Take in the scene.

Stand on the kerb of a sun-bathed street, a confluence of streets all flowing into one wide space. This broad road isn’t a neat division of the vulnerable from the metallic kept apart by some archane social contract based on pain. This broad space is a venue for Pedestrian versus Vehicle. The throng strolls about in the road paying little attention to the slow advance of taxis and cars that voice their frustration through blaring horns. Across on the far side, against a long white wall, a market lines the road. Country women in straw hats and pom-poms sell live chickens and cheese, fruit and vegetable sellers shout out their prices and prospective customers debate price and quality while cars noisily try to get to their destinations. Take in the colour. Take in the sound. Take in the press of humanity. And step out into it.

On the far side the market parts where a gate sits in the long white wall. A mere cock-stride through this open gate reveals a peaceful garden, dappled shade, quietness. Stroll further in and the activity of the market is replaced by tranquility. Stepping in, you are faced with a choice of paths. Go one way. Kittens freeze in play, stare and dart back into the shrubbery as you walk past. Perhaps as you walk slowly round you will encounter the venerable gardener about his work, a couple of tourists engrossed in the headstones or maybe, a large and very talkative, tortoiseshell cat. Palms spread shade, birds sing and exotic flowers blossom all around this quiet close.

Go the other and you come to the Church itself. Now a further choice occurs. Take the opportunity to sit down on one of the benches so considerately placed outside and read a book for a while in the warm sun. Chat to the guardian about the well-being of his family or the life and times of the churchyard’s residents. More aristos to the square inch than anywhere else in the empire – more Raj than Simla is this foreign field that was part of an empire only for the briefest moment.

Or step inside, where the hints of arabesque that the exterior conveys are confirmed by the magnificent Moroccan arch that frames the altar. Flanked by white, moorish, paired columns and adorned with the Lord’s Prayer in the local ‘Maghrebi’ arabic script, it leads the eye up to appreciate the cedarwood ceiling crafted in the highest traditions of Fez. With its moorish architecture and its Lady Chapel with icons of the Virgin Mary, in the tradition of the Anglican ‘Broad Church’, St Andrew’s must rank as one of the ‘broadest’ of all.

Sadly, time is too short – and life urges us on. Back to the gate and out into full sunlight again and the maelstrom.

Editor’s Note: Market Days are Thurs. and Sun. St Andrew’s is open between 9am and 6pm daily. Sunday Worship 11.00am.