In the week before Easter, it is time to take my annual pilgrimage. I go to St Matthew-in-the-city, which I have visited at this time for the last four years.
'Would I?' I love upstairs, and always have.
After all, I grew up in Taranaki, where the great cone of the mountain inspired me throughout my childhood. I wrote a whole book —a memoir called Touching Snow—about my childhood yearning to reach the mountain. (click to see it on my books page, and scroll down to the bottom)
The woman pointed me to a secret staircase in the corner. 'You can open the iron gate,' she assured me. And so I pulled aside an iron concertina gate, like the ones they used to have in lifts. I trod carefully up the narrow stone steps, that twisted around in darkness. Then I came out on to the balcony, and there below I could see the whole—and take a photo.
And so my pilgrimage was complete. And my question was now answered.