Love is in the air and so is Valentine’s Day

The Parish Letter - February 2018

On February 14th we celebrate St Valentines Day.

Certainly, romance is alive and well – last year in Britain we spent about one billion pounds on Valentine’s Day, sending each other cards, flowers, presents, and going out to restaurants.

God obviously approves of romance – after all, putting Adam and Eve alone together in the Garden of Eden was His idea. And romance has been around ever since.

The King upon the Throne

Sermon preached 7th January 2018 at All Souls Langham Place, London
David Turner (Reader)
Isaiah 6 v.1-8
Liston to the audio recording of this sermon

The Greatest Gift

Sermon preached 17th December 2017 - Evening Carol Service
Rev'd Hugh Palmer, Rector All Souls Langham Place
Luke 2 v.1-20
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The Rt. Rev. Michael Baughen - Getting Right with God

This Gospel - The Gateway to Heaven

A quote from Martin Luther, for whom this passage of the Epistle to the Romans was the way by which he became someone at peace with God. He said:

I pondered (these passages of Romans), I pondered until I grasped the truth, that the righteousness of God is that righteousness whereby through Grace and sheer mercy he justifies us by Faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into Paradise. The whole of scripture took on a new meaning and where as before the phrase 'the righteousness of God' had filled me with hate, now it became to me in inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a Gateway to Heaven.

Have you passed through that Gateway? If not, may I plead with you to ponder to look at it particularly perhaps in some of the more modern versions, to ponder, to ponder and to ponder the first five chapters of Romans until, like Luther, you see it, receive it and embrace it. And this Gospel becomes for you the Gateway to Heaven.

Mary and Martha v. The Good Samaritan

A week or so ago I asked about a dozen people the following question:

Imagine you're a poor farmer in Bethany,around 2000 years ago. You've heard of Jesus and you pass a house where he is speaking. There's a man at the door and he beckons to you - there's just space for one more he says.

You are about to go in but your glance catches sight of an old woman struggling to pick up some things she was carrying - someone has knocked her over. She's crying out for help but, though there are people about, nobody is helping her.

You don't know what to do - help the old lady or take the last seat to listen to Jesus. So you call out to Jesus - asking him what should you do.

How do you think Jesus would answer ?

Sermon: Ashburton Portreeve Service 3rd December 2017

I typed Advent Calendar into Google yesterday.

For £120 I could have had a “24 day Beauty Advent Calendar” from Selfridges – “Make the countdown to Christmas even more special. It features 24 cult beauty must-haves to help make the festive period even more glamorous. “
Or £170 for 24 Drinks by the Dram.
Or more reasonably the HotWheels Advent Calendar for £12 featuring Father Christmas driving a Skidoo, each day you get a reindeer, a sledge, a hot-car or whatever.
Or chocolates for each day
Or a series of scenes, hidden behind numbered flaps, of camels and shepherds and angels, a star, a cow, a donkey, all the characters culminating in a baby in a manger.

"Do not judge..." - What did Jesus really mean ?

Luke 6 v37-45
I was recently part of a conversation in which the person to whom I was talking quoted Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged.". And yes, I own up, that person was talking about me !

Sermon: Holne 26th November - Christ the King

This is the fourth and last Sunday in what is known as the Kingdom Season. Not a separate season like Epiphanytide or Lent; but as the Church’s year draws to an end it has a distinctive feel - November on the edge of winter and our primal deep fears – nature’s death and decay, darkness and cold making an impact, the ancient gods and their whims in human history: the days between All Saints and Advent are taking our eyes, ears and hearts towards the end of our days and the end of all things.

Holne Church welcomes Vera and Peter !

There hasn’t been a baptism at Holne for quite a long time, something that became apparent when nobody could find the plug for the font ! Around 60 people including many children gathered in the church on Sunday 19th November for a family service. But this one had an exciting difference, it was the moment that Vera and Peter were claimed by Jesus as his own and they were welcomed into the fellowship of faith with those present at the service, everyone promising to support the two children by prayer, example and teaching.

Sermon: Holne 17 September, 2017

Genesis 50: 15 – 21
Matthew 18: 21 – 35

To forgive someone is to set that person free and enable them to start their lives again. It sounds simple, it’s certainly desirable, but how do we do it?