February 2012


This poem is about the wordless, the beautiful.
What, do you need a manual, to feel the heat of the sun?

Look, look at this beauty. It has no reason.
Feel its blessing. Nothing is as good as this.

Perhaps this poem is a miracle. Perhaps it’s a trick.
It was written by the inside voice.

No-one can describe what that voice knows; not even me.
Nobody knows which shell hides the pearl.


Diet is a key challenge to Christian communities. While it is certainly the case that phrases such as ‘food as fuel’, ‘garbage in garbage out’, ‘an army marches on its stomach’ and ‘you are what you eat’ can seem simplistic, there is a truth here which has particular importance for a church seeking to recover confidence in its vocation. Nourishment is fundamental to the life of the Christian community. Unless we pay careful attention to what is nourishing us, then what we will become will not resource us and I form us for our vocation as a sign of God’s grace in the world. Similarly if our nourishment is inadequate, then our service will be inadequate. Not only will we lack the necessary energy, but our embodied condition will render us unfit for service. A snacking society is a feeble society surviving but not flourishing.


During Lent we should recall the challenge of Jesus to wel­come and pay attention to the stranger. This was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry because it is at the heart of God’s relationship to creation.

 The stranger represents the one different to us. The Pharisees sought to establish a Jewish comfort zone beyond which strangers were kept. Rhetorically it was about equating God’s hospitable space with a carefully delineated expression of the Torah. Jesus welcomed the latter into God’s hospitable space, regarding God’s reign as the intended implication of the Torah. This was to be a reign which, by reflecting the character of God, necessarily included invitations to those beyond the pale.

Min­istry is about going out and welcoming the stranger and not seeking to require that the stranger become one of us in advance or necessarily at all. As someone once said to me, it is about host­ing, hearing and hallowing.

So often we think of the Church as an organisation that needs to be run!

It might be worth remembering  Bishop Edward King.  

 The words are those of G. F. Wilgress, who was, I think once his chaplain.   

‘Without any very visible method in his  administration of his diocese, there was a deep underlying purpose running through the whole. He did not ostensibly try to organise the Diocese, but tried to inspire life into it, and he left to others to utilize their powers of organisation to the full. This principal can be summed up in two sentences: “for their sakes I sanctify myself” and “organisation does not produce life, though life may produce organisation, the secret of the power is life.” These words explain his personal life. Day by day he drew spiritual strength into himself at the daily eucharist………..’


Ash Wednesday
T.S. Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is
nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.



Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the beach,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,
hang out in views,
and seek the least of all possible mistakes.

A fantastic chance
to remember, for a moment,
a conversation
with the light switched off;

and, if only once,
to stumble upon a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;
keep on not knowing
something important.


Wislawa Szymborska, A note












24th MARCH 2012 at 7.00pm

(doors open 6.00pm)

Choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

Oxford Bach Choir

‘Supers’ Choir (St George’s School)

Oxford Philomusica

James Oxley (Evangelist)

Soprano: Miriam Allan

Other solos: Lay Clerks of St George’s Chapel

Conductor: Timothy Byram-Wigfield


This is to inform you of the upcoming performance of Bach’s crowning musical narrative of the Passion according to St Matthew, to be presented in the inspiring Gothic surroundings of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Oxford Philomusica and The Oxford Bach Choir appear in Windsor for the first time in a joint presentation with the Choir of St George’s Chapel and the ‘Supers’ Choir from St George’s School; over 130 singers and a 32 piece orchestra.



It has been many years since a performance has taken place from the west end of the Chapel, (with the audience facing the west instead of east)  this means there are more seats available with uninterrupted view of the performers.



Tickets are now available either to order via Royal Mail by printing out and completing the order form, sending it back to me as indicated, remembering to enclose a stamped, self addressed envelope in which you will receive your tickets.

Altrnatively, you can order tickets on line by going to http://shop.windsor.gov.uk/ProductDisplay.aspx?productKey=108274

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