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  • Unreconciled?: Exploring Mission in an Imperfect World
    Unreconciled?: Exploring Mission in an Imperfect World
    by Ann Richards, Mission Theology Advisory Group

    This book is the reference resource for the 2012 Lent courses at All Saints Ealing and St Martins West Acton. The focus is about making our theology of reconcilaition personal not just a matter of Christian duty. It is all too easy to pray for reconciliation for war torn countries "out there". But what about the reconciliation needed "in here"? What about the Unreconciled in our homes or on our doorsteps who feel left out, unheard, wounded or ignored? How can the local church offer the gift of Christ's reconciliation to those whose problems we are not even aware of?

  • Why Sacraments?
    Why Sacraments?
    by Andrew Davison

    A very thorough overview of the 7 sacraments and their relationship to the doctrine of the incarnation. Davison's writing is accessible, scholarly and succinct. 

  • Elements of Rite: A Handbook of Liturgical Style
    Elements of Rite: A Handbook of Liturgical Style
    by Aidan Kavanagh

    Essential source book for any liturgist. Kavanagh unpacks basic very profound principles informing healthy Echaristic worship.

  • Why Go to Church?: The Drama of the Eucharist
    Why Go to Church?: The Drama of the Eucharist
    by Timothy Radcliffe

    How the Eucharist brings us into slow work of faith, hope and love.

  • Creating Uncommon Worship: Transforming the Liturgy of the Eucharist
    Creating Uncommon Worship: Transforming the Liturgy of the Eucharist
    by Richard Giles

    This book highlights the great richness, variety and imaginitive potential of modern sacramental worship. A must read for liturgists.

  • The Art of Worship: Paintings, Prayers, and Readings for Meditation (National Gallery London)
    The Art of Worship: Paintings, Prayers, and Readings for Meditation (National Gallery London)
    by Nicholas Holtam

    An excellent collection of spiritual reflecions on selected artwork in the National Gallery. This is Nicholas Holtam (one time Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields and now Bishop Salisbury) at his best.

  • Difficult Gospel: The Theology of Rowan Williams
    Difficult Gospel: The Theology of Rowan Williams
    by Mike Higton

    A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the fundamental principles behind Rowan Williams' theology.

  • The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger
    The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger
    by Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett

    A compelling statistical study about equal societies and the broad based social benefits enjoyed in these nations. The numbers are easy and so is the read; but the implications are hard to swallow.

  • The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God
    The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God
    by Ronald Rolheiser

    What does authentic Christian spirituality look and feel like? This book explores these very relevant themes and will leave you deeply enriched.

  • Tradition and Imagination: Revelation and Change
    Tradition and Imagination: Revelation and Change
    by David Brown
  • Discipleship and Imagination: Christian Tradition and Truth
    Discipleship and Imagination: Christian Tradition and Truth
    by David Brown
  • God and Enchantment of Place: Reclaiming Human Experience
    God and Enchantment of Place: Reclaiming Human Experience
    by David Brown
  • God and Grace of Body: Sacrament in Ordinary
    God and Grace of Body: Sacrament in Ordinary
    by David Brown
  • God and Mystery in Words: Experience through Metaphor and Drama
    God and Mystery in Words: Experience through Metaphor and Drama
    by David Brown
  • Poet and Peasant: Literary-cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke
    Poet and Peasant: Literary-cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke
    by Kenneth E. Bailey

    An outstanding study of the parables. Kenneth Bailey's profound insights into the Middle-Eastern culture of Jesus' day will revolutionise the way you see the parables. 


The Risk of Unconditional Love and the Reward of Hope Restored 

Easter at All Saints 2013

Dear Friends  

During Holy Week and Easter we are reminded that unconditional love is risky. When we really think about it, we are terrified to love with our whole heart, our whole being. To do so means opening ourselves to the potential of unbearable suffering, disappointment and pain. But Jesus goes against the grain of these instincts. He offers himself completely into the service of radical love even though he knows it will lead to his betrayal, suffering and execution. Despair however, does not have the final word. 

Hope. Resilient, unrelenting, glorious hope is the great reward of the resurrection we celebrate on Easter day. It is made possible because Jesus chose to trust in the Father, to respond with total vulnerability to God's love. The services of Holy Week and Easter help us to bear witness to this outpouring of passion that secured the salvation of the world. It confronts us with the question "Are we prepared to trust Jesus who has already won the victory for us, who offers us hope that cannot be destroyed?" 

As we tread towards the foot of the cross and then onwards to the joyful relief of the Easter dawn, let's pray that we experience the gift of love that challenges us deeply but gives eternity as it's reward. 

I leave you with the closing words of Archbishop Justin's sermon from his enthronement service this week:

Yours in Christ Jesus,




Christmas 2012 at All Saints

Dear Friends

G.K Chesterton describes the age old quest for meaning in Christmas very aptly: “The wise man will follow a star, low and large and fierce in the heavens, but the nearer he comes to it the smaller and smaller it will grow, till he finds it the humble lantern over some little inn or stable. Not till we know the high things shall we know how lovely they are.”

For us, the run up to Christmas 2012 has been a time of rediscovering the loveliness of God's grace reflected in the stable lantern. In one sense, our participation in the winter night shelter has been a greater gift to us than our guests. All involved spoke of the tremendous rewards of serving and caring in a way that makes a real difference, reflecting the compassion and practicality of Jesus. My sincere thanks to Jill Scott who spent hours co-ordinating our shelter evenings and all who helped out so generously.

