Tuesday, our first day in London, we walked on Westminster Bridge
You can see Mark teaching even there!
Then it was back to Westminster Abbey. Just across the street from the Abbey is Methodist Central Hall, site of the first meeting of the UN. We had a lovely tour there and were unexpectedly serenaded by 30 minutes of change-ringing bell patterns ringing out from the Abbey! It was glorious music! Then, just as unexpectedly, Queen Elizabeth drove right in front of us as she made her way to the Abbey to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. We went to Wesley’s Chapel, the Foundry Chapel, John Wesley’s home, his burial site, and then Bunhill Fields cemetery across the street where Susanna Wesley is buried. We had meaningful devotion times in both the chapel and Wesley’s home. As we departed the chapel, we were treated to a fly by of 100 different planes in various formations. Again, part of the celebration of the Royal Air force Anniversary. Of course there was plenty of sight seeing along the way including a stop at Buckingham Palace, quaint little place at the end of the mall! A full and wonderful 1st day.
Wednesday we met the Rev. the Lord Leslie Griffiths at Parliament. Lord Griffiths is a lifetime peer in the House of Lords and happens to be the recently retired minister from Wesley’s Chapel. He arranged an amazing tour of Paliament for us including lunch in the House of Commons cafeteria, and incredible “backstage” access to the offices and meeting rooms of the House of Lords. This is all in addition to the Chambers for the House of Lords, the Robing Room, and the Great Hall (where Thomas Moore was tried and Charles I was tried and MANY great events of state have happened.) After the tour and lunch Lord Griffiths took us to one of the Lords’ conference rooms and spoke with us about faith and politics. His words ended up being a profound sermon. What a blessing it was to hear and learn from him, and we were incredibly honored by his generosity in sharing time and so many extras in our tour. Late afternoon included Even Song at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Some of us discovered that a concert was being held tonight at St. Paul’s so we grabbed a quick supper across the street from the cathedral and went back for the concert. It was sublime organ, harp, percussion, and choir music from composers Copeland, Barber, Dvorak, Bernstein, Ives, and a collection of Spirituals. Learning, being awed by historical spaces and structures, serendipitous moments, and spiritual gifts filled day number two. Amazing!