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A place to come home to

I once lived in a church, a red brick one, which disturbed the neat symmetry of the terrace houses lining a square in a genteel part of Islington in London.

Converted in the 1980s to apartments, it had high ceilings, arched windows and metre-thick walls.

I’ve never slept so soundly.

More recently, I lived in an 1870s house in Fitzroy, Melbourne, that had three metre ceilings, arched doorways throughout and an arched window in the stairwell.

I loved coming home to that house, too, which gave me similar feelings of peace and pleasure.

Our spiritual journeys are as unique as the domestic spaces we find and create to dwell in, and the relationships that sustain us.

Accommodating people for worship is not just the work of architects, although in this issue we look at some of the unique and beautiful physical spaces they have created to grace and enrich our communities.

It is also the work of educators, such as the theologians and ministers who dedicated a weekend this September to giving guidance and encouragement to the next generation of church leaders at Stretching Faith (page 11).

There is a “coming home” also in the communities we create together and with whom we share our highs and lows, our celebrations, our work, our relaxation.

This issue is full of people finding the sacred everywhere: at a wedding on a sandhill in the outback (page 6), in a Balinese temple (page 9), in learning about other faiths (page 14), in a hospital chapel (page 8) or even a hospital operating theatre (page 6), in a prison (page 9), at an international conference of eco-theologians (page 3), or, like the writer of our cover story, Rev Dr Steve Taylor, holding a shopping trolley.

There is “coming home” too, in the joyful experience if our bodily senses, as Dr Taylor reminds us, especially when we can combine them with the pleasures of socialising and hospitality.

I hope you enjoy with this issue of Journey the twin pleasures of sharing together and dwelling within.