stories, the news, & Tolkien

Do you ever watch or read the news and just feel utterly overwhelmed? “News” nowadays by definition is stories of one disaster or mistake after another, whether it be death, injury, political error or manipulation. So rarely is there anything joyful. So pervasive is this that we even very often feel the need to preface […]

surviving the storm – take up thy cross

This morning, I saw some incredibly beautiful photos taken by the photographer Sarah Sutherland-Rowe who is a friend of mine. The image of the waves crashing on the rocks is so powerful, so mesmerising… The storm can smash us to pieces; or we can withstand it, but it shapes us into something new, with smoothed […]

care for creation – St Bartholomew

Sermon given by Revd. Tim Hewes on St Bartholomew’s Day, 23rd August 2020, at St Mary’s Buckland Bartholomew was a mysterious figure but like the other apostles he was steeped in the culture and legacy of the Torah:  the allegory of the forming of life and the garden of Eden, the early history, the psalms […]

“do as I do…”

Jesus is very good at turning situations upside down. In fact, throughout the gospels, we see this time and again. The one near death is healed. The hated tax collector becomes the one chosen to host Jesus and his disciples for dinner. The poor are given a place of honour at the table instead of […]

prayer: the heartbeat of the Church

This morning at morning prayer, as we waited to begin, there was a hush in the church. And in that hush, the quiet and muted thump thump sound of the clock’s mechanism up in the tower, counting out the seconds. In that peaceful space, it almost sounds like the heartbeat of the church, perhaps helped […]

St Mary, Women, And Church

Have you ever felt like you’re on the outside? Have you ever felt that people simply don’t see who you really are? If you have, you’re not alone. It’s been the experience of millions of people, for all kinds of reasons. Whether it be race, nationality, class, economics, education, or gender, the division between inside […]

movies & multi-tasking

“Small pleasures are important. You know the story of the two trainee priests who like to smoke? … The first goes to his spiritual director and says, “Is it permitted to smoke whilst praying?” “No, No!” he director replies. The second trainee – he is a Jesuit – says to his friend, “Brother, you are […]

Lamentation: Where is God in this?

So often I try to offer something upbeat. But just occasionally I feel it’s really good to just allow ourselves to be still in the pain and struggle of the moment. After all, we all have those moments. They’re part of life. So let’s not pretend otherwise. Keep it real!! Yesterday was the feast of […]

Thoughts on Change, Growth, and Resurrection

Our journey through Matthew’s telling of the parables of Jesus; last Sunday was all about the Kingdom of Heaven. Revd. Jim wrote our last post, and preached for us last Sunday. The parables really are such wonderful stories designed to challenge, irritate, and to invite us into dialogue and relationship, both with God and with […]

Matthew 13 – Five Parables

This is a guest post from my colleague Revd. Jim Mynors, who is preaching for us this Sunday 26th July. Some ‘parables’ are what we call stories and may come with an explanation. We’ve had two of those in the last couple of weeks. But rounding off Matthew’s collection we have no less than five: […]