Biscuits as a metaphor for faith in life?

Published on: Thursday May 6, 10:34 am

When you dunk a biscuit, do you just briefly introduce the biscuit to the tea in passing? Or do you give it a really good soaking? Or somewhere in between? A friend once asked me – you’ll have heard me say this one before – “with God, are you a weekday friend or a Sunday […]

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powered by Jesus

Published on: Thursday April 29, 11:43 am

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. The readings for this week are all about abiding in God, being part of and being powered by God through Jesus. And this theme continues throughout May – our theme for sermons is “foundations for the future”. Covid […]

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Who we are in what we do: love made visible

Published on: Thursday April 22, 10:37 am

What does it mean to love? What does it really look like? St John gives us a clue when he writes (1Jn 3.18), “let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” We talk a lot about love when we talk about God and being a Christian. But sometimes it can […]

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peace, perfect peace…

Published on: Monday April 19, 7:51 am

Despite the fact that on Thursday I wrote about peace and presence, I find myself unable to let this go as my theme on this week’s gospel reading. Peace is what so many people truly desire – both around them and within them. And in our increasingly busy world, peace is one of the hardest […]

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Peace and Presence…

Published on: Wednesday April 14, 1:33 pm

Presence can be a very ambiguous word. Jesus’ presence among the disciples in this Sunday’s gospel reading likely caused more disturbance than peace. Mary Magdalene has told the others she has seen the risen Christ. Peter and John have seen the empty tomb. The couple from Emmaus who have encountered Jesus on their journey have […]

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determination, curiosity, asking the key question

Published on: Monday April 12, 8:40 am

Thoughts on Prince Philip and Doubting Thomas, by Lucy Gildersleeves This is not the sermon I was preparing on Thursday; the news of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, overtook it.  But when I read this Gospel passage again on Friday it seemed very appropriate to the situation. Prince Philip may have been […]

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Seeing & Believing – perspective is everything!

Published on: Friday April 9, 9:19 am

Sometimes we don’t see what’s under our noses. We’re too busy focussing elsewhere. Sometimes, we just can’t believe something when somebody tells us, because it makes no sense to us. ‘It’s impossible!’ we say. And sometimes, we judge the people who don’t see what we see, who can’t understand what’s obvious to us. We forget […]

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The Last Supper: togetherness in the face of suffering

Published on: Thursday April 1, 8:37 pm

Yesterday the headteacher at Buckland school sent me the image at the top of this week’s bulletin, wishing me a Happy Easter. I love that photo. It’s cute. But as I looked again, another message began to come through. Too often we end up making difficult and challenging things cute or kitsch, and essentially removing […]

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Palm Crosses

Published on: Sunday March 28, 7:39 pm

Symbols of togetherness and connection… Gospel Reading: Mark 11.1-11 Liturgy of the Palms By the way, for those you who heard (or read) last Sunday’s sermon on growing things, in case you were wondering, I did plant those seeds last week. And yesterday afternoon, I spotted the first tiny seedling poke its head up! Palm Sunday […]

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Bethany: the place of welcome and friends

Published on: Thursday March 25, 12:22 pm

‘Welcome, Nicky.  Welcome, welcome, welcome!’ said Azman.  Moving from the hallway to the living room, Elaine came forward with the biggest smile on her face and said, ‘Nicky you are so welcome.’  It’s funny when we reflect on things in life, how it can be a momentary phrase that changes our lives forever.  I’d never […]

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Jesus & cushions!

Published on: Friday March 19, 9:22 am

Finding comfort in the storm… Mark 4.35-41 When evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so […]

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Kum ba yah, My Lord

Published on: Monday March 15, 2:45 pm

Sermon for Mothering Sunday, by Lucy Gildersleeves Today is Mothering Sunday, when we celebrate ‘mother church’, and those who have been as mothers to us – those who have cared, nourished, protected and stood by us – and we celebrate God’s motherly love for us. You might like to have a pencil and a piece […]

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Divine Images of Mothering

Published on: Thursday March 11, 12:19 pm

Images of Divine Love, God as Mother, God as Father We are so used to saying, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” that we automatically limit our thinking and imagery to the male gender. The impact of the words Father and Son are such that we tend to think of Spirit as male also. But for […]

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Rules, or “Love Rules”?

Published on: Monday March 8, 11:11 am

Thoughts on the Ten Commandments There are few things so frustrating in life as rules – when they are not in your favour. Equally rules are extremely useful when trying to navigate a strange and unfamiliar situation.  Revd. Jim preached a wonderful sermon for us yesterday on the Ten Commandments, and he has sent me […]

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Human Wisdom & Divine Foolishness

Published on: Thursday March 4, 11:43 am

Game theory is all about making decisions based on trying to work out what the other is going to do, and what is therefore of greatest benefit to ‘me’. There are various kinds of games, but the bottom line is our choices and those of others are always going to interact with and impact on […]

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Letting go & the boomerang effect

Published on: Sunday February 28, 5:07 pm

(a sermon on Mark 8.31-38) Have you ever overheard the tail of a conversation and wished you’d heard it all? Or been the person speaking, and realised that what you just said to one person is something that everyone needed to hear? So you raise your voice, gather everyone together, and make the point again […]

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the power and gift of words

Published on: Thursday February 25, 10:24 am

Poetry (and poets) can often be like marmite – love ‘em or hate ‘em. But poetry (and indeed words) can have a profound effect. And it can lead from one place to another like stepping stones in a stream. Words can be powerful and transformative and, when well crafted, are life-giving. This Saturday is the […]

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Jesus & Wilderness: being truthful with our pain

Published on: Thursday February 18, 1:05 pm

Caring for elderly parents and relatives is a burden that is really hard to speak about, not least because of our sense of love and duty to them. A few days ago I was chatting to an old friend. I asked her to share her thoughts on this – she writes with an honesty of […]

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Lent, Gratitude and Not Giving Up

Published on: Saturday February 13, 12:58 pm

Usually Lent is taken as a time of fasting and penitence, a time to give up something for a short while. Not so that we can feel all virtuous but rather as a symbol and route to seeing the spiritual truth and reality behind all our material goods. It’s also about being in solidarity with […]

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Thoughts on St Valentine

Published on: Thursday February 11, 3:55 pm

This Sunday, 14th February, is St Valentine’s Day, a date on which it has become traditional to send an often anonymous card to one’s sweetheart. St Valentine’s Day has been described as one of the year’s big gifting days, along with Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day, when people express love in the giving of flowers, […]

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