Sermons and Talks

Sermon from Canterbury Priestly Ordination Service, 1st July 2018

Drive out of New Orleans first thing on a Sunday morning after the town’s had a frisky night, and you learn that depravity isn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds. Suzy and I, three children on the back seat, passed through the French Quarter, getting an early start home after a day in the Bayou among more mosquitoes than I had skin to feed. Now the dawn light curdled on the streets in a bilious yellow. A young guy in pink trousers and a torn shirt sorted a stack of dollar bills, flattening them…

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Sermon from Induction Weekend, 25th September 2016

About forty-four miles east of Dallas is a town called Blank. I spent a night there once. A random, wretched, shabby huddle, dumped by the highway: gas station, general store, Dairy Queen, a few abandoned cars, empty skips, and the Blank motel. The sort of ugliness it takes years to create. I imagine that if you live in Blank, you need an alibi. “Where do I come from? Oh, Dallas, well, near Dallas, anyway.” Perhaps the people of Blank wonder how they got there, perhaps they sit over undercooked hash browns and bitter coffee, tracing back their lives to the fatal moment, after which Blank was inevitable. The sad girl in the Dairy Queen pats your arm. She thinks, “poor sap. Another lost soul” but she says, “have a nice day.” And it sounds like a curse… .

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