The Evensong Committee

It was obvious that a committee was gathering outside before Evensong. First one, then another. A gathering next to the church noticeboard. Each looked at the board to check the time and to note what was written there. Eventually the committee numbered 8-10 individuals who nodded to one another and walked towards me as I stood bedecked like a Christmas tree in the Cope of Glory at the Cathedral door before Evensong, as is my wont.

But who where they?

Were they the Regional Church-Noticeboard Appraisal Committee?

Were they the Glasgow and District Organ Tappers and Kistwhistlers Society?

Were they the Liturgical Inspectors come to check that I was doing all I should?

Were they the renegade Youth Wing of the Prayer Book Society?

Was it the local Flash Mob Choral Evensong crowd?

In the end it turned out that they were none of these things. No, they were a group from ICC – the International Christian College who were doing a worship appraisal exercise. “Oooh”, I said, “who’ve you been to?” wanting to know how we measured up to the competition. Alas, we were the first on their rounds, so no gossip about anyone else was forthcoming.

After the service, I did a quick impromptu whiz around the building with them, pointing out the best bits of the murals and trying to answer their questions?

Was it a performance? Sure. We practise hard to do this and try to offer the best and most glorious to God. Anyway, if I had known you were coming, I’d have made sure you got a real show.

Is it a dying tradition? No, it is increasingly attracting people and the age profile is broadening again. It is also feeder service for other things we do and people often try us out first at Choral Evensong and then come to other services.

But why? Well we provide pillars to hide behind, we don’t hassle people and you don’t have to do anything except sit in God’s presence and sit with your emotions. You can cry if you like or you can pretend you just came for the music.

Ooh, its seeker friendly! – You bet!

It was lovely to have them here asking questions and I hope that their meander around various services is fruitful. As they left, I told them that Choral Evensong acts like a sanctuary for some folk who are heavily involved in other kinds of services in other kinds of churches elsewhere in the city and whenever they needed a chill-out service to reconnect with God they would be welcome here.