Taking up the collection is a different process from the method used in Niantic. Rather than a brass platen, they pass a velveteen bag hanging from a wooden dowel. The dowel has a handle on each end; the bag is wide at the base with a smallish opening on top, effectively blocking view of the contents. This morning, some very elderly women were taking up the collection. Again, I was pleased to see the participation.
There are very few youth in this church (less than ten, I think), but they are active in the band and other activities. At Christmas, they gave tealights in glass holders to everyone. It was not a tradition; they just decided to do it from their funds. Really special. Humbling in a way.
The pastor leads an enthusiastic band of brass and woodwinds. Today there were 15 or so in the band. Their benediction was "The War March of the Priests" by Mendelssohn. It started off roughly, but was well-done once they got going. Typically this congregation rises to go, putting on their coats, and jabbering during the benediction. But not today. I may make a suggestion to the pastor. I don't think Niantic Community Church came to good benediction manners on its own: a minister had to suggest it, and put it in the bulletin.
After the service, most people go to the back, where the church hall has tables and chairs, coffee and tea. The largest teapot I've ever seen. Two-and-a-half gallons, maybe. Oddly for us, coffee is more popular than tea (on Sunday morning).
The church hall with kitchen is used by several community groups during the week. I just learned that it costs only 6 £/hour to rent. Wicked cheap. At today's currency, that's about $9/hour. Philosophy, local history, mom and baby, and other groups use it. A community lunch is served once a fortnight, I think.
On Easter morning, there was a 6:30 ecumenical sunrise service on Birkrigg Common, the highest point in our area. It's about 3 miles south of town, requiring crossing of cattle grids. Sheep graze here without fences. It was very cold and windy that morning. We could see snow on the mountains in the distance.