October 2020

Two reflections for the season of All Saints & All Souls

All Saints Day 2020

“Acceding to the request of our Brother Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by our apostolic authority we declare that the venerable Servant of God John Henry, Cardinal, Newman, priest of the Congregation of the Oratory, shall henceforth be invoked as Blessed and that his feast shall be celebrated every year of the ninth of October, in the places and according to the norms established by Church law.”

With these words in 2010 Pope Benedict XVI, raised the late Cardinal John Henry Newman to the status of ‘blessed’ -...

Autumn traditions - a few reflections

Folklore & Traditions

a few reflections by Canon Dean Fostekew

There is, think, something about the darker months of the year that seems to engender the creation of different traditions. Halloween is almost upon us with the more modern and American tradition of ‘trick or treat’. Based on the ancient Scottish and Celtic tradition of Samhain, which pre-dates Christianity, it was a time when our ancestors believed that the veil between the living and the dead was very thin and it was all about remembering and commemorating the dead. It also confronted death with humour and ridicule, to help keep...

Reflection for Bible Sunday 25th October 2020 by Canon Dean Fostekew

Bible Sunday 2020 Year A

“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; forbidden fruit; set your teeth on edge; in the twinkling of an eye; give up the ghost; by the skin of your teeth; bite the dust; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; cast the first stone and can a leopard change its spots?”

Familiar words and phrases which all come from the King James Version of the Bible. As the historian Jenny Wormald says:

“The translators somehow had a wonderful instinct for evocative language. Their towering achievement was not that it was complete, or that it was accurate...

Reflection from the Rev'd David Warnes for Sunday 18th October 2020 St.Luke's Day

St Luke Year A 2020 Good Shepherd

I wonder how many of you used to enjoy the Peanuts cartoon strip by the American artist Charles M. Schulz – the cartoons which featured Charlie Brown and Snoopy, the dog who fantasized about being a First World War fighter ace. Schulz was a lifelong church attender and a Sunday School teacher. He comes to mind today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Evangelist St Luke, because today’s Gospel reading was his favourite passage from the New Testament. It’s a reading which encourages us to think about the nature of peace.


Sunday 11th October 2020 Trinity XVIII A reflection from the Rev'd Russell Duncan

Trinity XVIII – Sunday 11th October 2020

Think about these things……

As a lawyer, I spend much of my working week thinking about words. What do they mean? What do they say? Have I understood them? Am I being clear when I speak or write? Do I have the courage to say that I don’t understand what is being said or what a particular impressive word might mean?

There is a client who invariably uses the phrase “modus operandi” in every conversation we have. I know what it means but it is not a phrase I would use myself.


Sunday 4th October 2020 Harvest Thanksgiving

Harvest 2020  Year A  Sunday 4th October

For someone, like me, a complete born and raised ‘townie’, ‘Harvest’ is a sort of alien concept. Harvest when I was growing up was something we sang about at Primary School and then ignored throughout the rest of my adolescence and early adult life. It was only on returning to faith that I re-encountered ‘Harvest’ and came across the idea that we really do need to give thanks to God for giving us a harvest.

Even then, when I first re-discovered it,  ‘Harvest’ was sort of only associated with ‘our daily bread’ and...