Here we are on the eve of the formal start. The last few days have been all about the Retreat.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been at his rivetting best - nurturing and feeding us. I look out from the University of Kent at Canterbury and in the evening light below I see the Cathedral. Some of the Archbishop's phrases from the past three days resonate again: 'Each one of us is a place where the Son of God is revealed.' But - 'there is more to be revealed than any one life or Church can reveal.'
'As bishops we are deeply unreliable allies: many causes want us on their side. We have to make clear that there is more: "I am going to have to let you down in the name of Jesus"'. 'The bishop is bound to be both friend and stranger.'
'The only way Christians can lead is by following....Our mission is not taking Jesus where he has not been before but going to where he has already gone before us and cleared the way.'
Tomorrow is a new day and will bring a formal start with the Eucharist at Canterbury Cathedral and an afternoon briefing about the Conference programme. For now the sun goes down, our ecumenical guests have been welcomed and we have prayed and dined together.