On Monday morning, the 31st day of July, we awoke early for breakfast and made the 20-minute walk to town for our morning sessions in Great St. Mary’s Church. Scott Key began the morning our meditation, followed by Helen Mitchell and Greg Leith challenging us to think seriously about the theology of work.
Our All Saints’ group then had lunch at the Anchor Pub. Besides serving great food and being located right on the river with a great view, it’s claim to fame is that the founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, was a regular at the Anchor during the sixties and played here on a regular basis.
In the afternoon, I listened to Terry Glaspey talk about the history of Christian Art. It was interesting since I had taught the same material for 13 weeks at All Saints a few years ago. We chose many of the same works of art to talk about, but it was interesting to hear his approach to the subject and to see those few works which he included that I did not, and vice versa. After dinner, I decided to take the opportunity to attend one of the permeances of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival which is a cultural highlight of the city of Cambridge each year. Several plays are presented simultaneously at different colleges. I chose to attend the production of the tragedy, King Lear, which was performed in the open air of Scholar’s Garden at St. John’s College. Although it was quite cool and there was brief rain, the show went on. It was excellent.
On Tuesday morning, the sessions were all held at Robinson College. First, we were blessed to hear Larry Crabb talk to us about Relational Holiness. Then, we were treated to a few sonnets and a song by the wonderful, Malcom Guite. And, then, we were blessed to hear about a collaboration by the poet, Malcom Guite, the painter Bruce Herman, and the composer J.A.C. Redford called “The Ordinary Saints Project.” Wonderful! In the afternoon, I once again attended Terry’s session on Christian Art.
After dinner, the conference shifted to St. John’s College Chapel for an incredible evening of choral bliss with a concert of the Summer Institute Choir. I wish I had the words to describe the experience. I was transported into a heavenly place, seated in the choir of St. John’s College Chapel, a holy place which housed the Spirit of the Living God on this night. The Choir, composed of world class musical professionals, sang in such a way as to communicate the truth of the Gospel to all who listened. It was, in a word, magical.