“Alight here for Buckingham Palace”

Always a good idea to pay one’s respects on arrival, so my first morning saw me tubing-it down to the hallowed ground. At opening time there I was, face pressed against the doors – at Watts & Co, ecclesiastical vestment and furnishings providers in Tufton St SW1.


This is, of course, what happens when you forget to pack your alb [note to housekeeper: please take wrinkled alb out of the dryer]. Of course, it could have been a deliberate moment of forgetfulness, but I couldn’t possible say.

Nevertheless, having viewed and priced the prêt-à-porter offerings at Watts (customers without purple shirts are ignored), I went next door and have been fully kitted-out by J Wippell & Co – no, not the chasuble above, unfortunately (wrong seasonal colour of course). The number of Nigerian bishops buying shirts there was disturbing – is everyone there a bishop? – appears so. You can dress them up, but they are still anti-Canterbury. I offered to exorcise the shop of all Gafcon schismatics, but Wippells said they needed the business.

Test drove my new camera on this outing. Difficult to juggle sunglasses, screens, camera cases and jostling tourists, but I managed a few snaps of local interest, without paying the entrance fee (been there, done that).


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