Last night I took the short 48 mile trip across the Pennines back to Mirfield. When I went on a retreat there last March, one of the brothers took me into The Church of the Resurrection on the day before the builders moved in. The walls were bare, wires hanging down and the place was full of dust. I knew when I spoke though that the accoustics were perfect, no need for a troublesome sound system in here! Therefore, it seemed appropriate to return on the day after handover from the builders to take part in the first act of worship, Solemn Evensong. As we waited patiently in the cloisters in a smell of freshness and ‘wet paint’ signs visible I heard how the brothers had celebrated Father Dominic’s 93rd birthday. There seemed to be an unusual air of excitement in the monastery! The reordered church has had all steps removed to facilitate easy access and is about 50 times bigger than the temporary chapel we were using. When Brother Jacob brought the thurible through, that too seemed to be proportionately bigger than the one used in the old chapel. As we entered the church to commence a procession around the stations to ask God’s blessing, singing Christ is made the sure foundation, the rising incense soon activated the new smoke alarm system! Once this little problem was solved the church was filled with the sound of worship and singing. The procession concluded with us walking past the Font to renew our Baptismal Vows, a truly special moment.
The reordered church is simple, but beautiful. What better present could the brothers ask for than to be ‘Back Home for Christmas’?