Showing posts from December, 2008

Happy Christmas everyone

The title says it all really! It's about 1.40am and I have just got back from the last of my 'midnight' services - which started at 7.30pm! It has been a great evening, with lots of people taking part in the celebrations. As you might have guessed, the last few days has been very busy, so apologies for not posting, the next few days may well be quiet too as I gently conk out and spend some time recovering. But to all of you, a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas to you and yours!

Carol services - to preach or not to preach?

Some of the Parishes in the Mission Community have decided to stick with the very traditional (and very long) nine lessons and carols, though two have decided to go for a shorter version of the service with a talk included (still about 20/30 mins less than other version so a sermon in the trad version is probably too much and I will forgo a talk!). Here's the talk I did last night, I may use it again tomorrow at the other church which has gone for a pruned down version of the lessons and carols! Christmas Carols 2008 Turn away from the lights Many of you will know that i am a biker. I do like motorbikes, and take the opportunity to ride whenever i can – and I’m not one of these fairweather bikers, oh no, I will ride wherever and whenever, whatever the weather. And today I got to ride my bike for a couple of hours, which has topped me up, fix wise, for a few days, though you will all, I am sure, be pleased to know that I am riding extra carefully due to the slippery roads at

Tired but happy

It's continued busy, but it's going well, the feedback from the events & services we have put on in the Mission Community has been very good, and people seem to be enjoying our Christmas celebrations in these Parishes. Tomorrow sees three more carol services led by myself, one of which is shared with our Methodist friends in Dalwood (there are two other services in the Mission Community, presided over by other Clergy), then next week sees four services I am taking (with two I'm not taking as well) on Christmas Eve (one Crib service, three communions for Christmas) and two on Christmas Day I am leading (three being ably handled by other ministers). We do Christmas big time in these Churches, but then that's how we always did it in PapworthTeam as well, so its not a surprise. Yesterday was a good day too - I had Christmas lunch at the local primary school, then a very well supported and enjoyable carol service at Stockland in the evening, followed by a fun even

Sermon for a cold morning

This was the sermon last week (10 days ago, this Sunday was Christingle, so I spoke about Christingles and being lights to the world in our own ways) ... Some of it was recycled from a previous year, which I rarely do, though I did rewrite much of it. It seemed too good a theme to waste, really! It was incredibly cold on the way to church that morning, as previously related , (not cold compared to some of my blogging buddies around the world, though) with frozen roads making it all very exciting! Here's the sermon, I leave it up to you to decide if it was worth recycling Year B (2008) Advent 2 Isaiah 40.1-11 2 Peter 3.8-15a Mark 1.1-8 Preparing The World This week I watched a movie about Father Christmas which I enjoyed very much, it was the third one in the series known as ‘The Santa Clause’ movies – called the ‘the escape clause’ and had a very positive message about love being the focus of Christmas, and that the true magic of Christmas wasn’t about toys or commerc

time for a stolen meme

It's been a while since i swiped a meme, as usual it comes from Dr John who in turn got it from everything and nothing 1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper 2. Real tree or artificial? Real, both at home and in all the churches I serve 3. When do you put up the tree? Mid December for Churches, when my wife nags me to get it sorted at home 4. When do you take the tree down? Epiphany 5. Do you like eggnog? I like eggnog latte, but not sure I have ever tried eggnog itself 6. Favorite gift received as a child? Bicycle 7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a very nice carved olive wood set from Bethlehem 8. Hardest person to buy for? My lovely wife 9. Easiest person to buy for? Mum 10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I couldn't bring myself to be ungrateful for anything, people are so generous! 11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both 12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Muppet Christmas Carol or It's a wonderful life 13. When do y

All I want for Christmas the ability to be in two places at once... If you got the idea that things were busy in my last blog posting (which was, I admit, a little while ago) then you ain't seen nothing yet. It's busy here, to say the least, and I am looking forward to a little break after Christmas. I have endeavoured to be at most events I have been invited to, but even then a couple have slipped through the net due to other commitments, and simply not having enough time or energy to do everything. I decided I really had to have an evening with my wife and not be rushing out from the family on Monday night, as I have done every other night for the past week or so, but it meant missing a village event that I would have liked to be a part of. I simply couldn't do any more, or I would probably be little use to anyone when we get to the Carol services this weekend and the Christmas celebrations next week. I am giving up half of my day off to do a carol service and then head off to a local

What a weekend

Ice skating, Jazz Musicians, Singing workshops, Christingles, it's all happening here.... I am overwhelmed by just how much is going on in these villages, and how much effort people put into making community. As a minister, and particularly as a 'Parish Priest' I am a great believer in community, and feel that bringing folk together is part of our calling as the Church, in an effort to stem the 'dis-integration' that makes up our western society. In these villages, though, I find myself swept along with the tide of those who are already working hard to keep people together, to build up friendships and to offer to our communities reasons to meet, to share, to be together.; Of course, in my role as Vicar, I also have the calling to proclaim the deeper community that comes from being a part of the body of Christ, the binding together that comes with faith in Jesus, in whom all things hold together - so I believe part of my role is to be at these events that celebra

So, what's been going on...

