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Sermon Speaker

Mark Laynesmith

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The Parable of the Sower

This week’s gospel gives us perhaps the most famous parable of all time. I recall it being the first reading I ever had to preach on as a curate. My heart fell: what more could you possibly say that hadn’t been said before about the sower! Sometimes, though, perhaps all a preacher needs to do […]

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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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Religion and Anxiety

Religion and Anxiety What is religion for? I know there are some Christians who don’t like to describe themselves as religious (‘they have a relationship with God, not a religion’) but I think it is a useful term. The root of the word ‘religion’ may mean to bind up again (the same root gives us […]

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Easter Sermon: The Imagination of the Risen Lamb

Our theme over the Lent has been that of ‘mediocrity’: the temptation from within to give up to bland uniformity or the pressure from without from political and religious powers to reduce the individual to the inconsequential or, as we’ve seen this morning so awfully on the news, to erase the individual entirely. Over-against these […]

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Remembrance Day / Armistice Day.

By quirk of calendar, this day, the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War comes to have two names: Remembrance Day (which is the name for the Sunday nearest the 11th), and Armistice Day, the day that marks the 11th itself. I’m intrigued by those two names, and the different emphases they […]

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Reimagining Harvest Festival

There is something of an irony about us town-dwellers continuing to observe harvest festival. I suspect only a very few of us will have harvested anything at all in the past year – or perhaps even in our lives: for many of us our harvesting might have been limited to picking a few blackberries during […]

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4 reports: Telling Stories about Jesus on Palm Sunday.

 Today is Palm Sunday. It’s the day Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey surrounded by palm-waving crowds. Jesus probably intended it to be a symbolic act, a piece of performance drama. But what kind of statement was he making? And how does it fit with the rest of his ministry? Interestingly, not even Biblical Commentators […]