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 […]

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 […]

Conflict? Or Opportunity?

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name,” said Jesus, “I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18.20 So often, this phrase is used to encourage the small 8am congregation that “small is beautiful” and it’s okay that only a few of the faithful have made it out in the early […]

Sowing and Possibility

Sowing seed is a deeply frustrating thing to do. Recently we decided to grow sunflowers. “Sow the seeds in pairs,” the instructions said. “When they germinate, take the stronger plant and put outdoors.” It was clear that the seed seller was looking for no more than a 50% success rate.  I also tried to patch […]

Doing little things with great love…

When I was at “vicar training college”, the grace at dinner was “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The other day, I was back at Christ’s Hospital, where I used to teach Classics, and I was invited […]

Proclaim the Good News!

The story of God working among us is all about teamwork. God sends Jesus. Jesus calls and then sends out the twelve apostles. Then later he sends out seventy two, in pairs. Finally, after his Resurrection, he sends all his disciples to the ends of the earth, equipped with the Holy Spirit, so they can […]

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 […]