Posted by: dacalu | 19 June 2008

Last Days in London

On Friday, after saying mass at St. Matthew’s and having lunch with Jon Green, I met up with the Ven Chris Lowson and got to see the inside of Church House, the C of E headquarters.  Church house is conveniently located right between St. Matthew’s and Westminster Abbey, so I passed it on a regular basis. Father Lowson is the Director of Ministry for the Archbishops’ Advisory Council and, among other duties, is the staff member responsible for coordinating discernment.  We had a great talk about where the church is going, including pioneer ministry, the ordination track aimed at raising up presbyters for fresh expressions of church.  Check out http://www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents/ministry and http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk to see a little more about the official C of E line on things.

That evening, I caught a performance of the musical “Wicked” which I recommend highly, especially if you liked the book.

On Saturday I finally caught evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  (I’d been trying for over a week, but somehow it never fit.)  St. Paul’s is a beautiful church designed by Christopher Wren and built at the end of the 17th century.  It presents a great counterpoint to Westminster Abbey.  The Abbey is stark Gothic while the Cathedral is restrained Baroque.  I prefer Gothic, but I have to admit it’s a stunning piece.  It dominates that part of the city and has a very airy feeling inside.  I was only there for a service, so I didn’t take pictures, but they have a nice website at http://www.stpauls.co.uk/.  There are nice images on Wikipedia as well.

I suppose this is time for a comment on the price of admission.  Both the Abbey and the Cathedral charge about ten pounds admission.  I understand the tourist trade, but it feels strange to have to pay to get into a church.  I decided not to in the case of St. Paul’s.

On the way back to St. M’s I stopped by the Tate Modern Art Gallery and found myself surprised by how many pieces I liked.  I’m usually not a fan of modern art.  A very nice modern bridge crosses the Thames from St. Paul’s to the Tate.  You can see the view above.

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