A quiet, unpublicised trip…

Remember, the Simple Country BishopTM doesn’t want to be the "gay bishop". He just wants to get on with his job.

On Thursday, knowing that the conference attendees would leave early in the morning for London — for the MDG walk, lunch at Lambeth Palace, and tea with the Queen — it seemed like a good, low-profile time to make my own pilgrimage to our Mother Church. I told no one of my intentions to attend — except I had my security person follow the properly courteous protocol of alerting the Cathedral to my visit. I had him also seek permission for a videographer to accompany me on my visit for a documentary to be released sometime in 2010. We were informed that the videographer could NOT accompany me or film me inside the Cathedral. Fair enough. We were told that he could accompany me to the gate onto the Cathedral grounds, and, standing in the public street, could at least film me walking into the Cathedral through the gate’s archway.

So no publicity then?

And please, don’t get me started on this:

On Thursday, knowing that the conference attendees would leave early in the morning for London — for the MDG walk, lunch at Lambeth Palace, and tea with the Queen…

Then, we were off to London. Many months ago, I had been contacted by the Cara Trust, a philanthropic organization who has been providing support and services to those living with HIV/AIDS since the early days of the pandemic. They invited me to have tea with them and many of their clients — now not just limited to gay men, but including heterosexuals, women and especially women of color. What an honor to be asked, and what an honor to accept.

In one of those divinely humorous coincidences, our travel route from Canterbury and through the jam-packed traffic of London took us around Buckingham Palace, just at the precise moment that bishops and spouses were streaming off their coaches and into the Palace, for tea with the Queen.


Update (Tuesday Morning) – I am of course assuming an East to West journey. The RAC informs us however that by far the best approach to where Gene was going would be via Battersea, approaching from the South and missing Buck Palace by a good mile or so. Check it out.

25 Comments on “A quiet, unpublicised trip…

  1. Have you considered that he was being driven and being shown around London (as a foreigner visiting London)? Perhaps his drivers picked the route? Were you in the car?


    Last time I drove through London a couple of years ago I can’t think of one time that I drove the direct route. If one visits only every so often it is worth seeing by going out of the way. In Paris (a much prettier city than London) I have even gone so far out of my way as to be forced to drive through the 1st when I was only attempting to go from the 4th to the 7th. I was a tourist. Like all of the bishops (including +Gene). Perhaps the friends he was traveling with wanted him to see Buckingham out of a feeling that he had been wrongly excluded from events. If I had been driving him that day I would have driven him past Elizabeth Windsor’s rather large house, too. Just because it is wrong that he wasn’t there as a bishop of our church.

    It is always easiest to assume the worst of other people, I suppose. And to imagine that we understand their experience. Since he dares to be gay and not to cower and hide in the closet like some of your friends, or to embrace the thoroughly discredited “cures,” he probably deserves all of the abuse that you can heap upon him, eh?

    Nice job, Peter. I am sure that you feel that you advanced the gospel again with this one.

  2. I worked in London for five years and drove in and out of Westminster at least once a week. The *only* possible reason that you would want to drive down the Mall and Birdcage Walk is if you were deliberately going to look at Buckingham Palace. Otherwise it simply isn’t worth the while if you’re busy trying to get somewhere.
    Look, the bottom line is this. From Canterbury you take the A2 all the way (via the M2) into Central London. Carrying on west? The closest you’ll get is the backend of Buck Palace heading to Hyde Park Corner from the south. Going north? Same approach. To happen to drive past the entrance of Buck Palace on a route west, starting in Canterbury you *must* have made a deliberate diversion to either go through Trafalgar Square (which is a traffic blackspot at midnight!!!) or you’ve deliberately taking a turning to have a look.

  3. Further to comments above, you would not see the front entrance (where the Bishops went in) of Buck Palace if you were driving up the rear of Buck Palace towards Hyde Park Corner.

  4. Red Stick Rant has the postcode to the CARA Trust where the HIV shindig was, so I was able to run it through a route planner. The journey comes very clearly out as coming into Westminster over Vauxhall Bridge Road, passing through Victoria and then up the back of Buck Palace. There is absolutely *no* way they would have seen the bishops offloading *unless* they made the detour to have a look.

    That’s with the AA. With the RAC route planner (who are generally much better at this sort of thing) the journey comes in from the southwest and doesn’t even go close to Buck Palace. There’s a fantastic interactive map here to check it out.

    Case closed.

  5. Dennis,

    Gene, the Simple Country Bishop who just wants to stay at home and do his country bishop job, has been to London several times before. If it was his first time there then you would have a case, but given he has been in and out of the capital so many time, the idea that this was to allow him to finally see Buck Palace holds no water.

  6. Peter,

    As someone who engages with you on this blog regularly, I am concerned that you may have lost a little perspective.  Have you considered giving up your day job and becoming some form of under-cover detective?  If so, I think your energies would be better spent investigating something more serious than Gene Robinson’s route into Central London.  If this, doesn’t grab you, you might want to ponder what it is from within yourself that causes you to project so much of your negative energy onto Gene Robinson.

    Pax, Winston.

  7. Again, some common sense from Winston. Peter has said how busy he is, yet has time for this incredible rubbish…
    Added to this I didn’t hear anything about this ‘trip’ that was supposed only to grab headlines.  Certainly nothing on the BBC, the largest news organisation here…      

  8. Hi Winston,

    If this was *all* I was doing then I think you’d have a point. That however simply isn’t the case.

