Evelyn Waugh

Easter: "A Fruity Bouquet With Hints of Lemon Zest"

The Revd Margaret Legg

Has it ever struck you as rather odd that at the very centre of our Christian religion is the drinking of an intoxicant? If we participate in the sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive bread and wine – wine, the fruit of the vine.

Wine started out in ancient civilisations as the means to orgiastic feasts and bacchanalian festivals: an intoxicant that stirred communities into ecstatic behaviour. Gradually, under the discipline of ritual, prayer and theology wine was tamed to become first a solemn libation to the Olympians and then the Christian Eucharist, offering a brief encounter with the sacred which has reconciliation as its goal. Wine: a drink just strong enough to cause you to smile at the world and the world to smile at you.

Ascension: "Batman Is Gone Up With a Triumphant Shout!"

The Revd Brutus Green

Some years ago I was pounding along on a running machine in a gym in Exeter. The machine was quite unfortunately lined up, though, and only half looked on to a mirrored wall which continued off to my right. I have a slightly obsessive need for order and really hate things not to be lined up. This was nothing to do with vanity.

Epiphany: "The Miracle of Wine!"

Humans, in general, like to present well. We invest in expensive personal grooming, wear bright colours and finely cut garments, go on diets and to gyms after Christmas excesses. On meeting people we often try to be funny, or clever, or sophisticated, or generous, or some George Clooney-like combination. We might not be good at it but we attempt to give other people the impression that we are someone they should look up to, or at least across at. But why is this? Vanity? Insecurity? Some personal “dress for success” motto?