Today's Easter but the service was in shambles. Makes Nathan and Mum even more glad that they went to Midnight Mass rather than this morning, since they could simply prepare lunch at home and wait for Dad and I to return.
Mistake number 1: There were 2 Baptisms taking place. One year Easter happened to be the third Sunday of the month and we unluckily had 3 Baptisms taking place-that was a very long service. But today was the second Sunday of the month. Patrick obviously wanted to make it special and what better way than a Baptism? The ultimate symbol of rebirth within Christ on the (not exact) day Christ rose again. Well they should've missed out the intercessions and possibly cancelled the Sermon-as if that would ever happen but it's a nice thought.
Mistake number 2: The service was at St. Paul's rather than at St. Michael's. St. Michael's has a bigger capacity and has special seats (known as pews) for the choir, plus the vestry where we robe and rehearse. We pretty much ran out of seats in St. Paul's Church, but the main complaint is the treatment of the choir-the choir are supposed to lead the congregation in song, surely they should also be seen? So that's a thought: put in benches/rows of seats at the very front behind the altar for the choir. Not sure how doable that is though. Anyways, we were meant to sit in 2 rows in the very middle of the Church-not bad, not everyone could've seen us but at least we could sort of get heard. However despite some members leaving their stuff in the designated seats, members of the congregation just came and sat in them-thinking they were unclaimed. The Wardens didn't even bother moving them! Were they even paying attention? So the choir had to sit at the back, and the problem with the back is that St. Paul's doesn't often expect a large turnout so unlike half of the congregation-who could sit on comfy cushiony seats, we were sitting on hard plastic. Now I can't complain, I'm young and have spent many days on plastic chairs-Jackie and Vicky complained and brought forward the very back chairs because they were at least leather-backed. So until Communion we were unseen and unheard, but while we couldn't always hear parts of the service, we were entertained by a nearby happy baby^^. Oh yeah, we were rehearsing in the party room. We had to put up with food smells, bad vocals and a cramped area.
Mistake number 3: bad foreplanning and organisation in general. Not all the servers appeared to know what they were doing, Joanna was rushing around everywhere-which is quite typical but when she gives detailed messages to various people until the very last minute you know the service has been badly planned. When organisation's bad, Joanna Reeve suffers. Considering that, it probably explains why the Wardens didn't do anything about our nicked seats-they didn't know of the reservation. And while the service was meant to start at 10: 30, I asked Dad for the time one point and it was 10: 35. It was another couple of minutes before the service started. It ended at 12: 09. The generally jumbled service caused Jackie to complain of the lack of virtuousness and holiness and serenity that should come with an Anglican service on a special occasion. You know what? She's right.
Mistake number 4: that Easter service was the last service seeing Patrick Grant as vicar of the local (merged) parishes. Technically it's not a mistake, I'm happy since parishioners can now rejoice and say: 'good riddance you daft vicar with bad management skills and little sense'. He's actually a pretty nice guy, his only flaw is that he doesn't have the skills necessary for a vicar in the 21st Century. Plonk him in the middle of the 18th Century and he'd be perfect. The mistake here is that someone had the bright idea to prepare party food and drinks (and cake) as a celebration. That's why the choir had to rehearse among food smells. I can only wonder how much was truly used up considering half the Church disappeared within 5 minutes of the end of the service. Okay, 5 minutes is a bit of an exaggeration, but they did disappear pretty quickly. Now you may be wondering why: well most Church-goers have Roast Lunch on Sunday, the Easter tradition being to eat Roast Lamb (to celebrate the resurrection of the Lamb of God, get it?). Now when preparing a complete roast meal, you have to keep to strict schedules and timings, which is why most people prefer a service to end by 12. Another possible reason was that it was getting stuffy in there-being a modern Church and all.
Another thing to add is that shortly before the service ended they did that thing where Patrick and his family were presented with leaving presents and Patrick gave a speech. That didn't actually take too long, so...
And in case you're wondering: when I was complaining about rehearsing in the party room, I wasn't actually angered by the conditions, I just couldn't help but notice they weren't ideal.