Well I thought I would talk to you about the tea rooms at church house during General synod last month. Firstly, if you'r unfamiliar with the carry on there, the food is varied offering both a cooked option as well as various sandwiches, well that is unless you arrive late and then its tuna. The prices are good for London but I’m told that the food at the Methodist establishment over the road is more varied and cheaper. In church house the tea and coffee are free!
The overall ambience of the room is a bit odd I’m afraid. Certainly the wood panelled walls might have been ordered for the Bishops, to make them feel quite at home. The panelling also has the effect of making the rest of us feel awkwardly superior compared to the student demonstrators ‘kettled’ in the wintry cold outside.
Image via Wikipedia I did espy a policeman in full riot gear charge through the main doors of church house and minutes later reappear from the lower floor. He charged out again with a little less speed, this time zipping his trousers up as he ran.
That aside, it is the seating arrangements that are truly dire in the tea rooms during General synod. Knowing that you’re Catering for over 400 members, guests and hangers on might enable you to ensure adequate seating. It turns out that this is not the case at all. Yes there are tables and chairs, for about 100 at most, the rest have to perch where they can. The grand wooden panelling and fine ceiling are exposed to the rag tag flopping about of ladies and gentlemen clutching plates of hot food and splashing tea cups close to one another. The scene would be reminiscent of a debauched ball were it not for the sincere and often serious faces of the participants.
For myself I managed to sit on the floor in a corner of the room and espied the various members pottering about, looking hither and thither as to whom they might like to ‘sit’ next to, or more importantly who they might like to avoid.
Listening to the discussions can be interesting, especially at this synod because of the wheeling and dealings people get up to; such as asking for support for their election to various comittees and posts and suchlike. They are very blatant.
In a rather amusing cameo, I espied a rather shiny trouser bottomed archdeacon from a northern diocese offering the very last tuna surprise to a short cassocked monk not used to such luxury food items. I felt the religious grabbed the sandwich with rather more speed and confidence than he should be familiar with.
Hey Ho MrC