Sermons

It's just a bag


So spill the beans – what was under the tree this morning? Who got what good stuff? Was it what you wanted? Apparently the most wished for gifts this year were a fire tablet (I don’t really know what that is), a Samsung HD 32 inch telly and a Lego frozen ice castle.

Mary in our video definitely got what she wanted.







Hope and Prayer

Does praying make any difference? I’ve often been asked that question. And if I couldn’t give an answer which made at least some sense, then I would have wasted years of my life studying theology, the Holy Scriptures and the teaching of the Church. But you know there are times when I find myself asking the question, Does praying make any difference?
Read on





Miracles and Faith

Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well’

Did Jesus actually perform miracles? Did he ever do any miracles at all? Or are the miracle stories all made up in order to reinforce the Early Church’s belief that Jesus was the Messiah? It was widely believed at that time that miracles would be a feature of the Messianic age. Are miracles even possible? Read more......







Whingeing from Job

If we’re honest we all enjoy a good moan from time to time but Job is a bit of an expert. A man who has it all and then loses it all, he proceeds to spend the whole of the rest of the book named after him moaning that God’s not fair, life’s not fair, it’s not fair. It is true that he does go on and on but then he does have a point: he is after all a good man, a man who believes in family, in God, in nation, a man who upholds the law, does good, believes in public service and charity.  And where has it got him? Read on



Learning to Walk in the Dark


Not a sermon exactly, but if you missed Barbara Brown Taylor at St Paul's Cathedral on 9 July you can follow her as she asks, on the dark times in our lives, 'Could these be a good thing? Is darkness essential to our growth and flourishing as light?'.

Barbara Brown Taylor is a priest, professor, author and theologian and is one of the United States' best known preachers.










Elijah and foreign women

Foreign women were the cause of all Israel’s problems, exile, war, famine, drought, poverty – apparently it's all the fault of foreign women. 

Read on




“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while”

If the word gets around that you can heal the sick, you’re likely to be in demand. That’s clearly what happened to Jesus in the incident related in today’s gospel reading. 






Learning to receive

Today the families of Cecilia and Freddie have gathered for their big day.  Yesterday my own family gathered for a big day too.

So I speak from experience when I say that families can bring out both the best and worse in us.  9 hours and 21 minutes and 52 seconds of experience to be precise. 

In today’s gospel Jesus is back in the bosom of his family, he has just come home.  He has done a fair bit since they saw him last and they had quite a lot to be proud of....... Jesus had just healed a woman who had been haemorrhaging non-stop for 12 years and then raised a child from the dead and but no one, it seems was proud of him. Read on


Rock or not?

Today is the feast day of St Peter and St Paul, and also the 40th anniversary of Fr. Robin’s ordination and so an occasion to reflect on what it means for each of us to be called by God.

Jesus’ words to Peter in today’s gospel have, over very many centuries, been used to support the supremacy of the See of St Peter’s in Rome.






Think you get it? Think again... 


God does not see as mortals see, they look on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart. 

We all know not to judge a book by its cover – and yet we all do it.   

We cannot help but be influenced by what we see, by how things appear.


Let's get Loko that cow

This Sunday I asked some our girls and young women to tell us a little bit about the opportunities they have and what they hope for their future.
Kate, Grace, Margot, Rachel, Grace, Ashia-Gabriel, Mary, Rose and Cynthia all spoke of school, of exams and of the opportunities they have to go to college and university. They also mentioned other opportunities which are taken for granted: the opportunity to go to the theatre, to take part in drama and sport, to read many books, to learn to play instruments and have music lessons. Three were interested in becoming teachers, the others were interested in IT, law, sport, writing, psychotherapy and flying as careers.

The reason I asked these young women to speak to us is because this is Christian Aid week and Christian Aid works by helping the very poorest in a community, those with the least hope and the fewest opportunities and in most communities this group will be the girls and young women. Particularly the young women who are on their own – the widows. 
 
Read more


New Beginnings... 

We are now five Sundays after Easter Day – and that Easter morning feeling that a shiny new world is breaking in and that, with God, anything is possible, seems to have, well, seems to have dissipated a bit … 

We are all back to school, back to work, back to the old life where we know what is and isn’t possible and I am no longer greeting everyone with Christ is risen! Although, he still is. 

But today at least we have the story of a new beginning - the question is who is a new beginning for?

