I need to be honest and admit that, no - I didn’t “have time” to do this. By any rational standard of efficiency I’d have stayed put in Swansea and got on with things here. 6 hours on a train for 3 hours in London doesn’t make much sense.
But it was worth it.
I feel like I’ve known Darren quite awhile, though obviously we’d never met until yesterday. The first reference to him I can find in my blog archives is this one, dated 10th January 2003. In blogging terms, that’s practically a lifetime! (Embarassingly, I called him “David Prowse” through a bizarre twist of my mental faculties, but he took it in the right spirit and seems to have forgiven me) Although Swansea is a good step from London, it is a good deal nearer than Australia! So I was really glad to have the opportunity to catch up with Darren in person.
The conversation focussed on Darren’s experience in setting up “Living Room” (the church, not the blog). We talked about the meetings and how they are shaped. They seem very centred on building up relationships, and are intentionally keeping the meeting small. Growth is by division rather than expansion. There was lots of food for thought. My struggle is how to incorporate the lessons of the emerging church into the church in which I am. Starting from scratch is one thing. Within a denominations structures is another kettle of fish.
And, of course, I got to talk about blogging a little. It was really good to meet Dave Walker, one the evil geniuses that lies behind the Wibsite, and Andy Merrett seems a very fine fellow who I’m looking forward to getting to know better. The internet is great, but there is really no substitute for meeting real people.