It must run in the family because I was not the only one yesterday with a case of mistaken identity.
Before the proceedings started the young people were stationed outside the car park to stop any rogue vehicles from parking. The space was to be set aside for dignitaries in “posh cars” as well as being an area for us all to congregate for the actual dedication.
Unfortunately youngest son and his friends had no idea what the Archbishop looked like. So when a car drew up wanting to get in they decided it didn’t look grand enough for an “important person” and wouldn’t let it pass.
(All morning they had been worrying he might get stuck in traffic so maybe they didn’t really expect him to arrive at all.)
Archbishop John Sentemu got out of the car and fearing he was an irate gentleman wanting a “word” one of my son’s friends scarpered!
The Archbishop called him back and spent time talking to all the children gathered there. He spoke a lot about them in the service and even had them help him cut the cake in the hall afterwards.
“So what did you think of the Archbishop?” I asked youngest son when we got back home. “He’s a very important man.”
He was spectacularly unfazed by the meeting.
“He didn’t seem like a very important person. He was too jokey.”
I’d like to think John Sentemu would be pleased with this assessment. That he had not impressed the children by “who” he was or the car he arrived in but “how” he treated them and made them feel special.
There’s a lesson there for us all.