Archive for September, 2008

Back to Church Sunday ~ Putting out the Welcome Mat!

Sunday, September 28th, 2008


Today we put out the welcome mat for Back to Church Sunday. With churches across the Birmingham Diocese and nationally we made a special effort to invite, welcome and offer hospitality to people who were open to the idea of coming back to church or even coming to church for the first time. At St Francis we welcomed a total of 183 adults and 59 children through our door for our 10 o’clock service. (more…)

New prayer for the current financial situation

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Lord God, we live in disturbing days:
across the world,
prices rise,
debts increase,
banks collapse,
jobs are taken away,
and fragile security is under threat.
Loving God, meet us in our fear and hear our prayer:
be a tower of strength amidst the shifting sands,
and a light in the darkness;
help us receive your gift of peace,
and fix our hearts where true joys are to be found,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This new prayer has been published on the Church of England website and aims to help people caught up in the current difficult financial situation.

The prayer, at, is one of a range of resources available in an online initiative that has received the backing of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. He said: “At this time of international financial turbulence, it is important that the Church should be offering the opportunity for prayer and reflection.”

More prayers for those worried about debt are already available on the Church’s website at

The prayers are available in conjunction with the Matter of Life and Debt website pages at, which have been updated to include a resource called the Debt Spiral, allowing website visitors to work out if they are one of the families at risk of getting into serious debt due to the credit crunch.

They also include common sense advice; a downloadable interactive file for working out a household budget; money-saving tips; helpful case studies; and useful links to organisations that can help those in serious debt.

Celebration of 50 years of Ordination

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Sermon on the 50th Anniversary of Canon Gervase Babington’s Ordination
The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist; 21st September 2008


Anniversary of Ordination Celebration

I would like to begin by saying how happy I am that we are all here today. It is with a real sense of honour and joy that I stand here to preach; it is so good to have so many members of my extended family and so many friends from this community here together; and all to celebrate together with my Dad 50 years of ministry as a priest in the Church of England.
Just in case I was tempted to self-indulgence in my sermon this morning we had those words from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:  verse 5 “For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.” We are celebrating today not 50 years of self-publicity but half a century of faithful ministry in the service of Jesus Christ.
So what I want to do in this sermon is simply direct our collective attention towards the person of Jesus as we see him in the reading we’ve heard from the gospel, the story of the call of Matthew whose feast we celebrate today. (more…)