THERE’S ALWAYS a lot going on in and around the life of a large and busy parish like ours. There are comings and goings in the ordinary sense and also, of course, in the literal sense. New arrivals. New departures. St Michael’s is often involved in celebrating both, and today a couple of hundred or so people gathered to say farewell to Nancy, a much beloved member of the local community and the church family.

Many who share in our Monthly Monday Meditation (blissful tonight after a busy start to the New Year) have spoken quietly of how these times, in this space and place, are for them a bridge between earth and heaven, of having, on these occasions, “a foot in both camps”. And I am thus assured that the teachings of Jesus about prayer are still alive and well; that the oft alluded to “going (alone) up a mountain” to commune with God is still a model that we can rejoice in. Jesus himself was able to be Pontifex – a bridge between heaven and earth – precisely because he had “a foot in both camps”. And it doesn’t matter at all that our view of earth or of heaven is misty. In fact it’s probably better that way. In my experience it’s in the quiet times, in the misty times, that I’m most moved to pray – and yet more importantly, to stay.