Church Birthday!


Happy Birthday Church

As it is Pentecost, so essentially the Church’s birthday, I thought that I would share some thoughts I have had on the Church.

The following passage is often referenced when we think about what marriage is, but I wonder if it can also speak into our understanding of what the Church is. Continue reading


Musings on Vocations

This article is based on a sermon that I preached on ‘Vocations Sunday’ last year  at All Saints Milton. It feels like a long time ago, but has taken on additional significance for me in view of my impending ordination. You can hear the talk here (Warning! this is a long one!)

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Image (C) blairwang

Meaningless, meaningless, utterly meaningless, everything is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

I love Ecclesiastes – it’s so gloomy. It’s not preached on that often, which is a shame because I think reading the Bible without Ecclesiastes is like reading Winne the Pooh without Eeyore or the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy without Marvin the Paranoid Android. Talking about Marvin the paranoid android here is a quote from him:

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, ’cause I don’t. (Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy)

This quote wasn’t intended to be a summary of the book of Ecclesiastics, but I think that it does get right to the heart of the book, at least for our purposes. I want to look at Ecclesiastics as a whole and draw out some things that it has to say to us about the way that we approach our understanding of vocation. Continue reading

On loan


This is an article that I wrote a number of years ago, but as the realization comes that in the not too distant future I will be ordained, it has gathered a renewed importance for me.

Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all,saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.  Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]?”

 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

Mark 12:1-12

I stood in the queue at the check in desk of the library. Tucked under my arm was a little envelope. Inside that envelope was 30% of a CD of Pam Ayers Poetry. The Other 70% of the CD was in a variety of other places, mainly somewhere inside my CD player.

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Musings on Leviticus



A group of us at Ridley are working our way through the Bible in a year and today, with a sense of foreboding, we hit Leviticus. I say foreboding because, whilst Leviticus is the inspired word of God, it can also feel a bit dull at times. Laws about mildew in Israelite camps were clearly very important to the survival of the Jewish nation during 40 years traveling the wilderness, but as a 21st century reader it can feel slightly irrelevant to modern life.

So, I was very pleasantly surprised when God hit with something during my reading of the first 3 chapters of Leviticus this morning. Continue reading



This post is based on a sermon that I preached at All Saints Milton on 02/10/2016, you can hear a recording here



This may surprise you, but I am not the sharpest tool in the box. I can be a bit slow and bit oblivious to the things that are going on around me.

About 10 years ago, I was driving from Scotland down to Northamptonshire in a company car on the M6. I was in the middle lane, ready to overtake a lorry when I noticed in my rear view mirror that there was a police car with its sirens on. So I pulled over into the slow lane to let the police car past. Weirdly the police car then switched off its sirens and slipped back in behind me. ‘That’s weird,’ I thought, and pulled out again to overtake the lorry. Then the police car pulled out again and put its sirens on again. So once I had overtaken the lorry I pulled back into the inside lane to let the police car past. And again the police switched off its siren and slipped back in behind me. ‘Make up your mind Mr Policeman’ I thought as I pulled out again and checked my mirror. Sure enough he had followed me again.

Continue reading