As I've prepared to move on from leading the churches of Kemsing and Woodlands, I've needed to think what I want to say as I leave. What words of farewell, of fare well, would I leave our church family with.
Each quarter for the past 12 years, I've written a one-page article at the front of The Well, the magazine our church produces for the whole village community and distributes free of charge to every household.
Here is the "vicar's letter" from the most recent Summer 2021 edition.
“And now the end is near, so I face the final curtain.” So begins one of Elvis’s most well-known songs, “My Way”.
A few days ago, I posted the transcript and a link to the video of my presentation, explaining my reasons for leaving the Church of England, and for moving to join Trinity Church Scarborough as their Associate Minister.
That presentation was given on a Wednesday evening to our church family, having told them the Sunday before that I would be leaving. In that briefer leaving announcement, I said (pithily) that Jesus was my boss, and loyalty to him meant I had to move.
This coming Sunday, 11th July 2021, will be my last serving the people of Kemsing and Woodlands as their "vicar". When I announced in January that I would be leaving, I gave a presentation to explain my reasons for leaving the Church of England, and where I was going instead. This is that presentation.
This Sunday I'm preaching on John 21:1-14, the miraculous catch of fish. I've been asking myself why this miracle is recorded in John's gospel. Here are some thoughts.
What's the Puzzle?
Here's why the question needs asking. The story is a miracle (the catch of fish), and a post-resurrection appearance (“Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples. … This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead”).
Christians need breadth as well as depth as we read the Bible. As we enter a new year, why not resolve to start the habit of reading right through the Bible - not just once this year, but as part of a routine that will feed and sustain you for the rest of your life. Here are 3 tools to help you do so, and a copy of the Bible reading plan I use personally.
As we look at the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2, the obvious lead human characters in the story are Herod, the Magi, and Jesus himself. These are the lead protagonists and antagonists.
Whilst the Jewish priests are more flat, functionary characters, we mustn't miss the contrast Matthew deliberately paints between them and the Magi.
Michael Green comments:
In 1960, C S Lewis published a book entitled The Four Loves. It has become a classic. He explains that there are four different Greek words for our English word "love", and they have different meanings. There is the bond of love within a family, the love of friendship, erotic love, and charity. This latter, translating the Greek word agape (
I was recently asked a great question that made me go away and think awhile.
The question is a simple one: Jesus tells us to love our enemies. The devil is our enemy. So does this mean we should love the devil?
Here's the answer I gave:
That’s a great question. Certainly the devil is called “our enemy” in 1 Peter 5:8.
Let me give several answers, starting with the simplest, getting progressively more involved.