Maundy Thursday 2019

High up on the southern facade of St Paul’s Cathedral is the statue of a phoenix rising from the ashes, a symbol of resurrection. Christopher Wren had it put there after it was recovered from the ashes of the cathedral destroyed by the Great Fire of London in September 1666. Underneath it the word ‘resurgam’ (‘I rise’), makes Wren’s rebuilding … Read More

Transfiguration and Time Warps

One of last Christmas’ bestsellers was the posthumously published book of Professor Stephen Hawking’s final thoughts on various matters. Stephen Hawking was undoubtedly one of the greatest – and most famous – and most distinctive – of scientists of our age, and his books sell very well. How many people get through them is another matter – but I am … Read More

Baptism sermon

Hello! Well today is a very happy occasion! We have gathered to celebrate the baptism of a baby, with her parents, her grandparents, her Godparents and all her family and friends; and it’s a real delight for the Church to celebrate with you all! In baptism we aim to give children the best spiritual start in life that we can. … Read More

Why do people go to church?

Is it because it’s their Tradition, is it for the Eucharist? Is it the Music? Is it to hear the Word? Is it to learn more about God? Is it to worship God with the family of God? Is it the Sermon? Is it meeting together as the Body of Christ? Is it to give thanks and praise for Jesus … Read More

Christmas Eve 2018

What’s your favourite Christmas Carol? The Calypso Carol, the Cowboy Carol, the Donkey Carol perhaps? Or the old favourite, the Laundry Carol, ‘While Shepherds washed their socks by night’, which we all know and love. My favourite last year was the Gorilla Carol – do you know it?: ‘King Kong merrily on high’. Best sung on top of the empire … Read More

Advent 4 2018

After our wonderful Nine Lessons and Carols last Sunday, when I eventually got home I sat down to watch a programme introduced by Griff Rhys Jones called ‘Dickens and the invention of Christmas’. I wonder if you saw it? I won’t say much about it, not leastly because it gladdened my heart to see on TV what I have been … Read More

Carol Service 2018

Who is your favourite composer? I hate being asked that question, because – and I’m sure the musicians here will agree with me – it depends what day of the week it is! So let’s refine the question – who are your favourite Christmas composers? Handel, Bach, perhaps. Or how about Cho-ho-hopin, Beet-ho-ho-hoven or even the great Russian Shosta-ko-ho-hovitch… Sounds … Read More

The Second Sunday before Advent 2018

A great deal is being said in these days about the failure of the Church to attract the masses; and this is true not only of the Church of England, but also of other religious bodies. But it must not be thought on that account that it is Christianity that has failed. No, we must discriminate between Christianity and the … Read More

All Souls’ 2018 – Hope

The word ‘caravan’ has been in the news lately the caravan travelling through Mexico from Central America – all those people heading north to the United States in the hope of finding a better life in the wonderland that is Trump’s America. Whatever the wonders of Trump’s America may or may not be, there are a large number of people … Read More

Parry Centenary Sermon 7th October 2018

Exactly fifty years ago, on 7 October 1968, the 50th anniversary of Parry’s death, the composer Herbert Howells delivered a lecture – called the Crees Lecture – at the Royal College of Music in Kensington. In that lecture he said this of Parry: ‘He died on 7 October, 50 years ago. How many of us ever wished that death could … Read More

Trinity 17 2018

Here’s a little conundrum for you: The police are looking for a suspected murderer – they know his name is John, but they do not know what he looks like. But they do know where he lives. They raid the house, and find a fire officer, a mechanic, a lorry driver and a carpenter all playing poker around a table. … Read More

Trinity 15 2018

Yesterday, I’m very sorry to tell you, was ‘Buy your priest a pint’ day. I say, ‘sorry’, because no-one did. Although we had some very nice prosecco and some profound poetry courtesy of David Nash. Apparently, according to the website www.catholicgentleman.com (isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!?) – I quote: “On this festive day, faithful Catholics all over the world … Read More

Trinity 11 ~ Loaf and Debt

It’s five years now since Archbishop Justin Welby declared what the press decided to call the ‘war on Wonga’. You probably remember – Wonga were in the habit of advertising short-term unsecured loans with their 2 little old people saying in their cartoony way that this was the solution to all their problems. Ironic that they were shortsighted, and if … Read More

Trinity 10 2018

Last Sunday over coffee someone suggested that they had been looking forward to something juicy about David and Bathsheba. So I shall turn to that today, as that story reaches its conclusion and denouement. For the salaciousness of David voyeuristically spying a pretty girl bathing, having his way with her, marrying her and then disposing of the other man involved, … Read More

Trinity 9 2018

All this sweltering heat we have been having reminds me of the places in the world where I have been, where such temperatures are normal. Usually hot weather is associated with holidays – or pilgrimages – and for sure we have had Israeli and Jordanian and Egyptian temperatures these last few weeks. So having to work in the heat has … Read More

Mary Magdalene 2018

Today we celebrate one of, if not the most important woman in the New Testament. Having this church dedicated to her, and celebrating her every year, as well as on Easter Day of course, gives us a special relationship with someone who has become more and more interesting as the years go by. More or less consigned to oblivion in … Read More

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