Saturday, 6 August 2022



  Congratulations to Danny and Amy married today at St James

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Sunday catch up


Have you ever been in the situation where something so unexpected, something so surprising, something so powerful and overwhelming has occurred that you have ended up saying something a bit daft?

 If you have, you will sympathise with the Apostle Peter in Luke’s searingly honest account of the transfiguration

Peter, James and John witnessed an extraordinary mind-blowing event.

 Before their very eyes Jesus was transfigured – transformed – his appearance became dazzling white, two long dead saints from the Old Testament, Moses and Elijah appeared too, speaking with Jesus, and Peter, utterly gobsmacked, said something rather silly: As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Could I make you three little sheds to shelter in? If he was British he would no doubt have offered to make them  a cup of tea which is our traditional national response in times of crisis. Perhaps he wanted to somehow preserve the moment. Perhaps he was just trying to be helpful. Perhaps he just didn’t not what to say – that’s Luke’s theory anyway (verse 33).

 But I am glad Peter’s weird comment has been preserved in Scripture

 1.    It shows the honesty of the Bible as a historical record of the highs and lows of God’s people – their points of deep spiritual illumination and the times when they just don’t get it

2.    It has a hint of humanity. It shows how hard we mere mortals find it to grasp the immense glory of God, even when it is staring us in the face. Quite literally we do not know what to say in the face of the glory of God.

 And with that thought we come to consider this awe-inspiring event

 It was, first of all, A moment of revelation

 28 About a week after he had said these things, Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up a hill to pray. 29 While he was praying, his face changed its appearance, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly two men were there talking with him. They were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in heavenly glory and talked with Jesus

 Suddenly the appearance of Jesus was transformed. This was a private moment of revelation for the inner core of the disciples, Peter, James, and John who would later have the task of telling the whole world about Jesus

 Until that moment they had known Jesus, they had heard his teaching, they had witnessed his miracles, but so far what they had seen – with their eyes – was Jesus the man

 But now they saw him in glory – shining with the glory of God – the dazzling, brilliant light of the glory of God

 And with him they saw Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, representing everything God had said and done in the Old Testament, speaking with Jesus

 The message was clear here in the flesh, transformed with the glory of God, was the God, now clothed in flesh, that those great saints of the Old Testament, Moses and Elijah had served

 It was a moment designed to leave them in no doubt who Jesus

 His glory, which until now had been partially hidden, was now fully revealed in this supreme moment of revelation, and less they should be in any doubt, the moment of revelation became also:


A moment of communication

 34 While he was still speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow; and the disciples were afraid as the cloud came over them. 35 A voice said from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen—listen to him!”

In the Bible a cloud often speaks of the glory and wonder and hiddeness of God, and as the cloud envelopes them God speaks to them in unmistakable terms

 He is the one. He is my Son. Listen to him

 And of course, this message is not just for Peter, James, and John, but for everyone in the world: for you, and me and everyone here this morning

 God says to us ‘listen to Jesus.’ He is the one. He is the true Son of God.

 There are many voices out there, in the press, on the TV, in our families, in our schools, a multitude of voices all demanding our attention, (checking our phones, Facebook, emails) all trying to persuade us to listen to them and obey them

 But here is another voice, a voice from heaven, that says ‘listen to Jesus

 Someone once said ‘the truly happy person is the person who has stopped listening to the world and started listening to God.’

Listening is more than just hearing; it means paying attention to, it means obeying


* * * * * * * * * * * *


Later these same men would see Jesus in disgrace, and dishonour, shame and weakness, dying on a Roman cross

 But in witnessing the transfiguration, they had advanced sight of what Jesus would be – the radiant, glorified, risen Lord

 The radiant glorified Lord that he is now

 We have not yet seen him, but if we believe in him, we shall do

 But the transfiguration, witnessed by Peter, James, & John reveals to us, as it revealed to them, what we will see: the glorified, dazzling Lord, shining with the glory of God

 The living God says to us: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him’

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Double celebration

 Congratulations to Lincoln on his baptism and to Pat on her eigthtieth birthday

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

When you believe


Fond farewells to our year 6 leavers today from St James's School. Here is the year 6 choir singing 'When you believe' from the Prince of Egypt at our end of term service in the church

After they had all been presented with Bibles, and picking up the theme of the song about believing and miracles, I spoke on John 20.30-31: 'In his disciples' presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.' 

Bibles ready for presentation to our leavers


Sunday, 17 July 2022

Outdoor praising

 It was SO HOT this morning that our planned outdoor service had to move inside - but we braved the heat for the final song, and finished up with choc ices and ice lollies for everyone


Sunday, 10 July 2022

God's mission at Kagando


Good to hear from Peter and Liz Lunn at St James today about the work of Kagando Mission Hospital in Uganda on our World Mission Sunday at St James.

The hospital is run by the Church of Uganda. The chapel is at the heart of the hospital. Every day begins with prayer and worship.

This verse of our concluding song seemed very appropriate

By faith the church was called to go
In the power of the Spirit to the lost
To deliver captives and to preach good news
In every corner of the earth

Friday, 8 July 2022



Sunday is World Mission Sunday (11am) at St James with a special focus on Kagando Mission Hospital in Uganda which we support at St James  through our mission giving.

Come and hear guest speakers Peter and Liz Lunn speak about the wonderful work of the hospital

Monday, 4 July 2022

Simon preaches for the Mayor

Delighted to see this photo of Sir Simon Hughes who was the guest preacher in my old parish of Holy Trinity Redhill for the Civic Service for Frank Kelly, the new mayor of Reigate & Banstead. Many
congrats Frank in your new role.
You can watch the civic service and hear Simon's sermon here 

Monday, 20 June 2022

Sunday catch up

Bermondsey mural

I love this new mural celebrating the history of Bermondsey - the dockers and the docks, Peek Freans biscuit factory, the invention of the tinned can and tinned food, Millwall, market traders, Ada Salter beautifying with flowers, the Joyslide and much more besides.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Estates ministry

This print was made and given to me by my fellow area dean, Jonathan Roberts, in connection with my role as an advocate for estates ministry in our diocese. 

It shows five twenty-storey GLC tower blocks from his parish which were replicated at several points around London in the mid 1960s, including Camberwell, Rotherhithe, Clapham and Battersea. 
It is with the two Battersea towers that I have the closest connection as we were one of the first families to move into Selworthy House (left), overlooking the Thames at Battersea, where we lived on the nineteenth floor.
I am touched by Jonathan's gift, by its representation of those distinctive blocks by Colin Lucas, and by the words from the psalm 'God keep the city.'
(Below: the towers of the Wyndham and Comber estates in Jonathan's Camberwell parish)