Sermons
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

St Mary's Day

My granddaughter was sitting on my lap when I read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch my increasingly wrinkled neck . She was alternately stroking her own neck, then mine again. Finally she spoke up, 'Poppa, did God make you?' 'Yes, darling,' I answered, 'God made me a long time ago.' 'Oh,' She paused, 'Poppa, did God make me too?' 'Yes, indeed,' I said, 'God made... read more

'Let peace begin with me'

Peace Sunday - Feast of the Transfiguration 5 August 2016 What is happening on the world scene is truly awful. Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, South Sudan, indiscrimate bombing across Europe and the USA. ISIS and its evil tentacles. What is happening to the USA in the astonishing presidential election campaign. What's happening as political aspirants nurture a culture of fear in order to scare people into actions which go against all the values we have aspired to. And in our own back... read more

Thomas: longing for encounter with God

John 20:24-29 Do you have a favourite amongst the disciples? I think for me, it would be Thomas. As I watch Thomas in the gospels, I see a person who is exploring what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Thomas longs to be with Jesus, no matter what. As I watch him, I see his inner struggle as he tries to understand what such a journey would mean. What do we know about Thomas? He was one of the... read more

Disability Awareness Sunday

Isaiah 65.1-9; Galatians 3.23-29; Luke 8.26-39 It’s only a couple of months to the Rio Olympics and I expect many of us will be watching our team and hoping that individuals can harness all the years of training and produce personal bests on the day, even if that doesn’t always mean winning a medal. But how many of us will be watching the Paralympics which follow? With 180 hours of coverage free to air, in a world first, the programme editor,... read more

It's About Compassion

Luke 7:11-17 If you are like me and have been at your son or your daughter’s funeral, there may be a sense of wanting to skip over this story. To not give it too much attention. For it doesn’t sit easily with our own anguish of when our child died. We did not see the compassion of Jesus bring our son or our daughter back to us. The story makes us feel uncomfortable. What do we do with the sense of... read more

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