We arrived in London on Tuesday, July 20 and hit the ground running. Our first stop was Westminister Abbey. Since the crowning of William the Conqueror in 1066, the Abby has been the nation's coronation church. The last coronation was on June 2, 1953 when Queen Elizabeth accessended to the throne.
It is also the burial and memorial place for many famous and historical figures such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, William Wilberforce, and Henry Purcell. Many of the Queens and Kings of England are also buried in the Abby. On Saturday September 6, 1997 the formal, but not "state" funeral of Diana, Princess of Waless was held in the Abby.
The Abby is still a working church and a place for Christian worship. On the hour, guests are asked to pause and pray. One of the on-duty priests will typically offer up a short prayer on the public address system.
After lunch, we visited St. Paul's Cathedral. The current Cathedral was designed by Christopher Wren and completed during his lifetime. Construction on the Cathedral was started in 1675 and completed in 1720. No other Cathedral in England has ever been completed in such a short period of time. The current Saint Paul's Cathedral replaced the original which was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.
The founder of our denomination, John Wesley, atteded an evensong (Evening Prayer) service at St. Paul's on May 24 1738. After the service he went to a meeting of the Moravians in Aldersgate Street where Wesley wrote that "his heart was strangly warmed." Beverly and I had the privilege of attending a worship service at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1988 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of John Wesley's "heart warming experience" at Aldersgate.
On Wednesday I was able to take in some of the other historical sites around London before the beginning of the Hillsong Conference at the O2 Arena in London. The Hillsong church, which originated in Australia, is a mega church with satalite churches in England, Europe, Argentina, Brazil, California, and New York. It has a very effective outreach to the younger population. Of the 20,000 people attending the conference, most are 20 and 30 somethings. The Hillsong church is also known for its music made popular by Hillsong United. We use some of Hillsong's music at our 9:45 Praise Service.
I will try to blog as often as I can about my trip but internet service seems to be somewhat sketchy and we are also very busy throughout the day. You might also want to check my FaceBook site to see more pictures and comments.