Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tea with the Queen

Here it is Saturday and we are just getting our bearings after a huge day Thursday. We left Canterbury and headed to London for a Walk of Witness with the Archbishop of Canterbury. We walked a mile through central London, waving placards: “Halve Poverty by 2015.” It was a gorgeous sunny day and the hundreds of bishops and spouses all seemed united in the effort. As with all of the other protest marches I have participated in, the atmosphere was light hearted, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The best part, however was getting to Lambeth Palace (toilets and cold water), where we heard a fantastic speech by Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister. He spoke very passionately and with no notes. It was very inspiring, and heartening to think that he and presumably the party in power are 100 percent behind the Millennium Development Goals: no waffling, either! Nor did he make any terrible gaffes in his grammar. Hard to believe…

Lunch was served in a vast tent behind Lambeth Palace: delicious chicken, bean salad and asparagus. Then we had ice cream and a tart for dessert.

Lunch was followed by a walk in the garden. We do a lot of “meet and greet” work! Then we were bussed to Buckingham Palace. It was just like TV. I kept clear of any place I might be confronted by a royal, so I could relax in the shade, enjoy the world class people watching. The whole day was unbelievably gracious and welcoming and thoughtful.

Friday we were back in Canterbury at the Prayer Place at 6:00 a.m. The theme of the day was the environment, and we heard some excellent presentations on global warming and how to cut down our carbon foot print. SSF and I need to re-think the amount of traveling I do; I feel like a menace to the world.

Today the Episcopal Church is leading Evensong, and I believe we will hear from the House of Bishops Choir, under the direction of my friend Dent Davidson.

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