We’re all pooped. It’s a long, long week here in London. It’s good, it doesn’t really fall into the category of a forced march, but it’s very long days. We began at 7:30 am and ended at 10:45 pm. A good day, but very, very long.
Today was Holy Trinity Wednesday. Our day was spent in Kensington and Chelsea, truly one of the richest neighborhoods in the world – and it’s easy to tell. The Mercedes cars are the cheap cars rolling down the street. As you can imagine, this creates an interesting setting for ministry. The first half of the day was spent at Holy Trinity Sloane Square. Holy Trinity Sloane Square is a very traditional sort of place. Famous neo-gothic architecture and very, very liturgical worship [the proper words are Anglo-Catholic]. Father Nicholas, the priest, tells a great story of how there three attempts have been to close down HTSS – the first by Hitler, who dropped a bomb on it and blew off the roof, the second by the Lord Cadogan [who owns the land the church sits on] to build apartment flats, and the third by the Diocese of London when the church dwindled to 12 worshippers. Over the past 15 years or so, the parish has rebounded to a healthy state, yet challenged by an outward perception of money and resources.
We then walked the half-mile down the street to Holy Trinity Brompton. HTB [as it’s known here in London] is a huge, thriving congregation that in terms of worship styles is the exact opposite of HTSS. HTB is a bit of London’s version of a mega-church, with a significant dose of humility. HTB is also the home of the Alpha program. Alpha is an introduction to Christian faith that spans a 10-week period of time. More than 25 million people have participated in an Alpha program somewhere in the world, nearly all of them people outside of faith – agnostics, atheists and de-churched people. We went to an Alpha class at HTB this evening. They’re in the fourth week and about 600 people were there for dinner, a presentation and small group discussion. It was quite amazing.
We found our way back to our home base, spent some time reflecting as a group and crawled back to our rooms. We all hope you had a blessed day and knew God’s presence.
Peace to you from the London four.