This blog is maintained by Carolyn, of www.carolynblake.com. You will find the blog at Art and Prayer Blog.

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
There is a pattern in the life of Jesus, as portrayed by St. John in his gospel.  Jesus spends time with his Father in prayer; He goes out from that into His public ministry; He reflects – He goes to His Father in prayer – etc.
All of us as Christians are called to do God’s work. We must never be afraid that it will be too much for us, or that we will not have the means. If God asks – He will provide. Dare to think beyond yourself; dare to think that because of you the church, the world, can change for the better.
Have a good week.
Fr. Richard


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14th Sunday of the Year

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The feeling of failure is often accompanied by doubts and the “if only” syndrome.  We have a tendency to take ‘failure’ very personally.  It may be we feel we are failed parents, spouses, priests, deacons.  For all those featuring in the Sunday Readings, failure on one level or another is par for the course.  The important thing in life is that we do, at the time, what we consider to be the best in obedience to consciences informed by Christ in his church.  We are rare successes if we can become and remain human in a dehumanising world.  We are rare if we have a lively faith that never fails to trust in the goodness of God.
Have a good week.


Fr. Richard
Image: Ezekiel by Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezekiel)

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Saints Peter and Paul Sunday 28th June

Letter from Fr. Richard:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Peter and St. Paul were very different in background, personality, experience of life and especially in their manner of knowing Christ Jesus. Nevertheless, these two were chosen as people upon which the Church of God was to be built. It is encouraging for us to know that Christ’s call is tailored to each individual. It is a cause for mutual respect. We need to value God’s work in us so that we may be encouraged to give of ourselves more. There is a priority of commitment; to husbands and wives, to children, to the family of the Parish and then in ever increasing circles outwards. Do not forget to pray for your Parish family; our Bishop Peter, your Priest Richard, your Deacon John, and all those who make community possible. Thanks to you all, for all that you do.
Have a good week.
Fr. Richard.


The Icon of Saints Peter & Paul is by Caroline Lees.
(Egg tempera & gold leaf 25 x 35 cms Private Commission)

The artist has kindly allowed us to use the image, so do take the time to look at her website.
Please see www.carolinelees-icons.co.uk
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Sunday 14th June

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Francis of Assisi said that each one of us should preach the gospel by all means possible and even if necessary to preach it by the word. I think that St. Francis means that the best way of preaching the gospel, the best way of laying the foundation of that 
preaching, is to live the gospel that we preach. Then our word has at least some credibility. It is the same for us; before all else we must try to live the gospel; to see things with the eyes of faith, and believe that in the end “all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well” (Julian of Norwich).
Have a good week.
Fr. Richard




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Corpus Christi


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Corpus Christi, the Latin for The Body of Christ, sounds more exotic than the English. Being ‘spiritual’ sounds better than being human. However, the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ is reason enough for us to celebrate our humanity. The gift of Jesus in Holy Communion reinforces and grounds us in our humanity. We are becoming in Jesus what we are meant to be – fully human – feeling, loving, vulnerable human beings who need one another for life itself – for affirmation, for growth and for wellbeing. We must all learn that what God wants of us is to act justly, to love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.
Have a good week.
Fr. Richard 









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Feast of The Holy Trinity, Sunday 31st May


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Thérèse of Lisieux said that the only reason she dared to address God as Father, was that Jesus gave us the permission when he taught us the perfect prayer. The only reason we dare preach the gospel is because we believe in those words of Jesus, ‘Go make disciples of all the nations...’ May our boldness and conviction always come from our faith in Jesus Christ, who lived, died, rose from the dead, ascended to the Father and who together sent the Holy Spirit – that  Holy Spirit who loves to be among us. May we learn to enjoy the company of God as much as He enjoys ours.

Fr. Richard









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Ascension of the Lord Sunday 17th May


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5th Sunday of Easter 'I am the True Vine'



Eastern Orthodox Mosaic of Christ as the Vine 16th century Byzantine & Christian Museum Athens

In John's Gospel today Christ tells us that he is the Vine shaped by his father and that we - all of us are the branches.  In nature if a branch is dead it should be cut off and discarded.  So to it is with our relationship with Christ - if we do not allow him into our lives we die, cut ourselves off.  To grow vines or plants of any kind is about permanency and stability.  We have to be around at all stages of the plant's life and if we nurture well then the harvest will be fruitful.  Christ reminds us that if we remain with Him, His words remain in us and that whatever we ask we shall get.
When I looked at the first reading again this morning, the Gospel became clearer, for here it describes how after God had cut away the old (the bad bit of Saul, the slayer of Christians) he allowed a new branch to grow, with the help of Barnabus.
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Joseph the Worker Friday 1st May

'Christ in the House of his Parents'
John Everett Millais 1849-50
Tate Britain

Joseph the Worker, is shown working in his carpenter's workshop, making a door and helped by the family, but there are other things also going on.  There is a nail sticking up in the door which the young Christ has just cut himself on - a reference to his Crucifixion. There are other symbols in this painting as well:  a very young John the Baptist on the right carrying a bowl reminds of us of his future role as the Baptist.  There is a reference to Jacob's Ladder, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity on the back wall and what of the sheep in the field?
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4th Sunday of Easter


The Good Shepherd by Julia Stankova

This Sunday we are reminded in the 2nd reading, that
we are the children of God.  In John's Gospel we hear
about the role of the Good Shepherd, as distinct from 
the hired man.  Christ explains his selfless and eternally
caring nature as the Good Shepherd.

The painting describes a warmth and gentleness in the
portrayal of the Good Shepherd, with feet planted firmly
on the earth.  This shepherd is with us now.

Notice the IC  XC either side of the head of Christ.  
These Greek letters represent the words Jesus Christ 
and are usually seen on icons.
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