On Wednesday 24 May, the interns turned out in force to celebrate Matthew and Marie’s birthdays.
On the hottest day of the year so far, we gathered at a restaurant near Bank to enjoy not only each other’s company but some decidedly sinful looking scallops and steaks.
Since returning from Rome, we have had a talk from Dr Harry Hagopian who is a special adviser to the Bishops Conference on Middle Easter issues. In a talk which could have gone all day, for the wealth of information and passion Harry had for sharing it, we learnt all about the ‘Arab Spring’ last year and what it might mean for Christian groups in the region.
Having been shut away from all civilisation in order to finish my dissertation, this time last year, the events taking place in Northern Africa and the extended Middle East were of interest but low on my to-do list of things to be reading up on.
Harry Hagopian gave us a clear chronology of events and offered an explanation of why they had occurred in the order they did. It was an interesting and informative morning of current affairs and another example of how faith influences political events and vice versa.
Harry’s latest podcast on clashes in Northern Lebanon can be heard here:
Last Friday morning our attentions turned from Middle East hostilities to the Ascension, and the theological and metaphysical questions posed by Christ’s return to heaven in the presence of his disciples – guided by Fr James Hanvey.
This was followed by a tour of Westminster Abbey.
The last week encapsulates the great range of events and issues we are exposed to as interns. We are constantly presented with different perspectives and arguments regarding faith in the public sphere and the potential impact our decisions, or the other decisions of others, can have.
We have a few more seminars with Fr James left as well as another inter-faith day (visiting a synagogue this time) and meetings with some other potentially exciting people... as well as the Eccleston Square Open and our final retreat.