melWe had a great day today with the opportunity and blessing to head off site from The Cedars to visit Windsor Castle and Sunbury Court. We headed out on the coach after breakfast, and the bus itself was full of fun and singing. The first blessing came as we walked to the end of a very long queue to enter the Castle, only to have it announced that the Salvation Army group were to follow the guide, who took us directly to the front of the line. We praised God for His love and blessing even in the little things like queue jumping where we instead got to spend the precious time there. Once inside, we split off into random groups to explore the grounds which Queen Elizabeth II calls home, which for a girl from New Zealand - and part of the Commonwealth under Her Majesty - was very good to see. From there, we had lunch and stocked up on goodies from the UK for our upcoming trip home, then reboarded the bus to visit Sunbury Court.

At Sunbury it was fantastic to learn more about The Salvation Army's history and connect with our roots in such an important and iconic location. We walked through the main building and each played a new version of ‘Where’s Wally?’ trying to find the territorial commissioners from our area in the large photos taken at each High Council, which further cemented our feeling of history and connectedness. We then had the opportunity to see and discuss the paintings of the past Generals that adorned the walls, before finally walking across the grounds to the room we were all waiting for - in which The General is elected. The room was set up ready for a meeting with The General and her guests next week, so we took great delight in sitting in the seats and holding our own version of the high council and posing for photos at the lectern. We even got to see The Salvation Army’s version of the Catholic show of smoke when their Pope is selected - when our General is decided the electronic blinds go down!

The trip home was a considerably quieter one and in the evening we had time to relax and start packing.

Melissa Daly
New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory