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2010 - (for sermons after 2010, see next page.)

21st March, Passion Sunday, Exhibition of Jeff Gibbons' Annunciation - Birth of Language Large crude wall paintings were once a feature in English Churches.

2009

25th December, Christmas Two little girls playing a hiding game, ‘What are you doing?’ asked their grandma, who told the story. ‘We are playing God & Jesus, you can’t see us we are invisible’.

23rd August, Trinity 11 Spanish churches have now been told to administer Holy Communion in one kind, to nod rather than shake hands during the peace & to empty the holy water stoops, all to avoid the risk of spreading swine flu.

31st May, Whit Sunday. ... that very Spirit intercedes with us with sighs too deep for words.

12th April, Easter Day. Easter and Baptism remain firmly linked.

10th April, Good Friday. Before we venerate a cross rough hewn for us by the workshop of the New Hope Trust – a sacramental sign of the suffering of the homeless – we can reflect on Jesus’ words.

15th March, Lent 3 (given at B&OM). In recent weeks there has been an outbreak of censoriousness in our land.

15th March, Lent 3. An interactive sermon on Stewardship.

2008

25th December, Christmas. Get the train out of Euston, look out the right hand side and you will eventually spot a big sign saying ‘Prepare to meet your God’.

23rd December, Eva Griffiths RIP. Eva used to share a memory of sitting in a tram amidst the excitement at the ending of the First World War. That was a very long time ago – Eva would have been four.

30th November, Advent 1. It’s a fact of life that we spend much of our time waiting.

2nd November, All Saint's Sunday. St. Monica’s words, delivered to us through her son St Augustine more than a millennium and a half ago, are a moving reminder of the truth of faith.

12th October, Trinity 21. In the porch of St. Martin’s Church Dorking is a bronze memorial showing a brooding relief of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

14th September, Holy Cross. If you look closely in our church you will find two serpents or snakes.

11th June, The funeral of Cecil de Braux. ‘...for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit & faith.’ Acts 11.24

25th May, Trinity 1. ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ We live in an age that encourages perfection.

27th April, Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

3rd February, Candlemas is about letting go.

2007

25th November, Christ The King Today we are being invited to think about stewardship.

11th November, Remembrance Sunday November 11th marks another day, when, in 397, the remains of Martin, Bishop of Tours, were buried in his Cathedral. Today is his feast day – Martinmas.

4th November, All Saints' Sunday The great thing these days is connectivity to the Web. As Christians we have a different connectivity – to the communion of the saints.

7th October, Trinity 18 If we want a living faith that commends itself to others, then we need to get beyond habit to the deeper meaning.

12th August, Trinity 10 In today’s gospel Luke records how Jesus taught his disciples to live out their faith.

8th July, Trinity 5 Jesus must have liked the number seventy because he chose seventy disciples to act as pioneers.

10th June, Trinity 1 Today’s gospel about the widow of Nain is one that speaks to us.

17th May, Ascension Day Go into many an ancient church you will come across a popular image of Our Lord’s Ascension; the soles of two feet disappearing in a cloud!

13th May, Rogation Sunday. Today we pray for healing - the alternative Gospel has an account of the healing at the pool of Beth-zatha.

28th April, Easter 4. The Annual Parochical Church Meeting is an opportunity to say ‘ thank you’ to everyone for carrying on the work of the Church here at St. Matthew’s.

22nd April, Easter 3. Hire a DVD version of a film and it usually comes with bonus material, such as deleted scenes.This is also true of the Gospels.

6th April, Good Friday. Today we are engaged once again in the public proclamation of the Cross.

11th March, Lent 3. ‘What must I have done to deserve that?’ people ask. Jesus’ point is that such a view is wrong.

21st February, Ash Wednesday. Lent can seem rather problematic. Of all the Christian seasons, it is the most negative and disapproving.

11th February, 2nd Sunday before Lent, Sexagesima. The new Church calendar has given this Sunday a particular focus on creation.

2006

31st December, Christmas 1,Caroline Drury asks Why we read this apparently random snippet about Jesus’ childhood on this first Sunday of Christmas.

3rd December, Advent Sunday, the first day of the Church’s year. It is a day when we think about the future.

26th November, Christ The King Crosses and veils; can they be worn in public?

12th November, Remembrance Sunday Memorials, poems and words all aid in the important task of Remembrance.

