Sermons

The sermon preached by the Provost, John Conway, on Sunday 29th July

Proper 12 (2 Samuel 11.1-15; Ephesians 3.14-21; John 6.1-21)   Just a housewife by Cordelia Baker-Pearce   I packed five cakes of bread and two small fishes, Sent him off, my youngest lad, To take his father’s dinner to the field.   Came back alone he did, all goggle-eyed.   My fresh-baked bread that varmint gave away To some young travelling preacher out of Galilee. It fed five thousand people. What a tale!   It can’t be true … but if it is … What kind of dough did these hands knead This morning? The story at the heart of our Gospel this morning – the feeding of the 5,000 – is clearly a central story, central to the apostles memory and telling of Jesus’ ministry. It’s one of the few stories of Jesus’ life that is told in all four gospels, sometimes twice within one Gospel. It reveals something fundamental … Continue reading


Sermon preached on Pentecost 7 by Marion Chatterley

Whenever I am weak, then I am strong.  The difference between how we perceive ourselves and how other people perceive us can come as quite a surprise.  Sometimes the revelation of how we’re seen can be flattering and very welcome, sometimes it can be quite shocking, and sometimes it will just be rather puzzling – I remember the first time I was on a busy bus and someone told her child to stand up and offer their seat to the lady.  So there I was looking round to see who I needed to let past me…  Then there are those times when we’re doing something that comes easily and someone tells us we’re brave or clever or dedicated – and it just feels to us as though we’re going about our business.  And there are times when we’re not sure that we’ve got on top of a task and someone … Continue reading


Sermon preached on Pentecost 5 by John Conway, The Provost

(Job.38.1-11; 2Corinthians 6.1-13; Mark 4.35-41) It is almost a truism to say that we live in anxious times. Whether it is the uncertainty over Brexit, or an underlying sense that our economy is precarious, as the 2008 financial crash revealed; or the concern that in a globalised world, power and finance is no longer accountable in meaningful ways; that what sustains local life and economy and decision-making is under threat from such unaccountable global forces; perhaps it is an anxiety about our politics increasingly being dominated by populism – by decisions that pander to our fears and confusions, rather than leadership which finds a way to articulate a way forward, negotiating and allaying our fears and anxieties; or a worry for the younger generation about whether there will be sufficient secure jobs available in the future, and enough homes to go around; alongside a concern for the mental health of … Continue reading


Sermon preached on Pentecost 3 by Marion Chatterley

Genesis 3: 8-15; Psalm 130 This morning’s Hebrew Bible reading is one that is understood in a particular way within our Christian tradition.  It’s the story of the Fall, the change in the relationship between God and humanity.  And Jesus redeems humanity from that fall. I’d like to explore the story in a different way today – I want to use it to help us think about how we listen for God and how we might recognise the voices that are not of God.  The story gives us insight into the dangers we might face when we stop listening to God and give authority to other voices.  Earlier in this chapter, God gave an instruction about not eating the fruit  from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   They were given an instruction which they understood. And then they heard another voice.  They knew fine well that this … Continue reading


Sermon Preached on Pentecost 2 by John Conway, the Provost

(2 Corinthians 4.5-12; Mark 2.23-3.6) In the name of God, Creating, Redeeming, Sustaining. Amen. In a moment we shall baptise two of our children from Sunday Club, Tim and Freddy; we shall admit to communion others from Sunday Club; we shall baptise Ali who has been exploring Christian faith for a number of years, and confirm the presence of the Holy Spirit in Alexa. A whole number of unique individuals, all arriving at this moment with their own story and history, their own reasons for taking this step, their own as yet unknowable future in which to live out the promises made today. They join a church of unique individuals, ther unique fingerprints and irises we all carry attesting to that individuality and the uniqueness of each child of God.  And yet, in the baptisms we shall shortly celebrate and re-affirm, that individuality is clothed in the identity of the one … Continue reading


Sermon preached on the Feast of Pentecost by Rev Colin Sinclair

You can hear the sermon preached in the Cathedral by Colin Sinclair, minister of our neighbours at the Parish Church of Palmerston Place, by going to their website here: https://palmerstonplacechurch.com/2018/05/24/pentecost/  


Sermon preached by John Conway, the Provost, on Sunday May 13th

Jesus said: All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.’ Today we celebrate the last Sunday of the Easter season, the Sunday after Ascension, when our celebration of the presence of the Risen Christ begins to look toward the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; when the new community formed by the Risen Christ, takes responsibility, in the power of the Spirit, to live out that forgiving, loving community they have encountered in the power of the resurrection. A forgiving, loving community in the world, but not of the world. That sense that the Risen Christ always points the disciples beyond themselves has been there from the beginning: “Do not cling to me,” says the Risen Jesus to Mary in the garden, … Continue reading


Sermon preached by Marion Chatterley on Easter 6, 6 May 2018

While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.  That rag tag of a crowd, made up both of people who believed and those who were on a journey, a mix of Jews and Gentiles, all of them heard the word, had an encounter with the Divine and they were changed.  The evidence of that change was seen and heard – they spoke in tongues; they extolled God.  And Peter responded to them by offering baptism.   Those few words are a good reminder to us that hearing about the life and witness of Jesus, learning about the nature of our God, can be transformational.  Now I think it’s unlikely that we’re all going to find ourselves speaking in tongues as a response to the Word, so what might be the impact on us of an encounter with the God who is in our midst … Continue reading


Sermon preached by Paul Foster on Easter 5, 29th April

Acts 8.26-40, Jn 15.1-8  I wonder if any of you saw Paddington 2 recently? It was my favourite film of the last year – yes, I know, I do not get out enough! This ursine feel-good film casts Hugh Grant as the arch villain, it has poor Paddington sent to jail, and, without ruining the film for you – as this genre requires, all ends well. It is an action-packed movie, that makes the audience laugh and cry at various points throughout the film. It also does something else – it is one of those rare film sequels that is a success. The box office takings of Paddington 2, were nearly identical with those of the initial film. Sequels do not always disappoint! However, for sequels to work they cannot simply replay the same plot formula as the original. Instead, they must tell the audience something new, they must provide … Continue reading


Sermon preached by John Conway, The Provost, on Easter 3

In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles this morning, we heard an account of the first miracle after Pentecost. A beggar, who asks for money from the disciples, is given something much more unexpected – relationship and healing. A crowd develops, recognising this man but not what has happened to him – they are witnesses of something that they do not yet comprehend. And Peter says to that crowd that has gathered around the healed man: ‘You killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong.’ To this, God raising from the dead, we are witnesses. And in our Gospel, the Risen Jesus says to the disciples: ‘Repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in the Messiah’s name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You … Continue reading