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Sermon Series

Festivals

Reflections on the big festivals of the year.

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Love Actually – June 21st, 2020, Trinity 2

Matthew 10:24-39 ‘Love, actually’  We are living through tumultuous and difficult times. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, racial justice protests gripping the world, poverty, the climate emergency, and just in the last 24 hours, here in Reading, 3 people killed while they enjoyed an afternoon sitting with friends in the sun. Suddenly Reading […]

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Sermon – Sunday 24th May, Easter 7

My sermon on Sunday was interrupted by a young macaw called Tango, stuck in our garden during lockdown (usually to be found in Chris Smith’s props box.  Thank you, Chris!) Hello.  The Lord be with you.  I want to talk about the ascension this morning.  (Tango arrives, scattering nesting material everywhere.  What follows is my […]

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Perspective is everything

Easter Day 12 April 2020 (via Zoom) Acts 10:34-43 Gentiles Hear the Good News 34 Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, […]

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Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 2020: Contradictions, reversals and paradoxes Psalm118: 1-2, 19-29 and Matthew21:1-9   When Christine kindly asked me if I would offer a reflection for Palm Sunday, I said yes but only on the proviso that I could talk about poetry. She thankfully agreed to this – it may have been what she had in […]

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Mothering Sunday

Sermon for Lent 4 (Mothering Sunday), Mark Laynesmith Everything has changed. Who imagined a week ago that we would be here? Back then, as I planned to preach this Sunday I had begun to think about speaking of Julian of Norwich. Julian was a female English mystic – she lived in (surprise surprise) Norwich and […]

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Ash Wednesday sermon 26 February 2020

John 8.1-11, Isaiah 58.1-12 One evening when I was in Sweden, two of the art students from my college said hello to me in the street and said they were going to an art exhibition and would I like to go with them?  It was the launch of the exhibition so there was a jazz […]

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Holy Innocents

Matthew 2vv13-23, Holy Innocents Christmas 1, 29th December 2019 The last three days have been church festivals. The first two were our church’s patronal festivals. The 26th December is St. Stephen’s day, Stephen Deacon and First Martyr (Acts 6-7). The 27th is St. John’s day, for John the Apostle and Evangelist (St. John’s gospel). We […]

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The sound of the turtle dove is heard again in our land

Christmas Morning talk, St John and St Stephen’s, 2019. Luke 2:1-14 Play turtle dove track – who can identify this?   You might wonder why we’re listening to a call of a turtle dove – if there’s any vague link with Christmas?!   On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: […]

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The desert shall blossom like the rose

Isaiah 52.7-10, John 1.1-14 Sermon Christmas Eve 2019 The opening words of tonight’s gospel are from John the evangelist, our John, as I like to call him. They echo the very first words in the bible, ‘In the beginning…’ where a lyrical description of how God created the universe follows. The power of God’s word […]