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Westminster away weekend (part 1)

Dear Vernon,

It was the Westminster Meeting away weekend from Friday through Saturday. We had it at the Guy Chester Centre in Muswell Hill. It’s far enough outside of central London for us to consider it to be ‘away’ from Westminster Meeting, but close enough for us to get to easily.

We met up on Friday night and the first thing I noticed was that the Centre had table-football. ‘I’ll definitely play on that’, I thought to myself at the time. Of course, I didn’t, but it is no great loss. I’m not very good at that game. I spent a year and a half living a couple of hundred yards away from Kick, a bar in Shoreditch that specialises in table-football, a while back and never once made it in their to play.

I had dinner at the Centre on Friday night. It was pretty dire, but then I’ve never been to a Christian residential centre where the food is any good – I think that they make it bad so that you concentrate on other things. Or, they make the food bad so that you feel self-righteous, like I do about it now and maybe its good for the soul in a round about way. The only good food is at Woodbrooke, the Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham. I went to High Leigh Christian conference centre in Hertfordshire earlier this year and the food wasn’t great. What was most odd about High Leigh was that they had a licensed bar and there were all these Baptists drinking beer, wine and spirits on their church retreats. They also had a manager whose name was Calamity Butler, but she was very friendly and helpful, so the name didn’t fit.

Friday night was taken up with introductions and ice breaker games. I’m used to these sorts of things with people of similar age to me – playing them with people aged about 20-85 turns out not to be any less fun! You learn little things about different people and it brings alive the worshipping community in ways that you might not expect.

Hopefully I’ll write soon about some more of the weekend.