Our Advent worship has also encouraged us to be grounded in the grace of simplicity. We decided to mark this season far more intentionally, reflecting on our mortality and thirst for God whilst turning to the East in excited expectation of the Christ child.

In the Christmas worship at All Saints we will joyfully celebrate Christ's coming. Nonetheless, it will not be far from our minds that we have journeyed to find an awkward and unsuitable stable in which salvation has been revealed in flesh and blood. And just like the wise men and shepherds, we will be beckoned to enter into the welcoming radiance of the nativity and there bow down before the King.

May this season be filled for you with the wonder of Christ.



Jesus wept. (The real meaning of Christmas?)

At the time of writing we are all still reeling from the devastating massacre of school children in Newtown, Connecticut. But this is not only because it was so unexpected and violent. How can we begin to understand (let alone move beyond) the cruel fact that most of those who were slain were children between the ages of 5 and 10? The wholesale slaughter of the innocent should rightly evoke anger, despair and even disgust at the dark power of humanity. As President Barak Obama said in his tearful address to the American people “Our hearts are broken.”

Reflecting a little more on this event and some of the reactions (appropriate or otherwise!) I wonder if perhaps what haunts us most about Newtown is the brutal, unavoidable reality of evil in the world and the devastating suffering it can produce on our very doorstep. It is easy to become desensitised to the bloodletting that erupts in global hot spots. The slaughter of the innocent is conveniently transformed into a tidy update on global affairs in an evening news broadcast. But Newtown is painfully familiar. This supposedly average middle class suburb with local institutions, challenges and comforts we would know all too well has been shattered by something unthinkable. Possibly what unhinges all of us a little is the realisation that this nightmare could be ours. And so could the devastation.     

Just by chance I was handed something at the early morning service on the Sunday following the shooting. It is a piece of Polish folk art called “The Weeping Jesus” which belonged to a long time parishioner of the church. Almost immediately, it brought to mind John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” This is the shortest sentence in scripture and as a result is easily glanced over or even ignored completely. However, this stark and simple description of Jesus’ reaction to the death of his friend Lazarus is a profound symbol of the Christian faith. In fact, it is to my mind the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.

These two words convey the compelling consequences of the incarnation – God through Jesus is not just with us in the sense of being present, God is actually fully immersed in human experience in a way that is as intimate and immediate as our own experience. To put it more simply, God doesn’t just suffer with us, in Jesus (and in particular in Jesus on the cross) we believe that God became the full potential of all human suffering.

As Christians we should not be tempted to offer trite or well-worn phrases of comfort for the bereaved families and community of Newtown. We do not believe in a God that simply speaks soothing words in the face of human frailty and devastation. Instead we believe in a God who was “crucified, dead and buried”; a God who was utterly soaked in human suffering. We proclaim the power of a saviour who enters the world as a powerless baby, wept when he finds his friend dead and was terrified by the excruciating execution that awaited him.

Do we have the courage to believe that God was soaked in the cocktail of terror, anger and heartbreak of Newtown on 14 December 2012? Can we risk believing that Jesus wept? And as disconcerting as it may seem at first glance, is our faith in the strange circumstances surrounding a squalid and forgotten stable in Bethlehem the very reason to sing with conviction on Christmas day: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come”?


Anglican Church of Southern Africa Elects 2nd Female Bishop

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa is leading the way in Africa with the recent election of 2 female Bishops. The first to be elected was the Revd Ellinah Wamukoya as Bishop of Swaziland on 18 July. And now the second female Bishop-elect, Canon Margaret Vertue, has just been announced (see statement release below).
Statement on the Election of Canon Margaret Vertue as Bishop of False Bay from the Archbishop of Cape Town, THe Most Reverend Thabo Magoba

‘I am absolutely delighted that the Revd Canon Margaret Vertue has been elected the next Bishop of the Diocese of False Bay’, said Archbishop Thabo Makgoba on hearing the news from the 3 October elective assembly. ‘Margaret was my junior when we were both training for ordination at the College of the Transfiguration – then St Paul’s, and I have worked closely with her on the board of HOPE Africa. She is well known, respected, and liked throughout Southern Africa, and we thank God for this new chapter in her life and ministry, and the life of False Bay Diocese.’ Canon Vertue will replace Bishop Merwyn Castle. The Archbishop learnt the news while attending the Anglicans Ablaze conference in Johannesburg, the largest gathering from across the whole Anglican Church of Southern Africa in living memory.

Canon Vertue is the second woman elected to the episcopate in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. The Revd Ellinah Wamukoya will be the first Anglican woman in Africa to become a bishop, when she is consecrated Bishop of Swaziland on 17 November. The Archbishop of Cape Town said ‘In the last few months, we have had four episcopal elections, electing two women and two men. It seems the Holy Spirit is not finished with us, but is taking us further onwards into this new stage of our Church’s life. We give great thanks to God.’ The Venerable Steve Moreo will succeed Bishop Brian Germond in the Diocese of Johannesburg, and the Revd Steven Letloenyane will follow Bishop Paddy Glover in the Diocese of the Free State. They, and Canon Vertue, will be consecrated in early 2013.

We Need More Crazy Christians 

Every 3 years the governing body of the Episcopal Church in the USA meets for business in what is called General Convention. In this incredible sermon the Bishop of North Carolina address the GC in worship and calls for more "Crazy Christians", Christians that run against the grain of self-preservation and gratification. Christians that are brave enough to transform the world through God's radical and scandalous love.