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...

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...

December 2, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

We all know that the Season of Advent is not an easy one for Christians to observe.

I’ve moaned about it often enough I know!. But we all often join in. We all complain that Christmas trees are up and decorations in the shops far too early. But we all fall foul of it.  it is not just Advent that gets lost though. The Church has a whole Christmastide Season that so easily completely disappears.

Just as Christmas trees are often ou...

September 28, 2017

Following my recent article on the proposed visit of Franklin Graham to Blackpool, a number of people have suggested that I am guilty of wanting to censor or restrict the right to free speech.

I don’t think I am. In fact, in other articles and opinions I have been somewhat critical of restrictions on so called ‘Hate Speech.’

There is, I believe a very fine line to be trod. I should perhaps say right at the beginning, that I would not wish to censor anyone wh...

June 25, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

In 1985, within a few days of being ordained Deacon, I was caught up in part of the Billy Graham Mission in Sheffield.

I wasn’t too pleased! My ordination had been planned for 30th June. All the prayer cards and invitations had been sent out, accommodation booked for family and friends. Then, with just a few weeks’ notice the ordination was put back by a week.

Everything had to be changed. This was no easy task and cost quite a bit to...

April 29, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ

Times tides and seasons wait for no man, so they say. Well, over the Easter period, there is certainly is an interruption of normal routines for those who take their Christian faith seriously.

It has been hectic, tiring and, for those who have fully participated I think very fulfilling. No-one has said very much to me, but thanks to some very dedicated people working extremely hard, I think the services have gone very well.  

A small gro...

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