On the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

O God, our rock and our redeemer, we give thanks for your servant Philip.We thank you for his long life, for his dedicated support of his wife in her vocation as Queen,and for his service to commonwealth and nation. We thank you for the Duke of Edinburgh award, for the work of the World Wide […]

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This year’s Easter

Last year, when we were living through the first lockdown, a friend of mine said, ‘I don’t want last year’s Easter’. She had gone to stay with her mother who was shielding, and it was a time when the churches were all closed. On the television she found some recordings of Easter services from what […]

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Next year!

As we all know, the Last Supper was probably, possibly, and certainly according to Mark’s Gospel, a Passover meal. In later times than Jesus the traditional thing to say at the end of a Passover meal became ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’… And it’s become a kind of phrase or saying that people use more generally […]

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God so loved…

This must be one of the most famous and oft quoted verses of the Bible –; ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life…’ I’m sure that most of you could recite it, could sing it, and […]

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God’s gift of the law…

I wonder what comes to mind if I say words like ‘law’, ‘commandments’, or ‘rules’. There is a kind of prejudice in Christian circles about laws and commandments, I think. And perhaps especially so among those of us who like to think of ourselves as ‘nonconformist’ Christians. I think this takes several forms. I can […]

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Losing your life and gaining it…

Jesus said, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” This always reminds me of that great line in […]

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God is not weary…

The wonderful poet and prophet Isaiah (the one we call second Isaiah) wrote to a suffering people, ‘The Lord is the everlasting God
..those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall soar as on eagles’ wings;
they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint…’ It is one of the most sublime […]

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Teaching with authority….

So often when we’re in deep trouble, we stop listening. We can’t hear anything but the sound of our own voice or anxieties or whatever it is and we stop listening for the very thing, the very word, that might actually help… and sometimes of course we just can’t help it and we need someone […]

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The baptism of Christ – up to his neck!

The picture on the front of the order of service – or that is being shown on the screen right now – comes from one of the other chapels that plays a big part in my life – though I haven’t been there now for some time. For the past four or five years I’ve […]

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Renewed faith

I had a sermon planned for this Sunday. It was going to be all about how at the beginning of a new year we might renew our covenant with God, and perhaps make something like some faith-focussed new year resolutions. I find the words of the covenant prayer always a challenge and an inspiration to […]

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Christmas 2020

Last Christmas, the one that seems a lifetime ago now, some of us were carol singing outside – and a man solemnly walked past us carrying a placard. The placard said, ‘Jesus was not born on December 25th’. I have been wondering since quite what his problem was. It’s hard to think that he had […]

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Mary….

I don’t think you will find any United Reformed Church named after Mary –though you can find the odd St Columba’s or St Andrew’s. Christians in our kind of tradition have tended to see Mary as the saint who, above all, we need to put back in her place, and whose statues we like to […]

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