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

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

Magazine October 2018

2018 Harvest Festival

30 The Ridgeway 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, a … 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

Magazine September 2018

Parish Concert

30, The Ridgeway 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 … 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

Magazine August 2018

Poetry and Prosecco evening

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, All this sweltering heat we are 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 haven’t we?!. So having … 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

Magazine July 2018

30, The Ridgeway, As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, most of us have no conception of what life without penicillin, surgery and medicine would be like. Clearly it would be painful and short, especially at the end. Similarly, even only a few centuries ago people could not have conceived of our world of hospitals, surgery and chemotherapy. A hospital … 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

Magazine June 2018

2018 Jazz Evening

30, The Ridgeway, Suddenly summer is upon us, after what can only be described as a bumpy ride in!  Which means we can turn our attention to the summer of 2020 – only 2 years away. Casting our minds back 8 years, we went with 50 others to Oberammergau, the Bavarian town where the famous Passion Play is enacted every … 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

Magazine May 2018

APCM Vicar’s report – 29/4/18 Dear Friends, This time last year I had left for the United States on my study leave, and I managed to be a very long way away from the APCM! You managed admirably without me, and indeed, assisted by Jackie and Mo, the whole three months of my absence was looked after very well indeed. … 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