Vicar's Thoughts

John 13; v31-35

23 April 2016

One of our Bible Readings in this post-Easter period The Gospel of John Chapter 13 includes a discussion about what it means to be Jesus' 'own'. It is important to look at these things as we head towards our celebration of the Ascension (when we recall Jesus' leaving the Disciples to be in the nearer presence of the Creator), and the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost where Jesus' 'own' come into their own so to speak. This discussion centres on two things: Glory and Trust.

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Easter 2016 Message - 'Talitha Kum'

25 February 2016

What do we think of when we hear the word 'nun'? Do we immediately summon up in our mind's eye a middle-aged, rather austere woman, in a full-length black dress with some kind of funny-looking headgear? Perhaps, we have had some unhappy experience in our childhood of being schooled by severe nuns? Or, perhaps we think of the golden-hearted nuns of 'Call the Midwife'? Maybe we remember feeble television and film comedies featuring nuns doing something absurd or saucy? Or, again, maybe, we immediately raise the question of celibacy?

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Christmas 2015 Message

29 November 2015

A friend of mine emailed me the other day and noted how concerned he was that everyone standing on the station platform - except himself - had their heads down looking at their Smartphones or Tablets. Was life so empty or so scary, he wondered, that they had to bury their heads in technology - rather than experiencing the beauties and wonders of the real world?

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The Kingdom of Heaven

21 July 2015

"Where is heaven and how do I get there?"

That's the question I was asked once by a very nice chap who was clearly interested in hearing the answer. Moreover, he was expecting a definitive answer. He also wanted it straight away. No amount of 'Well, that's an interesting question and one that has been puzzling human beings for thousands of years' would do. He wanted answers. And now.

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Easter Reflection

21 April 2015

It’s a very simple equation: the saving work of Christ on the cross enables us to be free of the way we used to be and enables us to live our lives - with each other, in community, in the world - differently.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed a certain all-pervasive attitude on television in recent years? From talent shows, through shows about strangers making each other dinner, via stand-up comedy shows, to shows about watching people watching TV, there’s a particular underlying attitude to all of them. We find ourselves watching how quickly and strongly people form opinions about the people and events they are observing. Their opinions are often naive, critical, harsh, cruel, spiteful; making huge assumptions about people they have never properly met and couldn’t really know; situations about which they know very little indeed. And then, of course, there are the Social media websites where cruelty and criticism can reach new, extremely damaging even dangerous heights. The ascendancy of Opinion over Truth. 

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Easter 2015

14 March 2015

"He is not here."

What a surprising thing to say. Two thousand years or so ago, some people went to a graveyard in Jerusalem.  They were going to one of the tombs, just one among countless other similar tombs there: carved out of rock like little caves. According to their culture and tradition, they were going to anoint the body of their friend who had died and had been buried there a couple of days previously. But as they approached the place, they saw that the huge stone that had been put across the mouth of the tomb had been moved, by persons unknown. And, even more surprising, they were met by someone who said this odd thing: "Why are you looking for your friend? He is not here."

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Candlemas 2015

1 February 2015

One might just be forgiven if we don’t pay quite so much attention to Candlemas, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, as perhaps we should. Yet, this event is not really an anecdote, an aside, a digression from those other two great moments we celebrate in the Life of Christ: Christmas and Easter. It is not a pleasant bench on which we can sit and rest for a minute in the course of a long country walk. It is very much part of that walk. Part of the whole journey, the whole pilgrimage we undertake as Christians.

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Welcoming Strangers

1 December 2014

There is a story about one of those great colleges in Oxford, or Cambridge, or somewhere; one of those colleges founded by and supported by the Church, as many are... I do not know if it is a true story - I hope and believe that it is.

It was Christmas time, and the college had got together in the Great Hall to celebrate the festive season with a sumptuous banquet. There was silver and porcelain and fine linen napkins everywhere. There was the best cutlery, the finest wine and the richest, most delicious food one could hope for. The college's historic crystal glasses glinted gold in the flickering light of a thousand candles in that oak-panelled room. 

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Bible Sunday 2014

26 October 2014

We can forget sometimes, can't we, that we have the Bible? I don't mean forget that there is such a thing as a Bible - so much as forget how it has come to exist at all. Forget that it exists as a primary resource in our lives and, indeed, that - in and of itself - it is a miracle that it is here at all. After all, there is no real reason for it to exist in the first place really.

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Extra-Ordinary Time

28 June 2014

For those of you who are interested in the Church's seasonal colours you may well notice that we've now gone Green. In fact, after all the very busy time since before Christmas - with our blues and reds and whites and golds - through Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter you may be interested to note that we will be sticking with green for quite a while now. This season over the summer and leading up to Advent the Church is pleased to call: 'Ordinary Time'. So, I hope you are all feeling properly Ordinary and are prepared to remain Ordinary until the Autumn.

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