First off, the house is enormous! We entered in and went upstairs to a sitting room filled with pictures, a fireplace, and a few pianos!
Having cocktail hour, the dean of the cathedral circled around the room. He spoke with us a bit about his tenure there (9 years so far) and how he is given the keys to this house when he becomes dean. He also said Rowan comes and visits often, in the last month he's come 2 times. And that when Rowan is there, he is 'on break'. And likewise with Lambeth Palace. It is owned by the diocese of Canterbury, not London.
The dean was telling the history of the place and told this story:
In the bombing of WWII, 2 houses were completely destroyed. People were throwing fiery bricks off the tops of buildings to save them. The facade of the deanery was blown off. And there was a woman- who thought all was destroyed and this life was over. And then, the bombing stopped. And she heard the clock strike. And the bell rang. And then it was time for Matins- and the rhythm of life here continued on. Ok, looking at this, it sounded way cooler when he told it. I teared up like a big dork- pretty typical, I get that from dad :)
I sat next a person at dinner who is living in Mexico and serving a parish there. It was wonderful to hear about what he was doing. Maybe a trip to Monterey, Mexico?
Overall, a wonderful evening at the deanery. I really love it here.