Category «Church Matters»

Books for Today – November 2018

Book of the month  Terry Hinks, URC minister in High Wycombe, is a gifted wordsmith. His latest book, Praying the Way with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (BRF, Abingdon 2018. 221pp: £10.99), consists of 160 amazingly fresh prayers – 40 for each gospel – in which Scripture becomes the springboard for the soul. I found …

The Centenary of the Ending of the First World War

On ‘the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’ of 1918 the ‘Armistice of Compiègne’ was signed, and with it the carnage of the First World War came to an end. Over 800,000 British soldiers died: if we include all the military and civilian casualties, then maybe there were around 40 million …

The misuse of power in the church

I have just read The Days of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult (4th Estate, London 2017) by Rebecca Stott, a book that was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards. The Days of Rain makes for shocking and sad reading. It tells the story of how one family was destroyed through belonging to the …

A challenging commissioning

The other Sunday I attended the ‘installation’ of a new ‘residentiary canon’ at Chelmsford Cathedral – or as the Free Churches might say, the ‘induction’ of a new ‘member of the church’s ministry team’. It was a most uplifting and encouraging service. In particular, I found the words of the formal commissioning unusually fresh and …

What we are at our best

Our local hospital has developed a set of values, from which I would suggest any church could learn. Throughout the hospital there are signs stating: “At our best we are a kind, professional, positive team”.

A capable wife

At a formal dinner this coming Saturday Caroline will formally become President of the Coroners Society of England and Wales – and as her husband in my blog this week I think it is only right and proper to acknowledge my “capable wife” (Prov 31.9). To quote Scripture again: “Many women have done excellently, but …

Gathering a harvest of righteousness

At this time of the year when here in the UK the harvest is being gathered in, I thought it would be apposite to reflect on the ‘harvest of righteousness’ which Paul mentions in Philippians 1: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to …

Books for Today – September 2018

Book of the month Available in the UK through Alban of Edinburgh, Sinners and Saints: The Real Story of Early Christianity (Kregel Academic, Grand Rapids 2018. 176pp: £16.99) by Derek Cooper, associate professor of Christian history at Biblical Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, proved to be a fascinating, amusing and instructive read. Written in a lively, …