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2724: Regent Hall, London
Regent Hall, London (Exterior)
Photo: Neelix (Public Domain)
Mystery Worshipper: Aileen.
The church: Regent Hall, London.
Denomination: The Salvation Army.
The building: A former skating rink, and still known as the Rink locally. It's a big building with two levels of seating. Outdoors the colour scheme is red and brown, but indoors it is grey and white. Outside the main hall is an area with food and things to drink. The building is popular as a conference venue, rehearsal room and concert hall in addition to hosting Salvation Army services.
The church: This is one of the oldest Salvation Army centres in London, having been founded by William Booth himself in 1882.
The neighbourhood: There are no other churches in Oxford Street, but rather there are many shops of all kinds, various from all over the world. There are tubes and buses; no cars are allowed to come along.
The cast: Majors Dawn and Graham Mizon.
The date & time: Sunday, 20 July 2014, 11.00am.

What was the name of the service?
Morning Worship, Celebration and Praise.

How full was the building?
There were about 100 people, male and female, children and adults. There were lots of places to sit upstairs and on the ground floor.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
A woman welcomed me, gave me an information sheet, and said that I could go either upstairs or down as I wished. Once I was seated, others welcomed me also.

Was your pew comfortable?
There were no pews, but seats – very comfortable to sit on.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
People chatted during the pre-service and looked after the children. And there was very good music before the service started.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning! Hello!"

What books did the congregation use during the service?
Just an information sheet entitled "Regent Hall, Salvation Army Church and Community Centre."

What musical instruments were played?
Piano, guitars, cornets, tuba. The children also sang to us – very good!

Did anything distract you?
An announcement was made about prayers for people who had broken their arms. This was a distraction – I felt sad for them and hoped that many would not do that again.

Regent Hall, London (Interior)

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
We all clapped our hands as we sang about loving God and people. We also put up our hands up to pray to God.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
30 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 – Major Graham Mizon spoke with a good mixture of teaching and Bible reading.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
We have lots of things to be grateful for, as God has been so wonderful to us and has blessed us so abundantly. But problems do arise sometimes, and we are often asked to make decisions. Unselfish decisions usually lead us to life. Short-term decisions usually lead to long-term disasters. We can make mistakes. The Bible helps us to make decisions that are pleasing to God. We all sin, but the grace of God brings forgiveness. God wants us to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. Where have you pitched your tent?

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
Hearing that God loves us, blesses us and helps us.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
I worried about my tent not always being pitched within sight of Jesus.

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
People told me about the refreshments and where to go. The majors also spoke and were very nice to me.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
There was tea, coffee and many lovely eats for us. It was excellent. There were many things to eat.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8 – I loved being here, and if I come near it another time, maybe I can join. The singers and preacher were excellent and also the people near me were kind to me.

Regent Hall, London (Flowers)

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
I felt glad that I am a Christian, about God loving us, and that we should teach other people and also our children.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
God loves us and forgives us our sins.
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