Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Week of Weeks

The Prince of Wales talking to me together with the Principal and Bursar
after viewing the plans for new buildings at Ridley Hall

As you can see from the above picture we have had quite a week at Ridley Hall -- probably one of the most momentous and busy in the whole of my forty years of ministry.

The Prince of Wales dropped by for tea on Tuesday, and it fell to me to coordinate and stage manage the event. The Prince seemed to enjoy himself very much and had good conversations with sixteen Ridley students training for ordination in the Church of England or for youth leadership. It was valuable for the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England to meet some of those who will be ecclesiastical leaders when he comes to the throne.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that this is something that happens every day for this was the first royal visit to the college since its doors opened in 1881. It has certainly raised our profile in Cambridge, with Ridley being on the front page of the local paper twice in a couple of weeks. My impression of the Prince having met him briefly is rather different from the image that the media paint of him.

But that wasn't the end for the week, because on Thursday we had a major event at Lambeth Palace hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It kicked off among major donors and potential donors the campaign that we hope will put new academic and residential facilities for students at Ridley Hall -- the first building of its kind since 1914. Again, it was my responsibility to make it happen. It didn't help that there were torrential rains all afternoon and evening despite nothing being forecast. However, it went off well and we seem to have gathered some new friends who we believe are going to help us to make the expansion of Ridley Hall a reality.

But that isn't the end of it all. At this very moment, even as my fingers hit the keys, the Council of the College are working toward the selection of a new Principal and we were all tied up in that yesterday. Meanwhile next week we have a very important Council meeting, an Alumni/ae event with 150-200 participants, and the first lecture in a series of public lectures in memory of Professor Charlie Moule with Bishop Tom Wright as the speaker. We aren't quite sure how many visitors will be coming for that, but we have learned someone has made it the primary reason for coming from the USA.

Someone suggested to me the other day that I might be slowing down now in preparation for retirement. I had to chuckle because I have never being going so hard in my whole life. While I expect retirement will happen one of these fine days, right now it is a dirty word as there is just too much to do for the Kingdom of God!


David Wilson said...

Tea with the Prince of Wales! You certainly are moving in higher circles these days.

It was just yesterday you were having cornbread at Cracker Barrel with the Men's Bible Study in Murfreesboro TN

God bless you, Richard

David Wilson

Anonymous said...

Richard, On May 27 Rachel presented us with our granddaughter. So glad that you are having fun with royalty!!! Life in Bama continues to be the same. We have joined Holy Spirit Anglican in Prattville. It is very similar to what CTR used to be. The Bishop declared it dormant two years ago.
Glad I found you again. God Bless