    There is of course though the wider issue that Gene Robinson has come over to the UK to play the victim narrative, when he is nothing of the sort. These things need setting out and revealing.

  9. Ah, yes… time and bloody time again we’re told “It’s not about Gene Robinson.”

    Time and bloody time again it all comes back to Gene Robinson, homosexuality, same-sex blessings.

    The consistency is breathtaking.

    As for +VGR not being a victim…? or “playing the victim”? What about the so-called “orthodox” who time and bloody time again whine about THEIR victimhood, THEIR persecution by TEC, THEIR being “driven out” of their apostate churches?

  10. Just think though Peter, what else you might be doing instead?  Some bible study, a little bit more prayer, door to door visits.  In the end, you rightly decide how you use your time, but I think there is more going on in this pursuit of Gene Robinson than what you are admitting.

    Additionally, who are you revealing this supposed lack of honesty of Gene Robinsons to?  Surely, his being an openly gay bishop is enough to damn him in the eyes of your friends and allies.  So, why the extra work?  Who are the people who need to see the sort of stuff that you are revealing about Gene Robinson at the moment?

    Maybe, the press might help you.  You could email the religious affairs editors of the major newspapers with your scoop, and see whether they think that it will help the conservatives in their cause.

    By the way, I have just got back off holiday, and watched the programme about Gafcon etc. from BBC2 last week.  One thing that struck me again is how difficult it will be long term to keep the various alliances made at Gafcon together.  Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals are ultimately not natural bedfellows, can you imagine Peter Jenson at High Mass followed by Benediction celebrated by one of the flying bishops or African primate in purple biretta (I haven’t see one of those for a long time, a blast from the past courtesy of BBC2.  Of course, you might say that these differences are minor things, but, to my mind, they reflect huge differences of sacramental theology and ecclesiology – this is Reformation stuff.

  11. PW, you would have a point if +Gene had stayed home and got on with his job. Instead, he’s been playing “Me, Me, Look at Me!!!” for two weeks in London, where the DoNH does not seem to have a single parish.

    Gene Robinson has been making it all about Gene Robinson. While I wish that folks would just ignore the pathetic old queen, he’s been jumping up and down and waving his arms so much that it would be impolite not to notice.

  12. Heh.

    My favorite part about these comments is . . . just how much they’d prefer, Peter, that you not notice that the “travel route” was not apparently “one of those divinely humorous coincidences” after all, and that if you should happen to notice it, that you definitely not point it out on a blog for people to see.

    Please, please . . . be quiet, Peter.

    And again . . . just in case you didn’t hear or understand the comments, please . . . Be Quiet.

    ; > )

  13. Ahh…being quiet is not something that Peter understands I fear….which is a shame because it is well testified to in the scriptures:
    … take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1.19)
     In quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30.15)
    Winston I think you are spot on about Gafcon; Tom Wright has done a very good analysis over at Fulcrum.

  14. Thank you for playing Dennis. There is a ban on this blog on commenters who accuse conservatives of naked prejudice. You are quite welcome to come and argue theological points, but not to abuse me.
    And before you ask, pointing out that Gene Robinson’s actions contradict his statements is not abuse. Calling him names would be.

  15. Sound,

    I think you misunderstand the Scripture. I doesn’t read “never to speak, never to become angry”.

    These days I’m so busy in the parish that I generally have a day at least (if not more) to mull over things before I post. That allows me to make sure that I’m not just posting as a knee-jerk but instead have considered what I want to write.

    Oh, and you also chopped off the other half of the Isaiah quote, which explains the whole exhortation:

    “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength”

    Time for Communion methinks…
    P.S. – Am I the only one who thinks that Isaiah 30:15 is picked up implicitly by the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews and applied to Jesus as the one who accomplishes this activity?

  16. Ahh..well at least you recognise that it isn’t just conservatives who pick bits of the bible to suit their own conclusions.
    And I note you’ve gone very quiet about your leading peiple down a wide road to hell comment…are you ready to withdraw it yet?

  17. Sound,

    I have no idea where the first part of your response comes from. As to the “wide road to hell”, I’ve answered that where you asked it initially. The matter is closed.

  18. I am afraid you didn’t answer it at all Peter. 
    You will recall that I quoted something fron Nick Baine’s blog at Fulcrum, and you were horrified to be compared to the placard waving people who accused Bishop Gene of leading people to hell. You have said that you have only used the phrase once so that makes it ok….. I don’t quite follow your logic I’m afarid. 
    So I have asked, do you actually mean it or not? And that is the bit that I am afraid I can’t see any response to.   

  19. Oh, and before you ask why it is relevant to this thread,  it’s simply because you seem to be saying something in a comment here about it not being accceptable to call Gene Robinson ‘names’; but I suspect that accusing him of leading people to hell comes in to that category, which is why I am politely inviting you to withdraw or modify it… 

  20. Peter, I’m really sorry but I can’t see any answer to my question. Could you post the URL of it please? Perhaps I have just missed it. And for absolute clarity, the question I have not had an answer to is: do you believe that Bishop Gene Robinson is ‘leading people down a wide road to hell’? (your words in italics, not mine).  As always, feel free to e-mail if you think that would be a more fruitful exchange, but I’d love the answer to this question.      And I don’t really need to highlight your double standards – you seem to have been quite effective at doing that yourself!

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