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

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

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

Magazine March 2109

Parish Games Evening

Dear Friends, It is the time of year again, but this time in a year that only comes around every six years, when we revise and reconstitute the Electoral Roll of the Parish. From what follows, dug up by Joy Heywood from the Parish Archives, you’ll see that this is the centenary of our Electoral Roll, which was introduced here … Read More

Vicar’s Blog March 2019

Dear Friends, It is the time of year again, but this time in a year that only comes around every six years, when we revise and reconstitute the Electoral Roll of the Parish. From what follows, dug up by Joy Heywood from the Parish Archives, you’ll see that this is the centenary of our Electoral Roll, which was introduced here … Read More

Vicar’s Blog February 2019

Dear Friends, As well as telling us how many days to next Sunday there are, or what date to write at the top of the page, our calendars remind us of which secular, religious or family festival is approaching. As we near someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, we think of them, perhaps pray for them, at the very least we … Read More

Magazine February 2019

2019 Jazz Evening

Dear Friends, As well as telling us how many days to next Sunday there are, or what date to write at the top of the page, our calendars remind us of which secular, religious or family festival is approaching. As we near someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, we think of them, perhaps pray for them, at the very least we … Read More

Vicar’s Blog January 2019

Dear friends, It has been another good Christmas, for which we welcomed congregations of our usual increased numbers for Crib and Carol Services, and had a wonderful orchestral carol concert with readings too. As always, feedback is useful in terms of what we do in future years, although I cannot see us changing our hugely popular and successful Christingle offerings … Read More

Magazine January 2019

2019 Parish Feast event

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, It has been another good Christmas, for which we welcomed congregations of our usual increased numbers for Crib and Carol Services, and had a wonderful orchestral carol concert with readings too. As always, feedback is useful in terms of what we do in future years, although I cannot see us changing our hugely popular and … 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

Magazine December 2018

2018 Christmas services at St Mary Magdalene Church

Dear Friends, You may have seen Bishop Sarah launching the new app for Advent with Christian publisher SPCK: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/a_good_advent We all know how important it is for us to help our people to pray and reflect during the Advent season. So, on Christ the King this Sunday, why not encourage them to download the app and use this simple form of … 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

Vicar’s Blog November 2018

Dear friends, Here are the words of a hymn written by Canon Rosalind Brown, who recently retired from Durham Cathedral: ©Rosalind Brown 20/10/2000 Four years ago we began a period of Remembrance which brought into focus a series of events that encompassed the significant and tragic milestones of the Great War. In 2014 we ‘marked’ the beginning of hostilities, avoiding … 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

Magazine November 2018

2018 armistice exhibition

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, Here are the words of a hymn written by Canon Rosalind Brown, who recently retired from Durham Cathedral: ©Rosalind Brown 20/10/2000 Four years ago we began a period of Remembrance which brought into focus a series of events that encompassed the significant and tragic milestones of the Great War.  In 2014 we ‘marked’ the beginning … 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

Vicar’s Blog October 2018

Dear Friends, Dear Friends, 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 poker game in progress, being played by a fire officer, a mechanic, … Read More