Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022


A ten-year old, who was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible because of her grandmother’s teaching, asked her grandmother: “Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? The Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?”

Perhaps another Advent issue is that we may hear all the words but do not understand. It was Benjamin Franklin who enquired, “How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.”

In Isaiah 7:14  we read “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

‘Immanuel' - a mantra for Advent and Christmas prayer. If we speak it from the heart we are in touch with God who is near. In our faith in the mystery - Emmanuel, God is with us - we are close to God who is present in our hearts. God is as near as the air we breathe. With each breath in prayer, just say ‘Emmanuel'. It is our Christmas welcome to the child who is our God.

Immanuel, God with us; 

In muscle and sinew, breath and bone. 

In vulnerability and risk, escape and refuge. 

In parable and healing, encounter and sign. 

In suffering and death, word became flesh. 

In resurrection, ascension, and spirit come down. 

In justice and grace, patience and peace. 

Immanuel, God with us, 

Creator, Son and Spirit. 

Glory be to God. Amen.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022


It was in December of 1903, that after many attempts, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground and into the air at Kitty Hawk. Thrilled over the accomplishment, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.” Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” He totally missed the big news-for the first time in human history, man had flown!

Roy L. Smith  one time Pastor First Methodist Church, Los Angeles, California stresses that “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” Has advent all to often been  a question of seeing but not finding, hearing but note understanding?

In Luke 2:41-17 we read, “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it …

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers"

Isn’t it consoling that even Mary did not understand everything fully? We so often do not understand why painful events happen in our lives. Like Mary, we can ask: why? Where is God in this event? And again like Mary, we may not understand the answer. But Jesus goes with us, just as he went home with Mary and Joseph. And if, like Mary, we treasure what has happened in our heart, the day will come when all will be made clear to us.

O Morning Star, splendour of light eternal

and bright Sun of righteousness:

come and enlighten all who dwell in darkness and in the shadow.

Lord Jesus, come soon!

O King of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires:

Cornerstone, you make opposing nations one:

come and save the creature you fashioned from clay.

Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Emmanuel, hope of the nations and their Saviour:

come and save us, Lord our God.

Lord Jesus, come soon!

Monday, 28 November 2022


“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:25-27

Jesus is using traditional Jewish symbolism to describe what will happen when God's final judgment occurs. He says that people "will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud." The cloud is a symbol for God's presence. Jesus' message bursts with hope and confidence because, unlike those who have reason to fear his coming, Jesus' followers will be able to hold their heads high because their liberation is at hand. Jesus urges me to be on guard so that my heart is not weighed down by the worries of life. What are the worries and cares of life that weigh me down today? As I prepare for a conversation with Jesus, can I bring my worries and cares to him in prayer?

Advent is the season of “the last (Greek: eschatos) things,” a time of winter death in nature, the ending of another year. Yet it is also the beginning of the church year, a time of birth at Bethlehem, a time when we know not whether to name what is happening among us as “ending” or “beginning” for it feels both as if something old is dying and something new is being born.

It was  Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was able to say, “The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.” ~

God our caring Father,

you who gave your beloved Son

to ransom all people,

see our human fears

and love us anyway.

Guide us through this season

with quiet, glad anticipation.

Help us to pay attention

to the poor and needy,

and to the lonely among us.

Give us a spirit of reflection,

patience with each other,

and hearts brimming with thanks.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Saturday, 26 November 2022

The Kingdom is like...

Matthew 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.The Sermon on the Plain as its corresponding passage - the Sermon on the Mount - in Matthew, has been called The Christian Manifesto as it sets out the values and ideals of the Christian Life in the Kingdom. It is a pledge to be detached from all that is not of God and that one’s life be guided by what is conducive to the service of God or, to put it another way, by what is conducive to the end for which we were created. They are difficult passages to understand and equally difficult to have as the guiding principles of our lives.

Many years ago in a Moscow theatre, matinee idol Alexander Rostovzev was converted while playing the role of Jesus in a sacrilegious play entitled Christ in a Tuxedo. He was supposed to read two verses from the Sermon on the Mount, remove his gown, and cry out, “Give me my tuxedo and top hat!” But as he read the words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” he began to tremble. Instead of following the script, he kept reading from Matthew 5, ignoring the coughs, calls, and foot-stamping of his fellow actors. Finally, recalling a verse he had learned in his childhood in a Russian Orthodox church, he cried, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom!” 

