In the Quiet Way, music was part of every day. The Kindred played musical instruments, and the homes had electricity; families had their own CD players at home – not television of course which had almost nothing on it that was not a worldly distraction and seduction – but they could listen to music, of the kind that would edify and bless.

At this time of year, in the home where she grew up, Dorcas would play The Messiah as she did the morning chores, singing along at the top of her voice, till she felt she might take off and fly.

She had had a guitar – it was to be shared, but the family knew it was mainly for Dorcas – and she would play and sing in the evenings, when the day’s work was done. Blowing in the Wind, Down By the Riverside, We Shall Not Be Moved she sang, with all the family joining in, singing the harmonies. And then at this time of year, at the fireside in their family evening prayers, Stille Nacht.

Plain people everywhere have a certain kinship, a common vision of the way holiness can put down its tap root and flourish in the quiet ground of simplicity; but even so, they are not all the same. Dorcas did better than fit in with the Old Order Kindred. She really flourished. But like a sharp pain inside her, she missed her family terribly, and she missed the music.

Being part of the choir, practising the hymns and singing together, became so precious to her. In the Old Order, musical instruments were worldly distractions, and CD players were as unthinkable as rocket launchers; but the Lords Day part-singing with its deep harmony, fed Dorcas’ soul.

She had half thought that while Flo was with them, she might slip out and listen to the choir practice, even if she was no longer one of the singers – the hope had strengthened the longing; and now that Flo was out of the house except for the busy times when both of them were needed, seeing the hope fade brought bitter disappointment.

Dorcas missed the energy in music. Melodies revitalised her, and the joy of singing strengthened an upheld her.