Today's Youth Perspective ~ Abigail Cairns
Today was bittersweet. We had a great day and it was a perfect ending to a fantastic exchange. The day started at St. Paul's in Shipley, where the lesson today was from Leviticus and talked about accepting "aliens" or foreigners. And as being aliens for the last 19 days, it could have not been more fitting because the hospitality we have received has been amazing. A wonderful homily by Rachel was given that pinpointed this theme and with the events that have happened over the last few days in our own country it reminded us as to the importance of accepting aliens where ever they may be. After church we took the train to Leeds to march in the Pride parade. We marched with thousands of people through the crowded lined streets of Leeds. It was amazing to be able to participate in such a showing of support for the LBTG+ community. Among with other Christian faithful, we were able to show that God loves all. After we completed the parade we headed back to St. Paul's to clean up, then headed to Ben, Rowan, & Ann's, where they prepared a tea of roast, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, peas, and carrots, followed by a fruit truffle for desert. When dinner was complete we all went back to our hosts to start the dreaded packing for the return trip tomorrow.
There are so many people here that we need to thank for making this such a wonderful exchange. First of all we would like to thank Tony Hesselwood, Liam Jagger, Aimi Walton, Rachel Hesselwood, & Sarah Haigh who were the leaders that planned every thing we did. Host Katherine, Gary, Helen, and Phillipa in Holme Wood. The people of The Eldwick Church for have us for tea and Compline. Everyone at Scargill including Rachel, Lucy, Linzi, and Ella. Host Mark, Ben, Rowen, Anna, Steve, Elaine and Alison (for cooking). Bishop Nick, his wife Linda and Bishop Helen Ann for hosting us for dinner. The clergy and staff at Ripon Cathedral. Dean Jerry at Bradford Cathedral. John and Nikita who were with us in London. And all the countless others that we met along the way. We would also like to thank DIOSWVA, including Kendall & Mark, and Bishop Mark. All of our home parish's of St. John's ~ Roanoke, St. John's ~ Lynchburg, St. Paul's ~ Salem, St. James ~ Roanoke, and Trinity ~ Arrington for their support. And all who donated financially to each of the youth. Thank you, from all of us!!