I wandered into town before most of the shops were open, an errand to run for Mrs T.
Job done, I took myself to the Cathedral, expecting peace and quiet. At first glance the nave was empty but as I crossed this vast space I saw that there was a scaffold at the East End in front of the choir, there were boards high up below the roof vaults, and hard-hatted men in a human chain, passing more boards vertically up to the top of the scaffold. Purposeful activity with no fuss. I remembered poor William of Sens, the mediaeval architect, who was badly injured falling from a scaffold in the rebuilding after one of the Cathedral fires.
I also remembered that the scaffold had gone from the great South Window. Even on a grey morning, it was a joy to behold the ancestors of the Lord in their rightful place.
So down to the crypt where it’s always quiet. Not quite today. The workers could not help a degree of banging penetrating below ground. Someone seemed to be tuning the organ, then playing a hymn or two, softly. The first tourists – or pilgrims – were already on site; builders strode past: the place was alive!
Alive at many levels not all of them noisy. It does not take long to stop fidgeting, physically and mentally, in such a sacred space.
Maybe one day I should light a candle.