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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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From feeling guilty to being inspired…

Sometimes, when I read the Bible,  I get a sense that it was written for people better than me, or at least different from me. Some of the most lyrical passages are beautiful and awe inspiring, but they also leave me feeling a little bit defeated somehow too. The passage from Paul’s letter to the […]

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God in my life

A few weeks ago, someone from the class in my final year at school got in touch. She is putting together a yearbook, with brief lives of each of us, as we turn another decade. It’s been fascinating, both to set down a paragraph or two about my own life and to read about what […]

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Not being a virtual Christian

So, I wonder how you are finding your Christian life these days; which of course is not so very separate from the question of how you are finding your life these days? How do you find worshipping together on Zoom (by phone or computer?). If you go to meetings on-line, like Elders or Citizens UK […]

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Come unto me…

It’s hard to believe, given my youthful looks, that when I was first going to church as a child it was all Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern. And there were odd things about the language that both puzzled me and nourished me. I didn’t take communion as a child, but I […]

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Fathers’ Day…

There is someone in our family of whom we are rather proud – she’s just written and directed a new comedy series on the BBC called ‘The Other One’. The premise is that a man called Colin dies suddenly when it’s discovered that for decades he has actually had two families. And he has two […]

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Apostles…

“These are the names of the twelve  apostles. Peter… and his brother Andrew;  James son of Zebedee,  and his brother John; Philip and Batholomew: Thomas and Matthew the tax collector: James  and Thaddaeus,  Simon the Canaanean,  and Judas, the one who betrayed him. These twelve  Jesus sent out..’ There’s a great song in the musical […]

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