Church nights out
Sunday 23rd November

It's 7:00pm, there's an event at Kings Church which is near the Sugden Sports Centre just off Oxford Road. I found out about it from James, one of the people I invited out on Friday who couldn't make it and invited me to this. I get in my car and put the key in the ignition, turn it and the engine doesn't turn over, the lights on the dashboard turn on dimly. I open the car door and the light inside the car comes on then starts getting darker. The battery is flat. It's unusual because this has never happened to the car before. The car is so reliable I don't even have breakdown cover.

I get out of the car, lock the door and the central locking shuts slowly. Then I go to find another car I can use. I manage to borrow a Saab Turbo. "Drive very carefully" I'm told.
I put my foot down and get to the venue in good time. The fuel computer said it was giving 4 miles to the gallon when I had the pedal to the floor. A saloon car that handles like a sports car, it makes you want to drive it fast. Although I don't exceed the speed limit and I'm careful in city traffic.

I park outside the Sugden Sports Centre and turn off the engine. The immobiliser comes on and I put the steering lock on the car. I get out of the car and a homeless person walks past. I make sure I lock it properly and that the boot is locked too. I go over to the church.

I go through the front doors of the church and there's sofas set out and groups of people chatting.

It's a nicely organised social event. It's a chill-out café for people to get together, the ideal kind of place to bring friends.

I talk to a few people there. They're polite and nice. There's a bar that's serving non-alcoholic cocktails, muffins and cookies. I buy a drink and a cookie - they're good quality. I have a chat with the people there. I'm enjoying it here.

I speak to the guy who invited me out tonight.
Him: "How did it go on Friday?"
Me: "It was a really good night. There were break-dancers, a singer and 90's music."
Him: "I didn't even end up going on Friday because my friends cancelled."
Me: "You should have phoned me. When I go out we're always on time and don't cancel."
Him: "Yes. I should have."
Me: "I'll let you know next time. I'm out every Friday so if you want to come let me know."

When no-one was coming out on Friday except Alex K I was wondering if everyone does go out and have a good time anyway. But now I get it. I never communicated to everyone what happens on our night out. I just invited them, and they expected it to be like everyone else's night out – people turning up late, venues that are too loud, expectation to buy rounds and so on. I realise that I have to start communicating how good the night out is so people realise it's different and better.

Then a band starts playing, they play 3 songs. The first one is very good and with a bit of work could be a hit. The other songs are ok. It's nice to have some entertainment.

Then the band finishes and everyone claps, we chat some more.

Me: "How often do you run these events?"
Guy at bar: "Every few months. There's one in December then it's a few months until the next one. It varies."

Then I notice the bus lady is here. The bus lady is a woman in her 50's who gets on buses with lots of students on, stands at the front of the bus and tells them in public speaker style how she's been oppressed in her home country, that she's a refugee and hands out leaflets about her situation. Then she hustles students for money. She never approaches office workers, it's always students. It seems like she can spot naïve and kind hearted people a mile off which is why she's here. Most people don't speak to her but some welcome her.

I speak to a guy who's filming some of the event. He says how they put together a media pack to promote the church and it's events.

At 9pm the event finishes. I'm asked to come along to their church every Sunday morning. I decline because it's too far for me to come, although I say I'd visit the evening events.

It was a good event. The food, drink and atmosphere were good. The band were also good too.

Summary and venue reviews: Sunday 23rd November

Kings Church
Medium busy. Clientele: casual and smart casual, christians. Decor: 6/10. Music: religious pop.
Notes: Kings Church has lots of events and many student members as it's close to Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.
King's Church

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© Alex Remizo