Oban Baptist, Albany Street, Oban, Scotland.
Union of Scotland.
The building is not huge, but has a section underneath also,
where we had tea and biscuits after the service. They also
have another building next to them, "Happy Home", the children's
Christian preschool. There is a notice outside reading: "Visitors
warmly welcome." The windows are plain clear glass. There
are two wonderful banners: one made by children a cross
of Jesus with a gold crown on it; another one full of colour,
bearing the inscription "I will pour out my Spirit on all
people", by the adults.
They are very friendly, and of course they are a community
who all get physically baptised in full water, as did Jesus.
Babies will be dedicated to God and taken care of spiritually.
Oban is on the edge of Scotland and has many ships that go
to many islands nearby. There are some very old traditional,
lovely buildings there. There are hills and forests. Lots
of churches. And oh yes, a whisky distillery and some micro
A lady known only as "Janet" gave the welcome and
notices. Terry McKentchen led and preached. The Revd Paul
Brake, the pastor, was away.
The date & time:
Sunday, 29 May 2011, 11.00am.
What was the name of
How full was the building?
Very full, mainly adults, just a few children. Quite a lot
of visitors on holiday in Oban.
Did anyone welcome you
As I entered the door, I was welcomed friendly, it being obvious
that I was a visitor, with smiles and advice where to put
my waterproof jacket. We were not given hymn books.
Was your pew comfortable?
We were all in seats, in straight rows facing the front. They
How would you describe
the pre-service atmosphere?
Everyone was there before the service started, and most were
chatting quietly to those sitting beside them. All were friendly,
and all in my row were visitors! Everyone was in silence and
listening to the notice when it started.
What were the exact
opening words of the service?
Janet, a senior member of the church, spoke first; "Welcome,
visitors. There is tea after the service." She told us
that their pastor was away and introduced Terry McKentchen.
She informed us that there was no music playing today and
we would sing worship without that. Terry then started us
with Psalm 100.
What books did the congregation
use during the service?
No books at all were provided and most of us had our own Bibles.
Mine was New International Version and that's the version
that was read. Hymns and psalms were projected up onto the
wall, where we could read and sing them without looking down.
What musical instruments
None were played, but a piano, guitars and drum kit could
be seen up on a platform. All the singing was excellent, unaccompanied.
Did anything distract
Remembering that most of us came with waterproof clothes because
it had been rainy, despite the warmth and happy feelings about
the congregation and God in this church.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
Everyone sang in tune, many singing in harmony, and the focus
was all on the words and the tune. We were encouraged to sing
and praise God as do the seraphim.
Exactly how long was
7 minutes (children's); 40 minutes (adults'), including the
prayer finishing the sermon.
On a scale of 1-10,
how good was the preacher?
8 Terry McKentchen showed the children pictures, asked
questions, and made them feel happy because God promises to
look after us, and prayed for them and thanked God.
In a nutshell, what
was the sermon about?
His text was Mark 1:40-45 (Jesus healed a man with leprosy).
Leprosy was taken seriously in Biblical times; its victims
were banned from the community. Stones were thrown at lepers.
Compare leprosy to sin. We are all affected by our sin, which
we have inherited from Genesis time, and the wages of sin
is death. But that leper gave us a good example: he came to
Jesus and asked for healing. We need Jesus to rescue us and
heal us, despite what some say. We become clean by throwing
ourselves at Jesus. He heals us, like he healed the leper.
No one else touched or healed the leper. Maybe no one touches
us, but Jesus touches us spiritually and showers freedom and
life on us. Jesus does not then become unclean. By his wounds,
on the cross, we are healed. Jesus can make us all healed
and clean. Thank you, God, for your forgiveness. To God be
Which part of the service
was like being in heaven?
The wonderful singing and genuine spirit of worship. The notion
that Jesus loves us. How happy
the children seemed to be at church!
And which part was like
being in... er... the other place?
"The wages of sin is death" made me feel oh so guilty!
What happened when you
hung around after the service looking lost?
Lots of people spoke nicely to all of us who were visitors
and reminded us of the tea downstairs. They not only showed
us the way, but went with us and made sure we enjoyed having
tea with them.
How would you describe
the after-service coffee?
It was hot tea, in real cups, with biscuits. We all liked
How would you feel about
making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 =
8 I really liked it, and I'd probably also explore
the other Oban churches if I came to live in Oban.
Did the service make
you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes, particularly the wonderful, spiritual singing and the
encouragement in the sermon, the prayers to God, and the wonderful
banners about God's love.
What one thing will
you remember about all this in seven days' time?
"Visitors warmly welcome."