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 […]

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 […]

Never Enough?

“Never Enough!” The singer echoes and re-echoes this refrain throughout the song. My daughter’s friend loves this song from The Greatest Showman, and the pair of them often listen to it. It even reverberates down from the bath from time to time. I found this refrain so utterly annoying, making me think of the modern […]

Priorities? Peace & the Sword

Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10.32-34) Jesus never said being […]

He’s Coming! It’s Advent…

“Look busy, Jesus is coming!” is a popular slogan, often found on mugs or similar gifts, designed to make us laugh. After all, sitting at ease sipping a coffee is not exactly “busyness” – or at least according to business productivity stats. In contrast, I’m reminded of the story about the two woodcutters – one […]

Remembrance: Captain Sir Tom Moore

A homily for Remembrance Sunday by Lucy Gildersleeves, given at the Act of Remembrance at Charney Bassett, Oxfordshire War is a human invention, driven by human greed and human fear. War is a human tragedy – but so much more: war drags in and destroys human lives and livelihoods but also the lives and habitats […]

rooted and grounded: the place of church

Yes. I remember Adlestrop— This famous poem written by Edward Thomas were about a tiny station stop in the Cotswolds, but those words could equally have been written by a walker visiting a country church. And willows, willow-herb, and grass,And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,No whit less still and lonely fairThan the high cloudlets in the […]