The Character, Chemistry and Competence of Calling

Matthew 4:12-23 I wonder what the job description of a disciple would have been? Nowadays, if you want to appoint someone, whether they be a teacher, receptionist or vicar, there are job descriptions, person descriptions, contracts, terms and conditions, statements of particulars and all that kind of paraphernalia. You’ll be pleased to know, if you saw that harrowing and shaming … Read More

The Baptism of Christ 2020

Matthew 3.13-17 Happy Christmas! You think it’s all over?! The Pantomime season may be over – oh no it’s not – oh yes it is… But Christmas is not. The eastern Churches have only just celebrated Christmas this week – on January 6th – and we still have four weeks to go. Don’t sigh – for now the fun begins. … Read More

Christmas Eve 2019: The Father is Born

Somewhere at home you have probably got your Birth Certificate. It might be buried in a drawer, kept safe, or it might be lost in the mists of time! Someone else might even have it. In any event, everyone has a birth certificate issued when their birth is registered with the state in the days after their birth. This has … Read More

Nine Lessons and Carols 2019

O Lord, grant that what we sing with our lips, we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe in our hearts, we may show forth in our lives. Amen. You have probably noticed that at this time of year there is a very perceptible crescendo of carol singing as we approach Christmas Day. Radio stations have their sonic … Read More

Advent 4 2019

Do you remember the Blue Peter Advent Crown? Every year the long-running children’s programme used to show the nation’s children how to make an advent crown, a decoration for the season, fashioned out of coat hangers and tinsel. The candle holders were made out of bottle tops, and the tinsel wrapped around it. Simple.  Simple but deadly! I don’t think … Read More

Advent Sunday 2019

Romans 13:11-end – Matthew 24:36-44 It’s always difficult on a train not to overhear people’s conversations, even if one can only hear one side of it. On Wednesday while on a train I sat opposite someone who took a phone call from someone claiming to be a policeman, who was ringing to ask this person about someone called Bethany her … Read More

Black Friday Goodness

Luke 23.33-43 I daresay you noticed that next Friday will be what has now become known as Black Friday. You may know that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day, which in the United States is the fourth Thursday of November. It is a public holiday commemorating the first harvest celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers who had settled in … Read More

All Souls 2019 ~ Marking the end

Revelation 20:11-12; 21:1-8 When someone dies, one of the many realities that strike at the soul is the paperwork that is issued by civic authorities – the death certificate. It is a stark document, perfunctory and precise, stating simply that someone has died and that it is now official. It is also a necessary document, for without it funeral arrangements … Read More

All Saints Day 2019

Many years ago I recall seeing an article in a newspaper that had a graphic of a railway carriage seating plan, with passengers of various shapes and sizes, and above each seat was a price. The purpose of the illustration was to show that each person in the carriage had paid a different price for their ticket, even though they … Read More

Trinity 18 2019 ~ John Henry Newman

2 Tim 3:14-4:5 – Luke 18:1-8 How do you pray? – How do you pray? According to an official Church of England press release this week, Church of England prayer apps were used more than five million times over the last year as a record number of people sought Christian contemplation and reflection online. Apps allowing users to pray the … Read More

Jackie’s Harvest Farewell

All the food you have brought – thank you so much. It is all going to the North Enfield Foodbank. Imagine mixing it all together – opening all those tins and packets and putting it in one great food mixer/processor. It would be terrible. And each item on its own is fine, but one tin of beans doesn’t add up to, … Read More

Trinity 15 2019 ~ The (dis)honest Steward

The parable of the Dishonest Steward, as we might call him, is one of the most unusual: but this story of a debt collector who, seeing the writing on the wall, is generous to those who owe money in order to feather a nest for himself when he gets fired, actually makes more sense in today’s culture than in Jesus’ … Read More

Trinity 13 2019 – Rage and Loss

Did you recognize what Jonathan played just now? Sometime between 1795-98 Ludwig van Beethoven write a whimsical piano piece called “The rage over a lost penny”. Or, in eurospeaek: Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen, ausgetobt in einer Caprice. It’s a bit of a showpiece, and perhaps uncharacteristically of its composer, it is not really angry, resentful or despairing in … Read More

Moulding our children’s future ~ Baptism and Brexit clay

Rough notes for the sermon: The Xian dichotomy: And what is a Christian? A Christian is someone who is a follower of Jesus Christ, who believes that there is always hope for the world, hope for communities and hope for us all, in this world and the next. And with this salvation, and this hope come Christian values, many of … Read More

Climbing the ladder of success

Lk 14: 1,7-14 May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. An American monk once said something we may not really want to hear, but we can immediately connect with, the uncomfortable truth about Jesus’ teaching in our gospel today. Thomas Merton said, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only … Read More

Organ Blessing by Bishop Rob

2019-07-21 choral evensong with Bishop Rob Wickham

On Sunday 21 July Bishop Rob Wickham came to bless our newly restored organ. Below is a video of the blessing which intersperses the hymn When in our music God is glorified – lyrics written by Fred Pratt Green to the tune ENGELBURG:

Trinity 7 ~ Notes for a Baptism Sermon

I’m thinking of all those poor people in the village of Whaley Bridge I know it quite well…. They have had to move out – not able to return to their homes – everything they have is there, including pets. If the dam breaks, everything will be washed away or submerged in an instant. It’s happened before – the nearby … Read More

“Lord, teach us to pray”

Sorry there is no audio for this sermon Luke 11:1-13 “Lord, teach us to pray” Words from the Holy Gospel according to Luke. Amen. Prayer is not only at the heart of the Christian life; it is also at the heart of a lot of Christian frustration, misunderstanding, and even pain. How do we pray? How does God answer prayer? … Read More

Patronal Festival 2019 ~ Moonstruck Mary Magdalene

I wonder if Mary Magdalene ever looked into the night sky and wondered about that white blob we now call the moon? She, whom some scholars have taken to be some kind of lunatic – someone from whom seven kinds of demon were cast out. The word lunatic comes from the idea that someone who was mad, was somehow affected … Read More

Following Christ’s route of ministry ~ Trinity 3 2019

Allegedly in the 1980s you could go to the bus station in Istanbul and catch a red double-decker bus to Beijing. That’s over 4000 miles, and it took several weeks. Quite an adventure though – through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and the steppes of Central Asia. Or perhaps it simply isn’t true, no matter how much we might want it to … Read More