There’s a wide Middlesex road in my mind, divided on each side by a broad lane of grass. The road is called The Fairway. Appropriate, I think. And yes, I’m back in wartime.
Far down that road is a church. When I first went there I was about six years old. It was 1941 or 1942. The church was only half built. It was not completed until 1954, as the war had halted its construction. Even then, my infant self was interested in its design, for its east end had two levels. The upper level was the sanctuary. It was where the Sacraments were to be celebrated. I don’t think it had yet been put into use.
It was what would have been called High Church – and it had a community of nuns attached to it.
My memories of this church are in sunlight. I attended its Sunday School. It must have been summer There was a nun who taught there. She was slightly built. Her hair was fair and she wore glasses. I was very taken with her.
Those who attended the Sunday School regularly were rewarded with a small gift of some kind. I set my aim on a picture of the infant Christ in prayer, with his Mother.
I attended regularly until I was awarded this picture.
As I recall, I never attended this Sunday school again.
I’ve looked up this church, this High Church, on the Internet today. It now has a woman vicar. But that’s another issue: not for here.
But I often think that young nun may still be praying for me, wherever she is. She can’t have been more than 20 years old then – in 1942.