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

Trinity 2 ~ Follow Me!

Luke 9.51-62 May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. We are familiar with the concept of being a follower. Men and women follow football teams; or politicians. Bands, film stars, soap operas and even shops have their followers. Most people have heroes whom they follow. Christians over the centuries have become ‘followers’ of … Read More

Trinity Sunday 2019

Well, we’ve arrived – we have reached the destination of Trinity Sunday! As summer approaches – so we’re told! – we arrive at the theological and liturgical summit of Trinity Sunday, from which we look back at the receding Easter season, which has culminated with Ascensiontide and Pentecost, but we also see ahead. The grass may not be greener on … Read More

Easter 6 ~ The Old and New Jerusalem

Welcome to the New Jerusalem! We are not in the Middle East, 14 miles north-west of the Dead Sea and 33 miles east of the Mediterranean, 2500 feet above sea level on the five hills that define the mile and a half wide city. But rather we are in the heavenly city – the holy city Jerusalem coming down out … Read More

Easter 4 ~ GPS God’s Positioning System

How do we find our way around today? How does this compare with the past (and not too distant past either!)? The Rev’d Dr Gordon Giles looks at the way we find our way today. This sermon was preached during a Family Service and is available in audio only. Please excuse the quality at the beginning of the audio The … Read More

Easter 3 ~ Peter and the pleasures of the table

John 21:1-19 The eighteenth-century French Philosopher Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1828), wrote a treatise called La Physiologie de goût which is known in English as ‘The Philosopher in the Kitchen’. He writes this: “The pleasure of eating is the actual and direct sensation of a need being satisfied. The pleasures of the table are considered sensations born of the various circumstances of … Read More

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