I arrived in London on Fathers’ Day, three hours late and weary. My brother Andrew met me and off we went to see Dad. He was in fine shape and we had a brief visit. On Wednesday we returned and spent a bit longer. Dad recognized me instantly and recalled early memories which is where his mind is these days. He is well cared for and happy. He is now 94. God willing I shall try to get back for his 95th birthday next April as next summer will be crazy in London with the Olympics.
On Tuesday I made a pilgrimage to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
I was made a deacon there in September 1975 and then priested at the end of June in 1976 – so this was an anniversary. When I was able to enter – the Queen was there for a special service and I did see her drive by – I was able to sit reflect and remember. It was a very special time.
On Thursday and Friday I stayed with Bishop Henry Scriven of CMS (Church Missionary Society). We had been made deacons together in 1975 at St. Paul’s and have stayed in touch over recent years as we were both in the US and now work with CMS and SAMS. Not only did we catch up but also were able to work on a number of things affecting Peru.
No visit to Oxford is complete for me without a visit to three places. Blackwells, Brown’s Cafe in the market and – MOST IMPORTANTLY – the martyr’s cross in the Broad Street where Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake in 1555.
On Sunday I was in Buckden, near Cambridge with my cousin Richard Noble and his wife Rachel. They had called friends and family and we had a wonderful reunion over the two days spent there.
St. Mary’s Church in Buckden is old and lively.
I was invited to speak at the Family Communion service. The Rev’d Ally Barrett hes designed this service for once a month and it involves the children as well as adults. It was fascinating how she helps weave it all together. I had a board of pictures up as a story board. For the prayers she gathered the children under the Holy Communion Table and there they used a heart, a circle and pictures of people being prayed for. This included lots of Peru pictures as I was introducing the congregation to what God is doing in Peru.
No visit to London is complete with out a visit to my nephew David’s pub. It is called the Ladywell Tavern in Lewisham. We had a wonderful family time as Andrew’s three – plus Julie and including Natasha’s boyfriend Patrick – gathered for dinner, quiz night and drinks. It was fabulous.
I am now safely back in the USA – writing this while I await my flight from Detroit to CT where Polly will meet me. I am thanking God for a great ten days with family and friends, remembrances and, amazingly, flight upgrades to make the trip home easy and comfortable. God is so GOOD.