The Great Banquet

In 1995, over the Pentecost weekend, Andrew brought together the London Banquet. The occasion was planned for two years: it aimed to bring together people of London in ways that symbolise important Christian truths. At one level, the participants explored the rich diversity of London. At another level, they were reminded that “ecumenical” is not about relations between churches – it is about the “oikoumene”, the whole of God’s inhabited earth.

The banquet was mainly a lot of fun, and wore its symbolism lightly. Thousands of people attended 200 feasts, acting out the great variety of London life. One group of people ate their way across Poplar. A very special group of children at the Mildmay Mission Hospital shared a Big Mac blowout. There was a central tuck-in at the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall – appropriately under Rubens’s baroque ceiling depicting “The Apotheosis of King James I”.

Attendees included Tony Blair, Peter Brooke, Cardinal Hume and Sir Paul Condon, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. See the Independent’s coverage of the event.