Our Day in London

On Sunday, Mr. Outen began our day with an important reminder about what it means to go into the world with a sense of mission; “This will be the kind of day that prepares you to do good in the lives of other people,” he told us. “Think about how you will add what you learn and see and experience today to the way you think about the world and how you will use that knowledge for the benefit of others.”

And with that, we were off to one of the world’s greatest cities – London!

After our guide Peter Baldwin gave us a fantastic bus tour through the city, our first stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral. The bells peeled jubilantly to greet us as we climbed the stone steps to attend church. It was just the beginning of an amazing day that included famous sights like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the House of Parliament, #10 Downing Street, and even an enormous statue of Abraham Lincoln. The choristers were fantastic – interested and engaged and full of insightful and interesting questions and observations like these:

“It was really cool to see things that I’ve only seen in pictures and in movies, like Westminster Abbey. So much has taken place there – huge choral performances, Royal weddings – it was amazing to see the backdrop of so many things I’ve read and heard about come to life.”

“I was very interested in the acoustics of St. Paul’s because I felt I was actually singing with the choir – the architecture of the space makes the sound ring and echo. I know it was designed to do that, but I am really glad that I got to be there to hear it happen.”

“The Shard and the other modern buildings were fantastic – and a surprise! I really liked the modern parts of London. The Secret Service building is another example – the city is just such an interesting mix of old and new.”

“Every time I saw the Union Jack being flown with such pride it was very moving. I’ve always thought of it as something like a logo – something you see on a t-shirt. Now I see what it represents, and how incredibly important it is.”

“You see London in a lot of movies but when you see it in person, it’s very different. I thought it would be picture-perfect, but it’s not like that. I have the feeling of it now, and the sound of it. Real people live here, this is where their lives go on.”

With our London adventure behind us, we turned our thoughts to Salisbury and the work ahead of us. Early Monday morning we  climbed back aboard our bus in a proper English drizzle of rain, and the next and most important part of our England experience began to unfold…