James Langstaff

A Bishop Reflects

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

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

A Week in Kondoa: of food and generosity

Arriving in Kondoa Diocese for the third time begins to feel a bit like coming home.  The connections with the Diocese of Rochester have developed so much over the last few years that there is a growing sense of connection.  This time last year, I was here to express support during a time of serious drought and food shortage.  People in Rochester had responded wonderfully to our request for support and as a.. Read More

A new school, a new hope

On my recent visit to our partner Diocese of Kondoa in Tanzania, I saw the beginnings of a project which Bishop Given, with others, is developing to found a vocational secondary college in a place called Chemba. Kondoa is a newish diocese in a part of Tanzania not reached by the missionaries in previous centuries – it really is virgin territory for the church.  The Diocese has no secondary school – they have very few schools at all… Read More