Day 15: Nearly there
I am in London! However, I’m not yet in central London. Tonight, I will sleep in Finchley Quaker Meeting House before walking the remaining seven miles to central London tomorrow (Friday). I plan to arrive at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in the early afternoon, where I will be met by a few friends and stay a while to pray. Then, my walking being largely over, I’ll get the train home to south-east London (being on a train will feel like a novel experience!), giving me chance to wash and change before travelling back to the church for the evening’s event.
The event, which involves a talk, questions, discussion, chance for informal conversation and tea and coffee, will begin at 7.00pm tomorrow (Friday) at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in Shaftesbury Avenue in central London. Directions can be found at http://www.bloomsbury.org.uk. You’re very welcome – whatever your views on sexuality or religion.
On Saturday morning, I will walk from the church to the Pride march, where I will join the Christian section. The Pride march will thus be the final leg of my pilgrimage.
I really don’t know what to expect tomorrow. I’ve got used to unpredictability and tomorrow’s event is no exception. My talk is basically written but not finalised. Today’s nationwide strikes, and the more general resistance to the government’s vicious cuts agenda, have made me reflect further on a theme that has been much on my mind – the relationship between sexuality and wider issues of politics and economics.
The fundamentalist campaigner Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, urged his supporters to lobby the churches hosting me on the pilgrimage, asking them not to do so. None pulled out as a result. The minister at Bloomsbury responded to these emails by inviting their writers to come to the event and discuss the issues. I hope some of them are willing to do so. But I’m not ruling out the possibility of some of them registering their objection in less constructive ways.
Although the walk has been full of uplifting and encouraging moments, and some difficult, challenging and tiring ones, there have also been a few disappointments. One of the disappointments for me is that I have not had time to respond to all of the wonderfully supportive and encouraging messages I have received. This is particularly frustrating when people have made offers which I’m now too late to take up. But I am determined to reply to all these messages individually not too long after the pilgrimage has finished. My remote support team, and many other friends and supporters, have made my walk far more organised than it would otherwise have been, but it has still been a big struggle to keep on top of the organisational elements at the same time as walking. If you’ve waiting for a reply from me, thanks very much for your patience.
I hope you can make it to Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church at 7.00pm. See you there.