I’m going to London to see the Queen…we haven’t seen the Queen, but we did see Buckingham Palace, which was disappointingly normal close up. Like the guide
book says, many of London’s important buildings are not very pompous from the outside. We know the Queen wasn’t home because the Union Jack was flying. The Queen brings her own flag with her when she’s there.
There was nothing disappointing about Westminster Abbey! Last night we took in the Evensong service in this magnificent house of God. It
was a very moving experience – to worship with others from all around the world – the old church fathers watching over us in the form of statues and gravestones. So much history is contained within these walls.
Most of the important men and women of the British Empire would have come here to worship at some time or other. We’ve just come back from one of the African colonies, and saw some of the issues firsthand that colonization brought there, complete with some of the cultural interpretations of Christianity that weren’t always helpful. I thought of how each culture, each generation interprets God in their own way.
We often blame later, but I believe they were operating within what was deemed right at their time. I am more understanding of the ‘mistakes’ we condemn the colonizers for, knowing we too make mistakes in good faith that we have done the best we knew how at the time.
My personal ties to this church are watching on television the very pompous wedding ceremonies of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and later Prince Andrew and Fergie. Both marriages are over. In some way it seems to mirror the once thriving, far reaching British Empire.
As the priest read out of the Bible, from the Prophet Jeremiah of the future promises of peace and security, Tamils from Sri Lanka were demonstrating nearby under the statue of Churchill, for an end to the war in Sri Lanka. Lord, have mercy on us.
As Canadians, we have close ties to London, to the Queen, to the British Empire. At every corner I meet the history stories out of my school textbooks. London is fascinating!