It's Monday morning we arrive in London just after 10.00am Martha heads off to make her connection to Edinburgh and I pick up my luggage and head for my hotel in central London.
I'm here to meet the new Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss areas of common interest between our churches. It's been a busy day for the Archbishop. He had a ceremony of confirmation in St Paul's Cathedral in the morning and meetings in the afternoon. I was delighted that he was able to find the time to have this initial meeting of introduction at the end of a busy day. We arranged to meet in the Lords.
A couple of months ago the Lord High Commissioner facilitated an opportunity for me to host a dinner party in the Lords to discuss the Report given to the Assembly last year on the "Purpose of Economy" It was a wonderful venue to bring together politicians, and a number of economic experts including Professor Munn the author of the report, to discuss how we might take things forward at a national level.
We find ourselves deep in discussion with one of the Archbishop's senior officials, David Steele the veteran politician walks past as does Douglas Hurd the former cabinet minister twenty years ago. Suddenly our conversations are interrupted as a slightly built man in a grey suit with a cross around his neck, begins shaking hands with the delegation from the Church of Scotland. It was obvious from the word go this would be a more informal style meeting, which it was, and from which I hope in the future some really good things will emerge.
Finding ways to build upon all these relationships I'm sure will be of great assistance to us as national churches in helping us find a positive way forward working together on common issues to make a difference in the lives of the people who live in our respective parishes across the UK.
I came away with the sense that this is going to be a very different kind of leadership from that shown by Rowan Williams. I also think the Church of England will have to adapt to a very different style of person at the helm. I truly wish him well as he takes up his duties. One thing I liked about Archbishop Justin was that he was upbeat about the challenges facing our denominations.
About an hour later I was back on the Tube, no not YouTube, feet plodding on the ground heading toward the hotel. No taxis for the Moderator when the Principal Clerk is around. He loves his Oyster Card and the fun of hopping on and off the London Underground. As for me he reminded me that the Principal Clerk's primary job is to keep the Moderator humble.
I mumbled under my breath and smiled and lugged my bag another mile. thinking to myself at least he thinks I'm humble- that must be good don't you think?