London Diary I - On Great Global Cities
Though I lived in Toronto for years, I have been surprised by the sheer diversity of London. Walk two blocks and hear a dozen languages. There is great energy and vitality in the city, and many argue that this is related directly financially and culturally to immigration. See Richard Florida on this, as well as Saunders' theory of the “arrival city,” where upward mobility pulls others up as well. All this is good to recall in a contrary moment in American politics.
That walk I spoke of ended-up at Marlyebone Street and All Souls' parish. The street is mentioned in “The Wasteland,” soon-to-be-Anglican, T.S. Eliot's great vision of modern fragmentation and alienation. This too is part of the urban reality, and perhaps part of the reason evangelism in great and daunting cities has historically been so successful.
Once at All Souls' I found a truly global congregation, a reflection of our Communion itself. Here we have a reconciled version of global city life. Thus, it is a sign of the true nature of the Church itself. Of course, in all these aspects, diversity, fragmentation, and “catholic” promise, greater Dallas too may be found.