Ship of Fools: St John 's, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, London

imageShip of Fools: St John 's, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, London

Noisy crowd spoils anthem at an otherwise inspiring service

Read the full Mystery Worshipper report here


  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Very interesting report. Thanks,
    But regarding the sermon, anamnesis was presented as meaning “rebirth”? Not “remembrance” or “memorial”?
  • Well, quite. The sermon would doubtless have been a bit above my head, but that may well say more about the demographics of the parish than about me!
  • It is possible that the people who refused to acknowledge that the service had started, and who continued to laugh and chat, are the sort of people who have no interest in church or Christianity. They turn up because they want to get their children into the church school and attendance at the church, helps with that. But apparently this type of parent yap yap yaps throughout sermons, hymns, prayers, etc.
  • Not necessarily, in all fairness. Our new priest has had experience of this sort of approach in previous parishes (Our Place has no Church school), and says that he has sometimes known families attending on account of school admission who do actually become part of church life.

    But your point may well be valid in this case - or are the acoustics/layout of the church such that they simply couldn't hear that the service had begun?
  • Vicar SJNHVicar SJNH Shipmate
    Many thanks for your interesting report. In my sermon the third category was Ananeosis (renewal) not anamnesis (remembrance).
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    The original draft did have "anamnesis". In light of the comments received, I'll leave it as-is and let the comments speak for themselves.
  • Which doesn't negate my point about the quite high intellectual quality of the sermon, and of the people of the parish!

    Horses for courses, and all that. But full marks to @Vicar SJNH ......
  • Yes full marks provided the words and the approach fit the context of the parish. If it doesn't then perhaps a reflection on building engagement seems appropriate
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 20
    What an engaging report! I look forward to your follow-up one.

    In the church of my early 20s, joint services between the Mandarin, Cantonese, Chaozhou and English congregations meant a bit of confusion and adjustment for all. Interestingly enough, it was often the second-generation predominantly-now-English-speakers who resented such joint services! It can be a hard place to be for them; kind of torn between 2 cultures as they, and other friends, have explained. It was always intriguing to me, though. It wasn't all: just a vocal minority. Who often didn't turn up. (I'm anglo fyi)

    Best wishes to St John's for its ministries and future.
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