What is Church?

If I asked you the question “what is Church?”, the image likely to come to mind is of an ancient stone building, probably from the middle ages, with stained glass windows, a tall tower, and possibly some bells. It’s a very English answer, and of course the answer will change depending where one is. But […]

Journeys of Faith

Journeys are all kinds of things: exciting, challenging, adventurous, daunting. They can be long, they can be short, they can be mundane, or they can be life changing.  This Sunday, we will be welcoming two children into the family of faith as children of God in St Mary’s church in Buckland. We will also be […]

Christ the Cornerstone

“Christ is made the sure foundation; Christ the head and cornerstone.” So the hymn by Henry Purcell goes. Psalm 118.22: the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  Perhaps unsurprisingly for a carpenter, Jesus had a good understanding of building, and used such metaphors in his teachings. Far from being hard to understand, […]

Jesus said, “Peace be with you”

It is now three years since a small group across the Vale of White Horse Deanery has been coming together on Zoom on Wednesday mornings to pray for the Church in our area and topical issues.  Each week we pray for our clergy and ministry teams, and we focus in particular on one benefice and […]

God of Surprises

Many years ago, there was a book called God of Surprises. The title has stayed with me over the years, because it’s just so very true. Our God is one of surprises, doing the most unexpected and unpredictable things, which often seem (by human standards) to be somewhere between eccentric and daft.  But these things […]

The Great Commandment

What is heavier: a ton of coal or a ton of cotton wool? I remember when I was a child, being asked that question, or a variant on the theme, where one item was clearly “heavier” than the other. Except it wasn’t. I’d missed the point. I’d confused volume with weight. Of course if you […]

One Body, One Bread: Corpus Christi

Today is the festival of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion, also known as the festival of Corpus Christi.  It is one of what is known in the Roman Catholic Church as a ‘feast of devotion’ and within the Catholic and Anglican Church calendars it falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.   Trinity Sunday […]

An angel and a girl were in a kitchen one day…

We’ve all heard the jokes that begin this way. The phrase sets a scene of utter improbability, inviting us to join in, to imagine.  Imagination is so important in reading the bible. Sometimes we can read it literally, taking the words at face value. But even when we do, we must be aware of the […]

a healing weed!

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches. —Matthew […]

Praying, Kindness & Keeping Going…

Early yesterday morning, I looked out through the dawn mist. The church next to the Rectory was barely visible through the foggy air. A faint image, easily missed, unless you know it’s there, and what to look for. Sometimes God can seem distant – as can the Church. Obscured by the mist, or darkness. Far […]