Saturday - July 14
This was our day at Oxford! We started our day in Wesley Memorial Methodist Church where we met up with our very knowledgeable guide, who has spent several decades studying the Methodist Movement in England and the formative roles of John and Charles Wesley. We were impressed with the number of colleges/universities steeped with the learning of the day. It was interesting to hear about the interplay between the religious and secular issues during this time. After lunch, we were all let loose for 3 hours of exploring the town! From here we returned to London and the Rydges Hotel in the South Kensington area.
Sunday - July 15
Our day started with worship and communion at Westminster Abbey! This was definitely a highlight! We sat in the choir area with a good view of the pageantry of the high church service. The resonance of the beautiful choir was thrilling. We shared in a high church liturgy, complete with creeds and responsive readings. Communion was served as we were directed to the alter area - with wafers and wine from a shared cup. We felt part of a random mix of people whom we didn’t know but with whom we shared a similar reverence for God and faith in Jesus.
From here we split up to explore on our own - some went for a ride on The Thames - others headed for Trafalgar Square to visit The National Gallery and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Tina and Paula stayed late for an evening concert at Westminster. After dinner - we packed up for an early departure on Monday morning to Heathrow Airport.
Monday - July 16
Emily and Milton Ford and MJ Wiseman left for the states and the rest of the group boarded for Edinburgh, Scotland. We hope the U.S. group made it safely home today.
The rest of the group loaded up our van and headed for the highlands! We stopped first at Stirling Castle, with time to explore the fascinating history of royalty and wars that took place over generations! Check it out on line to get a flavor of the area. I especially liked Queen Anne’s Garden and the wonderful views from the castle walls. While it was a formidable fortress and much living took place there - war was always threatening. From here, we drove alongside Lock Lomond (no, we didn’t see the Loch Ness Monster) and stoped for lunch in the quaint town of Luss. Here folks truly took flower gardening seriously!
The views all day were of the spectacular Scottish countryside, green hills with grazing sheep and cattle - an idyllic scene which communicated a sense of serenity and peace....though we know that hasn’t always been the case. We are now settled in to our rooms at The Atholl Arms Hotel-having shared delicious food and good company. A day well spent and one that we will always remember!
Some photos from the weekend: