Over the last few weeks I haven't had much chance to be at home in north west London. And with that break of routine has also gone my guaranteed regular Sunday morning at Chapel.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no attendance purist - I don't think the way to anything in any future existence is through Sunday mornings - but for me the Sunday ritual is about here, now today., some shared time with like minded folks reflecting on what has happened and what's ahead.

Being a Unitarian however, it is not always easy to get to an alternative chapel when you are not at home, and so I have improvised by carrying around a small candle holder from Chapel (a small Ikea thing - we have hundreds!) and a couple of wax tea lights. And so I have used that for the focus of my own time of reflection, poetry, contemplation and even for some consideration of the joys and concerns that have drifted past me in those recent days. It's almost been the spiritual equivalent of a diary of the past week or a goodwill to-do list looking forwards.

Lighting the candle, working through a few issues for myself is a curiously private thing. When I first did it a family relative walked in on me and they beat a hasty retreat all embarrassed. In fact I found myself feeling a bit like a character in the film Gladiator when they open up the case of figures of their ancestors and gods and offer a prayer (don't worry the analogy ends there). But actually, sitting at home and lighting a candle and focussing on just it and you is an astonishingly powerful period of time for me.

So powerful have I found it, that over the last week, when I have been too busy to make the time, I have found myself pining for my candle and my solitude. I know the story of how the Unitarians ended up, after the second world war, with the notion and then design of the chalice and the flame and I often tell others. But the private, personal process of stopping, pausing, creating the silence and lighting that candle has become very very special indeed. If you haven't done it, try it. I'm curiously struck by the power of that time.

Thank you Hans Deutsch - it's a powerful legacy and emotionally deep and lasting. Thank you.