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GOD OF SURPRISES (Views from the Abbey 28)

A taxi driver felt a tap on his shoulder, lost control of his cab and went careering across the road, narrowly missing a mother with a baby in a pram, just avoiding a lamppost, and just managing to stop before crashing into the plate glass window of a shop! He apologised profusely to his passenger. […]

A FRUITFUL LIFE (Views from the Abbey 27)

In July 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon. Buzz Aldrin marked the occasion by taking Communion and he read from John 15:5 ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from […]

A FRUITFUL VINE (New Year 2022)

Today is our Motto Text and Covenant Sunday here at Abbey. A Motto Text is meant to be some kind of inspirational text to carry/encourage us through the coming year. The dictionary defines a ‘motto’ as ‘a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals of an individual, family, or institution e.g. […]

PLEASE GOD, LET ME LIVE AGAIN! (Christmas 2021)

Do you have a favourite Christmas film? It may be a version of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol (with Alastair Sim as Scrooge, of course), or Irvin Berlin’s White Christmas (starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, or The Sound of Music (which is not strictly speaking a Christmas film but is on TV every Christmas nevertheless), […]

WHAT’S ALL THIS GRACE BUSINESS? (Fourth Sunday in Advent 2021)

A few years ago Julia and I took part in the BBC programme Cash in the Attic. Very popular at the time, the programme purported to find various antiques hidden away in people’s homes which could be then sold at auction and raise money that the participants could then spend on holidays or hobbies or […]

WAKEY! WAKEY! (Third Sunday in Advent 2021)

A Pastor in a certain Baptist Church I know of, was greatly annoyed by one of his elderly members who fell asleep during his sermons every Sunday. After the service one day, the Pastor said to the old man’s grandson (who always sat with his grandfather), ‘If you can keep the old man awake, I’ll […]

HELLO! CAN YOU HEAR ME? (Second Sunday in Advent 2021)

Although she doesn’t know it yet, Julia recently gave me Adele 30 (the latest album by Adele Adkins, one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with sales of over 120 million records) as either a late birthday present, or early Christmas present. She knows that I like Adele’s music (I have all her previous albums). […]

CHRISTMAS PUZZLE (First Sunday in Advent 2021)

Like many of you we will be getting together with members of our family over Christmas. It is always good to meet up in this way, especially if you are not in the habit of meeting regularly during the course of the year. But if you are together for any length of time – let’s […]

MAPPING THE JOURNEY (Views from the Abbey 26)

During the recent ‘deep clean’ of our church buildings at Abbey Baptist Church, Reading – a great opportunity to also ‘de-junk’ the various cluttered storerooms, nooks and crannies, cupboards and corners – we came across an old Route Planning Map from 1972. We love old maps. They are so colourful and informative – the ‘A’ […]

THIS IS MY BODY … BROKEN FOR YOU (Views from the Abbey 25)

Tuesday evening at Spurgeon’s College back in the 1960s was Devotional Evening when the entire college community would gather in the College Chapel for corporate worship and to listen to God’s Word together, and once a month to share Communion. One such evening we had a somewhat elderly retired Baptist Minister – prominent in his […]