Of all the Sundays in the year, Trinity Sunday is perhaps the one on which we look most deeply into the being of God, what God is. What we encounter, unsurprisingly, is a mystery that is properly beyond us. We should not expect to understand God.
I wonder if you have a favourite day in the year? For some people it might be their birthday, while others might be big Christmas fans. I’ve known people who were super keen on Valentine’s Day, while perhaps a Wedding Anniversary carries the most meaning for some. Looking forward to these exciting landmarks is often as enjoyable as celebrating them when they arrive. I remember the excitement of looking forward to Christmas when I was a child as vividly as the happy family times that followed.
The period between Ascension Day and Pentecost is one of the most important in the Church’s year. In it we pray with particular and focused intensity for God to renew the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. During these nine days, it can be helpful to have some additional help in praying in this way. In recent years, this has blossomed into a global event called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.
As I write I am looking forward to being able to stand in the Sanctuary of our church building and celebrate the Eucharist for the first time since we had to lock the church doors, eight weeks ago. At present, only I and members of my household are permitted to do this, as a result of recently relaxed guidelines on church buildings.
The Coronavirus lockdown has prompted a great deal of reflection in the Church, and not a little disagreement. At the heart of this reflection and disagreement there is one comparatively simple little question: does it matter that we cannot meet together in our church buildings? Continue reading The Church Building Still Matters
I was struck when opening my Church Times on Friday by a headline referring to the ‘40 days and 40 nights’ of lockdown that we have so far experienced. These words make a link between Our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness and our present time of isolation. Both, in turn, echo a far older narrative, that of the forty years spent by the people of Israel in the wilderness between their deliverance from Egypt and their arrival in the Promised Land. Continue reading Wilderness Times
I’ve spent much of the last week on a course. Normally, I would have travelled down to Leicester and stayed in a hotel for this. Classroom sessions would have taken place in the St Michael’s Centre just across the way from Leicester Cathedral. The hotel bar might also have been a venue for some of the (very important) interactions in which one learns with and from one’s peers.
The story of ‘doubting Thomas’ is one that many of us probably imagine that we know well. St Thomas was the disciple who was slow to believe, the one who doubted the resurrection, the one who asked for proof.Continue reading Weekly Letter for Sunday 19th April
A very happy Easter to you all! I’m going to level with you; at the time of writing it is not Easter Sunday, but good Friday. Theologically, this makes perfect sense because Christ’s death and resurrection are part of the same whole – there is no death without the promise of resurrection and no resurrection without the pain and heartache of death. We Christians are the ‘Easter people’, the shape of our liturgy is such that every single week of the year we mark good Friday and Easter Sunday in some small way, it is part of the remembrance, or the un-forgetting, of who we really are.Continue reading Happy Easter!