Living

Signing Marriage Certificates

Tue, 31/05/2016 - 11:46 -- James Oakley

A small note for Anglican clergy who read this blog.

Until very recently, when I led the "signing of the marriage registers" after a wedding, here is how I did it: 1. The groom signs 3 copies (the two marriage registers, and what will be their marriage certificate). 2. The bride signs 3 copies. 3. Witness 1, then Witness 2, sign all 3. 4. Lastly I sign both marriage registers, I sign the same box on the marriage certificate, and then I sign the declaration at the bottom of the marriage certificate.

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Forgiveness

Thu, 28/05/2015 - 23:03 -- James Oakley

My friend Steve Jeffery posted a short post on his minister's blog.

So short, it's hard to know which bit to quote.

And yet so wonderful, so true, and so necessary to be chewed over, that I think I'll just quote all of it.

I hope Steve doesn't mind - especially if I link to the original post where I got it from

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How will we all fit?

Thu, 05/03/2015 - 12:38 -- James Oakley

... That was the question I was asked by a member of our church one Wednesday morning, during our midweek Communion service.

We had just had readings on the great Christian hope - that one day, Jesus will return to this earth and renew it. It will be freed from its bondage to decay, all pain and suffering will go, and we'll live with Christ on earth together. Our ultimate hope is not in heaven, but on earth - life as it was meant to be.

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Advent TV

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 15:56 -- James Oakley

It's Advent.

It's widely acknowledged that there are some TV shows that are timeless, and deserve to be watched at Christmas time. The film It's a Wonderful Life, various editions of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, and so on.

It is less widely appreciated that there is TV that deserves to be watched each Advent.

With a hat-tip to Ian and Peter (you know who you are), here is my suggestion

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How balanced is your preaching programme?

Wed, 16/07/2014 - 10:49 -- James Oakley

I had a really interesting conversation this last week on the subject of what proportions of sermons here should be on which parts of Scripture. (I said that I try to aim at 1/3 each of Old Testament, Gospel, and rest of New Testament - after using some weeks for the occasional topical series).

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Of the Authority of the Church

Mon, 14/07/2014 - 20:28 -- James Oakley

THE Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.

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Daft carol lyrics

Mon, 23/12/2013 - 12:21 -- James Oakley

I love Christmas carols. Really I do. We had a great night yesterday, with about 20 from our church singing carols in lots of the public spaces in the village, joined in each place by some who live nearby.

But sometimes, honestly...

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Jesus was essentially Jewish

Tue, 17/12/2013 - 10:38 -- James Oakley

It's the time of year for Christmas carol services.

On Sunday night, at ours, we sang Wesley's final verse of "Hark! The herald-angels sing". It's an absolute cracker, rich in biblical theology, that praises Christ for his work in a full way, and prays that he would accomplish his work in us and in the world.

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Anyone fancy touring the Bible?

Tue, 10/12/2013 - 11:00 -- James Oakley

Bible Tour 2014The two churches of Kemsing and Woodlands in Kent are going on an ambitious journey together in 2014. We're going on a Bible tour.

Here's the plan: Read the whole Bible through 2014, in step with one another. In that sense, it's a communal read-through. (We're not actually going to come together each day to read, at least not in any way that's organised for the whole church).

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Preacher: Start your prep early

Mon, 21/10/2013 - 09:18 -- James Oakley

On a Monday morning I'm always exhausted. Sundays take it out of me.

That means I often use the lion's share of Mondays to get admin done, or other things that take time but don't require the most intensive thought.

But over the years I've learnt the value of starting my preaching preparation early in the week.

(Before going further, I know: Sermon series preparation can usefully be done 6-9 months ahead, and you shouldn't first think about the passages you preach in the week before you preach them. Take that as read).

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