See ourselves as we really are can be quite daunting. A young woman asked for an appointment with her pastor to talk with him about a besetting sin about which she was worried. When she saw him, she said, "Pastor, I have become aware of a sin in my life which I cannot control. Every time I am at church I begin to look around at the other women, and I realise that I am the prettiest one in the whole congregation. None of the others can compare with my beauty. What can I do about this sin?”

The pastor replied, "Mary, that's not a sin, why that's just a mistake!”

Without being poor in spirit we will never fully see just how much we need God and how bankrupt we are without Him. How are you doing about ranking people in your mind? Maybe it’s subtle but if you think about it you have found yourself thinking you are better than them. Maybe you have found yourself judging them and thinking you would never be like that. Jesus said “happy are those who are poor in spirit.” In truth it will free you up to live a more happy life to realise just how dependent you are on God. To realise just how much we need God is what being poor in the Spirit is really all about.

Dear Lord, I try so hard to be self-sufficient, to be "rich in spirit." But ultimately my efforts to rely on myself fail. By your grace, I realise just how much I need you. So I come to you, not full of riches or full of myself, but empty, needy, truly poor in spirit.

And you, Lord, meet me in my poverty. You not only meet my needs, but you pour out blessings upon me. You take my poverty of spirit and give back the riches of your Spirit. You uphold me when I'm weak. You comfort me when I'm afraid. You make your kingdom available to me, graciously reigning over my life.

All praise be to you, dear Lord, because you invite those who are needy into your kingdom so that you might bless them with your inexhaustible riches. Amen.

Friday, 25 November 2022

The Kingdom is like...

Mark 4, 26-34

‘Jesus also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come." He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.’

Simple things we say or do can have a big influence. One person can affect many, even without knowing it. The kingdom of God grows of its own impetus in the world, and nobody can stop it, like good seed growing underground. God is the God of here, there and everywhere. Seeds may sprout anywhere in the field, and the kingdom can find its way into the lives of individuals and communities in ways that may be surprising. The mustard seed becomes a tree for all; the kingdom of God is for every man, woman and child. Have you ever brought something of the kingdom of God – of love and peace, prayer and faith, justice and hope – when you didn’t recognise it? Let that fill your mind and heart with gratitude as you pray.

Francois Fenelon was the court preacher for King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century. One Sunday when the king and his attendants arrived at the chapel for the regular service, no one else was there but the preacher.

King Louis demanded, “What does this mean?”

Fenelon replied, “I had published that you would not come to church today, in order that your Majesty might see who serves God in truth and who flatters the king.”

Lord, your images of the kingdom are alive and organic. It has its own pattern of growth, a tiny plant that grows into a massive tree with room for every creature. Let me never imagine that I am the architect or builder of your kingdom. Enough for me to be patient, a seed growing slowly, animated by your spirit. Amen

Thursday, 24 November 2022

The Kingdom is like...

Matthew 18:1-5, 10

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

‘Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven'.

Small children know that they are utterly dependent on the kindness of others to nurture and sustain them. In telling us to become like little children, Jesus calls us to open and trusting dependence on God, secure in the knowledge that God will meet our needs – sometimes needs that we do not even know that we have.

The British novelist George MacDonald loved writing stories about princes and princesses. At one point in his life, someone asked him why he focused so much of his writing on them.His answer was profound: “Because every girl is a princess.”When the person asking the question was confused, MacDonald asked what the definition of a princess is.”

“The daughter of a king,” the man answered.

“Very well, then every little girl is a princess.”

Jesus sets the bar for entrance into the kingdom quite high: we must change and become like little children. Where do I need to change most? Ours is a world of narcissists, where so many are engrossed by themselves and their importance, so that being like a child is really counter-cultural. I ask for light and wisdom to see where and how I can become like a little child.

Jesus warns us to respect children. I let myself feel sorrow at the scandal of child abuse, within and without the Church. I pray for the victims and the abusers, and for our leaders, humbly and compassionately. I consider how I look at the children present in my life.

Lord, you saw something in this child that you want to see in me: the capacity to wonder at the world, its smells and taste and sounds and sights; and a readiness to depend on others rather than be full of myself; and above all, a trust in you as my Father, for whom my destiny is all-important. Give me that childlike confidence in your love. Amen

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

The Kingdom is like...

