A Spirituality blog from our Community

Archive for the ‘Thoughts and Homilies’ Category


From Peter Hardy, Chaplaincy Assistant:

As the academic year has ended I am leaving the Chaplaincy now to do new things elsewhere. Whether or not new material will be posted by others in the near future I’m very pleased to know that our resources will remain available here to you and others for many years to come. Thank you for reading and goodbye!

Preaching the Bible

One of the key ways in which the Bible is actually is during church services, particularly with a sermon or homily. ‘Preaching’ can refer to both reciting scripture and to the exegesis on it. In denominations where preaching is seen as more important than the Eucharist preaching may take on a sacramental character. This means that it will typically be longer, more central to the service, and involve more personal discretion of the minister. Elsewhere, the big churches of Catholicism, Methodism, and Anglicanism share a liturgical devise called the Lectionary. This is a calendar of readings from the Bible which cycles every three years, each year based around a Synoptic Gospel– with John used on special occasions.


π Canon

I didn’t make this myself, although I wish I did.

From Peter Hardy, Chaplaincy Assistant:

After our Bible For Bluffers session on the Biblical Canon I was wondering to myself what happens if you skim through the Bible, focusing on verses corresponding to pi (that is, 3.14)? What would the Bible be like if we were limited to these passages? (more…)

Another Thought for the Week 10/06/2012

From Miroslav Matavka, Chaplaincy Assistant:

This week I went for a short trip to Munich, the capital city of the Free State of Bavaria, which is the largest and oldest state in the Federal Republic of Germany, and also the most Catholic one. (more…)

Thought for the Week 11/06/2012

The first rule of being Queen of England is never misplacing your trusty bumbershoot.

From Peter Hardy, Chaplaincy Assistant:

When in last week’s edition of The Tablet I read at least a couple of letters lamenting -tongue in cheek- that republicans would be miserable over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend this came as news to me. Not only had this republican very much enjoyed attending a massive street party (with the most food I’d ever seen in one place), but somehow I was captured as (a very small) part of the celebrating crowd in the local paper, ITV regional news and BBC national news! I was aware of irony here, but not, I don’t think, hypocrisy. Republicans certainly do not hate the Queen and for the most part appreciate her life of service for this country- we simply do not approve of the a central part of the fabric of the state being the institution of the monarchy.

What was truly significant, however, was the rare opportunity this holiday provided for communities to come together and express our shared identity. I was reminded of something that Desmond Tutu (as an Anglican archbishop presumably a royalist!) said in his native South Africa a few years ago: “One of the sayings in our country is ‘Ubuntu’- the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality -Ubuntu- you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

Still, a theme running through the Gospels is that we are sometimes made to feel like an outsider from our community, and it strikes me there is a parallel with religion here. Just as one doesn’t have to approve of the monarchy to enjoy royal celebrations, one doesn’t have to believe in God to receive the benefits of being religious. A number of recent books evincing a trend which Alain de Botton has dubbed ‘Atheism 2.0’ has made this clear, not withstanding the three nastika schools of Indic religion which predate Christianity by many centuries. So in addition to the widespread belief that ‘atheist’ = an immoral person, that ‘atheist’ = a non-religious person is another stereotype we need to break down. (more…)

Thought for the Week 04/06/2012

From Tom Woodman, retired English Literature lecturer:

In reaction to the claims of Richard Dawkins and the new atheists it is important to understand that religion is not irrational. (more…)

Thought for the Week 28/05/2012

From Chris Wakelin, Chaplaincy Treasurer:

When I lived in Nottingham, the local “Churches Together in Beeston” group one year organised an ecumenical event for Pentecost weekend. On the Saturday morning various “spies” had been sent into the local shopping area disguised as gardeners, window-cleaners etc. (more…)

Another Thought for the Week 21/05/2012

From Ona Rowbery, St. William of York parishoner:

This week we celebrate Christ’s Ascension from Earth to be with his Father in heaven, thus allowing us to hope that we might one day join him there. For the disciples, it seems likely that this joy would have been tempered by a renewed sense of bereavement, but none-the-less, they responded much more positively than they had after Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, when Peter and the gang had retreated in fear to the confines of the upper room. By the time of the Ascension, however, they had gained a new perspective, looking outwards to distant horizons, and becoming less fearful in the process. (more…)

Thought for the Week 21/05/2012

From Libby Hawkness-Smith, Chaplaincy Administrator:

In many churches around the world, Christians are celebrating the Ascension of the Lord today, the day when we the end of Christ’s ministry on Earth and His return to Heaven. Most consider the awe of God, that He reigns on high in Heaven and that He oversees all the earth from His position in power. Few think about the effect on the disciples at Ascension. (more…)

Another Thought for the Week 14/05/2012

From Sabine Schwartz,  Catholic Chaplain:

Sunday’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles gives a very condensed account of a pivotal moment in the development of the young Church: Peter, like the other apostles, had been a faithful Jew all his life, and as such had never entered the house of a pagan, as this was forbidden by the Law. (more…)

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