the queen and the nuns

I clawed back a day off yesterday and went to London as a family. We went especially to watch Sister Act which was simply amazing – and a surprise for our children. Many will know that at Christmas we and Andrew and Sarah buy each other 5 tickets for the same show as a Christmas present … this year we have been a bit slow but my Sarah got a good family deal 2 weeks ago and the dates worked.

We were in row D which was brilliant. I have never been so close to the stage before and being able to see, close up, the facial expressions as well as the voices gave a whole new experience to our families. Sheila Hancock played a fantastic role as we expected and hoped she would. The show was great and I wondered about talking to Scott, our Director of Music, about stealing some ideas for our Eucharist service on a Sunday …. who knows what might happen!

Before the show we, as a family, visited Buckingham Palace – another first for us. The day before Sarah booked tickets after wondering what we could do with the children during the day as it seemed a shame to miss out on a day in London and just go up for the show.

I must admit I was not that impressed with the idea. Being a good socialist who really is not a fan of the Royal Family the last thing I wanted to do was wander around the palace and rub shoulders with lots of Royal Family fans! I was, however, very impressed. The hand held guides give loads of information in an incredibly accessible way and the rooms were simply stunning! I guess we all know they must be … but to see them was quite breath taking.

I guess, for me, the most interesting thing, and stressed a fair bit by the guide, was that this is a ‘working palace’ and that there are very few of them around in the world. Beautifully crafted items that would be museum pieces elsewhere are in everyday use in this setting which is pretty impressive – even to me as an anti-royalist! I did wonder about the many churches that could learn from this philosophy – of making sure we use the things that are precious to do us, rather than just lock them away. There is something that enhances the beauty of an object when that object continues to be used for the purpose it was designed for. When it becomes a ‘show piece’ it seems to lose dignity. But … I digress!

Walking around the state rooms was a pretty good experience – even for someone like me! So I guess I am saying it’s worth a visit!

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