Paxtonvic’s Blog

Just another weblog


Mike did it – he was offered the job he applied for – and if all goes to plan, he and Lottie will move to St Neots this summer.  It was the new outfit that did it…..!!

Im a proud old mummee tonight!

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A very special place

An early morning to St John’s Hospice near Sandy – and some lovely sunshine and snowdrops:

It is very  quiet and gentle place inside where people are lovingly cared for with much dignity and respect. I was reminded on my visit of a prayer I found at Hinchinbrooke Hospital Chapel:

” Help us, O Lord, to live one day at a time.

Let your grace be sufficient for today.

Let me not be anxious about tomorrow.

Let me rest in the arms of your love in time and eternity,blest by your goodness, now and forever.


Beyond the fencing in the gardens lies a wonderful landscape… life, we just cant see what lies beyond this world – but its got to be good!

At the very least, it is full of love – and over the fence this morning I saw some mistletoe that had grafted itself onto a tree branch- I wonder how many have kissed under that??

May God Blessd all the people this night at St Johns – patients and all the care staff.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

signs of the times

Daily mail....

By Claire Cohen

From the life-affirming to the admonitory to the downright hilarious – these are very modern signs of faith.

They are the idea of Reverend Paul Sinclair who has entertained parishioners and passers-by at his church in Willesden Green, North London, with the attention-grabbing messages.

‘I got the idea from a fellow pastor in Carlisle,’ says Paul, ‘but was determined to go bigger and better.’

Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays

Epistles from (Rev) Paul: Above and below are some of the creative signs put up at the church in north London

Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
Now Open Sundays
  • Paul SinclairVicar… and funnyman: The Reverend Paul Sinclair

  • The 6ft-high slogans are testament to the pastor’s sense of humour and desire to raise the spirits of his fellow man. Many of them were thought up by Paul but, as their fame spread, people began to send him suggestions.And, attracted by the witticisms, his congregation of just 12 people multiplied to more than 100.Paul admits that his favourite sign was thought up by a member of his church – ‘Love Is Grand, Divorce Is Twenty Grand’.’It really made me laugh, but it’s also topical, which is crucial when trying to connect with people,’ he says.When the Mail published a selection of the signs last year they sparked an internet craze, leading Paul to publish a book of the funniest, Now Open Sundays!
  • Extracted from Now Open Sundays! A Celebration Of Faith From A Church With A Message, by Rev. Paul Sinclair, published by Portico on March 1 at £7.99. © 2010, Rev. Paul Sinclair. To order a copy (p&p free), call 0845 155 0720

Read more:–wacky-vicar-The-witty-church-hoardings-recruiting-worshippers-sense-humour.html#ixzz0gdKzW0Fm

February 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Maths Bridge

I didnt know there was a Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge – but here it is:

A snow-covered Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge, 8th February 2007. Taken by Ian Mitchell found on:

I never could do Maths as a kid – and still cant. But Michael my son can – and I wish him well with a job interview on Friday for a Maths teaching post. I hope it all adds up……

February 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Freezing cold

More snow this afternoon and it decided to drop like snowflakes on Diddington as a little group of us went exploring the grounds of the old hall looking form a suitable plot for the cricket match in June. The decision has been made to drop the ” Squires  XI v Vicar’s XI” title from the occasion. Truth is, we dont live in Lark Rise and we have moved on from a feudal society by and large! The gracious family who own the Diddington Estate, the Thornhills, are very supportive of promoting village events, not least this cricket match, but despite this goodwill and sense of fun, Im still going to play to win!

I had enough of the cold and did absent myself from the tour of the old grounds and came home – maybe my age but the cold pleases me less and less. How grateful I am for a warm home and food to eat.

Thats how Diddington will be in June!

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

St Matthias

Saint Matthias
There are two days which traditionally have been set aside to honour Matthias- in the Book of Common Prayer  it was Feb 24th though in the Common Worship  lectionary  and in  the RC church lectionary it is  May 14th .

The name Matthias derives from a Hebrew name: Mattithiah, signifying “gift of Yahweh.”

This saint often gets overlooked, so I thought we would remember him today. And the question to ask about him is: how did he qualify to be an apostle?

The first act of the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus was to find a replacement for Judas. With all the questions, doubts, and dangers facing them, they chose to focus their attention on finding a twelfth apostle. Why was this important? Twelve was a very important number to the Chosen People: twelve was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. If the new Israel was to come from the disciples of Jesus, a twelfth apostle was needed.

But Jesus had chosen the original twelve. How could they know whom he would choose?

According to Acts 1, 120 were gathered for prayer and reflection in the upper room, when Peter stood up to propose the way to make the choice.

