...and on the 6th day...
...God created MANchester.
at least that's what they tell me.
my trip to manchester last week was great.
i got to spend time with laura drane and her husband mark...
and then also ben edson, his wife ruth & their kids jude and lily.
i also got to see their community, sanctus1, in action.
from the moment i walked in the door i was set to work helping them set up for their advent art installation-'GIFT'.
sanctus1 meet in a cafe called nexus which is in the basement of the methodist church block in the center of manchester.
also sharing their back office space in a network called 'SPEAK' which works on getting out information on the injustices of the world.
so you've got sanctus, great art installations, fighting injustices, and great coffee all in one spot.
oh, and some of the 'leadership team' at sanctus are paid by BOTH the methodist & the anglican church.
so if i had to pick a word for manchester, i would pick:
it's not like in the states where each church and denomination is fighting the others down the street for fear of their lives.
no, in manchester (and around a lot of the UK) the church just wants to survive and is happy to let the other denominations do the things they do best...
let the baptists do their baptisms well,
let the anglicans do their liturgy well, etc.
sanctus1 was cool.
we had some great intellectual conversations and they do some kickass alt. worship...
but i was reassured that ben (one of the leadership team) is only artsy by association.
that made me feel a bit better.
i also got to stay in 'laura drane's castle'!
(it's really an old cathedral that's been renovated into 25 different flats)
it's beautiful and a really great space-i guess when you've got old cathedrals on every block it's easy to find new uses for them.
sanctus was a great way to end this trip.
it got my creative/spiritual/questioning juices flowing again.
now i've got about 5 days left and i head back to texas.
i'm excited, but it will be sad to leave this time and space.
it'll take a long time to unpack everything...
literally and figuratively,
but for those that have read throughout the trip-
i'm gonna be glad to get home and tell all these stories.