A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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The Ecclesial Mystery Shopper


We have become familiar with the concept of ‘mystery shoppers’ those who are tasked with evaluating products or services on behalf of a service provider. They are, in effect, pseudo-customers who feed back their evaluation as part of corporate quality assurance. I have never been cast formally in the role of ‘mystery shopper’ but, by nature, tend to be one who might ask challenging questions and be an advocate for those who are unsure about how to proceed. In the supermarket, I will not ignore the spillage of goods on the floor in case they become slipping hazards for those who might be seriously injured in the event of a fall. What has this to do with theological reflective practice?

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