On Wednesdays I have a little ritual that I follow, and that I secretly delight in.
My wonderful partner drives me into the city early, and I have a wicked bacon and egg roll at a cafe on Macquarie Street.
Then I toddle over to the Mitchell Library and sit on the steps in the sun and wait for it to open, normally listening to a Unity FM podcast.
I spend all morning in the exquisite Mitchell wing, reading early twentieth century Australian self-help books, and delighting in the sunny, open reading room when I remember to look up.
At about ten to one I get up, stow my things in the locker and cross Macquarie Street to the wonderful art deco St. Stephen's Uniting Church. At 1 the delightful Reverend Doctor Matthew Jack conducts a Quiet Communion, and it is an exquisite service. A simple, meditative set of prayers, meditations and readings followed by the Holy Supper, it is normally sparsely attended, but I find it a great point of mid-week spiritual renewal. The wonderful art deco setting of St. Stephen's helps, of course, with its wonderful woodwork and sweeping staircases and cement halls.
Actually, I sometimes wonder if the church IS actually art deco. Everyone says so, but to me its fluid forms are more reminiscent of art nouveau, but I am no expert.
St. Stephen's has a fine history of progressive preaching, having once been the parish of Gordon Powell, one of the grandfathers of Australian self-help literature (and the subject of one of the chapters of my PhD thesis).