The Final London Post!

Its late Sunday afternoon we've had the family for lunch  and managed to erect the Christmas tree. We still like to have our family round to help decorate the tree. Its a great time of laughter and fun and hilarity. It doesn't matter how old your children are they're all kids at heart. Today the big hunt was on for the angel with the punk rock hairstyle. Yes we normally have an angel on the tree with a punk rock haircut. I don't think I've ever noticed before but according to our grown up children he should be around. It also gave me an opportunity to share with everyone some of the things we 've been doing over the past week.  I think in my last post relating to my travels I had spoken of some of the visits that took place in London. I need to mention our visit to the Lord Mayor of London and the  Mansion House. What a treat to meet Dick Whittington's successor.  The Lord Mayor is different from the Mayor. the Lord Mayor is an annual appointment and he presides over the London Corporation. This year it is an ex St Andrew' graduate Roger Gifford. I felt like a man with a mission explaining in brief the work that the church of scotland had been doing regarding the theological thinking behind the question, "What is the purpose of economy? As we explained our interest in the development of Credit Unions and an end to "Pay day Loan" company that charge exorbitant rates, we felt we were talking to someone who had a common interest  in our topic. This was further confirmed when we met with the Archbishop of Canterbury later in the afternoon and heard about the interest that the Church of England also has in developing and encouraging the role of Credit Unions to help elevate, credit for those on low incomes, but also to begin to find creative ways in which small businesses could also borrow from Credit Unions. Now doubt some people reading the blog might wonder what all this has got to do with the church. Everything I ay. It seems to me that Jesus was continually highlighting he need to trade justly Was that not what was at the heart of him turning over the tables in the temple. Remember how he told the parable about the unemployed workers and finally how they all were paid the same at the end of the day, why?  Because they all had to buy goods in the same shops. The gospel is all about understanding how we use money and the responsibility that we all have in how we spend it individually and collectively. Our final visit was to Westminster Abbey last Monday. We were welcomed this time  by the The Very Reverend Dr John Hall  who was installed as the 38th Dean of Westminster on 2 December 2006. The Dean oversees the spiritual life of the Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster, better known as Westminster Abbey, and gives leadership to the Abbey community, which includes 200 staff and 400 volunteers. We were introduced to the senior staff team who joined us for our conversations. Since the Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, the Dean is responsible to the Sovereign alone. It has indeed a unique place in the Church of England. Our conversations were engaging and we spoke of a number of issues from Independence to the role of Church schools. I found this to be an interesting time because the Dean was also interested in the work that we have been able to pioneer in Bo'ness. My final visit that day was to Premier Radio where I was able to take part in a Christmas Radio Show for Bbc Scotland which will be broadcast on Christmas morning. All in all we had a most interesting visit to London, but I'm not finished with london yet. Later this morning Ill be heading to london to take part in a Carol Service to raise funds for the Vine Trust. This has been organised by one of our VT supporters in London. So the Christmas tree is up the carols have been practiced and its off to bed. `  
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