PART 1. I was disappointed when my hostess in London informed me she had set up a tour for us to go on. I’m not a tour-going kind of tourist and I was sure no tour was going to show me to the kind of places I’d want to see. “But it is the Christian Heritage Tour” she explained, a bit hurt by my obvious lack of enthusiasm. I bit my lip, not wanting to appear any more unappreciative than I already had. So now I’m going to get some sappy tour of Church architecture by a typical Anglican who will explain away the empty churches with some cultural psycho babble. Surely the guide won’t know much about the truly great preachers of London I would want to know about.
As I sat on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, best know to this American mind for the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981, little was I prepared for the bouncing smiling tour guide to be another act of God’s humor upon me. Ben Virgo was his name. Surprisingly he was not a stayed traditional Anglican at all and proceeded to take us on a walking tour of London which turned the day into one of the most meaningful and memorable days of my life.
I’d like to keep telling you about it, but let me cut to the chase. In a way I had never understood, Ben helped me see how much of key moments in history can be tied back to London and even to specific places in London. So in the midst of all the questions and unrest lately here in the US, I figured I’d test out Ben’s theory. What can we learn about racial issues from London? What about disease and pandemics? What about God and Church and Hurts?
So with no further adieu, Ben Virgo, Welcome to Church Hurts And from the other side of the pond.