Sunday, 23 October 2011
St. Alban's Sunday Gathering
The building may be old but the congregation and their worship are very contemporary and informal. I was a tad worried that drawing during the service might be seen as irrespectful or as 'cultural tourism'. I should have known better as Reverend Mark is not about authority or piety. That's him in the centre, not behind a pulpit, playing his guitar and singing.
He's an interesting guy, who I have known for many years. He doesn't seem to use his family name at Church, but I first knew him as Mark Whittall. He left a very successful career in business just a few years ago and studied to become an Anglican Priest. He has recently taken on this urban church, located downtown and seems to guiding and enabling, rather than directing it's growing congregation. Apart from the physical set-up and wonderful mix of music, there is a broad cross-section of ages and backgrounds - which is markedly different than many older churches. Sunday school is held at the back of the sanctuary because the basement is reserved for a 7 day week drop-in centre, Centre 454, which has helps people in crisis and transition get back on their feet.