Trinity: "Muscle Memory"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

I remember watching one of the events around the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. Prince Charles was introducing the Queen on stage in one of the events on the lawn behind Buckingham palace. He started well ‘Your Majesty’, but then followed up with ‘Mummy.’ The Duke of Edinburgh could be seen mouthing the words ‘What did he say?’ and the Queen herself - well her eyes opened that minute amount only a practiced monarch attempting never to show any sign of shock can. Charles’ familial reference to Her Majesty jars against the weight of tradition and authority of the Monarchy, but it’s become a tradition in itself as he repeated at the Diamond jubilee. It’s just another tradition among the thousands new and old which shape the role of the Queen in our politics and our lives.

Trinity: "Kingdom of God, 'ideal' society and the EU"

The Reverend Antonio García Fuerte

This week, I came across an interesting recent survey about faith groups in Britain. Believers of various faiths (Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Hindus, Sikh and other faiths), were asked if they though the coronation of the next monarch should be: (a) a secular ceremony, (b) a christian ceremony (as it has traditionally been), or (c) a multi faith ceremony. Around 75% of people in each individual faith group responded that they would prefer it to remain a Christian ceremony and not to become secular or multi faith.

Easter: "FanFic"

The Rev'd Robin Sims-Williams

What do the works of Shakespeare, Doctor Who, Star Wars and the Radio 4 comedy Cabin Pressure all have in common?

They all have inspired fans to write, perform and record their own stories… that’s right, they all have FanFic, or Fan fiction

In a way Shakespeare’s FanFic is the most mainstream as it’s lead to films like Shakespeare in Love or plays like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

Ash Wednesday: "Go and Sin Not"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

Perhaps it’s because I’m an engineer at heart, but I like to plan things out and write them down. That’s the way I write essays - a detailed structure that I can then just fill in the bits in between. It’s also the way I write sermons. I can cope with the unexpected but after an argument I find myself constantly dwelling on what I wish I’d said.

Epiphany: "Letting go"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

Stepping back and letting go isn’t easy. I used to work with suppliers who were experts at making the bits which made up the aircraft system I was responsible for. When we needed them to make something new or to deal with an environment they hadn’t come across before, it was very difficult to step back and give them the space to use their expertise, their skills and their creativity to solve the problem.

Christmas: "A Fixer-Upper"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

Presents are bought, wrapped and under the tree, stockings are hung, biscuits baked, many, many mince pies consumed, fizz is chilled or maybe it’s already drunk, and the roast is ready for cooking tomorrow. At last, the night everybody’s been waiting for, when the bearded man in red comes to visit. Don’t worry - Jeremy Corbyn isn't here.

Advent: "Judgement and Appeals"

The Revd Margaret Legg

Where do you stand on the ‘Shall we bomb Syria debate?’ Should we, or shouldn’t we? Or: Is Paralympian Pistorius a murderer or not? On Thursday, the South African Supreme Court changed his sentence, on appeal, from ‘culpable homicide’ to murder. The view of the court was that when Pistorius shot 4 bullets through the locked toilet door, he shot to kill, he did kill and that is murder.

Advent: "The Other Day in a City Not So Far Away..."

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

It’s already started, the excitement has been growing for nearly the whole year. Toys are being bought, decorations are going up, the most embarrassing outfits chosen. The anticipation is guaranteed to grow to fever pitch. Looking forward to the retelling of a story of Good triumphing over Evil. There will be parties in the streets, shops will be overwhelmed by demand and for a fortnight there will be almost nothing else talked about.

Remembrance Sunday: "Responding to the Call of Duty"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

A couple of weeks ago at the Halloween workshop, dressed in a costume which Margaret described as a cross between Gandalf and Darth Vader, I gathered the 100 kids together to tell them a scary story. Inspired by the story of Elijah searching for God’s voice in Earthquake and storm and fire; the loud tragic events of his day and age. Eventually, and to his surprise, God’s voice comes to him in the gentle blowing of wind in the entrance of a cave.

All Saints: "Squirrelling Away Nuts"

The Revd Margaret Legg

All Hallow's Eve, All Saints, All Souls - It's not surprising that of the 3 days, the only one that makes its way out of the church and into public consciousness is All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. Retail sales related to Halloween have risen from £12 million in 2001 to well over £300m 2013. It’s now the UK’s third highest selling festival. All our energy goes into the one that is expressing our deepest fears; the frightening and unsettling aspects of death.

Trinity: "Defining Ourselves"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

On Friday we had our Biennial Dog Collar Safari Supper, starting at the music-director’s and taking in each of mine, Steve and Antonio’s homes as we each serve a different course. But we forgot that they needed to complete a scorecard for the course competition, so we could classify the course with the best food, the most effort, the host with the greatest pizzazz and who told the most embarrassing joke.

Horseman's Sunday I: "Favouring the Underdog"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

Over the last couple of weeks, in preparation for today, when the playgroups that meet here at St John’s during the week have sung that old favourite, Old MacDonald, they’ve been including the verse where Old MacDonald had a horse, that is when the horse isn’t voted out for a dinosaur. To my surprise, when an explanation was offered, ‘after all we are the horse church’ it was met by some with surprise

Horseman's Sunday II: "The Gold Rush"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

Last time I was on a horse the scene couldn’t have been more different than what I see here today. I was in the Yukon, in North West Canada, on a trail into the Klondike. Home, along with Alaska, of the gold rush of the late 19th Century. It was a wide barren land, with mountains round about. Certainly there wasn’t a Cake stall or a Tombola. Looking around I could imagine something of what life might have been like for the prospectors heading North in search of gold.

Trinity: "Who Do People Say the Queen Is?"

The Revd Margaret Legg

The Queen has made it clear that she does not want to be known/defined by the longevity of her reign. To be the longest reigning monarch in British history is not something to which she has ever aspired. It has come about partly because she happens to be the beneficiary of a long life and partly because of her father’s early and untimely death. It’s not her call, the public will make up its own mind.

Trinity: "Hard of Hearing"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

As a European multi-national company, my former employer benefitted from the best experience, skills and innovation from countries across Europe. But that breadth could also be one of the biggest challenges. People didn’t want to loose face for themselves or for their nationality. People would too often put their national entity over ahead of the company. Making a compromise was extremely difficult. We were lucky to have an expert at enabling decisions to be taken without anybody loosing face. It usually involved a 15 minute break in the middle of a two hour teleconference in which, over a cigarette and a phone call, inevitably conducted in French, such that when the teleconference resumed the issue of the day didn’t need to be discussed any longer, and a brief reference to the agreement which had just been made on the phone would be enough to indicate we could move on.