Sermons - Summer 2018

After the joy of Easter, the next couple of months move us through Ascension Day to prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We come then to Ordinary Time as the church grows in discipleship. See our What's On guide for details about upcoming events.

Please click on any of the dates or names below to read sermons preached during the period of Summer 2018.


26 August 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Diocesan Canon Precentor

When Jesus starts to unpack what he means in saying, “I am the bread of life”, themes of sacrifice, obedience, worship, intimacy, spirit and flesh, and the reality of Jesus’ identity, all coalesce. The Diocesan Canon Precentor challenges us to remember that in the eucharist we are both given bread and taken as bread.

26 August - Said Matins with Hymns - The Archdeacon

The two most difficult things to get straight in life are love and God. The Archdeacon explores the connection between truth and the love of God expressed in Jesus Christ.


23 August 2018 - Said Eucharist - Emily Essex, Cathedral Assistant

This is what it means to wear the wedding garment, it means giving up our hearts of stone in exchange for fleshy hearts: hearts that are fragile, that bleed, that are easily broken and broken again. Emily Essex considers the Parable of the Wedding Banquet and our own invitation to the wedding banquet of heaven.


19 August 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The College Chaplain

We are to imagine ourselves as hungry children waiting to be fed from a banquet. The Revd Clare Hayns reminds us that when we receive the Eucharistic bread and wine, we take into ourselves the very life of Christ.


16 August 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Very Revd Robert Grimley, Honorary Cathedral Chaplain

The leaders of Israel did not welcome Ezekiel’s preaching, and they rejected it as what might now be called “Fake News”. Robert Grimley reflects on how Christians should respond to those in our own society, who cry “Fake News!” in response to unwelcome facts or opinions, or who exploit opportunities of confusing issues of right and wrong in a post-truth world.


12 August 2018 - On Christian 'Sin' - Choral Matins - Canon Biggar

Christianity cannot be simply pessimistic. After all, it's not simply about sin, but also about salvation. Canon Biggar explores the Christian doctrine of sin which is both realistic and hopeful.


5 August 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Very Revd Robert Grimley, Honorary Cathedral Chaplain

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Robert Grimley explores the parallels between the bread of heaven sent to feed the Israelites in the desert and Christ, the true bread providing spiritual nourishment.

5 August 2018 - Choral Matins - The Sub Dean

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength… my stony rock, and my defence, my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust, my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge. The Sub Dean reflects on the Psalmist's claim in light of creation, sin, and death.


29 July 2018 - 'The Feeding of the Five Thousand' - Choral Eucharist - The Archdeacon

Nothing we do for God is ever wasted. The Archdeacon reminds us that Christ is able to take the little that we have to offer and multiply it for good.

29 July 2018 - Said Matins - Canon Foot

Why do we sing hymns? Canon Foot reflects on the historical, theological, and practical importance of praising God through hymns.


22 July 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Diocesan Canon Precentor

“And then she hears her name, she hears Love say/The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.” The Diocesan Canon Precentor reflects on the encounter between Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the garden after his resurrection.

22 July 2018 - Said Matins - The Archdeacon

With all other brave, often forgotten, women disciples and apostles across every age and generation, we give thanks today. For St Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles. The Archdeacon encourages us to celebrate the life and ministry of St Mary Magdalene.


15 July 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Sub Dean

Only by abiding in Christ through his grace may we have any chance of imitating him in his perfect humanity and being united with him in his risen life with God. The Sub Dean invites us to consider that imitating Christ is not enough; we must learn what it means to abide in him.

15 July 2018 - 'Wandering' - Said Matins - Canon Harrison

We may be wanderers, but because of God’s continuing faithfulness, we are not fugitives. Canon Harrison reflects on the wandering banishment of Cain.


8 July 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The College Chaplain

Paul says: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness…for whenever I am weak, then I am strong’. The Revd Clare Hayns looks at the lives of Paul, Ezekiel, Jesus, and others to explore the paradoxical truth that we find strength when we give up self-reliance and begin to depend on God and others.

8 July 2018 - 'The Politics of God' - Said Matins - Canon Ward

We are saved individually to work in the kingdom of God; to work for the kingdom of God – for that justice, generosity, mercy and love that are the outworking of the kingdom for the common good. Canon Ward challenges us to envision the politics of God at work in our lives and communities as we obey the commandments from the Book of Deuteronomy.


1 July 2018 - 'God's Touch' - Choral Eucharist - Canon Ward

There is life and healing in being touched by God. There is life and healing in touching God. Canon Ward explores the powerful transformation and restoration that Jesus brings through touch as we become increasingly like our Creator.

1 July 2018 - Choral Matins - The Archdeacon

Have you ever been out at sea in a storm? The Archdeacon reflects on Paul's hardships on the Mediterranean Sea and, similarly, the migrants crossing those same waters more recently. He challenges us to consider how we might follow the command in Deuteronomy: ‘Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted...Open your hand to the poor and needy.’


30 June 2018 - Ordinations - The Rt Revd Dr Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester

Being a priest or a bishop are both wonderful callings but neither are the pinnacle.  If we are following the pattern that Christ laid out for us, being a servant is the highest calling of all. Bishop Colin encourages the newly-ordained deacons to remember our central aim of becoming a more Christ-like Church.