1st October, Trinity 16 James tells his church how it should respond to suffering.

20th August, Trinity 10 The obese now outnumber the hungry for the first time in history. At the time of Jesus most people were hungry for food.

13th August, Trinity 9 As rosaries are to popular Catholicism, then hymn singing is to the popular expression of Anglican Christianity.

16th July, Trinity 5 Sleaze, corruption, and infidelity - all in today’s Gospel about King Herod and the beheading of John the Baptist.

9th July, Trinity 4 Martin Heath says that prophecy lies at the heart of today’s Good News.

2nd July, Trinity 3 Sally Sanderson was stuck in a traffic jam when she noticed a man lying on the pavement...

25th June, Trinity 2 The disciples were all in the same boat with Jesus and all at sea in a storm.

18th June, Trinity 1 Roger Tabor's presentation on Stewardship: in 2005 we were spending in total nearly £80 a week more than the money coming in.

11th June, Trinity Sunday Fr. Tony Meek explains that the whole purpose of Trinitarian thought and expression is to help our awareness of God.

28th May, Sunday After Ascension The Ascension expresses the Christian belief that God exalted Jesus to glory in heaven and that he is now king of the universe.

25th May, Ascension Day Today is a birthday celebration. 100 years ago on Ascension Day 1906 the English Hymnal was published.

22nd May, Rogation Sunday Today we will be 'beating the bounds', giving us an opportunity to reflect on boundaries and their spiritual significance.

30th April, Easter 3 (Annual Parocial Church Meeting) At our meeting we can use the five aims of ‘Vision for Action’ to take stock and look forward.

16th April, Easter Day The keeping of Easter Day as a special feast has its origins in the Baptism of new Christian converts in the early years of the Church.

14th April, Good Friday Faced with a scene like the crucifixion for real, most of us would be horrified.

2nd April, Passion Sunday Sally Sanderson tells us about Leroy whom she met a couple of weeks ago in Montserrat.

19th March, Lent 3 A traditional exercise during Lent is to reflect on the 10 Commandments.

15th March, Funeral of Myrtle Frith a life-long member of our church.

12th March, Lent 2 Why isn’t Christianity popular? It’s a question we all struggle with.

5th March, Lent 1 Mark’s story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness can seem akin to a fast moving film.

1st March, Ash Wednesday Dust and ashes remind us of our beginning and our end, of our frailty and mortality.

26th February, Sunday Next Before Lent The Transfiguration is not primarily about an event in time and space, rather it has to do with eternity.

19th February, 2nd Before Lent The compilers of our new church calendar have given the Second Sunday Before Lent a particular focus on creation.

12th February, 3rd Before Lent Lepers figure in two of our readings today. Leprosy was a greatly feared disease.

5th February, 4th Before Lent Sally Sanderson says that we can pick up three things from today's readings.

29th January, Candlemass Clergy are famously concerned with baptisms, marriages and funerals - what sociologists call rites of passage.

23rd January, Funeral of Geoffrey Greenstreet a former Mayor of Watford.

22nd January, Epiphany 3 And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’

15th January, Epiphany 2 There are some saintly people who have the gift of seeing what lies at the heart of people.

8th January, Epiphany The strange story of the Wisemen connects in many ways with our contemporary New Year anxieties and searching after truth.

2005

25th December, Christmas Today a message arrives instantly via satellite or e-mail and rarely is it good. More often it heralds war and destruction rather than peace or salvation.

11th December, Advent 3 Today’s epistle was written to a church very much in a cultural melting pot.

4th December, John The Baptist as described by Sally Sanderson.

20th November, Christ The King Above the arch of many mediaeval churches was painted a doom - Christ as King and Judge, separating the sheep and the goats, sending the sheep to heaven and the goats to hell.

2nd October, Harvest Festival in Oxhey always requires an exercise of imagination or memory of a more rural childhood living as we do in an urban area like Watford.

25th September, St. Matthew's Day To many of our neighbours Christianity seems meaningless or irrelevant. Why are we different?

18th September, Trinity 17 St Paul wrote from prison 'For me living is Christ & dying is gain.'

11th September, Trinity 16 September 11th is a good date to think about forgiveness. How often should we forgive?

7th August, Trinity 11 Jesus' disciples were all together in the boat when the storm blew up.

