I decided to have a ‘quiet time’ when I was in Napier this morning. I have never been in a church in Napier except for a funeral. Unfortunately one can’t just take refuge from the hectic, noisy world in most churches these days: they are locked against the vandals. To be frank the denomination of the church was not a consideration but it occurred to me that The (Anglican) Cathedral would at least be open to the public. It was. As I walked in there were some people chatting by the door so I side-stepped them and went down the church and sat down with my thoughts. After a while the Guide (for that is what one of the three was) came and chatted to me, gave me a pamphlet about the church and said I was welcome to take photos of anything except the paintings of the stations of the cross (which were the last paintings on the face of the earth I would have wanted to photograph – I can understand why the artist refused permission!). The Guide assumed I was a tourist and carried on in appropriate vein until I told him that I was, in fact, just a person who lived here who wanted to sit quietly. By then my train of thought was broken so I decided to be a tourist and the results will appear on A Hebridean in New Zealand.
Whether one has faith or not I would certainly suggest that churches generally have a peacefulness which is conducive to thought and I have had some moments in churches which have been exceptionally spiritual and moving. In fact I’m sure I have blogged about my experience in Rheims Cathedral. Yes, I did, briefly. On Eagleton Notes in Death in Victory.
So I never really had my ‘quiet time’. But, hey, there’ll be more opportunities.