peace, perfect peace…

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 […]

Peace and Presence…

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 […]

determination, curiosity, asking the key question

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 […]

Seeing & Believing – perspective is everything!

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 […]

The Last Supper: togetherness in the face of suffering

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 […]

Palm Crosses

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 […]

Bethany: the place of welcome and friends

‘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 […]

Jesus & cushions!

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 […]

Kum ba yah, My Lord

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 […]

Divine Images of Mothering

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 […]