Peter had one criterion, that, like Andrew, James, John, and himself, the new apostle be someone who had been a disciple from the very beginning, from his baptism by John until the Ascension. The reason for this was simple, the new apostle must be a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. He must have followed Jesus before anyone knew him, stayed with him when he made enemies, and believed in him when he spoke of the cross.

Two men fitted  this description — Matthias and Joseph called Barsabbas. They knew that both these men had been with them and with Jesus through his whole ministry. But which one had the heart to become a witness to his resurrection.  They cast lots in order to discover God’s will and Matthias was chosen. He was the twelfth apostle and the group was whole again as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

That’s the first we hear of Matthias in Scripture, and the last. Legends like the Acts of Andrew and Matthias refer to Matthias’ enthusiastic embrace of all that being an apostle meant including evangelization, persecution, and death in the service of the Lord.

Clement of Alexandria says that Matthias, like all the other apostles, was not chosen by Jesus for what he already was, but for what Jesus foresaw he would become. He was elected not because he was worthy but because he would become worthy.

Maybe there is some truth here – that Jesus chooses all of us in the same way –not for what we are but for what we may become by his grace. Amen

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


So it starts off this morning all snowy and cold in these parts not least in Diddington churchyard where the snowdrops were mostly hidden by the white fluffy stuff. But there is a quietness which takes over the world covered  in snow and slows us down – though most of us are too fed up with the wintriness that we moan and wish it would all go away……

Tomorrow is a meeting in the grounds of the old hall at Diddington about the Squire’s XI v The Vicar’s XI cricket match being held this summer.

Last year the Vicar bowled out at least one member of the gentry (overarm) and intends to do so again.  The one that doesnt do well at this event is the poor old pig that gets roasted for the hogroast lunch.

For my oversees readers – all this still happens ina quiet corner of England – though to be sure 130 years ago the Vicar would not  have been a woman!

February 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Deanery Evensong

Throw back to an age fast slipping away

through a drafty broken leaded window

The single manual organ pulling voices willingly

through long victorian hymns

A learned man, a lover of Old Testament verse

creates a journey  with a prophet man

with a voice still heard in the pleas of the desperate today.

A rare time – a cold, cold church on an evensong evening

well into February with a faithful crowd come to hear  the Word

speak to them today.

In the shadow of the hours

when it was  duty to sit on long hard pews

to ensure salvation of the soul.

Would this still be holding out in fifty years?

Will the single manual still play a tune of love?

or will these vestiges of a faith, sore pressed

have slipped away for good

as the antique bars of the electric fire

gave up in the cold.

St James, Waresley.

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poor Cow

Its all a bit much – blaming the poor old cow for some of our global warming problems – they do tend to emit quite a lot of methane which we are told isnt good for our planet. Great lengths are being gone to to measure quite how much methane cows are emitting…… good job this test isnt  applied to humans!

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lent 1 – A sermon on the tempations of Jesus

Nothing like being a bit ahead of myself….. here is an offering for Sunday based on the readings for Lent 1:

Deuteronomy Chapter 26 v 1 – 11;Romans Chapter 10 v 8b;Luke Chapter 4 v 1 – 13.

Sermon on the temptations – Luke 4 v 1-13.

Most of you will at least have heard of  The Lord of The Rings maybe read the book or seen the 2001 film.   It is an epic high fantasy novel, written by the English academic J.R Tolkein and the story began as a sequel to Tolkein’s earlier  fantasy The Hobbit.  First published in 1954, it was written in stages between 1937 and 1949 much of it being created during the 2WW.

The action is set on our earth, inhabited by humanity, but placed in a fictional past – he calls the setting Middle-earth – derived from OE  Middangeard.

Here, in middle earth we find  Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, wizards and Orcs – and men.

The story centres on the Ring of Power made by the Dark Lord Sauron.  Dark Lord Sauron, an archetype of evil, filled this ring with his own power so that he could rule all others.

But  the Dark Lord  loses this ring Ring  and although he sought it throughout Middle earth, it remained lost.  By chance, after many ages, it comes into the hands of a hobbit called Bilbo who lives in a place called the Shire – a place of complete innocence. When Bilbo was old, he bequeathed it to his nephew Frodo. It is then up to Frodo and his ragtag band of heroes to carry the ring to Mount Doom, Modor,  the evil place of its birth and cast it into the eternal fire that forged it, known as the Cracks of Doom.

On the road they are tested – they are beset by great dangers and adversities – but the Fellowship of the Ring – as they are called- discover amongst themselves great wisdom, courage and strength as they face their greatest fears. They discover themselves on this journey, they grow together and as individuals – and then, only then, are they ready to defeat the evil powers of The Dark Lord, that have gathered to take over the world.

You don’t need a theology degree to make the many links between Tolkeins fantasy

novel and  themes of biblical Christianity.  The powerful theme of the battle

between good and evil resonates in this mornings reading of Jesus’ temptations.

