DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

London of my Dreams

Written by: on June 14, 2019

Downton Abbey

Oliver Twist saying, “please sir, I want some more”, Mary Poppins singing, “feed the birds, tuppence a bag”, and Edith Crawley taking the train from the castle in the countryside to her London flat, are all images I have of London instilled in my mind over the years from movies and television.  Hargraves Orin says In CultureShock! London,

First, there is the London of the imagination, the one that is the most real for many people in the world because they have never been to London and know about the city only second hand. Every book, film and television programme about London will help you to know it in this regard (Hargraves 2010, Location 301, Kindle edition).

This London of the imagination has always fascinated me. After taking a test from one of the genetic testing services, I found out that I have 16% Great Britain heritage. Perhaps this has impacted my love of all things English, including and especially a fondness for tea, scones, clotted cream, and the whole tea ritual.

In addition to the images of the movies, I was looking forward to seeing the many images from magazines such as the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, the double-decker buses, and a possible sighting of one of the Royals. Living in the heart of American politics in Washington, DC, I am intrigued as well by all of the Brexit talks and how the political system in London is set up.

The architecture of the many churches such as Westminster Abby and St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as other historical buildings are of great interest as well since these speak to the history of Christianity after the Reformation. Terry Tan in CultureShock! Great Britain states, “Westminster Abby and St. Paul’s Cathedral, both in London, may have become the best-known symbols of tourist and religious Britain, but by no means are the most grand” (Tan 2008, Location 708, Kindle edition). The churches in Great Britain figure more into my love of murder mysteries than religious history since they seem to be the backdrop of many books.

Oxford conjures images of Harry Potter, the fictional wizard made popular by the many books and movies featuring the many Hogwarts Houses. A professor hurriedly walking down arched stone covered pathways in black robes is also an image I have from the variety of television shows I have seen. It is also a great honor to actually be in Oxford where the great scholars of the world have studied.

Overall, I am looking forward to seeing the members of our cohort as well as our professors and advisors. I am sure our speakers will help us learn more about the ups and downs of leadership from a global perspective and help us apply this to our lives and ministry work.


Hargraves, Orin. CultureShock! London. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2010.

Tan, Terry. CultureShock! Great Britain. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2008.

About the Author


Mary Mims

I am a licensed and ordained Baptist minister and have worked with the children and youth for the last seven years. I have resided in the Washington, DC area for the last 30 years, but I am originally from Michigan. I am also bi-vocational and work at the US Patent and Trademark Office in the Scientific Library.

10 responses to “London of my Dreams”

  1. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    I am not surprised to find out you have a significant Great Britain heritage (you probably have one of those birthrights that Digby was speaking of). It is very true about the London and England of our imagination (I still think about the setting for Peter Pan!) Like you I am most looking forward to seeing our cohort family and enjoying our time together. Beginning our second year, I am sure we will be able to enjoy each other and our communal learning experience much more (I know I will!)

  2. Mario Hood says:

    It’s amazing how much of Hollywood shapes our imagination right! Looking forward to the trip and seeing a lot of history AND shopping 🙂

    • mm Mary Mims says:

      Yes, Mario the shopping! I’m arriving a day early to make sure I can get enough hours of shopping in! LOL

  3. mm Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Mary, I do not think you will be disappointed! It is an amazing city with much to enjoy. My husband and I made a habit of taking photos of every steeple we saw in a distance and every cathedral up close. They are amazing and line the landscape with beautiful architecture that reminds us of the historic presence of Christianity in this great land.

  4. mm Jenn Burnett says:

    I can’t wait to hear your read on Brexit! What to you expect will be similar to your political experience? Different? How does the British system of government compare to your own?

    • mm Mary Mims says:

      Jenn, I really do not understand their political system. I hope to get a better understanding of it when we are there.

  5. mm Karen Rouggly says:

    Same, Mary! Can’t wait to see it! I am also from British heritage! So fun!

  6. Digby Wilkinson says:

    Mary, 16% English makes you family. Welcome.
    The architecture is amazing and the age of the buildings is rather boggling. You’ll have a great time snooping around. I often stay in older accommodation when I head home to visit family and it’s not unusual for the rooms in these 1000 year old hotels to tlit really badly. My last room was so lopsided I slipped out of bed each night and anything I put on the table slid off. Seriously, it was that bad. That room was in Gloucester while I was doing some work at the Cathedral there, which is also the place where they filmed chunks of Harry Potter.

  7. mm John Muhanji says:

    London still is an amazing city in the world. Despite its challenges that face all major cities, London cannot be an exception to being a converging point from most parts of the world. Terry Tan seriously paint London a strong historical town with amazing people and warns us to be careful when in downtown. I look forward to meeting cohort members too there. I also look forward to being in London.

  8. Mary, its interesting what a visit to a new place can bring to mind. I like the way you have so many different images of London and it certainly looks like your visit will be a dream come true. Its very clear that you are very eager and excited about London, I believe that prepares you to learn a lot from the advance.

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