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mystery worshipper home reports from the uk and ireland reports from the usa reports from australia and new zealand reports from canada reports from elsewhere famous and infamous reports comments and corrections
What is this?
Since ancient times (ok, 1998), Ship of Fools has been sending Mystery Worshippers to churches worldwide. Travelling incognito, they ask those questions which go to the heart of church life: How long was the sermon? How hard the pew? How cold was the coffee? How warm the welcome?

The only clue they have been there at all is the Mystery Worshipper calling card, dropped discreetly into the collection plate.
If you would like to become a Mystery Worshipper, start here.
See our archive of reports
UK & Ireland
Oz & NZ

Where it all began

On St Patrick's Day 2015, our Mystery Worshipper visited the church that stands on the spot where St Patrick built his first church in the Emerald Isle. After speaking with the parish's resident Little Old Lady, he received communion from the Archbishop of Canterbury and later joined the archbishop, the Bishop of Down & Dromore, and other worthies in the procession to St Patrick's tomb and Down Cathedral.

> Pure spiritual delight: St Patrick's, Saul, County Down, UK
> Politics and dancing at Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, UK

Recent reports

> Time flies by at Trinity Church, Boston, USA
> Being watched at St Ethelwold’s, Shotton, Flintshire, UK
> Long service, no welcome: Church of Advent, Boston, USA
> Pink scapular, cool dude at First UMC, Phoenix, USA
> Friendly but plain: Christ Church Anglican, Columbus, USA

> Smoke and rabbits at St Faith's Great Crosby, Liverpool, UK
> No kissing, please: St Augustine, Phoenix, USA
> Good shortbread, poor welcome: St Gobhan, Portadown, UK
> Harmony & wet shoes: Malasitapu Presby, Freshwota, Vanuatu
> Child tickled at St Paul's, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

> Beautiful! Cathedral Basilica of St Louis, USA
> Bishop Suffragan of Burnley consecrated: York Minster, UK
> Hell on earth: Grace Family Church, Aigburth, UK
> Traditional worship, poor coffee: St John's, Detroit, USA
> Pipework amuses at The Dock, Belfast, N Ireland

> A little gem: St Paul the Apostle, Croxteth, UK
> Warm fuzzies at St Mary the Virgin, Hamilton, Canada
> Cell phones and Iced Gems at Ss Peter & Paul, Crosby, UK
> True fruit or sour grapes? Chichester Ordinariate Group, UK
> Weird sermon at Emmanuel Episcopal, Petoskey, USA

Editor's choice

> Pure spiritual delight: St Patrick's, Saul, County Down, UK
> Politics and dancing at Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, UK
> Bishop Suffragan of Burnley consecrated: York Minster, UK
> St Lucy honoured at Gustaf Adolfs Kyrka, Liverpool, UK
> Surreal re-opening of Shrine of St Walburge, Preston, UK

Comments, corrections and removals

For the latest comments on and corrections to Mystery Worshipper reports, please go here. Reports over two years old can be removed at the request of the church reviewed. Please email here for further details.

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Christmas 2014
Christmas 2014
On Christmas Day 2014, our Mystery Worshippers ding-donged merrily their way to both of Liverpool's cathedrals as well as to churches in New Zealand, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Read all about how the herald angels sang for them.

Love Jesus and his gospel
Our MW team attends the ordination to the priesthood, and previous to that the profession of final vows and ordination to the diaconate, of our Shipmate Hart and his fellow seminarian Patrick. Share in the joy of the day from our special vantage point.

camino pilgrimage
The Mystery Pilgrim
One of our most seasoned reporters makes the Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Read here.
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