Matthew 13:44-46

‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

When our priorities are clear, we find it easy to give up what is less precious to obtain the hidden treasure: the one in the parable sold all that he has with joy. I ask myself whether I am as free to give up what is not so important to obtain what my heart really desires. I ask for light and for a joyful freedom from what hinders me from being what I am called to be.

What is my treasure, the pearl I am seeking, for which I’m ready to give up everything?

If something is so precious as to be priceless – then the value of everything we possess deflates by comparison.

But the treasure or the pearl here need not be taken as something outside ourselves. The pearl is the unique human life of each of us. The final book of the Bible speaks of a priceless stone held by God – with one’s own name inscribed on it. And – in the words of the prophet Isaiah – the Lord says to each of us : You are precious in my sight, and I have given kingdoms in exchange for you.

To loose this treasure – the uniqueness bestowed by God on my life – would be catastrophe. This same teaching appears elsewhere in the Gospel pages : What would it profit a person if they came to own the whole world – but suffered the loss of their own soul ?

Imagine the reaction of the person who finds the hidden treasure in this parable, how their heart must have leapt to find it! Their whole life is turned around; for the first time in their life they have hope that things will be better. They can’t wait to tell their family; but know they have to keep the treasure a secret until they have bought the field. But the person’s family will notice the change in them and wonder what good news has got hold of them.

Lord, let your presence in my heart transform everything for me. Amen

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

The Kingdom is like.....

Matthew 13:31-34

“He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’ He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’ Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing.”

The parables Jesus tells are themselves like seeds: simple stories take root in our lives and, if allowed the light of our reflection and the nourishment of our prayer, grow to become meaningful landmarks. The kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus may appear in subtle, undistinguished ways. Accepting the reality of the reign of God is not an immediate call to action: the first contact explores our wisdom, patience and trust.

‘Small is beautiful’ and can also be very effective, as these two parables show. Even a tiny mustard seed, ‘the smallest of all the seeds’, can grow into a small tree, providing shelter for birds. And a little yeast enables bread to rise and become more edible.

Similarly, God operates powerfully in simple ways and in ordinary situations. God’s caring presence and traces of God’s kingdom are already evident in the world, if we can see. Lord Jesus, help me to realise that all my positive words and actions, no matter how small, are inspired by the Good Spirit and contribute to building up the kingdom of God here on earth.

Dear Lord God  

we thank you for mustard seed

and for the wonders of yeast

and for how these things teach us about your love. 

Lord, plant your seed into our lives,

help us work your yeast into our hearts  

that wonderful things may happen.

We ask it in Jesus'  name. Amen. 

Monday, 21 November 2022

The Kingdom is like...

John 18:35 “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”

In these times of fake news and alternatives facts, it is so refreshing to hear Jesus solemnly proclaim that he was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. The basic truth is that God is love and loves the world he created so much that he sent his own Son to save it. I ask myself how important truth is for me, and to what extent am I committed to find it and live by it. I ask for the grace to seek and listen to his voice.

‘My kingdom is not from this world’. From the rest of Jesus’ words and especially from his actions it is obvious that he does not mean that his kingdom is totally other-worldly, having nothing to do with matters of this world. He means that it is not built on power-seeking at all costs and on violence, like most ‘kingdoms’ of this world, but on other values, mostly on love, mercy and universal solidarity. I consider how much my faith in Jesus influences my decisions in the concrete world

There is always a certain ambiguity in giving Jesus the title of king. This is partly due to the varying attitudes to kings throughout history and in different cultures. But the greatest ambiguity surfaces in today's reading. Jesus has to correct Pilate's understanding of Jesus' role: "My kingdom is not from this world" or "My kingdom does not belong to this world". In spite of this warning we have sometimes celebrated this feast in a (worldly) triumphalist manner that does not harmonise with Jesus' self-understanding.

Two boys were bored on a rainy summer’s day, so they began to do a jigsaw puzzle. (That tells you how bored they must have been.) They made no progress until one of them turned the box lid over to see the picture they were trying to create. It was of a medieval court scene with a king surrounded by his courtiers. One of the boys cried out, ‘Now I see it – the king is in the middle!’ Once they recognised that, the puzzle was easy and they were soon able to finish it.

Oh Jesus, we praise you as our king. And we pray that you’d help us to live ultimately, not for the kingdoms of this world, but for your kingdom. In the name of Jesus our king, we pray. Amen.

