Sunday was Palm Sunday so we went to Southwark Cathedral. We had visited earlier on when Laine was here and decided that they seemed like particularly nice people. We also felt that it would be a smaller, less crowded Palm Sunday than St. Paul's. The procession began at 10:30 in the Borough market, so in order to make sure that we would get there in time we left my flat at 9am. However, the bus was trucking along- and we made it there before 10. This ended up being just fine because that meant that we met Michelle. Michelle is originally from Chicago and seems to work for the Cathedral (we never did find out exactly what she does...) Michelle was very chatty and not only helped us figure out *where* in Borough market we were meant to be, but also had a fun time talking with us about the realities of Americans living in London.
For the procession they had the congregation line up on either side of a random road in the market. We sang songs as a whole group with the accompaniment of two painfully bad trumpeters. I kept catching the eyes of people across the aisle as the trumpets messed up *again* and then struggled to keep from laughing. Fortunately everyone seemed to be pretty good natured about the terrible, terrible trumpets. They were so bad that the congregation had to sing loudly and forcefully to keep the tempo/melody/tune/really any musical element you can think of- steady. Finally the choir came out, some more hymns were sung, a bunch of holy water was splattered and incense jangled around. We processed in with the same first hymn again and the beginning of the procession, the end of the line, and the trumpeters were all in completely different places in the song...
The service was long, involved a LOT of standing, and a lot of intonation. Grammy and I both decided that we think the people are wonderful, but we are not excited about the services at Southwark.
Afterwards we found the coffee area and sat at a little table and watched children race about. Michelle came and found us again and we had another great conversation with her before exchanging phone numbers. Grammy noticed that the patio we were sitting on also belonged to the Cathedral's cafe- so we went and had lunch there. Very nice chicken pies with carrots and thick cut french fries.
That evening my friend Sarah came round and we had vegetable stew, home made scones with clotted cream butter, and watched Amelie together before having a sleepover.