I enjoyed coffee this morning with Lord and Lady Carey who have been visiting Sarasota from their home in Newbury, U.K.
Lord Carey is also known as the Most Reverend George L Carey. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury between 1991 and 2002.
I know the Careys better as George and Eileen. George was one of the Tutors (professors in American parlance) at St. John's Theological College in Nottingham U.K. where I was student between 1972 and 1976.
George went on from St. John's to be the Vicar of St. Nicholas Church in Durham, U.K. , then Principal of Trinity Theological College in my home City of Bristol, then Bishop of Bath and Wells, and finally what we call the ABC - the Archbishop of Canterbury.
I last saw the Careys in 1999 when I happened to be in England and was able to attend a student and staff reunion in Nottingham.
The Archbishop and his wife have been in the area for a series of events and some preaching at the Church of the Redeemer, a High Church (and thriving) parish in downtown Sarasota.
I rarely attend there because they do not allow the ministry of ordained women. I set that on one side and took myself to Redeemer for the 9:00 Eucharist yesterday (9th December 2013).
By a stroke of absolute luck I found myself to be in the same pew as Eileen Carey. Wow! She and I had a good chat after the service (the Archbishop had been taken on a whistle stop tour of Sunday School classes).
I discovered that the Careys wanted to do a bit of Christmas shopping this morning, so I met them at their hotel and drove them to the nearest Mall. There we stopped for coffee at Starbucks, and had a gabfest as we caught up with all the news of our lives.
I was never particularly close to George and Eileen at St. John's. But we had a joyous and very loving time together this morning. That was good!
The attached photo' was taken by a member of the front desk staff at the Hotel. He took so long to take the pic that I lost my ear to ear grin. That's why I look so solemn, or as one of my English friends said by e-mail earlier this evening "like prisoner 76448 between two guards!"