I can't deny I was excited. I went to chapel this afternoon. Nothing hugely unusual in that - but this was the first visit for me into the chapel in my new town. Peeking through the gates and railings it had all the hallmarks of charm and history that I like, so I was a tad excited.

Now this is a new town for my husband and I. Neither of us know Chesterfield, never lived there before, but are learning fast and enthusiastically. When we looked at towns to move to (criteria: not a city and not a village) husband had very kindly done a list of towns with Unitarian Chapels. On one of our early visits to scout Chesterfield the Chapel had been part of the recce and despite being locked I had managed to get into the back car park and see the old grand gravestones of the proud late 18th century and clearly flourishing Victorian congregation. It was a good start.

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.

So the issue facing most places of Christian worship in an increasingly secular Britain is what to do with the massive legacy of buildings sequester to it by Victorian England. Already most chapels have gone from the rural villages I know and churches are increasingly closing, or administered as united benefices in clusters of three, four, five or more.

The Unitarian Chapel I attend in Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead NW3, is no exception to the challenge of attendance, finance and the weight of responsibility. One of the ways we have survived, and indeed continue to thrive is that we have a wide catchment areas of worshippers - being in zone 2 of London helps that and makes transport easy for many, including non-drivers like myself. The daft pricing structure of property in London, especially north London, makes real estate valuable and so investment in our estate and buildings is possible by nature of our rent income.  We also have an ethos, and have enjoyed Ministers, who are in every sense inclusive of all, including all from the LGBTI communities.

Do I need to go into the church physical to enjoy it? Clearly not, but that short Sunday pilgrimage that I, and a reducing number of others, make does provide a great little window of opportunity.

Now, for centuries church and faith has been something enforced, something required - more to do with dictat, dogma and rules. My own church and faith don't have those elements. Indeed the whole approach of the Unitarian Church is fundamentally inclusive, tolerant and open. That openness applies to most things and in that respect I am grateful.

This morning I sat quietly in Chapel, the back row today, as my normal usual seat taken by a visitor who had arrived earlier (this is good).  The sunlight was bright, low lying today and as I relaxed, contemplated the stillness and the beauty around me I happened to glance up.  And there it was - the Chapel’s wooden panelled roof I have seen so often before.  But today, because of the sun-stream, another feature I had not seen before stood out.

Let me share the roof with you: it is 14 panels long, rising 4 panels high either side joining above the congregation to the apex of the slow gothic arch that is the chancel arch at the front or the organ gallery window at the back.  Each panel (112 in total) - they are a dark mahogany stained oak, I think - comprises broadly 6 equally sized planks - all conjoined by a crossing link beam up and down. It’s simple, it’s fine quality and it’s solid. Reassurring.