I am not an official Mystery Worshipper, due to lack of time to visit many different churches, but I would like to share my recent visit to Hexham Abbey.
Date: Sunday 27 September 2015
Time: 10.00 a.m.
Service: Parish Eucharist
On arrival we were given hymn books, service books and the weekly bulletin. Entrance was at the front of church, which we found slightly disconcerting. The preacher was the rector, Dagmar Winter, and the president was Janet Jackson, whose status we could not find, except that she was not the pop singer. Women from the congregation read and led prayers.
The sermon referred quite a lot to abuse of children in church and the necessity for safeguarding. This is not a subject I have heard from the pulpit before.
What part of the service felt like Heaven? The singing. Wonderful choir, the best I've heard for many years, who sang the Communion setting Dark in F and the motet Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach during Communion. The congregation joined in well during the hymns. When they were supposed to be quiet, the congregation were quiet (unlike at our church at home!).
And the other place? None, except perhaps for the insistence on a minimum donation of £5 into the visitors' boxes. People give what they can.
Did it make me feel glad to be a Christian? Definitely.
After the service, we followed the others to where coffee etc. was being served. Some people asked us if we were visiting and where we were from.
We were lucky to hear the organ for the last time before its refurbishment, which is going to last for several weeks. At the end of the service, the organist played Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, which got a well deserved applause.
Afterwards, we visited the informative exhibition on the history of the Abbey.
It's unlikely that I'll visit Hexham Abbey again soon, but the uplifting experience will stay with me for a long time.
"...But I always want to know the things one shouldn’t do.”
“So as to do them?” asked her aunt.
“So as to choose,” said Isabel.
Henry James - The Portrait of A Lady
Posts: 233 | From: A town with four parishes | Registered: Jul 2002
| IP: Logged