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Sermon Speaker

Richard Croft

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St John and St Stephen’s Church, Reading, August 29th 2021, Trinity 13

Song of Solomon 2:8-13, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 ‘Give me an undivided heart’   It would be difficult to find two readings that are more different. The one, part of the beautiful love-poem of Song of Solomon with its invitation to “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away!”; the other a showdown between […]

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St John and St Stephen’s Church, Reading, May 9th 2021, 6th Sunday in Easter

Micah 6:1-9, John 15:9-17 Start of Christian Aid Week: The shape of the gospel   Being invited to preach in this church at the start of Christian Aid week feels like preaching to the converted: I’m pretty sure most people here ‘get it’ and understand why we support this particular charity. As a church, we […]

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February 28th 2021, 2nd Sunday in Lent

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16. Mark 8:31-end A new name for everyone   It’s the second Sunday in Lent. Not exactly Christmas day, is it? The ‘fun’ of Ash Wednesday is behind us, Palm Sunday is weeks away when the pace picks up again, and Easter – it’s like, years away. My Lenten resolve is just about […]

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St John and St Stephen’s Zoom Church, Reading, January 17th 2021, Epiphany 2

1 Samuel 3:1-10, The call of Samuel ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening’   I love this story. Samuel is a young boy, left in the care of the elderly priest Eli at the temple. These were dark days for Israel, still a tribe without a king, pummelled and subdued by the surrounding kingdoms. […]

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Make sure you get this right! – Sermon Sunday 25th October 2020, Trinity 20

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-end   We heard read just now from the gospel of Matthew.  Matthew, the hated tax collector who was summoned by Jesus to leave behind his shallow life of avarice and greed, called to his life’s true vocation as a disciple of Jesus with the simple words, ‘Follow me!’ (Matt 9:9). […]

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September 13th 2020, Trinity 14 – To err is human, to forgive, divine

  This is a difficult passage. Difficult for two reasons. Firstly, because the subject matter, forgiveness, is difficult. None of us find it easy to forgive. And forgive 77 times, as Jesus said? Really? What am I, a doormat? Secondly, because it’s quite a tough parable, ending as it does with these harsh words: ‘In […]

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A masterclass in prayer – Jacob wrestles at Peniel

August 2nd 2020, Trinity 8   I wonder if you have found the last few months a struggle in any way? Struggled with the lockdown, with loneliness perhaps, illness, uncertainty, loss, or struggled with faith? What about struggled with God? This morning we come to one of the most unusual stories of the entire Bible […]

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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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May 17th 2020, Easter 6 ‘In him we live and move and have our being’

In CS Lewis’s ‘Narnia’ books, four children – Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy explore a different world called Narnia, and encounter Aslan, the giant Lion who stands, in Lewis’s stories, for Christ. In ‘The Dawn Treader’, Lucy and Edmund have been stranded on a strange island. There’s a moment where Lucy, the youngest, is waiting […]