IT is just after 7.30pm on a midsummer Tuesday and 10 feet below the train line that links St Albans in Hertfordshide to Sutton in south London, a man in his 20s preaches to an assembled crowd all drenched in sweat.
“You might not know why you’re doing the things you’re doing,” he says, panning across the crowd. “But it’s preparing you. Trust me, all this is preparing you.”
It might seem that a railway arch in the depths of east Brixton might not be anybody’s idea of sanctuary, but get off the train at Loughborough Junction, take a right up Herne Hill, walk past the three overflowing skips and abandoned aeroplane chairs and you will find exactly that.