31st July, Trinity 10 We are unlikely to face the catering challenge faced by Jesus in today's Gospel; how to feed over 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes.

24th July, Trinity 9 We can use Lammastide to remind ourselves of several important aspects of our faith.

17th July, Trinity 8 Ladders seem to be a necessary feature of parish churches and a ladder is featured in today's reading from Genesis.

10th July, Trinity 7 At St. Matthew's we are familiar with the stony ground described by Jesus in the parable. Our Church is built on stony ground, as is the Vicarage.

3rd July, Trinity 6 A bag of rubbish that was part of a Tate Britain work of art was accidentally thrown away by a cleaner.

26th June, Trinity 5 In his poem 'The parable of the old man and the young' Wilfred Owen quotes from the AV version of the Genesis story.

12th June, Trinity 3 Through three verses from Acts we discover three aspects of Barnabas.

5th June, Trinity 2 What should we pray for in this service of anointing?

29th May, Trinity 1 Today we read the story of Noah's Ark in Genesis. How does it inform our Christian faith?

15th May, Whitsun St. John has deep reflection with less headlines-grabbing excitement than St. Luke's account of Pentecost.

8th May, Easter 7, Sunday after Ascension St. Luke in his two accounts of the Ascension used highly pictorial language to describe the experience of the disciples.

5th April, Ascension Day The Ascension expresses the Christian belief that God exalted Jesus to glory in heaven and that he is now king of the universe.

24th May, Easter 5 Annual Parochial Church Meeting

3rd April, Easter 1 I want to take you back to Palm Sunday at Bedmond, this year - because the donkey was late!

27th March, Easter Day If the four evangelists were film directors, what kind of films they would have made?

25th March, Good Friday Today is also Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation.

13th March, Lent 5, Passiontide In his Gospel, St. John invites us to see the 'signs of glory' revealed by Jesus.

6th March, Mothering Sunday Mother's Day has become very commercialised. In the past, Mothering Sunday was much simpler.

27th February, Lent 3 In the wilderness of Sin, Moses again faced a grumbling congregation.

20th February, Lent 2 Lent is time when we're invited to grow closer to Jesus.

13th February, Lent 1 So what happened to paradise?

6th February, Sunday next before Lent 'Living for the present moment', that is the aim of the Christian life.

23rd January, Epiphany 3 Nostalgic and utopian visionaries both need to learn from each other and to temper their views with a certain earthy realism.

16th January, Epiphany 2 The theme of epiphany, coming through the asking of questions and the search for meaning, runs through today's reading from St. John's Gospel.

9th January, Baptism of Christ, Epiphany 1 This sermon was given at the joint Anglican-Methodist Covenant Service held at Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church.

2004

25th December, Christmas

5th December, Second Sunday After Advent Roots have become very important to many people. We all like to know where we come from and where we belong.

28th November, Advent Sunday Human beings had been inspired by mountains, seeing them as the dwelling place of the gods or God.

21st November, Christ The King What is the reading of the crucifixion doing just before Advent?

14th November, Second Sunday Before Advent On Remembrance Sunday, as we remember the terrible cost of war, human construction and destruction come to mind.

7th November, Third Sunday Before Advent People who want to trap you with religion usually take a small portion of scripture to make their point.

31st October, All Saints Sunday If we call it All Sinners' Sunday, we will come nearer to the truth.

17th October, Trinity 19 - By picking out the main features of St. Luke's Gospel, we can see his relevance for today's world.

3rd October, Trinity 17 - Have you seen any angels recently?

26th September, Trinity 16 - This Sunday's readings contain a kind of Biblical rich list of people who would today attract a lot of media attention.

19th September, Trinity 15 - Patronal Festival If all the figures in our stained glass windows suddenly came to life, who would be most approachable?

12th September, Trinity 14 - 'Intercession acknowledges the reality of the needs of others and one's own relative powerlessness in respect of their future'. (Rowan Williams On Christian Theology )

5th September, Trinity 13 - 'See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.' Deut. 30.15.

29th August, Trinity 12 - The Christian Faith is treasure in earthen vessels. It is priceless but hidden.

22nd August, Trinity 11 - 'Our God is a consuming fire.' Probe today's readings from Hebrews and you discover that faith has never been easy.

