Thursday, 15 April 2021

St George's House

I never met Prince Philip but I did get to benefit from one of the organisations he founded - and to live inside Windsor Castle for three weeks. 

The Prince had an interest in theology and in in-service training for the clergy. 

 When he founded St George's House, set in the grounds of Windsor Castle, in 1966 with its brief of being 'a place where people from right across society who are in a position to make a difference might gather together to grapple with issues pertinent to our contemporary world' regular conferences and consultations for the clergy were part of the plan from the beginning. 

So for ten days in 2007 and a further week two years later, I took part in one of the St George's House residential clergy consultations. There was a large reading list in preparation for the conference. Each of us had to prepare and read a paper on a topic we had chosen, and then afterwards we each had a kind of private tutorial/debrief with one of the House's theologians. 

 Each day we had worship in St George's Chapel and on one memorable night we our own private tour of the Chapel, after the public had departed. 

 In the Dean's study we saw the large Oak table on which the severed head of King Charles the First was sown back on to his body before being interred. 

 During the second course we visited the small 'village church' in the Great Park where the Queen worships each Sunday alongside estate workers. 

 Our discussions, and especially the amazing range of speakers who came to address us, was fascinating. 

All in all it was a memorable time, and another example of the Duke's wide ranging interests and desire to make a difference.

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