Come Holy Spirit


Tomorrow I will be gathering with these fine folk whom I will be ordaining and licensing as priests and deacons this weekend. They will then be spending time in retreat with the Revd Professor Jen Strawbridge, who will preach at the ordinations, and with Anna Matthews our Director of Ordinands. I will celebrate the Communion with them and give them my Charge. Please pray for them and their families, for Jen, for Anna and for myself as we share this journey together.

To serve as Priests – Saturday 1 July 2017, 5pm

    Alex Shannon
    Ann Böl
    Beth Cope
    Kieran Douglass
    Chris Henderson
    Gina Radford
    Gregory Lipovsky (licensing)
    Jackie Riglin
    Nicola Bown
    Rachel Hilditch
    Stuart Browning

To serve as Deacons – Sunday 2 July 2017, 10.30am

    Becky Dyball
    David Karoon
    Diana Johnson
    Kathryn Waite
    Mike Bigg
    Zack Guiliano

You will find some short biographies of the candidates here:

Petertide Ordination of Priests Biographies

Petertide Ordination of Deacons Biographies

Image: Lawrence OP

The Cambridgeshire Committee for Scandalous Ministers

Cambridgeshire Records Society are holding the launch this Wednesday evening of their latest publication, The Cambridgeshire Committee for Scandalous Ministers 1644-45.   It deals with the removal during those years of parish priests for views and practices contrary to those required by the Parliament of the time.  The volume will be launched at the Society’s annual meeting on Wednesday next 28th June, and the editor Graham Hart has kindly agreed to give a brief talk about it. The meeting is to be held in the Prioress’s Room at Jesus College Cambridge at 5pm, and all are welcome.

Amnesty Ely: Jazz at the Palace and Short Story Competition

Jazz poster 2017 final

This year’s Jazz Afternoon is on 16th July, and will once again feature James Pearson and Trio and the “classy” Polly Gibbons (see:


The Amnesty International Ely City Group is running its fourth short story competition in memory of one of its founder members, Gareth Davies-Jones, who taught for many years at Witchford Village College.

The competition is for unpublished fictional short stories of up to 1,500 words on the theme of “Courage” and can be set in any place or time. The competition is open to anyone in the UK aged over 16. Judging will be by local crime writer Alison Bruce, author of the much-praised series featuring Cambridge’s own DC Gary Goodhew.

The author of the best short story will receive £50 and a hardback signed 1st edition of Alison Bruce’s latest novel Cambridge Black. The runner-up will receive a copy of the Amnesty Group’s award-winning illustrated recipe book. The closing date is 21st September 2017 (International Day of Peace).

There is an entry fee per story of £3 (16-18 year-olds), and £5 for over 18s. All proceeds will go towards Amnesty’s human rights campaigns. Full details are available on

and any queries may be sent to:

If you’ve not read the two winning entries from last year do have a look, as they are both very moving:

Sermon for Suffolk Historic Churches Trust: watch out if you drop off during it!

Genesis 32:22-32: Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day is breaking.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me.’ 27 So he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ 28 Then the man said, ‘You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.’ 29 Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.’ 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Peniel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.

Watch out if you drop off during this sermon. Jacob dropped off twice – once at Bethel and again at Peniel. And twice he came up against God, despite being the notorious twister that he was.

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Generosity–and new ways to be generous!

St Mark’s Church in Milton Keynes handed the keys to a house to a Syrian refugee family last week after a fundraising campaign to furnish their new home with everything from toothbrushes to a fridge freezer. In a blog written before the fundraising was completed, Rev Paul Oxley describes how the church ‘crowdsourced’ items through an online ‘wish list’ as well as raising money through coffee mornings and collections.

Further coverage of a trial of “tap and go” contactless payment system for weekly offerings in Church of England parishes. Articles report that, from this summer, around 40 churches will be equipped with handheld terminals to process card payments – up to the value of £30 – with a view to offering the system to every diocese next year.

Tis the season to be jolly

2017-06-22 18.28.062017-06-23 19.55.45

The big marquee is in full swing at Bishop’s House: nine receptions attended and three to go, I think. And what a great way of meeting some great people. Pictured above are the “chain gang” as we said thank you to those holding council office, Deputy Lieutenants, charity chiefs and the like; and then on the right the Mothers’ Union is having a ball of time with bucketsful of strawberries. There’s a strong overlap between church and civic circles of course since at their best our churches are just the places where we grow and learn together and find the strength and motivation to work together “with those of all faiths and none” for the common good. And just now, with extremists once again seeking to disrupt our society, it is time once again to heed Edmund Burke’s reminder that all that is needed for those dangerous voices to prevail is for good men (and women) to do nothing. But for every deed of darkness a hundred acts of charity follow – and Love Wins.