Two things before we look at that.

This story we could say is the most sacred of stories for it must have come from

Jesus’ lips only. No other disciples were present – so at some time he must have shared the  experience with them.

Secondly, the epic story of the characters who made up the Fellowship follows a

pattern we see in many spiritual journeys. The people of Israel who travelled through

the wilderness for 40 years  faced many trials before coming into the promised land.

They too found wisdom, loyalty, courage and strength, they discovered their identity  as God’s chosen people. Some cultures even have a testing period as part of coming of age when young people of the tribe move from childhood to adulthood.

Often they find their true selves as they face adversity in dangerous places such as the forest, desert or wilderness.

Our gospel reading gives us the story of Jesus – led by the Spirit into the desert for 40 days-  to face huge spiritual, psychological  and physical temptations and trials.

It follows on  straight after his baptism where God declares his Sonship “ You are My Son, whom I Love”

The trials that follow repeatedly challenge his loyalty and obedience to God’s will and purposes.

The scene is the wilderness, in Hebrew the word means devastation. A vast stretch of land between Judea and the Dead Sea. With alternating extremes of

temperature by night and day, the place of Jesus’ temptations was desolate.

Although we are given three specific temptations offered by the devil, we are told Jesus was there for 40 days and 40 nights –  and for the whole of this period we can

assume Jesus was wrestling with the question of how to win souls according to God’s will and not according to the powers of evil.

Firstly, though, as the story reads, Jesus was tempted to think he could prove his identity as the Son of God by showing he was a miracle worker.

“ If you are The Sonof God – tell this  stone to become bread” . Jesus refuses – he quotes scripture to him:

“It is written  man does not live by bread alone “  In other words, the proof of his Sonship  is not the demonstration of his  miraculous power – which he most certainly had – but his faithful trust in God’s will and purposes for him.

The devil is clever. He picks up on Jesus’ line and invites him to demonstrate his trust in God by throwing himself off the pinnacle of the Temple.  Note here I am taking the order as in Matthews Gospel and not in the Lucan version. Go in for some sensational leaping and even quotes the scriptures to Jesus – psalm 91.  “ He will command his angels concerning you – to guard you carefully “ . Jesus refused the devil’s bait – he shows in his reply that he waits on God, he does not test his  Father. He and his father are one and the trust is unshakeable.

We have a third plea from the devil. He offers power, position and privilege – all at one price! Jesus must turn from the God who calls him  and turn to the devil who seems to offer him all the kingdoms of the world. The truth of Jesus’ Sonship shines through in his magisterial dismissal of Satan – Begone!”

He adds another quotation from scripture so that the devil doesn’t have the last word – “Do not put your Lord to the test” – Deutoronomy 6.  He, Jesus, is the rightful interpreter of texts, not the devil.

He departs from him – until an opportune time. This was not the end of Jesus’ temptations.

Telling the story in a measured way does not convey the agony and sheer physical discomfort that Jesus must have been experiencing.  The temptation to abuse his Sonship  take an easy route,  sell  his soul to the devil, must have been relentless for those 40 days.  But Sonship meant faithful obedience to God and in all 3 gospel  accounts of the temptations, we see Jesus  remaining utterly obedient to God’s will. In this state of utter obedience to God’s purposes, Jesus returns to civilization and to the commencement of his public ministry.

There can be few of us who haven’t had to face trials and temptations  as we search for the answers to life’s most perplexing questions and have to face the hardest of challenges. The temptation to at least question God’s existence when faced with suffering, can be very great.

Looking at what our own particular temptations may be is a very personal and private matter, although the church has an ancient tradition of  giving opportunities for the confession   of sin whether corporately or individually.

Maybe in the Anglican tradition there isn’t  a great emphasis  put on confession and the prayer of penitence at the beginning of the service can roll off  our tongues a bit too easily.  The priestly sacrament of absolution in a individual setting is always one which I would be pleased to offer in absolute confidence.

This Lent perhaps we could find for ourselves time to make our own retreat – not looking for  epic times of testing  such as Jesus encountered, but opportunities in silence to offer our hearts and minds to God, to explore what obedience to his will may mean for us.

Simple way is focus on Galatians 5 – The Fruits of The Spirit. Find a quiet place and time ( very hard for many of you) take each fruit – love, joy, peace etc each day – breathe them in, concentrate on them, feel what they mean for you  for some minutes then  breath out their opposite – hate, sadness, fear – let God speak to you in the silence. Let go of anything that bothers your spirit, allow his presence to cleanse and heal you. These can be our own deserts of growing closer to God this Lent,  learning what obedience to Him means, making us stronger for whatever may lie ahead.  Amen.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment