Thought for the Day

A one-minute read to inspire or challenge. Written by members of the church and updated every few days.

22nd May 2024

I am currently reading the biography of a 20th century prime minister. In the first chapter the biographer writes about one of the future prime minister’s schoolmasters who had a profound influence on him, as he himself acknowledged. This school master also happened to be a great friend of my father. Sadly he didn’t live to see his pupil lead a successful career, as he was killed in a tragic accident soon after the pupil left school.

I recently read in a newspaper the obituary of a man whose father had been a Baptist minister. I had had contact with this minister twice – the first time when he was the chaplain on the RAF station where I did my “square-bashing”, the second time, years later, soon after he retired and happened to be in the congregation when I was conducting a service. Shortly afterwards he told me that something I had said in my sermon that day had helped him make an important decision about how he would spend his retirement. That was a very humbling experience.

These two stories remind us that we can often have more influence on other people’s lives than we may realise at the time. They remind us too that we should be grateful to those who have helped and influenced each of us, and give thanks to God for them.

David T Roberts

17th May 2024

BABEL AND PENTECOST One of the mysterious but powerful figures in the early chapters of Genesis is Nimrod, great grandson of Noah [Genesis 10, 8-12], perhaps more familiar to us through Elgar’s stirring music from the Enigma Variations than from scripture. Described as ‘mighty upon the earth‘ [1 Chronicles 1, 10], Nimrod’s name in Hebrew […]

15th May 2024

Finding God in the Small Things I love this time of year. As I write the sun is shining and it makes me feel good. Some of my favourite wildflowers come out in spring. Near where I used to live there is a field that is covered in Cowslips in the spring. And a short […]

8th May 2024

It is now five months since the coffee shop relaunched as a Renew Wellbeing café. We have done this following the work of the Renew Wellbeing charity run by Ruth Rice, a Baptist minister based in Nottingham. One important part of the philosophy underpinning the work of the charity is that it is not something […]

3rd May 2024

It will be 20 years tomorrow, 4th May, that I moved into my flat. In a short while it will become the place where I’ve lived longer than any other in my life. It’s my haven; it’s quiet and cosy; somewhere I can relax completely; where I can read, study and write without interruption; and […]

1st May 2024

Have you watched “Saving Lives at Sea”? Stories of RNLI rescues round the coast of Britain, many very moving. Why do people volunteer for this (and mountain and cave rescue)? Not just for the adrenaline rush, but to feel they have helped people in danger. But they also cope with the down-side. The commonest call-out […]

26th April 2024

The preacher at my ordination service was my College Principal, Revd Dr Barrie White. In a section of his sermon aimed specifically at me, he warned that ministry wouldn’t always be easy. There’d be times when I might feel completely out of my depth, worn out by the responsibility, empty of anything useful to give […]

24th April 2024

This week I received emails suggesting a response to “Earth Day” – I should book train tickets to limit my carbon footprint, or a holiday to go walking in nature! Consume more to help the planet … hmmm? I prefer Sam’s Sunday sermon challenge to us, to get out and look around us at the […]

19th April 2024

Margaret and I recently found ourselves in Little Gidding, a tiny village deep in the Cambridgeshire countryside. It’s where in 1629 Nicholas Ferrar, a high church Anglican layman, founded a small religious community for prayer and meditation. Today Little Gidding owes much of its reputation to the poet T. S. Eliot who visited there in […]

17th April 2024

Peter Higgs, professor of physics at the University of Edinburgh, died this last week. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 for the discovery of a fundamental particle whose existence he had predicted fifty years earlier. I met Peter when I was a physics student at Edinburgh in the 1990s. He taught me […]

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