Vicar’s Blog: ASK Pentecost

Vicar’s Blog ~ May 2020 ASK: Pentecost Dear friends, Nearly twenty years ago, just after the Millennium had inspired us in all sorts of ways, folk began to notice that over the horizon was the year 2020. Not quite palindromic, it is a double number, of promise, and of course, of vision. With eyesight so much in the news this … Read More

Vicar’s Blog ~ ASK: Easter 6

Vicar’s Blog ~ May 2020 ASK: Easter 6 Dear friends, Another week of lockdown passes, and we now hear that London has moved from being one of the worst-infected areas of the country to the lower end of the scale of suffering. We can be thankful for small mercies, without complacency or lack or realism. As with everything else we … Read More

Vicar’s Blog ~ ASK: Easter 4

Vicar’s Blog ~ May 2020ASK Easter 4 Dear Friends, Perhaps this saying is familiar to you: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. The prayer this is based on was composed by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr sometime around 1932. It has been … Read More

ASK – Easter 3

Vicar’s Blog ~ April 2020ASK – Easter 3 Dear friends, I don’t often quote a bank, but the phrase used by Barclays this week, ‘we may be further apart but we have never been closer’ has special resonance, not only at this time, but for us the community of Christ. We have always felt close to others from whom we … Read More

Vicar’s Blog October 2019

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 … Read More

Vicar’s Blog August 2019

Vicar’s Blog ~ August 2019 Well what a Patronal weekend we had! A stunning and well-attended Organ Spectacular at which John Rippin, Keith Beniston and Jonathan Marten played wonderfully, including a topically themed improvisation on ‘Blue Moon’ by Keith. After delightful fizz on the lawn, we adjourned to the Hall, where Judy Smith had prepared a bumptious dinner of cold … Read More

Vicar’s Blog November 2018

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: Once we had dreams, dreams of a new beginning When we had fought the war to end all war, A world of peace, where people live in freedom, A world where justice reigns for evermore. … Read More

Vicar’s Blog October 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ October 2018 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, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog September 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ September 2018 Dear Friends, 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. … Read More

Vicar’s Blog August 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ August 2018 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?!. … Read More

Vicar’s Blog July 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ July 2018 Dear Friends, 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 … Read More

Vicar’s Blog June 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ June 2018 Dear Friends,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 … Read More

Vicar’s Blog May 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ May 2018 APCM Vicar’s report – 29/4/18Dear 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 … Read More

Vicar’s Blog April 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ April 2018 Dear Friends,It’s not every year that the magazine is published on Easter Day. And certainly not every year that the first Sunday of April is not only Easter Day but April 1st, All Fools’ Day! In fact that hasn’t happened since 1327*. That was the year Elizabeth de Burgh died. She was the wife – … Read More

Vicar’s Blog March 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ March 2018 Dear Friends, This year we began Lent on St Valentine’s Day, and will end it on April Fools’ Day, and we have not had a year like this since 1945! It means we began the season with a secular focus on love and will end it on foolishness. Both of these lie at the heart … Read More

Vicar’s Blog February 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ February 2018 Dear Friends, This year, Ash Wednesday falls on St Valentine’s Day in the middle of Half Term, and Easter Day is April Fool’s Day. I didn’t vote for either of those! The dating of Easter (and thereby of everything that relates to it, in Lent, and afterwards at Ascension and Pentecost), hinges on the phases … Read More

Vicar’s Blog January 2018

Vicar’s Blog ~ January 2018 Dear Friends, Happy New Year! And Happy Christmas! Christmas is not over yet… Whether you have taken your decorations down or not, we continue to bask in the glow from the Christmas Crib throughout January, until we turn towards Lent after Candlemas. That said, we have had an excellent Christmas weekend at St Mary Magdalene’s, … Read More