Sermons
Be Not Afraid

A few days before Christmas, two young brothers were spending the night at their grandparent's house. When it was time to go to bed, and anxious to do the right thing, they both knelt down to say their prayers. Suddenly, the younger one began to pray in a very loud voice. "Dear Lord, please ask Santa Claus to bring me a play-station, a mountain-bike and a telescope." His older brother leaned over and nudged his brother and said, "Why are you... read more

Blessing of the Advent Wreaths

On Sunday we begin once again our Church's new year and the annual journey through the life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. We will follow the way to his ascension, to the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the birthday of the Church, to the Queen of Festivals on Trinity Sunday, the feast when all is brought together in the wonderful dance of mutuality and love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the three persons in... read more

Christ the King

As it says on the front page of our pew sheet this week, this is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. It is Christ the King Sunday. Next week we will begin the Advent journey towards Bethlehem to seek out the Christ child. Perhaps there came a sense of bewilderment as you listened to the Gospel reading today. It is almost Christmas, why are we reading about the crucifixion of Jesus? Why does this day take us to the cross?... read more

The courage to stand up and be counted

Remembrance Sunday Micah 4.1-5; John 15.12-17 What a week this has been. Donald Trump is to be the next President of the United States, and leader of what we call the Free World. I don't think at this stage I need to add to the commentary that is abounding around the world and what this says about our moral compass, which seems to have been reversed and our values turned up on their heads. There is much to reflect on in... read more

The persistent widow and the unjust judge.

Luke 18.1-8 ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. IN everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus’ Usually we read in the Gospels that Jesus tells a parable and then explains it to his disciples, often quizzing them as tits meaning. In this parable he is very clear, or at least the evangelist is so that the hearers are without a doubt about what the meaning of the parable. The reading begins ‘Jesus told them a parable... read more

170th Anniversary of the first service in St Mary's New Plymouth

‘For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be ,yes!' Some years ago I was at a lecture given by Marc Pachter, the then Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. It was most interesting and entertaining. The site of the NPG is at the centre of the grid which is Washington. The site was designated by Pierre Charles L'enfant who designed the city of Washington. What is interesting is that L'enfant saw that at the heart... read more

Battle of Britain Sunday

A chicken and a pig were best of friends. One day, they were looking at a newspaper and read about an orphanage not too far from them that needed food. The chicken said, “Brother Pig, why don’t we go down to the orphanage and make a donation of food? We could donate a ham and egg breakfast.” But the Pig replied, “Wait a minute, Sister Chicken! For you, that’s just a contribution, but for me, it’s a total commitment! It’s laying... read more

Tell Me the Same Old Story

Deut. 13.15-20, Luke 14.25-33 ‘I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life or death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God’. I remember – when I was a priest in England – a very fine priest who had been made vicar of a parish in North Oxfordshire where I worked as the diocesan youth officer – it was a long time... read more

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Luke 13:10-17 I think the Gospel reading is about how institutions can get in the way of compassion and care. It is specifically about repressive religion. And we know enough about that in our own time, and not only repressive Islam. The Church has enough of it too! The passage opens with Jesus teaching in a synagogue. As was the tradition and the rule according to the Law, the Torah, any man present could read from scripture and then teach or... read more

Ordination to Priesthood of Ailsa Claridge

Glory to God on high, God of power and might. You are my God. I can neither add to your glory Nor take away from your power. Yet I will wait upon you daily in prayer and praise. In a few minutes, Ailsa you will make this statement of praise and faith in the living God. And in these words you will acknowledge that God is so much more than we can barely begin to imagine. I can neither add to... read more

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