St Stephen's Blog

September 11, 2019

Dear Friends,

A little while ago I was having a discussion about spending money on church buildings. It is a common discussion because it is a thorny question.

When there is so much need in the world, should we as Christians be spending money on a building? Didn’t Jesus tell us this was wrong? Did he not tell us to sell all we have to give to the poor?

Well, yes and no.

He did challenge people to give up their possessions – but he did so as a challenge to se...

August 26, 2019

I have the picture above as a postcard. A friend sent it to me a few years ago during a visit to Paris.

In the painting we see two French peasants pause in their work during the potato harvest. In the distance we see a church bell tower which presumably is sounding the Angelus bell.

The peasants pause to recite the Angelus as they hear the bell sound.

At 8.30am each Sunday, and after 10.30 am Sunday Mass at St Stephen’s and each day just before the Morning a...

March 30, 2019

Holy Week is most definitely a very sacred time of the year, for that is when we will commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus' life on this earth.

These are the days leading up to the great Easter Feast. The Lenten season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an end, but this Holy Week is extremely important for all Christians.

The greatest focus of the week is the Passion (suffering) and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that l...

February 28, 2019

Dear Friends,

As Christians prepare for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent on 6th March, I hope and pray that each of you will take the opportunities seriously. At the very least, see Lent as an opportunity to strengthen simple habits of faith.

Pray in the morning and evening, and set aside five minutes every day to be quiet in the Lord’s presence. Go to confession and receive the Holy Communion frequently.

Lent is a penitential season leading up to...

July 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed in the pew sheet, that this year’s Summer Fair has been cancelled.

Have you wondered why? Well, the answer is simple. There was no-one to organise it! Not quite true in one way. The four people who turned up to the last social team meeting felt that they could not do it alone.

Last year, even though a good number of people turned up on the day, only about six people were willing to do the planning or the heavy work of setti...

May 29, 2018

On Sunday 3 June we are keeping the lovely Feast of Corpus Christi, sometimes called Corpus et Sanguis Christi, Body and Blood of Christ, or Feast of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Liturgically, at this celebration, the Mass is celebrated in the normal way until after Communion. Normally at that point the consecrated Bread of Holy Communion is returned to the Lady Chapel (I’ll explain this later!) On this occasion however, t...

May 1, 2018

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This will be my 13th Annual Report here at St Stephen’s. I normally give my report (rather than the formal statutory report) in the form of a homily. This year however, because we are having an extended fabric report from our parish architect, I have decided to write it.

I’m never sure how much people listen to spoken reports (or sermons!). Firstly they are out of date even before they are written and secondly, I am not convince...

March 28, 2018

It will be all over the place at the moment as we are celebrating both secular and Holy Easter. I used to ‘go on’ about such things, but I don’t any more. It may be a certain softening as I approach ‘bus-pass’ age, or maybe even weariness at pushing against the inevitable. Or perhaps it’s something more. Anyway, alongside all of the above there is another element this year.

Foolishness. This year Easter and April Fool’s Day 1st April, coincide. Once this wo...

March 4, 2018

Dear friends in Christ,


Not a letter as such this month. I hope you won’t mind. Rather I share a couple of prayers I have written and used these last few weeks. 

We give thanks for our church building. For the walls soaked with prayer, for all the beauty and artifice they contain and which lift our hearts to God. 
May this be a thin place where a world beyond this world can be glimpsed.

May this is be a place big enough and robust enough to contain our doubts...

January 23, 2018

Today as I write this I am sitting amongst a very mixed group of people.

They are young and old, fat, thin, some well educated and some who seem to have problems following very simple instructions. Some are arriving early, others arrive puffing and late. Some are well dressed, others look like they have slept all night in their clothes.

This is a group of people who are dealing with complex issues. They are talking about sex, theft, violence, fraud and bene...

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