Or is that Mourning at Lambeth?
I am back in the newsroom with a host of journalists - there are a lot here. The Cone of Silence has now descended over the Lambeth Conference. At this moment the bishops are all ensconced in their Indaba groups, Indabing away.
Last night I stood with a few friends near the gate after Rowan Williams completed his presidential address (the session of course was closed). The bishops came streaming out, going in all different directions. One of the first out was the Presiding Bishop Schori, who came out walking in long strides in a purple shirt and collar and blue jeans.
She strode on by, by herself, looking at no one and up to a grassy knoll nearby where she stopped and stood alone, waiting.
More and more bishops came out, streaming across the road. Some headed into a VIP dinner hosted by Rowan Williams who appeared in his black cassock and purple stole - er sash, er red purple cinture (thanks Anon) or is it CINCTURE (thanks James) and his hair, though still hippie long, now shaped and cut. He came out with a bunch of blacked cassocked bishops, only these wore purple beanies - he seemed to be in closer company with those "ecumenical guests" then anyone else, until Bishop Keith Ackerman of Quincy popped up to him, all energetic and funny and made Rowan smile as patted him on the back.
Then out came Bishop David Jones, of Virginia, who I have a knack of running into. He seems to be the one I see in airports or on planes or while on a bus, or at these kind of gatherings or in restaurants at home. The last time I saw him was in court.
He walked out of the gate with his wife and I waved and said hello. He responded with an enthusiastic hello, then he recognized me and his face fell and he moved on, whispering to his wife. Oh well.
Next out was the Archbishop of the Southern Cone, Gregory Venables. He came over and greeted my friends with hugs and blessings. I hadn't met him before and so when he turned to me I introduced myself and said I was with BabyBlueOnline. "Baby Blue," he exclaimed and I got not only a hug, but a blessing. I don't know if I've ever receive a personal blessing from a bishop before. To my astonishment, tears stung my eyes.
More and more bishops poured out from the gates, some getting into cars, some gathering in small groups, some going off to the VIP dinner, some headed to their rooms. One of the small groups was across the road and included Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles and Suffragan Bishop of Texas, Dena Harrison. They stood together chatting up folks as they walked by as though they were running for office.
A car pulled up and the driver turned out to be Georgette Forney of Anglicans for Life. It was delightful to see a her and we promised to touch base before the conference ends. Anglicans for Life does have a booth in the "Marketplace." Haven't been to the Marketplace yet, but perhaps there will be time to stroll through today.
Finally, our car arrived and we all piled in to head back to the home base. There was a fantastic dinner waiting when we got there (well, actually, it was almost all gone as there were folks there all ready who found the food as delicious as we did). We sat in the kitchen around a big square table and threw out our theories of the day, debating and shouting and carrying on until I found my head bobbing in the pudding and said good night.