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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

A transcendent moment

On Friday, 26 June 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot deny marriage to same-sex couples. Thus, the United States became the 21st country worldwide to recognise that same-sex couples may enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples. Our Mystery Worshipper was present at a special Choral Evensong sung at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral to commemorate the event. Read all about it here.

Recent reports

> Impressive: Jesus Army, Northampton, UK
> An afternoon to remember: St Peter’s, Stockport, UK
> Not welcome at St George's, New Orleans, USA
> A heavenly place! St Leonard, Ryton on Dunsmore, UK
> Transcendent moment at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

> Church or social club? St Giles, Northampton, UK
> Did God come to Holy Trinity Brompton Road, London?
> Water & smoke at All Saints, Godshill, Isle of Wight
> Foretaste of heaven: Wells Cathedral, UK
> Communion or crisps? St John the Divine, Tamuning, Guam

> Well-balanced at Christ Church, Northampton, UK
> No stiff lips at Trinity Praise Centre, Ipswich, UK
> Hearts & action songs at Penge Congregational, London
> Oxen & iPhones at St Augustine, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
> Run away fast! Christ Church, Bangkok, Thailand

> Wine and smiles at Bethany Evangelical, Isle of Wight
> Wrapped up in themselves: Sandown Baptist, Isle of Wight
> Butterflies & open air at S Martin de Tours, Madrid, Spain
> Unfussy, compassionate: Oasis Waterloo, London
> Jolly old time at Catedral del Redentor, Madrid, Spain

Editor's choice

> Transcendent moment at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
> Flat, lacklustre last day at St Bernadette’s, Liverpool, UK
> Relaxed and at home: Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Paris
> Dedication remembered: Little Flower Shrine, Royal Oak, USA
> Roses & peregrine falcons: Reveal of the Tomb of Richard III

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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Easter 2015
Easter 2015
Our Mystery Worshippers had a busy Holy Week: being poked with umbrellas, spotted but ignored, taking in glorious polyphony, and hearing the Resurrection compared to popcorn! Read all about how they got through it.

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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