I must admit to a fair amount of heartache on moving away from Bourn a few weeks back. To see the house that had been our home for the past four years empty and set off to a place which the family didn't know was quite a daunting experience. After the frustration of our ISP shutting down my account a day early (and then completely cancelling it rather than transferring as requested so it ended up taking six weeks to get back online and to have our phone service up and working - as both are tied in together) I was annoyed at not being able to send out changes of address to my online contacts or to tie up the last few ends I planned to. Our moving weekend was split - packed on the Thursday and Friday, then we stayed with the lovely wife's sister for a couple of nights and went to a friend's wedding which was a great way to distract us from all that was going on. The wedding was a great day, with a Priest who looked like Father Jack from Father Ted! Then a reception at an

Another sermon, this one for Advent Sunday

We had a service on Sunday for all of the five Parishes in the 'Five Alive Mission Community' which was an advent Carols service, most enjoyable with a very good choir indeed and lots of 'lusty singing' as Wesley might have said! So here's the words I offered, or the taster anyway! Genesis 1.1-5 Psalm 43 Isaiah 45.2-8 Isaiah 9.2-3,6-7 Psalm 36.5-10 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11, 23-24 Isaiah 60.1-5a Matthew 5.14-16 Advent 1 2008 Year B RCL Looking for the Light Have you started dreaming about what presents you hope to get for Christmas yet? Have you started thinking of the wonderful reaction hope to see on the faces of friends and family as they open up the gifts you bought them. Are your expectations high? Us human beings are pretty good at building up our expectations - a theme that is particularly pertinent as we dream of the wonderful gifts we hope to receive and as we tell ourselves that we’ve finally found the perfect present for the person who has every

Catching up with sermons and stuff

I thought I would share my first sermon in these new parishes, preached a couple of weeks ago it was something of a nerve racking experience! As always, it starts here and is carried on at New Kid Deep Stuff Zephaniah 1.7,12-18 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11 Matthew 25.14-30 2 before Advent (2008) Year A RCL Principal Risking our Talents It’s somewhat nerve racking to be preaching a first sermon anywhere – but especially in one’s new parishes. This is the point where people could start thinking ‘oh my goodness, what kind of Vicar do we have?’ – Which may or may not be a good thing! And it doesn’t help that the reading set for today, the Parable of the Talents, is one of the more difficult parables we could encounter! It’s not difficult to understand, the two servants who were willing to take a risk with the talents they were left with are rewarded, the one who lost his bottle and buried his talent in the back garden is punished. That’s clear enough, it’s what it might mean for us th

Never believe what you read in the papers

I managed to get a whole page in the local rag, which you can view here (28mb and only available until 9th December) or I will try to get the relevant page uploaded here, so if you can see it below then it's worked! I don't have tattoo's and piercings, though! Bit of an exaggeration, I have one tattoo on my bicep (done when I had biceps) and a pierced ear! Other than that they did report most of what I said pretty fairly....spelt my name wrong, or rather both names (Christian and Surname), but I think that's compulsory - something to do with tradition, or an old charter, or something... Oh, and the picture is dreadful - probably because it actually looks like me :-)

Back at last

Well, we're here, beautiful, often sunny, friendly, Devon. It was a surprisingly easy move, not least due to the excellent removals firm we had (Pooleys of Suffolk) and the exceptional welcome we have received on arrival. We have, though, been offline and off the phone for over a month, and I have started to get the jitters. I have missed being able to blog, or even to be able to ring around with change of address details for credit cards etc etc. It has been driving me crackers. Not that I have had much time to sit down at the computer and blog anyway, the initial rush of events, services, meeting people, meetings, pub visits etc etc has been overwhelming, and its only now that I can sit down and get to grips with some admin, and take some time out to blog. Not that I'm going to say much today, as I have to get on with putting together Advent and Christmas services. For now I just want to say 'it's good to be back' both in terms of online and being here in