15th August, Trinity 10 - Feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary To our sober Anglican mind the Assumption is problematic; a 'big assumption' as one wag put it.

1st August, Trinity 8 God's Glory 'The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai'.

4th July, Trinity 4 Today's preacher, Mr Jack Watson, told us about Watford Schools Trust, which aims to provide pupils with a clear understanding of the Christian faith.

21st June, Funeral of Gwen Palmer who was a person of deep faith that found its expression at St. Matthew's for over 30 years.

20th June, Trinity 2 'Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you'. It is not immediately easy for us to obey such a command of Jesus.

13th June, Trinity 1 Today's apparent broad-mindedness hides a cold puritanism that judges others in an unloving and unforgiving way.

30th May, Pentecost We celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we reflect on our readings we can discover what it means for us.

23rd May, Easter 7 - Sunday after Ascension We live in an age that expects to be comfortable, yet the majority in our world are not comfortable.

20th May, Ascension Day may be appealing to children, but it's meaning can be difficult for adults to understand.

9th May, Easter 5 We live in a time of division in the Churches, with conservatives and liberals trying to impose their views on each other.

2nd May, Easter 4 Christian belief is not something that we build up until we have enough to take the leap of faith.

18th April, Easter 2 - Low Sunday The context in which the Easter Gospel was first proclaimed, was one of sorrow at the death of Jesus.

11th April, Easter Day In Greece or Russia, Easter goes with a bang: cannon fire, fireworks, clanging bells and cheers, followed by feasting and celebration.

9th April, Good Friday The renewed interest in the Passion Story, due in part to Mel Gibson's controversial film, 'The Passion', reflects wider controversies about religion in our world.

28th March, Annual Parochial Meeting Lazarus, Martha and Mary enjoy a meal together, yet the scene is extraordinary.

21st March, Mothering Sunday The story of Moses in the bull-rushes is set for today, because it is a story about a mother and her child.

14th March, Lent 3 Dave Clark, a member of the Reader Training Scheme, continues the short series in Lent on coming to grips with the Bible.

29th February, Lent 1 During Lent, Fr David has invited two preachers talk about what the Bible means to them, but today here are some of his reflections.

15th February, Sexagesima The disciples were all in the same boat with Jesus and all at sea in a storm.

8th February, Third Sunday Before Lent Today's epistle from 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us how important our Resurrection faith is.

1st February, Candlemas How can we see salvation, what does it mean? Here are a few ideas..

25th January, The Conversion of St Paul Four things we can learn from the story of his conversion.

18th January, Epiphany 2 The biggest puzzle of all concerns the existence of God and therefore our existence too.

2003

25th December, Christmas Thanks are to God that in the midst of winter there is always Christmas.

21st December, Advent 4 The visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth is one of less well known Christmas stories.

14th December, Advent 3 If somebody tells you of their misfortune and you reply, 'rejoice,' they would be a least surprised by such a reply if not offended.

7th December, Advent 2 Each Advent at St. Matthew's we are invited to renew our stewardship for the coming year.

30th November, Advent Sunday is a time for recovering our fine, strong and simple faith, a time for renewal.

16th November, Second Sunday Before Advent All over the world large buildings attract admiration from tourists. Jesus' disciples were likewise impressed.

9th November, On Remembrance Sunday we remember with gratitude all who gave their lives for our freedom.

2nd November, All Saints' Sunday. St. John invites us to see the 'signs of glory' revealed by Jesus.

19th October, Trinity 18. In human affairs, the two sides to a dispute all too often fail to understand each other.

12th October, Trinity 17. On our Dedication Festival we give thanks to God for place, space and presence.

28th September, Trinity 15. Today's readings have much to say about the realities of our human condition and the divine remedy for our failings.

21st September, Patronal Festival, Trinity 14. St Matthew was a tax collector. Of all the many sinners, why were tax collectors chosen for a special mention?

14th September, Trinity 13. In today's gospel reading Jesus asks the disciples 'but who do you say that I am?' That question is the most profound in history.

7th September, Trinity 12. We have no direct record that Jesus laughed although it is implicit in the Gospels that he often did.

31st August, Trinity 11. 'Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.' James 1.

24th August, Trinity 10. The Ephesian Christians equip themselves for spiritual warfare when Paul tells them to 'put on the whole armour of God'.

