• John Stott: embarrassed by a New Year honour

    John Stott: embarrassed by a New Year honour

    John Stott (1921 -2011) studied modern languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with double first-class honours in French and Theology. He was ordained deacon in 1945, became curate at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London (1945-1950), then...

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  • Christina Rossetti’s ‘snow on snow’

    Christina Rossetti’s ‘snow on snow’

    I’m sure that this Christmas we shall all enjoy singing Christina Rossetti’s fine verse: In the bleak mid‐winter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak mid‐winter, Long ago. But is...

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  • Bishop Polycarp

    Bishop Polycarp

    At Pip and Jim’s church in Ilfracombe, in sermons and in our home groups, we are exploring the first part of the book of Acts. This has included the story of Stephen the first Christian martyr (Acts, chapters 6-8)...

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  • The Bishop and the American

    Writing this piece while on holiday in France has reminded me how I struggle with speaking in a foreign language. Not so Joseph Barber Lightfoot, who became Bishop of Durham in 1879. Greek and Latin were his favourite languages, though...

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  • The bishop and the miners

    The bishop and the miners

    When Michael and Alison Rogers moved out of Pip and Jim’s vicarage in Ilfracombe, Michael decided he couldn’t accommodate all his books in their smaller retirement home. So he marked some shelves in his study as books which were available...

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  • Come Holy Ghost

    Come Holy Ghost

    The image you see is of a mosaic in a niche in the Baptistery in the beautifully preserved medieval town of Albenga in the region of Liguria, Italy. Remarkably the mosaic is thought to date back to not much...

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  • A rousing mosaic of Scripture

    A rousing mosaic of Scripture

    The hymn And can it be is a classic statement of joy and enthusiasm from a newly converted believer. On Whit Sunday, 21st May 1738, Charles, then aged 31, was very ill with pleurisy and feared he might die. While...

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  • Plot of Much Ado about Nothing

    Plot of Much Ado about Nothing

    The primary plot of Much Ado About Nothing turns on the courtship and scandal involving young Hero and her suitor, Claudio, but the witty war of words between Claudio’s friend Benedick and Hero’s cousin Beatrice often takes centre stage. Set in...

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  • The bedrock of her faith

    The bedrock of her faith

    In preparation for our celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I have read every available Christmas message she has broadcast since her first in 1952, which she delivered after her accession but before her Coronation. Through all these long years...

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  • Walking where Jesus walked

    Walking where Jesus walked

    Friday 22 April I drove Sheila, her sister and our niece from our guest house overlooking the Sea of Galilee north to a beautiful setting overlooking the lake. Here, at the Mount of Beatitudes, our Lord's Sermon on the Mount is commemorated. The...

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