Saturday, 19 November 2022

The Kingship of Christ

Luke 17:20-21 Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.”

Essentially, Jesus is saying, Don’t Look For the Kingdom in a Place

Continually, Jesus described the Kingdom in terms that one can’t point to and identify specifically—but in every story, the Kingdom was the essential piece. The Kingdom is mixed in and present already. It’s like leaven in a loaf of bread. A person can’t find the leaven after the loaf is baked. But the loaf would be completely deflated and radically different if the leaven were missing. The Kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed that sprouts into a giant bush. Someone couldn’t find the original mustard seed after the bush has grown, but birds could not nest in the branches were it not for the seed.

“The Kingdom of God is not coming in ways that you can observe,” Jesus said. “No one will be able to say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘It’s over there.’ The Kingdom of God is already within and among you.”

These words are such a colossal paradigm shift—an upside-down way of looking at an inside-out world. And they are as disruptive now as when they were spoken. Jesus was telling the people then (and us now) that we won’t be able to identify the Kingdom geographically or point it out in any one singular event. Even though the fullness of the Kingdom is not yet realised, the Kingdom has already begun, and we are a vital part of that realisation. It’s everywhere—and it’s now. It is within us and among us and worth losing all we have to gain it.

Christ our King, help us to be like you, to listen to your truth and to see that all people are important, no matter who they are or where they come from. Amen.

Friday, 18 November 2022

The Kingship of Christ

Mark 1:15 And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

A story from Tauler, the German mystic:

One day Tauler met a beggar. "God give you a good day, my friend." he said. The beggar answered, "I thank God I never had a bad one.”

Then Tauler said, "God give you a happy life, my friend." "I thank God," said the beggar, "I am never unhappy.”

Tauler in amazement said, "What do you mean?" "Well," said the beggar, "When it is fine, I thank God; when it rains, I thank God; when I have plenty, I thank God; when I am hungry, I thank God; and since God’s will is my will, and whatever pleases Him, pleases me, why should I say I am unhappy when I am not?”

Tauler looked at the man in astonishment. "Who are you?" he asked. "I am a king," said the beggar. "Where then is your kingdom?" asked Tauler. And the beggar answered quietly: "In my heart.”

Isaiah 26:6 "You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You."

So it can be with us. We live in the world, but as part of God's kingdom, we are to live according to his kingdom's standards and values; that makes all the difference.

Father, as a citizen of Your kingdom, please, give me the grace to always seek first, Your Kingdom and Your Righteousness, and to do Your Perfect Will, at all times, in The Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen!.

Thursday, 17 November 2022

The Kingship of Christ

Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

While serving as a missionary in Laos, I discovered an illustration of the kingdom of God. Before the colonialists imposed national boundaries, the kings of Laos and Vietnam reached an agreement on taxation in the border areas. Those who ate short-grain rice, built their houses on stilts, and decorated them with Indian-style serpents were considered Laotians. 

On the other hand, those who ate long-grain rice, built their houses on the ground, and decorated them with Chinese-style dragons were considered Vietnamese. The exact location of a person’s home was not what determined his or her nationality. Instead, each person belonged to the kingdom whose cultural values he or she exhibited. So it is with us: we live in the world, but as part of God’s kingdom, we are to live according to his kingdom’s standards and values.

Listening is never easy. We can hear without trying too hard but listening asks more of us, for in order to listen fully we must hear, understand and then act. James 1:22 tells us to not merely listen to the Word but instead to do what it says. If we allow ourselves to be guided by the Word of God then we will be like the wise man who “built his house on rock”.

Building a house can be an analogy for building a kingdom life. Jesus is telling us that the foundation is the most important part of it. With a foundation that is built upon God's Word and teaching, the house will be strong and will be able to withstand anything that comes against it. How are the foundations of my own life? Are they solid and built upon the message, teaching and Word of God?

Holy God, our refuge and strength,
you have redeemed your scattered children,
gathering them from all the corners of the earth
through your firstborn, the Christ,
in whom all things are held together.
Make of us a just and righteous people,
worthy by grace to inherit with him
the kingdom of light and peace
where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

The Kingship of Christ

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 14 Paul is speaking of the reign REIGN of God, not the REALM of God. We tend to think of a kingdom as a place. You see,  for Jesus and for Paul it almost never has that meaning. Rather it means the reign or the rule of God. You can see that here: Where the Holy Spirit is bringing about righteousness and peace and joy, the kingdom (that is, the reign of God) is being manifested.

