House of Bishops’ Pastoral Letter

The House of Bishops of the Church of England has this week expressed the hope for political parties to discern “a fresh moral vision of the kind of country we want to be” ahead of the General Election in May of this year.

In a pastoral letter from the House of Bishops to the people and parishes of the Church of England, the Bishops urge Christians to consider the question how can we “build the kind of society which many people say they want but which is not yet being expressed in the vision of any of the parties?”

Download the letter here.

There is also a study aid available here.

Affirmation of Faith (8/2/2015)

(adapted from the United Presbyterian Church’s Affirmation of Faith based on the writings of Martin Luther King Jr. and quoted in today’s sermon)

We refuse to believe:

that we are unable to influence the events which surround us; that we are so bound to racism and war that peace, brotherhood and sisterhood are not possible.

 We do believe:

that there is an urgent need for people to overcome oppression and violence, without resorting to violence and oppression;

that there is a way to live together in peace, a way which rejects revenge and retaliation; and the foundation of this way is love;

that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word; that right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant;

that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits;

that what self-centred people have torn down, other-centred people can build up.

By the goodness of God at work within people, we believe that brokenness can be healed.

 May it be so!

Margery and I came across this Affirmation of Faith in the main service on the Sunday before Martin Luther King Jr Day at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY, when we recently visited our new grandson.LAPC Brooklyn

We are grateful for the welcome, shared experience and vision of that church community while we were in Brooklyn. Why not worship with them should you find yourself in NY on a Sunday at 11am?



Nearest subway: Fulton Street (Brooklyn) on the G-train

Jack Hodges RIP

Jack Hodges died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep towards the end of the week beginning January 11.

The Revd Peter Kettle who was taking the services the Sunday following said about Jack:

“Two things have occurred to me this morning following Jack’s death. The first is that a few years ago, he was mentioned in the Church Times, in the diary column of the Reverend John Pridmore, a friend of John and Anne Townsend. John Pridmore had, I think, been to preach here and heard Jack reading and had been literally stunned by it. He thought we were a very lucky parish, and indeed you have been blessed by this gift of Jack’s. … And then, a little incident before the 8am service this morning. For many years, Jack has opened up the church and been there to have everything ready especially for visiting clergy like myself unused to the nitty-gritty of ministering here. Of late, we have been taking precautions against Jack’s increasing frailty, to ensure that things run smoothly. Thus yesterday morning, Felicity brought me the keys to the church to open up, and told me how to adjust your byzantine heating system. What we had forgotten to arrange was where the light switches are, so I spent a good few minutes fumbling round in the dark to find them. Then I realised I couldn’t find the matches to light the altar candles, and was facing the irony of taking the service without them – a sign, perhaps that one of the lights of the congregation of that service, in Jack, had gone out. Fortunately I did locate the matches just in time, and it reminded me of a greater truth. As the preface to the King’s festival of lessons and carols reminds us, we remember those who rejoice with us, but on another shore, and in a greater light, those…whose hope was in the Word made flesh and with whom in the Lord Jesus we are one for evermore.

And so with Jack; after some years of increasing bodily frailty, may he now rest in peace and rise in glory into that greater light.”

The Funeral for Jack will now take place on Thursday, February 26th at 11am here at St Paul’s followed by private burial at Putney Vale Cemetery. There will be refreshments served in the church after the service which will take the form of a BCP communion.