30 June 2018 - Ordinations - The Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham

The acid test of a healthy church is not numbers, nor whether people enjoy church, nor yet how good and holy churchgoers feel. How is power used among us? Bishop Alan reflects on the servant ministry that Christ models for us, encouraging the newly-ordained deacons to 'beware the leaven of the Pharisees'.


24 June 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Very Revd Robert Grimley, Honorary Cathedral Chaplain

God promises to intervene in our world to open for humanity a new way to encounter his love and his mercy, something that he will do through Jesus Christ, whose forerunner John is to be. Robert Grimley considers 'God as the Great Disrupter' in the nativities of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

24 June 2018 - Choral Matins - The Sub Dean

Like Mary, John represented then all of humankind, whose fate was being decided in his heart.  The Sub Dean reflects on the easily overlooked ministry of John the Baptist as a God-bearer alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary.


17 June 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The College Chaplain

God’s kingdom will continue to grow despite us; and God’s kingdom will continue to grow through us; and God’s kingdom will continue to grow because of us.  The College Chaplain explores two little seed parables.

17 June 2018 - Choral Matins - Canon Harrison

‘Extemporising’  Canon Harrison reflects on the spiritual discipline of extempore preaching: those 'moments of love, when we forget ourselves, abandon ourselves, act freely, unself-consciously, spontaneously; when we are inspired, consumed, drawn by the object of our love.'


10 June 2018 - Choral Eucharist - Canon Foot

Living out the sort of discipleship that Mark advocates in his gospel means distancing ourselves from our petty squabbles, from the sibling rivalries that damage our mission and detract from our teaching, and to focus instead on the message that Jesus preached.  Canon Foot reflects on 'a house divided'.

10 June 2018 - Choral Matins - The Archdeacon

We are promised life in all its fullness if we follow Christ, but that doesn’t mean an easy life, or a soft life. The Archdeacon reflects on the daily call of God, and the life of St Columba of Iona.​


7 June 2018 - ‘Hearing God’s Call’ - Vocations Eucharist - The Diocesan Canon Precentor

‘The word of God is not chained’ The Diocesan Canon Precentor reminds us that God's work does not depend on us: 'God wants to work through us and he will give us every opportunity to be his hands and feet, his eyes and his voice in the world; but he doesn’t need us.'


3 June 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Archdeacon

Love God, love your neighbour and love yourself.  The Archdeacon considers afresh the Ten Commandments and how they might apply to our daily lives.

3 June 2018 - Choral Matins - The Diocesan Canon Precentor

‘Transforming Grace’  The Diocesan Canon Precentor reflects on the limitations of the law, reminding us that 'true faith is based on transforming grace'.


27 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Revd Dr Emma Percy, Honorary Cathedral Chaplain, Honorary Canon

Trinity Sunday reminds us that God is beyond our description.  Emma Percy reflects on how we speak the Trinity, thinking especially about the challenges of using male language for God and offering ways to enrich our descriptions of the God who 'made us in her own image, male and female'.

27 May 2018 - Choral Matins - Canon Ward

We are the love of God; we live that Trinitarian love. Canon Ward explores how the doctrine of the Trinity speaks into the sufferings of the world.


20 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Venerable David Meara, Honorary Cathedral Chaplain, Honorary Canon Emeritus

The Holy Spirit. They didn’t ask for it, and they couldn’t control it. David Meara challenges us, both institutionally and personally, to 'take a walk on the wilder side of the life of faith'.

20 May 2018 - Choral Matins with University Sermon - The Bishop of Ripon

Our lives are far more about navigating our way through mist than they are about enjoying the views from the top of the mountain. This Pentecost, Bishop Helen-Ann invites us to consider afresh not just who we are, but whose we are.


13 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist - Canon Ward

'Consecrating Oneself' Canon Ward explores the intimate conversation between Jesus and the Father that we overhear in John's Gospel.

13 May 2018 - Choral Matins - Canon Biggar

Canon Biggar reflects on the treatment of 'empire' in the scriptures. Acknowledging a diversity of opinions and welcoming debate, he argues against the view that the Bible is straightforwardly 'anti-imperialist'. He concludes with an open invitation: 'I don’t for a moment suppose that you will all agree with my views, but I do commend the topic of empire to you as something that deserves your attention and reflection.'


10 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Very Revd Robert Grimley, Honorary Cathedral Chaplain

What the Apostles achieved must inspire us to continue that work with which they were first entrusted as Christ was taken up to his Father. Robert Grimley offers Ascension Day reflections on an anthem, commissioned by Christ Church, to celebrate the Apostles.


6 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist - Canon Harrison

For love cannot be forced, coerced or commanded. Love is, by definition, only love when it is a free response to being loved. Canon Harrison reflects on our God who is Love.

6 May 2018 - Choral Matins - The Rt Revd Dr Derek Browning,
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

'Water' The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland invites us 'to live as God’s wet Christians, drenched in God’s grace and
love​' as he reflects on the prophecy of Ezekiel in the light of Christ's Resurrection.