Some Flat Whites of Cambridge
As the Great Anglia train rattled through snowy fields up to Cambridge, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
The intention was to talk to various people about Singapore student work – to see how we could help each other (if at all) help Christian students to grow in love for God and people here and when they returned to Singapore; but I had no concrete plans how we might do this. Was certainly not keen on any sort of society or other formal organisation – we have far too many of those things and their hierarchies and inherent power structures and insistence on justifying their own existence long after the need for them has ceased to, I think, tend to (as one might expect of sinful humans, though thankfully, this might not always be) detract from God and gospel. There was no elitism in choosing to head to Cambridge after Oxford – it was just known to have a good concentration of Singapore students and a thriving biblical Christian community. Looked forward to hearing what the more experienced might have thought through already.
random photo of Corpus Christi College Chapel
Enjoyed a very good discussion over a home-cooked lunch before making it right on the hour for evening service at St. Andrew the Great (aka. STAG). Was pleased to have someone else, independently, question if there was really a need to emphasise home-going. The rationale for having separate international group bible studies has usually been (i) to address language difficulties; (ii) to address discomfort with the host culture; and (iii) to get internationals to think about applying Christian truths to their life when they got back home. My queries on reason (ii) have had to do with the unity of the church and loving all members of the body regardless of race or class or culture; and on reason (iii) – whether the emphasis should really be on faithful living in all situations whether single or married, student or working, in London or back in one’s own country, rather than attempting to apply every passage to future life the home country – because that would be too narrow a view of Christian living and might run the risk also of legalism.
Discussed this further with some international workers today. Still much to think about.
Was pleased too to find Cambridge to be in a better state, coffee-wise, to Durham:
At Hot Numbers Coffee (Unit 6, Dales Brewery, Gwydir Street, Cambridge. facebook), I had their house-roasted El Salvadorian Finca La Fani in a flat white. It was fairly well-made, though the milk was a bit stiff, with bright citrus acidity that punched you in the saliva glands. Wonder if it would have worked better straight up.
Didn’t expect much from the Brazilian-Ethiopian Climpson & Sons (possibly their 50% Ethiopian Sidamo and 50% Brasil Fazenda Paraiso Sidamo Espresso Blend?) flat white at Fitzbillies (51-52 Trumpington Street, Cambridge) – it looked like a pretty enough Cambridge institution to get by on the seat of its chelsea buns without serving up decent brew. But this was yummy hot cocoa in a cup. The milk was a bit weak but didn’t detract too much from its deliciousness.