Yesterday, Cambridge registered the highest temperature in the whole UK at 38.7 C (just over 101 F). I was due to play host to a small group of students from Anderson University, South Carolina, who were on a course while visiting England. Their two accompanying professors are well-known to me and I was looking forward to spending the day with them all My task was to give a talk/lecture on evangelicals in post-Christianity and then to lead them on a Christian heritage tour particularly marking the birth of the English Reformation (which occurred in Cambridge).
Two days beforehand we were warned that Thursday July 25th would be among the hottest days ever recorded. Little did we know just what it would mean for those travelling by rail and going on walkabout on a city tour! Their scheduled train from London was cancelled and their eventual train limped along on rails twisted in the heat. The Cambridge Uber taxi driver didn't know where the St. Andrew's Street. Baptist Church was and took the students in the opposite direction to St. Alban's before being corrected by a frantic professor by phone. I was due to speak first in the church - I assumed for at least an hour before lunch. But all that planning went south. True, I gave an introduction to the walking tour but the lecture/talk was jettisoned.
After lunch at Nando's (iced drinks) the walk itself was amended on the hoof. Of course, I had determined to cut it short but as we dragged along in the intense heat, with one student in a wheel-chair, I kept reducing it. Yet, we hit the main spots and, sometimes wide-eyed with wonder, the group stayed with it.
As air-conditioned youth I guess they will always remember it as an adventure in the heat. 'What happened when you visited England? Well, it was one of the hottest days ever recorded and there wasn't a single moment of air-con in Cambridge! But, as I shall mention in my next post, I found it a refreshing learning experience,,,,and I love the heat!
Friday, July 26, 2019
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