Support the Café

Search our Site

Adjusting to life at Lambeth, Welby ‘can’t find the loo’

Adjusting to life at Lambeth, Welby ‘can’t find the loo’

Newly enthroned Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is adapting to life in London’s Lambeth Palace “right well enough, though with certain confusion,” according to an as-yet unaired interview with the BBC’s Religion & Ethics department. (Select portions of a preview transcript of the interview with Welby have been shared with Episcopal Café’s editorial board. The full interview is set to air at some point on Wednesday.)

“The place has been within the archbishopric around eight centuries, so it’s a bit drafty,” Welby said. “Firmly closing one window in a place this old is as good as rattling another one open. Beyond structure, though, the staff and myself – that is, we keep having moments of turning over old books and finding partially eaten sandwiches; or of going to plug in a vacuum cleaner and blowing out several light fixtures at once. We understood there had been an issue with ants over the summer, but by the time I came along [in January], that had about fixed itself for the winter.”

Chief among Welby’s concerns of adjustment to life at Lambeth is an inability to locate a working toilet.

“I know we have several, and it seems I pass a bathroom all the time when I’m not in need” the former Bishop of Durham said, “but I can’t find the loo when the subject is urgent. It’s like they all just disappear.”

The problem, Welby said, becomes particularly pronounced when ecclesiastical dignitaries and visitors arrive, “and I can’t quickly point up the place of refreshment.”

As a symbol of the chief archbishopric of the Church of England and spiritual leadership within the Anglican Communion, Lambeth Palace is staffed by several dozen support and hospitality personnel. Its library is prized by historians and other researchers. Lambeth’s architecture and well-manicured lawns make it a longstanding fixture on the south bank of the River Thames opposite Parliament.

“The importance of this place is inarguable,” Welby said. “I just wish I could find my way when I’m knocking about for a glass of water at 3 a.m.”


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café