was visiting Edinburgh to attend the Hearts vs Celtic football match at 3.00pm, I had arranged to meet a friend at 12.45 for lunch. Unfortunately I had to leave the service at 12.45 just as we were asked to "get into pairs and pray for each other's growth". There was also a difficult moment when the worship leader appeared to evict the keyboard player and take over himself.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to find out as I had to leave before the end of the service.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
The church's website promises refreshments after the service, but there was no evidence of any when I left at 12.45.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8 The length of the services would be my only reservation.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Generally yes, although wishing that the service had ended on time.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
Having to leave before the end.