Guest firstname.lastname@example.org Posted October 3, 2006 Share Posted October 3, 2006 I don't know how many of you are familiar with 'Ship of Fools' http://shipoffools.com/ - a Christian website with, amongst other things, the most interesting Mystery Worshipper element. In this, someone from an approved team reports under prescribed headings what they actually find when they attend a particular service simply on the level of 'pew fodder'. These include 'What were the actual first words of the service?' according to reports, sometimes these are as banal as 'well, I suppose we'd better make a start now....!' Also on the report form are such possible openers as: 'What part of the service reminded you of heaven?' 'What part was like being in the other place?' On the Ship of Fools site there is a long list of reports (UK and further afield) going back some years which include fascinating detail and one or two hilarious accounts. Several point to real strengths and, at worst, they identify without apparent bias where a church might do well to reconsider how they come across to strangers. There is also a 'right to reply' element and comments are often attached from other worshippers, or the church's own people. Chatting today with another long-suffering organist, retelling the tale of recent developments at St.James, Grimbsy (for instance) we wondered whether there oughtn't to be somewhere on the web for church musicians to record their experiences, stopping short (of course) of saying anything actually actionable. Nobody who moderates or provides such a site is going to want to be sued. Your vicar who is awarded the equivalent of four stars (for instance) might be someone who is good with people, sympathetic to music, who knows how to preach and knows when to stop! Not too many of these around, unfortunately. Your clergy without any stars, might be most politely understood as One of God's Chosen whose gifts have yet to be recognised. If nothing else - apart from guilty amusement at seeing what some of our colleagues have to put up with - this might teach some of us just how well-off we actually are, in relative terms, of course. I realise that very soon after this possible site got going, there would have to be a rival site run by clerics where 'weird church musician' stories could be aired. Most of you will have come across this favourite in-joke with clergy: 'What is the difference between an organist and a terrorist?' Answer: ' You can negotiate with a terrorist!' A quote I often reflect on is one of Roy Massey's 'I love the Lord, but I can't stand his friends!' Ah yes........... P. http://pic6.piczo.com/PAULDERRETT/?g=18845917&cr=6 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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