Ship of Fools: St Peter's, Eaton Square, Belgravia, London


imageShip of Fools: St Peter's, Eaton Square, Belgravia, London

Stately yet familiar liturgy – but Pentecostal fire or tsunami?

Read the full Mystery Worshipper report here


Comments

  • QuiristerQuirister Shipmate Posts: 2
    Thank you for your interesting report. I thought I might point out that the prohibition on choirs and congregational singing you mention is in fact only guidance and not law. Although most churches are sticking to this guidance, I know of one where polyphonic settings are still offered every week!
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Does anyone know -- is this the St. Peter's in which Somerset Maugham set his short story "The Verger?" I can't find research that speaks to the question.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited March 22
    I can't answer re the Somerset Maugham story, which is set in St Peter's, Neville Square.

    However, St Peter's, Eaton Square, is one of the London churches I would like to visit, but, for various reasons, haven't managed so far! The pared-back liturgy referred to in the Report, and the fine singing, would certainly appeal, even in these straitened times.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Not knowing the geography of London, I assumed Neville Square was an invention of Maugham. Indeed, Google doesn't identify a Neville Square London, but there appears to be one in Leeds and one in Durham.
  • I'll have to read the story, but it may well be that Maugham was indeed *making it up*.
  • Re. singing: I know of one English church (at present closed) which, when open in the autumn, positioned a small choir in the gallery at the back to sing to the congregation. I also know of a church here in Wales which uses a masked, socially-distanced choir although I believe that it's not very successful!
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    We have 5 choristers, socially distanced, in the organ gallery at the west end singing. Under current government regulations, congregational singing is now allowed, provided that they are distanced with the required 4 sq.m. each, remain masked and are seated. Odd to start with, but you quickly get accustomed to it and it's great to be able to sing again.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Interesting report. Thanks, Cool Dude!

    About the gold mosaic behind the tabernacle, I don’t think it’s supposed to be a tsunami or Pentecostal fire, though I can see how it could look like either, especially from a distance. It looks to me like it’s supposed to be wings of cherubim or angels, recalling the Ark of the Covenant. The wings are shaped to surround the tabernacle with a heart.

  • Quirister wrote: »
    Thank you for your interesting report. I thought I might point out that the prohibition on choirs and congregational singing you mention is in fact only guidance and not law. Although most churches are sticking to this guidance, I know of one where polyphonic settings are still offered every week!

    No its law.
  • QuiristerQuirister Shipmate Posts: 2
    Quirister wrote: »
    Thank you for your interesting report. I thought I might point out that the prohibition on choirs and congregational singing you mention is in fact only guidance and not law. Although most churches are sticking to this guidance, I know of one where polyphonic settings are still offered every week!

    No its law.

    The government's page about the safe use of places of worship, which contains the relevant information about singing, tells us that it's guidance and not legislation. Where did you see otherwise?
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Whether its law or guidance, it is blatant exceptionalism when so many others have their normal lives curtailed by present circumstances.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    edited March 27
    But please, let's limit this thread to comments regarding the service at hand. General discussion of the legality of singing at church services, or the wisdom thereof, belongs elsewhere. Thanks.

    @Amanda B Reckondwyth
    Lead Editor, Mystery Worship
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The good burghers of Belgravia are spoilt with a service like this, and then St Mary's Bourne St only a stone's throw away. Both offer similar reverent liturgy.

    (Hope this does not transgress the ruling.)
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Not in the least.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks.
  • Under the difficult circumstances, ISTM that St Peter's is doing the very best it can in the way of liturgy.

    Full marks!
    :wink:

    I have no doubt that there are many other churches - not necessarily of a High Church tradition - doing the same. As is so often the case, it's not so much what you do, but how you do it.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    I'm charmed by the idea of a church where the worst thing that happened was a slightly slippy pew. There's probably a metaphor in that somewhere.
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