Sunday, July 13, 2008

All the World's a Stage...

As I mentioned before, we had to arrive at the University of Kent a week before the Conference began. This was for a week of explanations, training, and set up. We were given the Programme Leaflet for the conference and told our general duties.

Among these are: Checking IDs at the entrances of facilities: Every facility is restricted on who is allowed to enter (we can enter everywhere). Conference participants (stewards, staff, volunteers, bishops, spouses, exhibitors, press) have different colored lanyards which say where they can go.

We will be marshelling people on and off of buses, and giving instructions while on a bus.

... walking the Walk of Witness in London.

... doing some administrative work (copying etc)

... monitoring the exhibiting hall and marketplace.

... assisting in some workshops.

... giving directions and answering questions as needed

... providing security and "locking down" buildings during sessions

... other tasks as requested

Now, you might be wondering how Stewards are recognised. We will be wearing green lanyards, but the conference organisers decided that wasn't enough.

Along with the lanyards, we will be wearing "high visibility jackets" seen below:

I think we will be rather difficult to miss.

Adding to the rather visible nature of the conference is the place where the bishops will be meeting. The conference has taken up most of the space on campus including all of the large venues. Between the Spouses Conference and the Marketplace, there wasn't much space for place where 1300 people (bishops for the plenary, and bishops, spouses, and staff for Eucharist) could meet at one time.

So they set up a tent.

Throughout our training the staff has been referring to this tent as "the Big Top." Since the circus is coming to town, we are all awaiting the exhibitionists and the clowns.

In peace
A Lambeth Steward


Grandmère Mimi said...

Allie, I love what you're posting. Keep it up, love. I did a post on your blog with pictures.

johnieb said...

I suspect "Don't bother; they're here" may apply.

Ann said...

Oh yay - I can get on your site again!

Anne Marie said...

Allie! Two thoughts: 1.) Those vest things are a fashion nightmare, you should get yours custom tailored and maybe add a few accessories:)! and 2.) Shouldn't the tent be a liturgically correct green? That's about the funniest color tent I have ever seen. Hope you are well!

Margaret said...

I look forward to your different perspective on Lambeth and I'll pass on your blog site to some of my parishioners and friends, too. I agree with anne marie about the vests. Again, a more tasteful color would have helped but not much. Couldn't they have done General Convention-style aprons instead? I guess not. Have a blast!

Allie said...

The "volunteers" have "gold" sashes.

A few people have joked that the tent is blue for Our Lady, and the flames on top represent the Holy Spirit

Anonymous said...


I'm still laughing at the "High visibility jackets," (an overly technical term for a low-tech non-technical apparatus,) or as I like to call them "those things the NJDOT workers always wear."

At least your HVJs actually fit you. When I was working with Habitat for Humanity someone had the "brilliant" idea that we should rotate the people who were directing traffic every 15 minutes, and that we only needed one HVJ. The HVJ was that hideous shade of green that burns your retinas if you so much as glance at it. (Think of the traffic cones that they use when they run out of "oranges.") and I had almost no mobility in my big blue parka with the HVJ on top of it. (It was the middle of winter, I couldn't take the coat off.) Of course, I somehow got roped into doing double-shifts and directing traffic for 30 minutes rather than 15, and looking like a complete dork while doing so, because I could barely move my arms and give hand signals since the HVJ was too small for me. At least your HVJs look "normal" to the extent that a piece of construction equipment can.

On a side note: If you don't here from me much while you're away, assume that my Wi-Fi network is down and I have no way to reset it. My PowerBookG4 is acting up again (same problem with the screen as before,) and is going in for repairs as early as today.

Allie said...

Alex, I'm not sure if it takes an HVJ for you to look like a dork... but I assure you that's a good thing.

I do expect you to find someway to read this regardless of your internet connection :-P

Although the image of you directing traffic for half an hour makes me laugh...

Write said...

Maybe the tents are trying to be Sarum blue.

I have a fear that somehow or another those steward vests will become a liturgical tradition, and a 100 years from now vergers all over the world will be wearing bright orange vests!

Rutgers Chaplain said...


Do you get to keep your high visibility jacket. I can see you now in it on the Rutgers campus ... Yes, I can definitely see you ...

The peace of Christ be always with you,