A chip off the old block


This is Mirella whom I was glad to meet today. You don’t need to know this – but she is my brother’s step-daughter. More important, she is an apprentice in the stone masons’ yard here at Canterbury Cathedral.

Mirella is completely passionate about what she does. I could have listened to her all day. First of all, she loves the building and the remarkable community of people who serve it. Then she began to talk about what it is like to work on the stone work. You take out a piece of stone which has been there for hundreds of years and you can see the mason’s mark of the person who carved it. And when you carve the replacement, it all has to be done by hand tools and by eye – so that it is perfect but not exact. Sounds like sermons in stone to me …

In return, I introduced Mirella to my much more ephemeral world. The person who took this slightly strange photo was the media person for The Episcopal Church, The lady inside the door of the coffee shop was the Primate of the Church of Norway. None of us is here for hundreds of years and we may not leave much of a mark ….