Christ the Cornerstone

Published on: Thursday April 18, 12:01 pm

“Christ is made the sure foundation; Christ the head and cornerstone.” So the hymn by Henry Purcell goes. Psalm 118.22: the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  Perhaps unsurprisingly for a carpenter, Jesus had a good understanding of building, and used such metaphors in his teachings. Far from being hard to understand, […]

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Jesus said, “Peace be with you”

Published on: Saturday April 13, 10:37 am

It is now three years since a small group across the Vale of White Horse Deanery has been coming together on Zoom on Wednesday mornings to pray for the Church in our area and topical issues.  Each week we pray for our clergy and ministry teams, and we focus in particular on one benefice and […]

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God of Surprises

Published on: Tuesday March 26, 3:28 pm

Many years ago, there was a book called God of Surprises. The title has stayed with me over the years, because it’s just so very true. Our God is one of surprises, doing the most unexpected and unpredictable things, which often seem (by human standards) to be somewhere between eccentric and daft.  But these things […]

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The Great Commandment

Published on: Wednesday October 25, 3:08 pm

What is heavier: a ton of coal or a ton of cotton wool? I remember when I was a child, being asked that question, or a variant on the theme, where one item was clearly “heavier” than the other. Except it wasn’t. I’d missed the point. I’d confused volume with weight. Of course if you […]

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Praying for No Hatred or Bitterness

Published on: Thursday October 12, 10:56 am

Today, Thursday 12th October, the Church of England remembers two extraordinary Christian women, Elizabeth Fry and Edith Cavell.  Both committed their life’s work to serving God by caring for those damaged and broken by the inhumanity of human beings. Elizabeth Fry is best known for her campaigning for prison reform.  She inspected prisons, developed post-release reintegration programmes […]

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Do as I say, not as I do!

Published on: Thursday September 28, 10:41 am

Oscar Wilde famously said, the only thing to do with good advice is give it away. Last week at a clergy gathering, someone mentioned the book “A Year Lost And Found” by Michael Mayne, one time Dean of Westminster Abbey. It chronicles a year of debilitating illness, which was eventually diagnosed as myalgic encephalomyelitis. His […]

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Conflict? Or Opportunity?

Published on: Thursday September 14, 11:27 am

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name,” said Jesus, “I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18.20 So often, this phrase is used to encourage the small 8am congregation that “small is beautiful” and it’s okay that only a few of the faithful have made it out in the early […]

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Sharing Wisdom, Teaching Others

Published on: Wednesday September 13, 2:45 pm

The second Sunday of September is identified as ‘Education Sunday’ – a day led by the ecumenical organisation Churches Together in England.  Churches across a wide range of Christian denominations unite in recognising and celebrating everyone in the world of education. Some in England today might ask just what we have to celebrate, at a […]

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Practical Ins and Outs

Published on: Thursday August 17, 1:18 pm

What goes up must come down. What goes in must come out. Maybe not in a form we’d recognise, but input creates output, in some form or other. And what’s visible on the outside is (whether it’s obvious or not) directly related to what’s inside!!  External practicalities can take up a lot of our time, […]

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Sowing and Possibility

Published on: Thursday July 20, 11:15 am

Sowing seed is a deeply frustrating thing to do. Recently we decided to grow sunflowers. “Sow the seeds in pairs,” the instructions said. “When they germinate, take the stronger plant and put outdoors.” It was clear that the seed seller was looking for no more than a 50% success rate.  I also tried to patch […]

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Never Enough?

Published on: Thursday July 6, 9:44 am

“Never Enough!” The singer echoes and re-echoes this refrain throughout the song. My daughter’s friend loves this song from The Greatest Showman, and the pair of them often listen to it. It even reverberates down from the bath from time to time. I found this refrain so utterly annoying, making me think of the modern […]

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Doing little things with great love…

Published on: Thursday June 29, 11:13 am

When I was at “vicar training college”, the grace at dinner was “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The other day, I was back at Christ’s Hospital, where I used to teach Classics, and I was invited […]

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Priorities? Peace & the Sword

Published on: Wednesday June 21, 9:17 am

Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10.32-34) Jesus never said being […]

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Proclaim the Good News!

Published on: Thursday June 15, 10:25 am

The story of God working among us is all about teamwork. God sends Jesus. Jesus calls and then sends out the twelve apostles. Then later he sends out seventy two, in pairs. Finally, after his Resurrection, he sends all his disciples to the ends of the earth, equipped with the Holy Spirit, so they can […]

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One Body, One Bread: Corpus Christi

Published on: Friday June 9, 8:55 am

Today is the festival of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion, also known as the festival of Corpus Christi.  It is one of what is known in the Roman Catholic Church as a ‘feast of devotion’ and within the Catholic and Anglican Church calendars it falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.   Trinity Sunday […]

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An angel and a girl were in a kitchen one day…

Published on: Thursday June 1, 11:59 am

We’ve all heard the jokes that begin this way. The phrase sets a scene of utter improbability, inviting us to join in, to imagine.  Imagination is so important in reading the bible. Sometimes we can read it literally, taking the words at face value. But even when we do, we must be aware of the […]

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Pentecost: New Beginnings

Published on: Tuesday May 30, 10:44 am

Ten days ago marked a new milestone for me, as it was the first post on the DailyDust blog since August 2021. For those of you who know me well, it’s been an “interesting” time over these past two years. Waiting for life to reach a place of peace and calm has proved pointless, and daily squalls […]

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Praying to Our Father

Published on: Thursday May 18, 11:42 am

It’s been a while since I last published here, and that’s been a time of prayer and quiet. Now it seems God is calling me to turn that prayer outwards again in writing, and I really look forward to continuing this journey with all who read this blog. May these posts bless you and help […]

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divine R&R – just when we need it…

Published on: Thursday August 5, 10:08 am

Have you ever found that after a huge event, you feel utterly depleted and empty? Last weekend I saw some dear friends who I had not seen for years, as they live abroad, and a few others as well. It was the most wonderful chaos of adults and kids and reunions. My friends stayed for […]

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the refiner of silver

Published on: Thursday August 5, 9:27 am

Sometimes life is not very comfortable – to put it mildly!! And in those moment, we may ask, what on earth is God doing? Why does he not rescue us out of this situation? One of the images that crops up repeatedly in the Old Testament, in the Prophets and the Psalms, is that of […]

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