Sermon Speaker

Richard Croft


Deliver us from evil

Epiphany 4, Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Mark 1:21-28 This morning we read in the gospel of an encounter between Jesus and a man gripped by evil. How will that speak to us? The first chapter of Mark’s gospel throws us headlong into the beginning of the three years of Jesus’ ministry, three years that literally changed the […]


Advent 2 – The dark night of John the Baptist

Advent 2 – Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 John the Baptist John the Baptist bursts blazing onto the scene as recorded in the first few verses of the gospel of Mark. ‘A shout goes up in the desert: Make way for the Lord! Clear a straight path for him!’ (v3). He’s like an old-time fire-and-brimstone revivalist, […]


The hated church

Micah 3:5-12, Matthew 24:1-14 Due to a mix-up too dull to go into, I got hold of last week’s lectionary readings for today. By the time I noticed, it was too late so the gospel reading from last week – that for Remembrance Sunday – is the one I worked with. With its prophecy of […]


Crossings, Connections and Compassion

There are, throughout France, Spain and Portugal, winding paths that cross fields, towns, industrial areas and woodlands, cut across major highways, railway lines and go right through shopping malls. They are not obvious, you have to follow small yellow arrows painted on lampposts and walls to find your way. Those who walk these paths are […]


Ring The Bells

Genesis 28:10-19a, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 Ring the bells It’s good to be home. Rosemary and I got back yesterday after nearly 6 weeks covering the leave of absence of 2 Korean doctors at LAMB Hospital, Bangladesh, where we used to work some 30 years ago. Times have moved on, as they do. The project has […]



Isaiah 9:1-4, Matthew 4:12-23 Some of you will know that Rosemary and I like to walk and cycle. What you may also know is that I have a terrible sense of direction and that it’s quite common for us to get lost. My brother-in-law, also a Richard, pointed out to me that the most important […]


Under The Mercy – Advent 4

Many years, ago, when I was a young boy, I got into some unfortunate company and one Saturday, we lifted a few items without paying for them from a shop. Inevitably, we got caught red-handed. The shop manager said he would call on our parents, and he sent us home. It’s perhaps possible to imagine […]



Simplicity St John’s and St Stephen’s Church, Reading, 23rd October 2016, Creation 8 Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22; Luke 18:18-30 This morning’s reading, the rich young ruler who was invited by Jesus to ‘sell all that you have and distribute the money to the poor’ is one of those readings that doesn’t leave us feeling great. Most […]


The life we live

Beggars can’t be choosers, and when a beggar finds food and water, he will tell his friends so that they also can go and eat and drink. It’s often said that evangelism is exactly that: one beggar telling another where to find food. So permit me to be a beggar this morning and share something […]