James Langstaff

A Bishop Reflects

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

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

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

A Light in the Darkness – Christmas Hope

Sermon preached at Rochester Cathedral 25th December 2016 – Christmas Day Readings: Isaiah 52.7-10; John 1.1-14 For those sitting in the ruins of Aleppo today, the call of the prophet to ‘break forth together into singing’ would seem like a rather sick joke.  In recent days, we have heard the heart-wrenching words of Bana el-Abed, the seven-year old (now evacuated to safety in Turkey) who took to Twitter in order to bring the.. Read More

The Love of God made Visible

Ordination Charge – Ordination of Deacons and Priests 23rd September 2015 Isaiah 58.6-9 Adamnan of Iona (also known as Eunan) is probably not top of your list of famous Christians from the British Isles. Today is the day on which he is remembered within the life of the church as he died on 23rd September in the year 704. He had been born around 624 near Raphoe, County Donegal, was educated by the.. Read More

We all fall short

 Hypocrisy is surely the charge that is most frequently and most painfully levelled at Christians.  Look at you: you go on about God and morality and goodness, but you’re no better than anybody else.  Look at those priests in such-and-such a place, or some of those bible-waving evangelists and what they get up to.  And of course they’re right.  And you don’t even need to go to the evident cover-ups of priestly-abuse or.. Read More

God With Us: a sermon for Christmas Day

Rochester Cathedral 25th December 2014 – Christmas Day Isaiah 9.2-7; Luke 2.1-14 Luke’s is the gospel in which we find the details. He is the one who, with the mentions of Augustus and Quirinius, seeks to set a time-frame. He, together with Matthew, gives us Bethlehem as the location; he also tells us that Joseph and Mary were already settled in Nazareth, while Matthew suggests that they only went there after these events. Memorably.. Read More