Tag Archives: anglican communion

Tangier: St. Andrew’s Church

The British always establish churches when their diplomatic corps arrives.  I’ve visited several of these churches around the world.

St. Andrew’s Church, Tangier was founded in the 1800s, and is still an active congregation of ex-pats and I suppose a few converts.

The gardens are open all the time, but the church building itself is closed.  The caretaker is around, however, and he’s happy to have a handshake and a token of appreciation as he opens the church.

My guide was trying to figure out why I was taking photos in the churchyard. I explained my concept of necrotourism, and my fascination with epitaphs.  This particular church yard was filled with life, reminding me that “in the midst of life, we are in death.” Life, death — both parts of the circle.

A particularly moving corner of the churchyard features the graves of several airmen from World War II.  You can see that they were killed in two separate sorties, and all buried together in the churchyard.

London: Westminster Abbey

With the rain on Wednesday, I stayed in at my flat and did some school work and email management.

Just before 12 noon, I bought an Oyster card at the Lambeth North stop and walked half a block to catch a red double-decker bus, and then rode across Westminster Bridge to Westminster Abbey.

The bell tower (‘Big Ben’) at the Houses of Parliament is completely shrouded in scaffolding, so I’ll have no iconic photos this trip.

At 12.30 p.m. sharp, the bell rang inside the Abbey and a priest walked toward the altar in front of the grave of Sir Isaac Newton. And 100 or so pilgrims celebrated noonday Eucharist together in this most special house of worship. No matter that tourists were milling around on three sides, or that the din of their chatter never allowed for holy silence. God is in this place.

N.B. — in this country, when asked where you are from, kindly say “Saint Louis, USA.” Missouri means nothing in the grand scheme, but many Britons know of the Arch and Saint Louis.

After Holy Eucharist, I lunched in the Abbey Cellarium on salmon with blistered cherry tomato, artichoke, new potatoes, and capers. And feasted on dessert of white chocolate and lemon mouse, with a black cherry sauce. Lunch was heavenly.

As I was finishing dessert, two older gay men with American accents sat down at the adjacent table.

Said one, “I wonder what the soup is today.”

I leaned over, feigned a shudder, and said “sweet potato and celery,” which was true.

Then ensued a brief conversation. One of the men took degrees from SLU and WashU, and used to go the Opera Theatre on the Webster campus before moving to San Francisco. His partner grew up in Cape Girardeau. They met in Saint Louis.

By the way, they did not order the soup either.

The world is plenty small sometimes!

Here’s a shot of the west front of the Abbey from a couple of blocks away, taken in the rain today:

In the distance at left, you can see the scaffolding that is completely hiding the famous Big Ben.

Thursday prayer

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past: be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know thee as thou art revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of thy love. Amen.

I love this prayer, one that I read tonight at Evening Prayer as part of the regular cycle of prayers at the coming of night.

This prayer is based upon the story of the appearance to the disciples at Emmaus.

Confirmation

The Church of Saint Michael and Saint George yesterday welcomed three dozen confirmands.  I remember well my own confirmation 20 years ago at the hands of Bishop Buchanan at Resurrection in Blue Springs.

How blessed I am to be part of the wider Anglican communion!

Here’s a photo of the adult confirmands with the Bishop, the Rector, and the Curate, all in front of the high altar.  More photos are on CSMSG’s Facebook page.