Since we were able to open St Nicholas for private prayer, I with others have taken it in turns to open, close and sanitize the church. It was my turn last evening. I tend to close church at dusk so at this time of the year, I’m closing the church at about 4.20pm. Thankfully we will soon be able to open for longer. Buildings are inanimate, they are just stones and mortar and yet, we often feel that buildings have character. Some buildings can be cold and inhospitable, others light warm and welcoming. I cannot begin to tell you how many people tell me how welcoming St Nicholas is. There are times when I feel this welcome, others when I feel nothing at all, I suspect it has something to do with my mood. Last evening as I entered the church to close it down for the day there were two young men sitting at the front, There was no need to wonder what they were doing, because as soon as I entered church I was overwhelmed by a sense of the holy, of prayer taking place. The church building had not changed, the lighting was a little subdued, it wasn’t the physical I was noticing but the space which had taken on an altogether more purposeful character. The sense of prayer was so powerful you could almost touch it. The church was filled with the mystery of God, present because these two young men were deep in prayer, in communion with the divine. I’m glad I can say this of St Nicholas, it confirms our decision to keep the church open, it was the right decision. I’m sure for many of us these last twelve months have led to some profound questions about the nature, purpose and presence of God. In these days of drought and danger, it is good to have this oasis, this arc of St Nicholas, where God’s presence can still be felt.
Many of us are spending our time in different ways during these difficult
times. If you are one of them, and struggling to find things to do or
watch, you might be interested in viewing some of the excellent talks given
by very distinguished speakers that have been held at St Paul’s Cathedral
over the past few years. You can find them online by going to the Cathedral
website here. There is a wide range of topics covered and I hope you
will find something of interest to engage with.
With every blessing