27th July, Trinity 6. Feeding the Five Thousand Thoughts on this famous miracle from Rev Tony Meek, who visited us today.

20th July, Trinity 5. The 23rd Psalm. This Sunday's readings include it, so let's have a closer look.

13th July, Trinity 4. To an outsider, a lot of what we do during the Eucharist must seem very alien and strange.

7th July, Trinity 3. What makes you sorrowful, what do you long for, what do you desire?

29th June, Trinity 2, St Peter and St Paul. Remembered together because they were martyred in Rome about AD 64, possibly on the same occasion, they were actually very different in their contribution and manner.

15th June, Trinity Sunday. How do we approach the mystery of the Holy Trinity? Bishop Heber's answer is in song.

8th June, Whit Sunday, Eric Milner-White introduced the service of Nine Lessons and Carols King's College Cambridge in 1919. He prayed for the gift of better prayers and had the gift of writing better prayers than most.

1st June, Easter 7, Comfort What does comfort mean for the Christian and what does it mean to receive the Holy Ghost the comforter?

25th May, Easter 6, Rogation Sunday. Friends share a special level of intimacy and closeness and this was true of Jesus and the twelve.

18th May, Easter 5, Baptism The stirrings of faith that lead parents to bring their infants to baptism can bear unexpected fruit in many different ways.

4th May, Easter 3, St Luke leads us to discover the reality of the person of the risen Christ.

27th April, Easter 2, Easter gives us hope. We can explore that hope as we look at today's Gospel from St. John.

20th April, Easter Day, Three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome two thousand years on can lead us to Easter faith because they are like us, fearful, vulnerable and unsure.

6th April, Lent 5, Today's recorded request to Philip in St. John's Gospel,'Sir, we wish to see Jesus'. resonates in an age of visual plenty just as it did in one of visual famine.

5th March, Ash Wednesday, The Ten Commandments. A traditional exercise for today is to reflect on the 10 Commandments, always reading them in the light of Our Lord's command to love both God and neighbour.

2nd March, 1st before Lent, In uncertain times... The awareness of the glory of God in our prayers can help us to live out our Christian discipleship in the present moment.

16th February, 3rd before Lent, Septuagesima: In today's readings we find two lepers. We need to see others as God sees them. All to often we judge others by the externals of class or race.

9th February, 4th before Lent, Roots: Trees need roots to hold them in the ground in a storm and to draw up the moisture that sustains their life. This Sunday's Gospel shows how we can be rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.

2nd February, Candlemas reminds us that Christians are to be spiritual naturalists, people who look, listen, hear, who know their Bible's, who pray and know the Lord.

12th January, The Baptism of Christ Baptism: the waters through which we pass from darkness to light and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

5th January, Epiphany The Three Wisemen give us valuable clues as to how to live the Christian life.

2002

30th December, Christmas 1 Three Christmas Saints' Days: St Stephen, St John the Evangelist and Holy Innocents.

25th December, Christmas Day Fear not. If we can find the courage to face our fears during this Christmas period we will be open to receiving inner peace for ourselves.

22th December, Advent 4 The links between art and faith. Images of the annunciation, the Gospel story for today.

15th December, Advent 3 Thessalonians - the oldest piece of Christian writing we have, but still relevant to life today. We live in a fragmented society, just as the first Christians did.

8th December, Advent 2 Just 'waiting around'? No, the hopeful waiting of Advent is a positive thing.

1st December, Advent Sunday Advent is a time for recovering our fine, strong and simple faith, a time for renewal.

17th November, 2nd Sunday before Advent Christian stewardship: Renewing our giving for the coming year in Advent.

10th November Remembrance Sunday St Paul tells us that we as Christians are not to grieve as others do without hope.

3rd November All Saints Sunday: You are all saints Everyone has imperfections, even the great, the good and the saints themselves. What is important is that we all pass on the message of Christianity to others. In this we can all be saints

27th October Bible Sunday: 'Be astounded that God should have written to us.' Anthony of Egypt 300AD. The bible has something for everyone, with plenty of variety and excitement - practical tips for rewarding and enjoyable bible reading.

6th October Trinity 19: Letters Now and then Compares the impact of letter-writing today by people like Prince Charles with that of St Paul's letter to the Philippians.

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Last updated 21/03/2010 17:30 Author: Colin Richards