Saturday evening proved to be the worst experience of my trip to
Sunday morning, after my tangle with the receptionist who didn’t speak English and discovering that the advertised “free tourist information” was, in fact, pay-per-15-minutes Internet access (which I used but refused to pay for), I walked nearly over a mile to St. Augustine’s Anglican Church (supposedly the closest Anglican church to the hotel) for the last 20 minutes of their service. Afterwards I did make it to the
At this church, I met a lovely Irish woman, Mary, who chatted with me for several minutes while the first service was finishing up. Later she invited me to sit with her when she saw me sitting alone before service started. That was really very nice. I can’t tell you how many American churches I’ve sat in, awkwardly waiting for someone to approach me and welcome me to service and extend a hand of friendship. Mary did that right off the bat, and I had the feeling she would have invited me over to dinner except she was being driven home by someone else. An interesting contrast to one experience when, after 2 years of attendance at a certain church and never having visited anyone else’s home, the greeter, whom I had passed every Sunday for two years, asked me if I was visiting. Let this be a lesson to myself, who doesn’t tend to be the social type with people I’ve never met: a kind word and greeting can mean a lot to someone. Genuineness is also generally a plus and, if possible, invite people into your home to get to know them.
Sunday afternoon I walked around Wembley, which is in
In the evening I arrived, a little late, to St. Michael’s Anglican Church for evening
My experiences with Mary and Peter taught me a lot about myself and the state of the current evangelical church in the United States as contrasted with the Church, both evangelical and Anglican, in England. Or at least my small taste.