The eyes of the heart

A great saint of the church wrote to the people of the church at Ephesus and prayed that they would find spiritual illumination. In words of the most striking and tender beauty he wrote, ‘I pray that the ….. Father of Glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to […]

Read More

The Day of the Lord

At this time of the church’s year the lectionary throws up some pretty uncomfortable readings. Who wants, these days, to hear about a day of judgement, or the day of wrath, or the day of the Lord? We might listen to things like Verdi’s requiem in the concert hall, but we’re not so likely to […]

Read More

Remembrance Sunday – 2020

Saint Paul write to the church in Thessaloniki that he didn’t want them to grieve ‘as others do who have no hope’. He was working hard to resolve something that was keenly felt for those church members who had seen their relatives die before Jesus came back (as they expected he would very soon) and […]

Read More

The three greatest commandments

‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” I suppose that those of us who come to church regularly hear many sermons in a […]

Read More

Stamped with the image of God

I suppose one of the most familiar verses of the Bible is ‘Render unto Caesar..’ But, despite the fact that we know it so well, it’s not really very easy to interpret. I’ve been thinking and pondering. I’ve preached on it before of course. I’ve often used the occasion to say something worthy about the […]

Read More

Enjoying sabbath…

I was once minister of a church in Salford right down by the docks before it all got gentrified – and I can remember that when I visited people in their homes they would sometimes get out their wedding photographs and show them to me. But there was something very strange about every couple’s photos. […]

Read More

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Today is October 4th, the feast day of Saint Francis. And it is also our Harvest Festival. Francis is considered to be, by some at least, the patron saint of all things ecological and of the environment. The present Pope took his name –Francis – and wrote his first major encyclical on the care of […]

Read More

The name Jesus

I wonder whether some of you have had a look at the picture on the front of the order of service. It shows some graffiti – about the name of Jesus. ‘No name is higher’ is the message. But you might notice that some wag has written another name higher up the wall; the name […]

Read More

Prayer for using gifts with humility

Prayers of thanksgiving & intercession for the 4th Sunday in Creationtide, following a sermon on Philippians 2:1-11 (with an eye on verse 13) We give you thanks, God our creator, that you have given us, not just life, but the means of flourishing. Your gifts to us enable humankind through science to explore, better understand, […]

Read More

The workers…..

The parables of Jesus are extraordinary texts and they speak to people from all sorts of times and places. The fascinating thing about this parable is that when you read it with those who are among the poorest people in the world they don’t worry about the advice not to take it literally or to […]

Read More

Radical forgiveness

Today’s Gospel reading, suggests very strongly that if being a Christian means anything it means being a person who is characterised by forgiveness. We can all be impressed to our bones when we hear about someone who really lives that out; Gordon Wilson, whose daughter was killed at Enniskillen was one I remember. Or the […]

Read More

Freedom meal…

Today, the lectionary asks us to read a part of the story of the Exodus. For the people of Israel, this was the most important story in their history and it was one of which they reminded each other every year and in between too. It was bigger for them than Christmas is for us. […]

Read More