Off to Oxford for 2 days ~ yippee! Main purpose – to visit CMS Church Mission Society HQ today – to meet all the wonderful people who work there and share with them a little about life in Taiwan. Oh, and to give them all a few smarties, glitter, bubbles – and fun. After all there they are, working hard all day long. Helping us. Supporting us. Always cheerful. Always ready to stop their work and welcome visitors like me. Ah yes, I’m so happy to visit them all 😊😊😊 – and this is the place, on the outskirts of Oxford….
But first a day of soaking up the Oxford Vibes….
Yes, a whole day yesterday in that great city of learning, the ‘city of dreaming spires’ ~ Oxford! What a city, what a university, and what glorious weather!
I admit, I’m not an Oxford person. I can’t recognise any college or building or landmark, haven’t got a clue what the colleges are, nor why they’re famous, other than just being part of Oxford University. So all I can tell you is that the buildings and colleges are beautiful, and spires are many. Spires and steeples and towers and gargoyles and churches and chapels everywhere.
And amazing autumn trees…
And some street art, especially on the Cowley Road – this poem, ‘Slowly Slowly Cowley Road,’ by Steve Larkin…
And I found a tower, belonging to the university church of St. Mary’s. It’s £4 to go up, and well worth it on a beautiful day. Great views of the Radcliffe Camera and lots of colleges. Do as I did and tag along with people who know what they’re looking at!
I spent hours walking the streets and looking at everything. What a great city!
This is the area around Christ Church Cathedral, which is also the college chapel of Christ Church. £8 entrance fee, so I didn’t go in – too much else to see. And yes, there was a field of cows there too…
Came back along the Iffley Rd ~ Roger Bannister’s famous 4-minute mile was done here!
Other scenes along the Iffley Rd, including the Mad Hatter Pub…
And The Oxford Blue….
And so to CMS HQ today. And it was quite some day. Non-stop action all day long. So many old friends and new, and lots to catch up on. And photos to take. Did a short talk about Taiwan at lunchtime. And I was very well looked after for the whole day by Anne, who smiled all day long. Ever cheerful. The salt of the earth. We all love her to bits. Spot her in the photos below, we’re the ones in red!
These are all the great people who spent 30 minutes listening to me talking non-stop about Taiwan…. and they were still smiling at the end ~ YES!
I presented CMS with an artillery shell cross from Bishop Lai and the Diocese of Taiwan, one for CMS, and one also for our CEO Philip Mounstephen as he leaves to become the new Bishop of Truro. He wasn’t there today, so everyone else posed for a photo on his behalf instead! Actually, Bishop Lai called me earlier this morning from Taiwan, and so I brought greetings from him to everyone at CMS.
A big thank you to all those who made my visit to Oxford today really wonderful – including those in the CMS house where I was given a warm welcome. And special thanks to all those in CMS HQ, these guys have been taking such good care of me all these years. Y’know, CMS is a great group of people, and I love ’em to bits. God is so good!