Fred Beuchner  points out that “IF WE ONLY HAD eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born both within ourselves and within the world; we would know that the Kingdom of God is what we all of us hunger for above all other things even when we don't know its name or realise that it's what we're starving to death for. 

The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when at some moment of crisis a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength. The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realise it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it.” 

It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn't want our success; He wants us. He doesn't demand our achievements; He demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.

Oh Jesus,

You are the King of Glory, 

You are the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.

And we pray that your Kingdom will reign forever in our hearts and in this world.

Lord, thank you for being a different kind of King.

Thank you for your goodness and kindness in our lives.

Thank you for your generosity.

Thank you for loving us.

Thank you for your Kingdom that is unlike any

Kingdom in this world.

Lord, we pray for your Kingdom to come here now, 

bringing a kingdom of justice, righteousness, hope, love, 

peace, mercy and grace for all.

Lord, we ask that you rule in our hearts, 

lead in this world and govern over your kingdom. Amen

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

The Kingship of Christ

This coming Sunday, the last Sunday in the liturgical year, when we traditionally contemplate Jesus as King. In John 18:36 we find Jesus saying, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

But what kind of Kingdom is Jesus talking about and perhaps more to the point, what kind of king is he? In these times of fake news and alternatives facts, it is so refreshing to hear Jesus solemnly proclaim that he was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. The basic truth is that God is love and loves the world he created so much that he sent his own Son to save it. I ask myself how important truth is for me, and to what extent am I committed to find it and live by it. I ask for the grace to seek and listen to his voice.

‘My kingdom is not from this world’. From the rest of Jesus’ words and especially from his actions it is obvious that he does not mean that his kingdom is totally other-worldly, having nothing to do with matters of this world. He means that it is not built on power-seeking at all costs and on violence, like most ‘kingdoms’ of this world, but on other values, mostly on love, mercy and universal solidarity. I consider how much my faith in Jesus influences my decisions in the concrete world.

In this world: kingdom living.

In our mouths: kingdom praises.

In our hearts: kingdom goals.

In our hands: kingdom gifts.

Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!  Amen.

Monday, 14 November 2022

Saints Are?

We conclude our series on saints with - Saints are not perfect!

Each of the saints had human flaws and faults. They made mistakes. Even at the end of their lives, they still found themselves in need of contrition, pardon and reconciliation.

St. Jerome, it is said, had a fearful temper. When another scholar of his time, a former friend, Rufinus, questioned his conclusions, St. Jerome wrote pamphlet after pamphlet blasting him.

St. Aloysius apparently had bad timing in his spiritual quest; the other novices were just as happy when he was not there. He was the kind of saint who did not seem to know how to enjoy the things of this life.

Some saints misunderstood their own visions. When St. Francis was told to rebuild the Church, he thought it meant the local church building. It is interesting and amusing to note that Jesus did not clarify the request for him until after he had exerted a lot of sweat and energy repairing an old church.

St. Joan of Arc was coerced into signing a retraction of her visions, although she later retracted that retraction.

So we are in good company. Pope Francis Says not because we are good, but because the holiness of God has touched our lives, … they are not perfect models, but are people whose lives God has crossed, who allow light to enter in different shades of colour. Above all, saints are our brothers and sisters "who have welcomed the light of God into their hearts and have passed it on to the world, each one according to their own 'tone'," 

Lord, may we want you to look upon us with favour. May we humbly submit our imperfect will to your perfect will. May we be filled with gratitude for who you are, that you are long-suffering and loving. May our heart’s desire be to please you and bring honour and glory to your name and not ourselves. Amen

Saturday, 12 November 2022

Saints are?

Saints are people of practical prayer.

Some, especially members of religious orders, had entire days of prayer. Others found their time with God in other ways.

Dorothy Day—not canonised but recognised by many as a truly holy person—started her day with prayer but said that she met God daily in the crowds of the poor who came to her hospitality house. None of the saints saw prayer as a waste of time or as an activity for only the weak or naive.

Jesus' greatest commandment was a call for piety to His followers, saying "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Luke 10:27

This verse comes from the passage that includes the parable of the Good Samaritan  and reminds us here often we seek to justify our own selfishness. But the knowledge of the lawyer is not what Jesus seeks. It is our hearts that he seeks, and the acts of love and mercy that should flow freely out of our hearts. Jesus still asks us to answer the question “Who is my neighbour?” 

