This is Holy Trinity Church at 7.15 on a dreary, mild, windy evening. There are a few lights burning - at the organ, over the organ pipes, at the door - and a lone candle flickers at the altar rail. A small group of congregation assembles, randomly and in silence. And we sing Compline, in traditional language, to plainsong. At times the wind outside blows so strongly against the doors that a strange, deep moaning sound underpins the music like a pedal, but otherwise the silence between the prayers is intense.
This is the service that most enthralled me all these years ago when I first became involved with the Episcopal Church, and it still has the power to take me out of the moment, even when I am leading the prayers and singing the responses. At the end of a strangely busy day, a day in which I felt I'd swapped my former job for a new one in which I write sermons and listen to the troubles of another church, one close to my heart, it seemed even more important that such escape should be possible.
I'm glad it is - thanks to the friends who are keeping the traditions going as we wait for a new incumbent in this charge.