One of my pre-England wish list items was to visit Hillsong Church in London. Despite our best intentions, we just had never managed to make it there on a Sunday so we decided that we would go for their Easter service.
We drove to Epping and hopped on the Central Line which took us directly to Tottenham Court Road Station. Hillsong meets at the Dominion Theatre and from what we could tell on the map, it was just a short distance from the tube station. Short distance is an understatement; the tube comes out at the doorstop of the Dominion Theatre. There were tons of people milling around and the church volunteers were easily spotted by their logo-adorned jackets. We had Lena in the stroller so they took us around the back of the building since there are no elevators in the front.
Again, we were met by a large group of volunteers (all of whom were really, really happy and welcoming) and they ushered us into a back door. They carried the stroller up several flights of stairs until we finally reached the family room. I was so impressed by their attention to detail – the family room had everything you could possibly need for going to church with a little one. The front of the room had a giant screen that streamed the service as well as rows of chairs for the parents to sit in. One side was designated for parking all the strollers and the opposite side had a sizable play area for the kids with rubber floor mats and plenty of toys. The back row of the seating area had a line of high chairs with seats in front of them so the parents could still watch the service while feeding their kids breakfast. There was a changing station with diapers, wipes, changing pads, hand sanitizer and diaper genies. And the finishing touch was the table with cakes and pastries plus tea and coffee.
The volunteers explained that we were welcome to go back and forth between the family room and the theater depending on our preference and how Lena was doing. We decided to see how she would do in the theater and they gave us a set of baby headphones to protect her ears. Amazingly, Lena ended up falling asleep in Jason’s arms for the majority of the service despite the extremely loud music and cheering.
The service itself was incredibly executed and I don’t think I could do it justice trying to explain it. The basic idea was to tell the story of the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion set in modern times. So there was a ton of visual effects, videography and dancing. One of the most creative parts was how they introduced the apostles. I found a YouTube clip that someone took and it will give you an idea of the caliber of the creativity at this church.
Hillsong London sits in the middle of a number of universities and as a result, has a fairly young congregation. They found a way to tell the Easter story using the language of their audience and they did it at a professional level. I can’t say enough about what an incredible service it was.
The rest of our day was fairly quiet and we enjoyed just relaxing at home. Jason had a blues inspection at work so I took a couple pictures of Lena helping him get everything in place. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of us dressed up for church but rest assured, we didn’t show up in sweatpants.
The next day, Lena and I went for an abbreviated walk through Anglesey Abbey. We got a late start and she ended up tired and hungry by the time we got started. However, I did get a shot of her dressed in a bunny tail so it was well worth the yelling, in my opinion.