This is a fundamental question, perhaps as fundamental as the other one Jesus asked elsewhere, Who do you say I am? So much depends on my answer, which is only up to me. I dwell on this question, and as I struggle to answer it,

Perhaps we should pray, “Forgive me loving Lord, and let your flame of love and mercy flare up afresh in my heart and consume my selfish tendencies. Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes, to discern and test the spirits that help me read the signs of the times, to relish the things that are yours, and to communicate them to others. In your name we pray. Amen

Friday, 11 November 2022

Saints Are?


Romans 8:23 He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word saint, you probably think of anybody but yourself. We picture stained glass windows depicting Peter, Paul, or Mary. We think of modern-day heroes like Mother Teresa who å to transcend the rest of humanity. Yet the word saint is innately human; it tells the story of people so devoted to the person of Å Jesus that they served him with their whole selves, their true selves. The word saint has a deep-rooted history within the story of God’s redemption and the fullness of life that he has for each one of us. A saint is someone who has been redeemed and found worthy by a perfect Saviour.

…Claiming the identity of saint is not about how good a person each of us is—it is about the One who gave his life for us, who deserves our worship, who loves us in all our humanity. Saints is a charge to become more devoted followers of Jesus by encouraging us to expand our view of God and surrender our tendency toward self-worship and control. By expanding our view of God and allowing more space for wonder and mystery, we experience the world through God’s divine perspective; we begin to see our lives as glorious moments of God’s grace. Saints: Becoming More Than "Christians" by Addison D. Bevere

We praise and bless you, God of Life.

Bless us with your presence each day of our lives.

We have seen you and have felt your presence

in the history of your people.

God, be present in our history,

in our communities

and be part of our lives.

With love and mercy, you have cared, led, inspired and sustained

your daughters and sons in all generations.

Shine within us, inspire us,

use us to make visible your peace, justice and truth.

You, who are holy for all eternity

sanctify our lives with your blessing. Amen 

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Saints Are?

Saints are humble, willingly and lovingly attributing to God all that they have and all that they will ever be.

Humility has always had a poor press; many people think that humility means saying derogatory things about oneself. Far from it! The saints showed their humility by using whatever gifts they had to perfection, but never attributing these gifts to themselves.

St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas were brilliant men and they did not go around saying how stupid they were. They did acknowledge, however, that all they knew was as nothing compared to the infinite wisdom of God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Samuel Brengle who was an early Salvation Army officer was once introduced as the, “Great Dr. Brengle.” He later wrote in his diary, “If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without Him, and helping me to keep little in my own eyes. He does use me. But I am so concerned that He uses me and that it is not of me the work is done. The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O, that I may never lose sight of this.

God, I am far too often influenced by what others think of me. I am always pretending to be either richer or smarter or nicer than I really am. Please prevent me from trying to attract attention. Don't let me gloat over praise on one hand or be discouraged by criticism on the other. Nor let me waste time weaving imaginary situations in which the most heroic, charming, witty person present is myself. Show me how to be humble of heart, like you. Amen

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Saints Are?

All saints are risk-takers.

When God called, they answered. For some it was taking a chance on a new way of life in a new place. In the Old Testament, we have the example of Abraham, called at an old age to leave his country and to go to the place God had selected for him. Even today, it is difficult for older people to leave their level of comfort and to face the new and unknown.

Abraham’s story is a marvellous example of trust in God, but even more so of a decision to plunge into the unknown. Like Abraham, saints responded to the graces that were given to them. Some were called to be popes, bishops, abbots or abbesses. Others found their calling in a quiet, reserved life, far away from the centre of activity.

St. Julian of Norwich lived in a small cell attached to a church. She was even walled in, but that did not keep people away; they came to her and asked for her spiritual advice.

St. Catherine of Siena lived at home, not in a convent, as a person dedicated to God. People flocked to her, but not because she wanted them to.

Others, whose names are not well-known, lived simple lives among their families and friends, serving God with all their hearts, but never making a splash in the world.

Paul writing to the Philippians said, “Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Dear God, please give me the desire to find and the insight to discover my God-given life purpose and goals and, with your help, the courage and determination to pursue and reach them, and do so for your glory. May they always be in harmony with your will and be a part of what you are doing in the world today. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, Amen."

Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.