WHAT KIND OF GOD … AND SO WHAT? (Notes from Knaphill 11)

Julia and I recently went for a lovely walk over Horsell Common, a site of ‘special scientific interest’ near the ancient village of Horsell, on the edge of Woking. It includes a number of Bronze Age barrows and protected heath-land. The common has thousands of trees and a large amount of wildlife. In the south-east […]


It was the first of our ecumenical Lent Group meetings last week. We held it on neutral territory in the Vyne Community Centre in Knaphill in the largest of their meeting rooms. There were 23 of us there: 10 Roman Catholics, eight Baptists, two Methodists, two Anglicans, and one chap from the community with no […]

PRIDE & PREJUDICE (Lent 1, 2018)

One of my favourite novels is Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.  First published in 1813 it is a romantic novel that charts the emotional development of Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in […]


In his Christmas Broadcast in 1939 George VI, quoted some words by (at the time) an unknown poet, that struck a chord with a country facing an uncertain future: ‘And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” […]

THE GOD OF GRACE (Advent 4, 2017)

The best known Christian hymn/song today – at least here in the UK – is ‘Amazing Grace’. Sung by Christians and non-Christians alike, it was written by John Newton (1725-1807), a former slave trader and clergyman, as a personal testimony to how God, by grace (God’s love and favour bestowed upon undeserving sinners like us […]

THE GOD WHO DISTURBS (Advent 3, 2017)

So, there I was, preaching in a local Methodist Church one Sunday morning, giving it my all, when suddenly this lady in the congregation jumps up and starts shouting at me! Well … that woke some of them up, I can tell you! ‘I am a Christian’ she said, ‘but I still feel so sinful. […]

THE GOD WHO SPEAKS (Advent 2, 2017)

Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) was possibly the greatest person in the Church between New Testament times and the Reformation. The story of his conversion is both extraordinary and wonderful. Augustine was, by any standards, a remarkable man. He was a university professor, possessed a brilliant mind, was a profound philosopher … yet at the […]