Close readers of the commentary (for which I am grateful) will know that I always like to write about my travel. It is partly to explain my absence from the campus. However, today I want to share with you the news that I have asked Senior Staff to join me on a trip to London. So for Friday through next Wednesday, the Rev. Dr. James Farwell, our Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be in charge.
A trip to London for the Senior Staff is a significant Seminary undertaking and, of course, expense. So, there needs to be a good reason. And there is. I am delighted to announce that the novelist Susan Howatch, author of the brilliant Starbridge series, has agreed to accept the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership from VTS. It will be my privilege to confer the Dean’s Cross on Susan Howatch at a ceremony at King’s College London on Monday night. As she put it, her “traveling days are over”, so we needed to bring VTS to London for the occasion.
With the support of the Board Chair, Dr. David Charlton, we are combining this event with a Senior Staff retreat. We will be meeting with representatives of the Anglican Communion to discuss ways forward with our VTS presence in the “marketplace” for Lambeth 2020. Some will be taking advantage of the British Library for research; others are visiting alums elsewhere in Britain. We will be connecting with our Convocation speaker for the Fall. Some will be meeting with donors and friends of the Seminary. So the trip is coming together nicely and will be an important opportunity for us to think about the future of the Seminary.