about the ship sign up for our newsletter support the ship
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
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

Recent reports

> Proud tradition at All Saints, Wokingham, UK
> Creationism pitched at FourteenSix Church, Surprise, USA
> Depressed (aren't we?): Redland Parish Church, Bristol, UK
> I'll be back! Church of the Ascension, Staten Island, USA
> Relaxed and at home: Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Paris

> Stranger not welcomed at St Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, USA
> Hugs and a waltz at St Paul’s, Sacramento, USA
> Well behaved trompette at Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, USA
> Dedication remembered: Little Flower Shrine, Royal Oak, USA
> Nice Prayer Book evensong: St John's Cathedral, Hong Kong

> Hats on at Calvary Chapel Living Hope, Oceanside, USA
> Unclean hands at Grace and Holy Trinity, Kansas City, USA
> Few gentlemen at St Andrew's, Gaylord, USA
> Church ruined! St Hilary’s, Wallasey, Wirral, UK
> Peace and quiet at Holy Trinity with St Mary, Berwick, UK

> Savor the moment: San Miguel Mission, Socorro, USA
> Compromise at St Mary the Virgin, Lindisfarne, UK
> Noisy church: St Christopher's, Pensacola, USA
> Resurrection and popcorn at Spirit of Grace, Surprise, USA
> Great music at Cathedral of Sts Simon & Jude, Phoenix, USA

Editor's choice

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

please give to the floating fund
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.
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
      ship of fools