St Mary the Virgin, Beddington (Anglican)

History and appearance

Please see this link for detailed information on the history and appearance of the church.

Clergy

The service was led by a male vicar in predominantly green vestments. He seemed very friendly, and made the congregation laugh a few times during the sermon and the notices at the end. A female reader in a white cassock with a blue stole gave some of the readings, and some altar servers carried the candles at the processions at the beginning and end of the service.

Congregation

The congregation numbered just under 50 people (although it was slightly difficult to count due to pillars obscuring some of the view from where I was sitting). There was a good range of ages, a roughly even balance between men and women, and several people of an ethnic minority. They were all very friendly; it seemed like almost all of them approached me before or after the service to say hello.

Service

I attended the 9:30 Sunday morning service.

The service began with the vicar and altar servers processing up the main aisle. It followed the standard order of an Anglican communion service, with hymns, prayers, and Bible readings. The readings were Isaiah 1:1, 10-20, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, and Luke 12:32-40. The gospel reading was read from the central aisle.

The sermon was on how we so often hate and judge others. Despite the serious subject matter, the vicar made it rather enjoyable to listen to with several jokes and wry observations, reflecting on how we often love to hate people depicted negatively on television.

Communion was taken towards the end of the service, with the members of the congregation going up to the altar for communion or a blessing. The service finished with notices read out by the vicar, after which he and the altar servers processed back down the aisle to a closing hymn. The service was very much in the High or Anglo-Catholic tradition.

Afterwards

After the service, most of the congregation went into an adjoining church hall, where tea, coffee and juice was served along with a cake which had been brought in to celebrate a wedding anniversary. The vicar and several members of the congregation approached me to welcome me to their church.

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