Our Parish Boundary walk last Sunday was great fun. The sun shone as we walked and stopped at various places to pray. The picnic was a most welcome end to our time together. A big thank you to Christina and Mike for organising it. If you missed it, hope to see you the next time!
Excited Obadiah passes his overseer exams and is now able to do everything an angel is gifted to do. But he misunderstands these gifts and has a hard lesson to learn in how to use them. Amazingly, he does this, and God Almighty is so impressed that Obadiah is chosen to take one of the most important messages ever to earth. But he doesn’t do the task in the expected way, and so discovers something about himself and God’s plan. A great gift for children This story is the prequel to ‘Albert the forgetful Angel’ and tells the story of how Obadiah became the kind overseer of that book. Oh and look out for Albert in this book too! To find out more, order an e-book version of this book or to buy Albert the Forgetful Angel visit St Martin’or www.stewartjonesbooks.co.uk. This book is written by the Rector of St. Martin’s, Stewart Jones and the sale of the books goes to support the work that the church does for the vulnerable. Amazing Kindness of Obadiah flyer
On Thursday 18th April one of the saints of St Martin in the Bull Ring died. Her name is Muriel Dewick and she was a remarkable woman. In a week when the nation and even the world focused its attention on another remarkable woman, Margaret Thatcher (whatever you think of her politics she was remarkable!) it is worth reflecting on what we think is remarkable or even what we think a saint is. Sainthood isn’t really about perfection. Muriel was not perfect. She was often quite stubborn, and had a complete inability to throw stuff away. Her house was full of papers Which meant she wasn’t the most organised person in the world. But Muriel was a servant hearted follower of Jesus Christ who had a passion for mission, a deep prayer life and a genuine interest in how you were. Increasingly in the last few years of her life she was unable to move around freely. Her body was slowly seizing up yet her mind remained sharp, focused and centred on her lord. What was remarkable about Muriel was she ne
Sabbatical travels have allowed me to listen to different preachers in different places. Being in the pew and not being the one delivering the sermon has been a very refreshing and challenging experience. But as I have listened the one question that has been most prominent in my mind is ‘and the point is?’ On a number of occasions I have been given quite a lot of information about biblical characters, useful stories (and some not so helpful), and a few rather cheesy cliches that really should never have been said. On only two occasions did I feel personally challenged, engaged and uncomfortable. Now I don’t think sermons are simply about making me uncomfortable or anyone else for that matter but I do think they should make me think! Sharing lots of vaguely interesting information is vaguely interesting but that’s all it is. Surely there needs to be more of a challenge in it as well? Whilst working as a vicar in Bristol I had the privilege of being on the local radio station a
I love preaching. When I say that what I mean is that I love doing the preaching thing. Now some of that is because I like to perform (it’s the actor in me or the desire to be a stand up comic or just being the focus of attention) but hopefully not too much. Some of it is because I want to communicate the amazing story of Jesus Christ and how the gospel can transform everything. And some of it is because I believe in the scriptures. We have such a treasure for all of life in the bible that someone needs to open this treasure up and share it with everyone. I love trying to do that. I also love hearing others do it. In the dim and distant past when I was first let loose on a parish as the vicar I sat in a meeting with fellow clergy and we discussed preaching. (We usually talked about funerals but for some wonderful reason which I no longer remember we talked about preaching.) One senior colleague stated that as far as he was concerned preaching was dead. It was pointless because people c
In July 1988 a man called Barry Rogerson, then Bishop of Bristol put his hands on my head and ordained me into the clergy of the Church of England. I was ordained with the name Stephen which was fine except I’m Stewart and maybe that’s why it has taken me 25 years to have a sabbatical. (Stephen Jones has had all the other ones I might have taken with apologies to any real Rev Stephen Jones’ who have had sabbaticals.) But what exactly is a sabbatical? Is it just a middle class word for a long holiday and if so why not just say a long holiday? Or is it extended study leave with holiday as well? For me it has been a much needed escape from the tyranny of email, telephone, meetings, people and sermon writing and a chance to simply find me again. Not all of what I do is a tyranny but after 25 years of trying and often failing to preach the gospel, lead a number of churches, work for the past two Archbishops ( new one not included. I know nothing about him except what I read) and countless o