Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous. I’ve always liked that saying. Whenever an atheist assaults me with the usual lament – “If God exists, prove it. If God exists, how come he has never shown himself to me?” – I always tell them I find it astonishing they can’t see what’s staring them in the face.

Maybe it is just that people who are lucky enough to already have faith are more attuned to picking up on the little things that happen every day that build and affirm faith. But I have always found life to be full of what one might call Godincidences.

The other day, my horse Grace misjudged a tiger trap while out drag hunting and caught her back legs on the fence. When the field of horses came to a stop soon after, I leapt off to examine her. Finding not even a scratch, I breathed a sigh of relief.

But before I could get back on, there was a loud scream to the side of me, and when I turned round a horse was on the ground with its teenage rider trapped underneath it. The horse had evidently had a freak heart attack, which was shocking enough, but the screams of the trapped girl begging for help were the truly terrible thing.

For some reason, only three people had the presence of mind to leap off their horses. The rest of the field sat astride their mounts seemingly frozen. Sometimes during an accident a sort of collective inertia takes hold among the onlookers, when everyone assumes it is someone else’s place to help. Or perhaps they couldn’t quite see what was happening and mistakenly thought that someone had simply fallen off and that enough people were helping.

Perhaps if I had still been on my horse I would also have sat frozen.

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