St Stephen's Blog

September 20, 2020

Matthew 21: 23-32

Looking now at me, built as I am, in Terry Wogan’s words, like a racing snake, it will surprise you I know, that I was never sporty at school. One abiding memory that still sends shivers down my spine, is ‘picking teams.’ Captains would pick us – or not – one after the other. Inevitably I would be one of the last. Standing there unpicked, the humiliation has surely left me with permanent scars – you tell me!

This I think, is the untold sto...

September 6, 2020

As I opened my copy of the Christian journal The Tablet, (Vol 274 No. 9367) I was struck by two sub headlines. The first by Melanie McDonah, “I’m not sure how St Paul would have coped with a Bishop who wears lipstick.”

Well, the question and the answer are certainly different now than 10 years ago – but that is a subject for another time!!

The second, by Richard Leonard states: “Christians aren’t salespeople for the Gospel – we are called to be free samples o...

August 16, 2020

One of the things I am missing most in our liturgy as we have to have it at the moment, is singing. (I know many of you will be relieved that I’m not singing!!) but I miss singing the mass and I miss the hymns. I have even had to ask our organists as they so beautifully enhance our worship, not to play familiar hymn tunes. I know that I couldn’t resist joining in!

The truth is though, that as well as enjoying a good sing, the hymns (well, the good ones anywa...

August 9, 2020

It should have been straightforward. After a busy day, a simple trip across a familiar stretch of water. But it all went very wrong. Suddenly their lives were in danger. Their little boat was battered, they were in real danger of drowning. In the midst of their panic things get worse - they see someone - or something, walking on the waves. The word translated here as ‘a ghost’ doesn’t quite convey the full meaning. The word is phantasma, a phantom, a spectr...

August 2, 2020

Genesis 32:22-31

Jacob is a man who likes to get his own way, always likes to be ‘on the top.’ He has always gained the upper hand by being crafty even devious, not to say downright dishonest!. He tricked his brother Esau into swapping his inheritance for a bowl of soup! (Genesis 25:29-34). Even more despicable, having pressurised his weak mother, he tricked his elderly blind father into granting him a blessing that was intended for Esau (Genesis 27:1-29). 


July 26, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Along with this letter you will find a copy of my homily for 26 July, which I do ask you to read carefully and hopefully respond to.

I write also to bring you up to date with ‘where we are’ as a Christian family at this point in the pandemic.

It is a great joy that we are once again able to gather for worship, albeit with some pretty strict limitations.

As I write we still cannot sing and our liturgy is quite restricted – thoug...

July 26, 2020

Yesterday, 25 July was the 95th Anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of this present St. Stephen’s on the Cliffs Church
17 May two years later, 1927, the new church was consecrated. Fr Freshwater, ‘Freshie’ who had begun the parish in 1910, was the driving force.

 The new building was to cost just over £20,000 in 1925, (Just over £1.2 million in today’s money. It was huge undertaking – even more so when you consider that when the foundation ston...

June 14, 2020

Gospel - Matthew 9: 35 -10:8

Once again, a personal reflection, which I share with you.

In our Gospel this week, we are told that Jesus had compassion on the crowds (Matt 9:36), because the people were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Friday this coming week sees the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with its emphasis on the Divine Compassion.

Actually, the Gospel words ‘had compassion’ don’t quite convey the full message. Closer to a c...

Today I share with you what is most definitely a personal reflection. Please read it in that light!

When I was a school chaplain I remember walking with the Head through the school during holiday time. He paused for a moment and said “Aren't schools wonderful without the children!“ He didn’t mean it of course, he was one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever known, - but we all know what he meant.

I count myself so fortunate. Unlike almost all of you I...

June 8, 2020

Dear friends,

Each week as I have published this ‘though for the week’ I have included one or more images, usually photographs taken of windows or other objects taken inside St. Stephen’s church. I have done this to both illustrate a point for example the Cross on Good Friday, and to (re)connect people, especially members of the congregation to our building, worship and community.

For this Trinity Sunday, in one respect I have failed in this endeavour. In...

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St Stephen on the Cliffs, Holmfield Road, Blackpool, FY2 9RB

An Anglican church in the Diocese of Blackburn


St Stephen on the Cliffs PCC Reg Charity No 1131959

Friends of St Stephens Reg Charity No 1120454

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