Read on



“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”

I must introduce you to one of the most important people in my life. My hairdresser. He has a wonderful sense of humour. When we first met, he told me he came from Iran. I said, "Are you a Muslim?" He said, "Sometimes". I know exactly how he feels. I often think I’m a Christian sometimes. Anyway, we often share a joke. I went in one day and sat in the chair, he looked at me and said, "I will make you look ten years younger". I said, "What are you, a hairdresser or a plastic surgeon?"

But there’s one thing he always says to me, when he’s finished doing my hair and beard and stands back to admire his work of art. He says, "Welcome to new life". I always think that’s such a lovely thing to say. And of course it’s a perfect summary of the message of Easter. Welcome to new life.

Read on




Promises, promises... 

"Lent can be kinda dull, no alleluias, no glorias, no flowers and in my house fasting which means no drinking or swearing                      
(which is pretty much all we do in the vicarage for the rest of year).  

For many of us, our Lenten practices are now somewhat over familiar:   we join a lent group, we read a lent book, we spend a little more time on our knees, decide what to give up and who to give to.                                           

It was same last year and the year before – its all good stuff – really good stuff but its safe stuff, tame stuff, its not exactly - the stuff of adventure. 

But our readings for the first Sunday in Lent are not safe, they are packed with adventure...." 

Read more of Ruth's sermon from the First Sunday in Lent here


We are but dust....

"Today is the day we begin our fast, we bow down our heads, we wear, not sackcloth, but ashes
and this is the day that God questions why on earth we are doing this:

“why fast? Why humble yourselves?”                                                                          
“Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?”

Why? " 

Read more of Ruth's sermon from Ash Wednesday here 


"...a capricious, mean minded, stupid God"


Stephen Fry's heartfelt response to suffering has provoked much reaction. Mtr Ruth gives her take on how we expect God to intervene, when we have so much power within us to right wrongs, to relieve suffering, to bring peace.

Read her full sermon here.










The Time is fulfilled

"The time is fulfilled. You could almost say the time’s up."

Fr Robin talks of how we often don't recognise which are the important jobs to do, nor see when it is time to abandon one task  in favour of another, 
or time to listen to someone else

Read his full sermon here.













Advent Sunday 2014 


Advent is often seen as the waiting room of Christmas, a time of hanging about before the show begins,before Christmas comes, the angels sing and there is peace on earth and goodwill to all. 

The trouble is, that Christmas has come already, repeatedly, since that long, long awaited day when the angels first sang to us and God came down to live among us. 

And after all the waiting, and all these very many Christmases, there is not much peace and precious little goodwill. 

And as we ponder this we begin to understand the plea of Isaiah that we heard this morning:

Read on...


Christ the King

In this sermon from 23 November, we are reminded that this Sunday of Christ the King is not about power, nor about influence, nor about success. It is about what we hold to be the main pillars of our life and our society and the criteria we use to judge others, and ourselves. 




Remembrance Sunday, 9 November 2014


War is not glorious, it is not romantic, it is not pretty, yet Remembrance Sunday is a day when we choose, deliberately, to look at the horror of war. To look back into our nation’s past to the suffering of the First World War and of all the wars that have raged since its end.   

We look back for a purpose – we look back lest we forget.



Women bishops- does it matter? A sermon from July on Women in Church and the General Synod

Read more here 






Sunday 20th July 2014 

What is the Bible story that Sunday school have been looking at this term? The life of Moses. 

We couldn’t have the whole story this morning so I asked the Sunday school leaders what bit the young people liked best and they said … THE PLAGUES

So plagues it is.

Read on... 





Sunday 13th July 2014

Do you ever wonder why God bothers? 

God chose Abraham and promised to bless him & Sarah with a son and with descendants. 

But Abraham sires a son, not with Sarah, but with Hagar instead. 

Still God gives Abraham and Sarah the son he promised, Isaac. 

But Abraham tries to kill this promised son. 
Still God keeps Isaac alive. 

But Isaac is struck down with grief (unsurprisingly) 
Still God sends him Rebekah to comfort him. 

But Rebekah and Isaac cannot have children, 

Still God gives Rebekah not just one but two sons. 

But, having been blessed with two, Isaac and Rebekah find they can only love one son and the boys grow up to fight and cheat and threaten to kill each other … Still God continues to pour out his blessings upon them. 



Sunday 6th July 2014

A love story? 

Today we heard a story about families, the story of Isaac and Rebekah and how they found new life in one another.  It is a love story.