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

Magazine January 2020

2020-01 The Caught Moment Art Evening

Dear Friends, I hope you had a good Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for all the cards we received. It was a good Christmas in Church too, attendances at the Christmas services were up, as was the generosity from congregations, and indeed so too was the amount of money we raised for external charities, mostly Crisis at … 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

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

Magazine October 2019

2019 Harvest

When we commemorated the end of the First World War last November we looked back at the parish magazines from 100 years earlier to see what people were saying at the time – particularly what the vicar wrote in the magazine and other parish records. Since then I’ve been very aware that what one writes now is not just for … Read More

Vicar’s Blog October 2019

When we commemorated the end of the First World War last November we looked back at the parish magazines from 100 years earlier to see what people were saying at the time – particularly what the vicar wrote in the magazine and other parish records. Since then I’ve been very aware that what one writes now is not just for … 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

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