As the son of a preacher my childhood Sundays were spent driving around the North Yorkshire Dales to cold chapels and warm kitchens. The smell of the hymnbooks, the wheezing of the harmonium, the sight of the tables spread with food, and the gentle earnestness and generous hospitality of the dales folk are still etched in my mind. Today most of the chapels are closed. Only last week, I helped to move furniture from one that held its last service just a month ago. This caring Christian presence at the heart of every community is disappearing fast.