Updated: Jan 24
Growing up in the valleys of Wales in a working-class family, I never in a million years thought I would one day walk through the front door of 10 Downing Street. Yet that was what happened last Tuesday.
I've never sought to be political in my outlook or viewpoint in Ministry, always sought to be supportive and encouraging, sometimes standing upto the odd bully.
This visit was to speak to a Senior Advisor of the Prime Minister about the work of Neighbourhood Prayer Network. Rebekah (my wife), asked me to take over the project Feb 2019 and I must say it's been a whirlwind journey ever since.
I quickly engaged Adam May, a friend who has risen in the PR & Communication ranks over the last few years to have a good look at NPN's comms. He did a good job and has since become the Director of PR & Communications for NPN. Adam set up the meeting at No. 10. The talking point between us both was 'what do we emphasise?.'
NPN is growing and we now have a member on 5,600 streets in the UK, that's 2% coverage of all the streets there are. Rebekah had done a good job in getting that far, our job now is how to propel NPN to 50,000 streets, eventually the whole 260,000.
On the day of Downing Street, waiting to go through security was a little nerve-racking, the photo outside No. 10 nail-biting, the video afterwards tantalising.
Sitting inside, while we waited for our 50-minute meeting, the PM himself walked by. If I had extended my leg slightly, the PM would have tripped over, no doubt causing quite a scene - don't worry Boris is safe.
What really impressed me at No. 10, was the sincerity of everyone we met. Much is reported about the negatives of politics, but 'we the public' only see sound bites of what really happens. People have given up a normal life for a life to influence, under intense scrutiny. There seems to be a hidden tension amongst these folk, of hoping they did the right thing, always hoping to bring better change and yet disappointment if their wisdom was later found not to benefit those they tried to help. We should pray more than ever for anyone we know connected to the political world!.
We had to surrender our mobiles on entry, so I can't share in pictures, the tardis that No. 10 is, a rabbit warren of rooms, all with countless stories to tell.
During our meeting, I most definitely suffered from verbal diarrhoea, explaining the work, the background, the aims, objectives etc. Our host was so gracious. I realised about halfway through, that I can indeed talk underwater. I took a breath, shut up and listened, that was the most fascinating part of the meeting.
Soon enough the handshakes, the walk back through the front door, a tick off the buck-list (I had to put it on the bucket list, in order to cross it off !!) and an immediate sense in my heart that I am going to pray for all these folks, as often as possible.
With the outer gates closing behind us, it was a chance to talk and reflect and work through all the thoughts that raced around my head in the last hour or two.
We'll see what happens next, but for today, you are looking at one happy little Welsh chappy.
To see the video I recorded and some thoughts afterwards visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n51BojAUXA