James Langstaff

A Bishop Reflects

A future with hope – A Prisons Week sermon

Sermon preached at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 15th October 2017  (Prisons Week) Jeremiah 29.11-14; Romans 8.31-39; Matthew 7.7-11  “A future with hope” is held out as part of the Lord’s plan for his people, “welfare and not harm”.  Words from Jeremiah 29 which follow on from where God speaks through the prophet to his people experiencing the imprisonment of exile – not incarceration in quite the same way as being held in custody,.. Read More

Called Together: Grow, Enrich, Resource

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS at DIOCESAN SYNOD Saturday 14th October, 2017 Isaiah 42. When I addressed Synod in June, I was able to bring members up-to-date about the strands of emphasis in ministry and mission which were emerging from our engagement with our parishes, chaplaincies and wider communities in the first part of this year.  As I put it then, this was part of our seeking of God’s wisdom as to the shape and expression.. Read More

The Measure of Grace

A sermon preached by Archbishop Urmas Viilma of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Service of Confirmation at St. Luke’s Church Seven Oaks, Rochester Diocese, England Matthew 20:1-16 I am very thankful for this opportunity to participate and preach at this service of confirmation. I have hosted guests from the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop James on several occasions, however, for my wife and myself this is the first time in England on a.. Read More

Clothe yourself with Christ

Sermon preached at Rochester Cathedral 20th May 2017 (The feast of Alcuin of York) at the Licensing of LLMs Isaiah 61.10-62.3; Colossians 3.12-16  If occasionally you still write with a pen or pencil, most of you will use what at school we used to call ‘joined-up writing’.  If you do that, you can probably thank Alcuin of York who, as a teacher and trainer of teachers, is said to have invented what we.. Read More

New Archdeacon of Tonbridge

I am very pleased to announce that I have invited The Revd Canon Julie Conalty to be the next Archdeacon of Tonbridge.  Julie is at present Vicar of Christ Church Erith and Area Dean of Erith.  She is also my Adviser for the Ministry of Ordained Women and is one of our diocesan representatives on General Synod.  Her new appointment was announced in her parish yesterday. In discerning God’s calling for Julie’s appointment.. Read More

Chrism Eucharist – God’s gifts of forgiveness, healing and peace

Rochester Cathedral – Chrism Eucharist 13th April 2017 – Maundy Thursday 1 Samuel 3.1-10; Revelation 1.5b-8; Luke 7.36-50  Characteristically, Luke’s account of the anointing of Jesus gives us a woman who is manifestly on the outside.  This is not Mary of Bethany as in John, nor is it the nameless woman of Matthew and Mark.  This is ‘a woman in the city, who is a sinner’ – and she enters the story of.. Read More

Address to Rochester’s Diocesan Synod (18th March 2017)

I am somewhat reluctant to trespass upon the time and attention of this Synod to talk about internal Church of England concerns, when I would rather be talking about our missionary presence in and engagement with the world around us.  But of course the two are not unconnected, because what might be seen as internal church concerns (and indeed disputes) have a bearing on our capacity to engage in the mission into which.. Read More

The Bishop of Burnley and the Diocese of Sheffield

Bishop Philip North was one of the clergy in my area when I was Bishop of Lynn, and I am personally very sorry to hear about what he describes in his recent statement as ‘the highly personalised nature of the attacks’ which have been directed towards him. Bishop Philip has decided that, in the light of the responses to the news of his nomination, his move to the Diocese of Sheffield would be.. Read More

Jesus made his home in Capernaum

Sermon preached at Westminster Central Hall on 22nd January 2017 – Epiphany 3 –  (Watch video) for Homeless Sunday Isaiah 9.1-4; Matthew 4.12-23 If you are able to visit Capernaum, you will find there the remains of a small town dating from both before and after the time of Jesus.  You can visit the synagogue (in fact two built one over the other), you can see the street patterns of the houses. Jesus.. Read More