James Langstaff

A Bishop Reflects

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

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

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

A Week in Mpwapwa: of many Confirmations

I’m used to my Tanzania visits being rather filled with Confirmation Services.  That’s in part because I tend to visit when it is dry, and that’s the best times for a bishop to travel around.  So I had shared 4 such services with Bishop Given in Kondoa, but Mpwapwa had something different in store for me.  I was about to fly solo. Bishop Jacob of Mpwapwa is at present also the Archbishop of.. Read More

Two Nights in Kongwa: missionary past to missionary present

Two nights at St Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, en route from Kondoa Diocese to Mpwapwa.  The College was founded over 100 years a go by CMS-linked missionaries – and indeed the guest house where goes back to those days.  The setting is stunning, at the foot of dramatic hills 5 kms outside Kongwa, the District town.   St Philip’s is a resource for the whole Province of Tanzania, so not strictly part.. Read More

A Week in Kondoa: of leadership and gender

Part of our visit to Kondoa Diocese was for their Mothers’ Union conference – at which Bridget was somewhat surprised to find herself guest of honour and speaker.  At the closing service, one of the leading members stood up and thanked Bishop Given for his encouragement and defence of the place of women in the church.  A casual observer might find that a rather strange comment as the leadership (ordained and lay) of.. Read More