Sunday, 23 October 2011

St. Alban's Sunday Gathering

When entering one of the oldest Churches in the city you don't expect to see a sound mixing board in the rear and  a drum kit and electric piano on the dais.
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.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful sketch of the inside of the church and showing Reverend Mark.

    Ha... reminds me of my days as a kid in the Anglican church in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK (actually not far from the town/city of St. Albans). That was an incredible old church. I was conscripted into being a "Page turner". They had these huge hanging sheets with hymns and I had a long pole with a hook on it and had to turn the pages to the correct hymns. I guess that was long before the days of plasma screens LOL.