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.

Thursday, 22 December 2022


Angels don’t retire, and Gabriel is still an eager messenger. 

Today we see how Zechariah was Rebuked by an Angel. Angels see things from God’s point of view. Unlike us, they aren’t fooled by a person’s pious exterior or impressed by high position. Otherwise, Gabriel might have gone easier on the next person he visits, Zechariah, the future father of John the Baptist.

Gabriel himself is in a holy inner circle; he is one of “the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord” (Tobit 12:15). And Zechariah is a priest who serves at the Temple, where God reveals his glory on earth. When Gabriel comes to him, he is offering the evening incense just one doorway away from the Holy of Holies, which is entered by the high priest only once a year. Zechariah is as close to God’s presence as almost any mortal can get!

Suddenly, the angel who was so gentle and encouraging with Daniel turns severe. No praise, no “beloveds,” but a stern “I am Gabriel, who stand before God” (Luke 1:19). It’s not me you’re disbelieving, Gabriel implies, it’s the Master I serve, who authorised me to speak to you.

Does Gabriel then strike out at Zechariah or abandon him to his unbelief? That would be out of character. What he does instead should encourage us to trust the angels as our guides to a deeper life with God. Wisely, Gabriel pronounces a punishment that provides an opportunity for conversion: “You will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place” (Luke 1:20).

The nine-month silent retreat brings Zechariah to a change of heart. After naming his infant son John, he breaks into a joyous prophecy about “the tender mercy of our God” and his plan “to shine on those who sit in darkness.” (Luke 1:78-79). Zechariah is a new man! And Gabriel, undoubtedly, is looking on with delight.

O Holy One,

we acknowledge that we have domesticated

and downsized you,

turned you into our own cuddly teddy bear.

But, along with our Sunday Notices,

you pass out hard hats

and roadside warnings

that we are entering a construction zone

in preparation

for the Baptist's announcement:

"Every mountain and hill be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight."

Keep us safe, O Holy One.

Even now, the dynamite of the prophet's proclamation

is lodged in the granite of our hearts;

O Holy One, break us open.

Let the roadwork begin. Amen

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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.