Lent 5

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews   Ezekiel began prophesying in the closing years of the sixth century BC. He was in exile, like many of his fellow Judeans forcibly removed from his homeland when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem. It is to a people bereft of temple, land, king and hope that he speaks, […]

Lent 4

Sermon preached by Dr Philip Murray, ordinand at Westcott House Yesterday the Church celebrated the feast of the Annunciation, when we remember the Angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary and that brave Yes that she gave when God asked her to bear his Son. At nine months exactly before Christmas Day, the Annunciation celebrates […]

Lent 1

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews Every year, Lent invites us into the wilderness. Sometimes we look forward to it, to the chance to flex our spiritual muscles, and maybe lose a few pounds in the process; to spend a bit of time living in a minor key. Other times we’re reluctant, seeing the […]

Ash Wednesday

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews It’s early in the morning when Jesus makes his way back to the temple. Already in the outer court, the Court of the Women, people were gathering in twos and threes, exchanging greetings, swapping hushed yet urgent commentary on the previous day’s events. Only yesterday, in this very […]


Sermon preached by Angela Rayner, ordinand at Westcott House “Whom do you seek?”, “what is transformation?” and “how might we be transformed?” Today is Quinquagesima Sunday, fifty days before Easter. The Book of Common Prayer gives us this mellifluous word which modern texts have replaced with the utilitarian-sounding “first Sunday before Lent”. Perhaps that says […]

2 before Lent

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews ‘Do not worry about tomorrow.’ As commandments from Jesus go, it’s one of those I find hardest to follow. ‘Do not worry about tomorrow’, says Jesus. And I want to say, seriously, Lord? Have you seen the state of the world? My Twitter feed reads like a sort […]

3 before Lent

Sermon preached by the Reverend Canon Richard Ames-Lewis   Members of the congregation of St Bene’t’s Church may just possibly have noticed a curious architectural feature in this church. Not the famous Saxon arch, nor the elegant 13th century arcade, nor even the curious curved staircase at the head of the south aisle. The feature […]

4th before Lent

Sermon preached by the Reverend Anna Matthews   Where are you, God? That’s the cry of the religious in our reading from Isaiah. Where are you? We do everything you’ve asked: we make our hair grey with ashes, our bellies faint with hunger. We do obeisance with our heads bowed at exactly the right angle […]

Lent 5

Sermon preached by Emily Kempson In the Eastern Himalayas, the nard-plant grows. If you crush its roots and distil the sap, it creates a thick amber oil, called nard. It has a strong, raw, earthy smell. And like perfume, a little goes a long way; a few drops release a cloud of woody, smoky, sweet […]