Dances of Life and Death

If you go to Jerusalem you can visit what many people call the ‘Wailing Wall’. It’s what remains of the Temple that Jesus knew and which the Romans destroyed in 70AD. The piazza at its base is still a synagogue, and many Jews go there on a Friday evening to celebrate the beginning of the Shabbat – the Sabbath. But … Read More

Trinity 1 2018

I couldn’t resist picking that hymn this morning (Here I Am Lord by Dan Schutte), because of our Old Testament reading. You might like to keep it open in front of you. I know we have sung it a fair few times recently, and it will be sung at ordinations soon no doubt, because it speaks of calling, of sending, … Read More

Pentecost 2018

What a weekend we are having! A Royal Wedding, A Cup Final, a Parish Spring Fair, Jackie’s Birthday, Ken and Laura’s Silver Wedding Anniversary… It’s all happening. And, ah yes, I nearly forgot, it’s Pentecost too – another Birthday – the Birthday of the Church. I know some churches where they have birthday cake today and even sing Happy Birthday… … Read More

Fake or Good News of Resurrection?

Imagine the headlines: Exclusive! The man’s for turning: U-Turn from Doubting Didymus. Reuters: News just in from Jerusalem. The rebel religious fanatic Jesus bar Joseph, has, according to some of his followers, risen from the dead. Despite being crucified, some of his followers say they have seen him alive and kicking. Others doubt this. As reported by us last week, … Read More

Easter Sunday 2018

Alleluia – Christ is risen – he is risen indeed – Alleluia! It’s not every year that the first Sunday of April is not only Easter Day but April 1st, All Fools’ Day! In fact that hasn’t happened since 1327. (Only joking: it’s 1956 actually.) Although 1327 was the year Elizabeth de Burgh died: She was the wife – the … Read More

Passion Sunday 2018

I wonder if you recognise this quotation: “They know and do not know what it is to act or suffer. They know and do not know that action is suffering, and suffering is action. Neither does the agent suffer nor the patient act. But both are fixed in an eternal action, an eternal patience to which all must consent that … Read More

Lent 3 2018

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 ‘In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan’… On Tuesday, when the Lenten snow began to arrive, Classic FM played that Christmas Carol, and I have to say, I was delighted! If only the message of the Christ child could be heard all year round, I often say, and although it has to be snow days that … Read More

From Chocolate to Ashes

Today, St Valentine’s Day, is a feast day of chocolate. And chocolate is very important to a lot of people. How many of us would want to live without it? Chocolate, that wonderful substance, that can be drunk or eaten, without any physically or mentally destructive side-effects, and of which we consume thousands of tons a year. Chocolate is a … Read More

Candlemas Sunday 2018

Every year Jessica and Maria and I make a calendar for our family and friends, with a family picture above each month, and the dates on the calendar pre-printed with not only the major days of the year, but also some ecclesiastical dates (such as Ash Wednesday) and the various birthdays of members of the family. We have been doing … Read More

Christmas Eve ~ O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,   How still we see thee lie! Have you ever been to Bethlehem? On December 30th 1865, at the age of 30, the American Bishop Philips Brooks went there and wrote these words to his father: Last Sunday morning we attended service in the English church, and after an early dinner took our horses and rode … Read More

Carol Service 2017

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas… Prosecco, Champagne, Chablis, Chardonnay, sherry… Whether you are dreaming of a White Christmas or not, we certainly had a bit of a white-mare last week, with showstopping snow, and icy pavements. Snow had fallen, snow on snow – and ice underneath! And then came the rain…. Come rain or snow, it’s been tempting to … Read More

Christ the King ~ Sheep and Goats

The Last Judgement by Michaelangelo Matthew 25: 31-40 What happens when you die? Are we ‘going’ to heaven, or hell? The notorious cult murderer Charles Manson died this week, and the American media have swiftly and ignominiously despatched him to hell, just as the British press did when both Myra Hindley and Ian Bradley died in recent years. We certainly … Read More

All Souls’ Service 2017

Job 19:23-29 – Revelation 21:1-7 Do you remember, before we had computers and speech recognition software, we had pens? We still do, of course. The art of pen-making is fine one, and good pens can fetch high prices. Most people would accept that a computer could cost a thousand pounds, but would think that spending that kind of money on … Read More

Trinity 18 ~ Zero to Hero

Do you know what a millennial is? To put it crudely, and you may have heard this, millennials did not vote in favour of Brexit, whereas Baby Boomers did. And so on. Sound familiar? The succeeding generations of the last few decades have been classified and defined in order to attempt to understand trends and behaviour. While this is interesting … Read More

Trinity 15 2017

Have you spotted the connection between today’s readings? It’s something none of us ever do, of course. It’s – complaining – that is the common factor in our readings today. Something none of us ever do. In our Old Testament reading the Israelites, not so long escaped from the oppression of Egyptian taskmasters, complain about the wilderness diet, or lack … Read More

Murder in the Cathedral

We might be so easily tempted to suppose that ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ is simply about a ‘murder in a cathedral’. It isn’t – It is about so much more than that. In its intersection of the 12th and 20th Centuries, T.S. Eliot’s recasting, or recreation even, of the last days and death of St Thomas a Becket has more … Read More

Stepping out in faith

In the Canadian city of Toronto, there is a very tall landmark called the CN tower. Between 1975–2007 it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure at just over 555 metres high, and even now it is still the world’s third highest building. CN stands for Canadian National, the railway company who built it and it is used for telecommunications and … Read More

Patronal Festival 2017

This wonderful service we have every year, has a feel of ‘end of term’ to it, doesn’t it? The schools have finished for the summer, the prices of holidays have shot up accordingly, and no doubt the weather has already taken a turn for the worse, as is customary. August approaches… Yet for me, this year, unusually – or at … Read More

Easter Eve 2017

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him … Read More

Good Friday meditation 2017

Do you have a crucifix in your house somewhere? Many people have them, in the bedroom, in the hallway, anywhere really. We have one in the Hall – made by Mike Appleby a few years ago. Some schools have them in every classroom, and many people wear one around their neck. The one I’m wearing now came from Jerusalem, where … Read More