Dedication Festival

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews You can perhaps judge my desire to reach the end of the building works here by the fact that my attention was immediately caught in the Gospel reading not by the cleansing of the temple, nor by Jesus’ foretelling of his death and resurrection, but by the objection […]

Michaelmas

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews In the Bible, angels appear right from the early chapters of Genesis. It’s fiery cherubim who guard the way back into Eden once Adam and Eve have been expelled. A bit later on, three angels appear to Abraham and turn his world upside down as they tell him […]

Trinity 12

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews The nation is divided. Competing narratives emerge as people search the past and draw from it threads to weave a narrative that shapes both present and future. There’s an attempt to stamp out dissent, to centralise power, and to delegitimise opposition. Not the past week in British politics, […]

Trinity 10

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews Heads turn as the woman shuffles towards the front of the synagogue. Bent over, she makes slow and painful progress towards Jesus. So used to being on the edges it is strange to be seen. Usually she is overlooked by those who see her disability and think judgement […]

Trinity 7

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews In this week’s headlines, Greenland’s ice sheet is at risk of a record melt, as the high temperatures we’ve been experiencing move north. A broken reservoir wall, battered during rainstorms, threatens the Derbyshire town below it. Ebola has reached the Congolese border city of Goma, home to 2 […]

Trinity 5

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews I am very good at avoiding prayer. Over the years I have worked quite hard on this tendency, and have developed some good habits that help me resist it. But still I have to be alert to it. Even when I come to church early with the specific […]

1st Sunday after Trinity

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews It was a humbled and questioning people who returned from exile in the first part of the sixth century BC. Decades earlier, their parents and grandparents had been uprooted by the Babylonians and carried off into captivity, leaving Jerusalem desolate, the holy city and centre of Israel’s life […]

Pentecost

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews In the reading from Acts, we hear the beginning of the first Christian sermon. Not so long ago Peter had retreated to the safety of an upper room behind locked doors, his denial of Jesus still so fresh in his mind his heart would thud at the memory […]

Easter 5

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews Turn on the news, leaf through a newspaper, scroll through Twitter, and you will find plenty of evidence of division. Across the globe the rhetoric of ‘us’ and ‘them’ is growing stronger and more strident. Who the ‘us’ and the ‘them’ is depends a bit on context – […]

Easter 4

Sermon preached by Christie Broom, ordinand at Ridley Hall What are you called to? This might feel like a scary question for this early point on a Sunday morning. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds the idea of ‘calling’ or ‘vocation’ quite intimidating. I’m an Ordinand, so in many ways as a […]

Easter 2

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews It’s a new week as the disciples huddle in the house where they’re staying in Jerusalem, the doors locked because the events of the previous week will not stay in the past, and there is still danger for those known to be associates of Jesus. That morning Mary […]

Lent 5

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews There is a safety that comes from being among friends. After the raising of Lazarus gives the Pharisees and chief priests the final evidence they need that Jesus is a threat who must be dealt with, Jesus and his disciples withdrew to Ephraim, in the wild hill country […]

Lent 4

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews I have a clear memory of being lost as a child. I was about 8, and it was on the beach in Scarborough. I’d gone to paddle in the sea with one of my little sisters. It was summer, or at least what passed for summer with a […]

Christmas 1

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews Each year at Midnight Mass, the figure of the baby Jesus is processed into church and placed in the crib scene, which is then blessed. The completion of the scene marks the arrival of Christmas with the nativity of our Lord. It’s a moment of solemnity and joy. […]

Christmas Day

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews The first person in the queue for the Christmas Eve Festival of Lessons and Carols at King’s apparently got there last Wednesday. Yesterday’s service, which marked its 100th anniversary, was listened to by tens of millions around the world. For many, the lone treble singing the first verse […]

Advent 4

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews When I was six I played the Angel Gabriel in my primary school’s nativity play. I like to think I was typecast because of my angelic disposition, though I fear it had rather more to do with having blonde hair and a decent reading ability. That was the […]

Advent 3

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews   I started going to confession regularly when I was in my early 20s. Before then, I would have been utterly horrified at the prospect of saying out loud to someone else all the things I’d thought and said and done that I shouldn’t have, and all the […]

Christ the King

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews Ever since Handel wrote it for George II in 1727, Zadok the Priest has been sung at the coronation of every British monarch. Drawing on the story of the anointing of Solomon in the First Book of Kings, the text itself, in some form or other, has been […]

2 before Advent

Sermon preached by Nick Quanrud, ordinand at Westcott House. Today’s gospel reading plunges us into a crucial moment in Mark’s account. In the next chapter the plot to kill Jesus begins in earnest, and when we look at what He’s said in the Temple it’s no wonder. In the previous chapter Jesus has committed a […]

Remembrance Sunday

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews   100 years ago today, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Armistice came into effect and millions flocked into the streets to celebrate the end of the Great War, the ‘war to end all wars’, it was hoped. After 52 months […]

Stewardship

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews   On either side of the main door to St Bene’t’s hang two large boards. Over time, their varnish has darkened such that they are now very hard to read, and I imagine most of us pass under them without giving them a further glance. They have hung […]

Dedication Festival

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews In 1020, Cambridge existed on the edge of the marshy fen as an increasingly important trading port, the river giving it good links to the European mainland at a time when more than punts sailed through the town. Canute was on the throne, and memories of the earlier […]

Trinity 17

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews   Staying with my sister and her family for a few days over the summer, something woke me early the first morning. As I opened my eyes, my niece’s face was inches from mine. She was patiently staring me awake. Once I’d opened my eyes, she dumped a […]

Trinity 16

Sermon preached by the Reverend Canon Richard Ames-Lewis Playing tennis with my 7 year old grandson Daniel the other day was rather hard going. He was terribly keen and very energetic. But his athleticism needed to be developed, his enthusiasm needed to be channelled and his eye needed to be trained. Much of the time […]

Trinity 15

            Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews In last week’s gospel reading, Jesus got into an argument with the Pharisees over the Jewish purity laws, and his rather lax attitude towards them. And he walks straight out of that argument into Gentile territory. He’s looking for some peace and […]

Trinity 14

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile. The prospect of becoming full time as the vicar here, which as a proposal has almost finished wending its way through the relevant diocesan processes, is making […]