nigel silvester sermon

Blessings and Woes

The Beatitudes in Matthew are essentially attached to what you might call inner, spiritual qualities – things like meekness, righteousness and mercy.

In Luke they are attached to external, physical conditions of poverty and suffering.

But one thing is clear. Both lists are a series of bombshells – statements which blow apart the standard worldly values. Standard values which have for millennia been accepted as the normal aspirations of human life.

sermons by ian banks

The axe woman cometh

My wife has a thing about trees – and not in a good way if you’re a tree. When I said I was talking about trees today she said “Shall I chop one down and you can use it as a visual aid?”

You see she has both means and motive. According to her, there are too many trees, they’re too tall and they grow too close to houses. If they fall down then they’ll damage the roof and even if they don’t then the roots must be undermining the foundations.

Trees are ok – as long as they are small, in pots and answer to the name of ‘bonsai’.

sermon ralph mallinson

Journeys – Epiphany 2019

In the words of our Bishop in the January issue of the CRUX magazine, I’d like to challenge us at this Epiphany-tide, and the start of a New Year, to take the story of the Magi as a metaphor for our own journey with God. 

We may feel that we have arrived with our faith exactly where we planned it to be.  But I suspect that, for the vast majority of us, God has some further steps he would urge us to take.

sermons by ian banks

Probably the best…

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is JC Jacobsen, and I have been dead for 130 years.”

As openers go, it was a pretty good one. Jacobsen was the founder of Carlsberg. You can see his name on some of the cans and bottles. He appeared as a hologram in Copenhagen in August last year, to give a posthumous presentation about the value of uncertainty—in business and in life.

The talk was entitled “Why You Should Answer Every Question with Probably,” and fits in with Carlsberg’s long-time slogan, “Probably the best beer in the world.”

sermons by ian banks

Jonah, Jesus, Fred and you

We are each asked to follow our own particular call, to make the most of what we’re given and not waste it. To show the love & mercy of God to anyone we come across – even when we don’t feel particularly able. Because if we don’t then who will?

And it may not take many words on our part or even particularly clever ones or perhaps even terribly sincere ones, because we too can be messed up and conflicted just like Jonah.

sermon margery spencer

Flippin heck – Lazarus and wow moments

I used to play the piano at a nursery school so that the children knew that music didn’t always come from a machine. There was a 3 year old who had major problems who called me Mrs. Piano and he was a gem. 

We had been singing about sailing on the sea and I told the children that I had recently been under the sea in the channel tunnel. They asked me if I saw any fish to which I replied no and my friend asked if I got wet. When I said no he looked at me put his hands on his hips and said “no fish not wet  – Flippin heck!”

For a long time at the nursery and at home any event which caused surprise was known as a “flippin heck” moment.

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