Ship of Fools: St John the Evangelist, Montreux, Switzerland

imageShip of Fools: St John the Evangelist, Montreux, Switzerland

Sloppy, messy, unmemorable - no wonder so few attend

Read the full Mystery Worshipper report here


  • LiquafrutaLiquafruta Shipmate Posts: 5
    This is an unnecessarily nasty review of a small welcoming congregation where I was happy to worship years ago when I worked in Switzerland. It is common to preach from the aisle and not the pulpit - we do it in our central London church. I found St John’s to be an oasis of Anglican worship where everyone was so friendly. It is a small mostly ad hoc congregation relying on visitors a few locals and a house for duty priest. It is not and does not pretend to be Salisbury Cathedral. It is a witness to worship and deserves our blessing not our scorn.
  • LiquafrutaLiquafruta Shipmate Posts: 5
    The value of worship lies in its sincerity after all.
  • Yes, the Report did seem a bit sour! The chaplain's wife gets Brownie points for being so welcoming whilst handing out books, though.

    I think many Anglican chaplaincies abroad tend to be ad-hoc in nature, which is hardly surprising, but 30 is said to be the 'average' number of people attending Anglican churches here in the UK! The rather restless, and messy, nature of the service might simply indicate one of those Bad Days all churches get from time to time.

    Two points, though.

    1. What was the purpose of singing a verse of the Magnificat before the first hymn? That does seem a bit odd.

    2. I agree that, if a congregational Mass setting is used, it's handy to be able to at least offer the congregation the chance to have the music before them. At Our Place, we usually sing Dom Gregory Murray's A New People's Mass (yes, yes, I know - a bit old-hat nowadays), but the music is printed in our hymnbooks for anyone who wishes to follow it.
  • LiquafrutaLiquafruta Shipmate Posts: 5
    I encourage all who happen to be In Montreux on a Sunday to join this congregation where the welcome will undoubtedly be warm and where the worship will be sincere!
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    edited February 2020
    You'll note the report is dated 2013. I should hope that much has changed in the ensuing seven years. I'd be happy to publish a report on the latest goings-on in this church if someone would care to visit. Miss Amanda is not at liberty to travel to Switzerland at the moment.

    She can tell you, though, that if a choir member undressed in front of her, it would take more than smelling salts to revive her.
  • Goodness - I didn't notice that the Report was 7 years old! Memo to self - read the small print more carefully. Yes, it would be interesting to have an update, and, if anyone is willing to pay for me to get to Montreux, I would be happy to oblige.

    Please to leave it until the summer, though, as I'm not really fit enough now to ski...sitting in the sun, drinking WINE, and eating CHOCOLATE? Yes, I'm your man...

    Miss Amanda, I don't think your Smelling Salts would have been required. I read the Report as saying that the choir member vested, which I take to mean that he (or she) put ON the cassock, surplice, and/or whatever.

    Vesting in the church before service (perhaps referring more to the priest than the choir, though the same considerations apply) seems to have been common practice in England in mediaeval times, particularly in small churches with not much in the way of a sacristy. A side chapel would be used for this purpose.
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