ADVENT is the first season of the Christian year covering the four Sundays before Christmas (Advent Sunday is usually the last Sunday of November); it can vary in length from three to four weeks. As a time of preparation for Christmas, it is a penitential season, and it used to be common for a series of sermons to be preached on The Four Last Things: death, judgement, hell and heaven, but this has fallen out of fashion. Although I think that reflecting on our ultimate destiny is important, I have tended to speak about hope in Advent, and the two sets of addresses below, in different ways, reflect on this theme.

The Closeness of God’s Coming – a set of three meditations before the Icon of the Mother of God of Tenderness. They reflect on the Mother, the Child, and the Relationship between them.
‘An icon is a glimpse into heaven. It is painted out of prayer; it is made to be venerated. Like any work of art is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. …’ [Read now]

All My Hope – a series of four talks inspired by Robert Bridges’ hymn, All my hope on God is founded; the titles are: 1. All my hope on God?  2. All my life for God?  3. All my love from God?  4. All my God in Christ?
‘To be human is to hope. St Paul believed that hope was one of the things that last for ever, and echoing him, Alexander Pope said that hope springs eternal in the human breast. But what is hope? … [Read now]