I was not born in Lincoln, but in Colchester, which is just outside of London. But as I was six when we emigrated to Canada, Colchester means little to me. Lincoln, on the other hand, was where my family settled when they moved back to England. First my sister, who married a Lincolnshire farmer, then Mom and Dad, when his company closed up shop in Canada, and relocated him back here. I have been coming here every two to five years to visit my family ever since.

Lincoln is everything you think of when you think of England; old, quaint and green. There are few hills in this farming county, but on top of the largest sits the imposing Lincoln Cathedral. Construction began in 972, and continued for some three hundred years; fathers passing their skills and their position in the guild to their sons for generations. The result is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere in Europe.

Coming here evokes a mixture of reverence and relief: reverence for the spiritual and historical traditions of my British heritage, and relief at being free of the terrible burden of that heritage. The beauty of Lincoln’s cloistered galleries carries the claustrophobia of its suffocating rituals that eventual choked the life of the Spirit of Christ’s church in England. Malaysia, with all of its draconian laws, has done less to inhibit the life-giving message of Christ’s resurrection and glory that the weight of that dead ecclesiastical tradition. All of England suffers from that irrepairable loss.