The season of Advent is characterized by waiting. As children we perhaps can still remember how long a wait it seemed in the countdown to Christmas Day. Waiting is never easy, but today more than ever the whole notion of waiting goes very much against the grain of a markedly ‘instant’ society.

Waiting, however, is a recurring theme in the Scriptures, a frustrating constant in the experience of believers. Invariably faith is seen to go hand in hand with hope, because the promise to which we hold is still future. In these weeks leading up to Christmas, therefore, we’ll explore this component of hope and the consequent experience of waiting.

Waiting 1  PowerPoint Slides

Waiting 2

Signs Of Life

Signs Of Life
The seven ‘signs’ in the public ministry of Jesus

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”

[John 20.30f]

John records seven incidents during the public ministry of Jesus which he describes as ‘signs’. ‘Signs’, as John presents them, both authenticate (see Acts 2.22 for a similar perspective) and illustrate: that’s to say they point clearly to who Jesus is and the significance of what He has come to do.

Signs of Life 1  PowerPoints 1

Signs of LIfe 2  PowerPoints 2

Signs of Life 3 PowerPoints 3

Signs of Life 4  PowerPoints 4

Signs of Life 5  PowerPoints 5

Signs of life 6  PowerPoints 6

Signs of Life 7  PowerPoints 7

Signs of Life 8

Poplar Trees

‘Poplar trees

by flowing streams’

The work of the Holy Spirit in His church

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground: I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams”

[Isaiah 44.3f]

The Holy Spirit is the great ‘executor’ of the Godhead. He effects, both powerfully and perfectly, the will of God.

In this short series of studies we’ll consider a number of significant implications of the work of the Holy Spirit for us as a fellowship of God’s people.

This series makes no claim to be exhaustive (even if you may sometimes find it exhausting!), nor should it prove to be divisive – such an outcome, as the first study makes clear, runs entirely counter to all that the Holy Spirit is intent upon effecting in the life of His church. The series is intended, rather, to be instructive and encouraging, helping us to see, at a practical level, how God’s astonishing purpose in Christ is being and will be realized.

By focusing on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christ’s church we are, of course, implicitly acknowledging that it is only by Him that the purpose of God is progressed, that the church of Christ is built, and that our lives as His people are changed. Prayer, therefore, will be an integral part of our studies, as we look together to Him to effect His will in our life as His people. Make sure that in each study there is time set aside for just such eager and expectant prayer!


May there be in these days a fresh outpouring by God of His Spirit upon our lives as His people, and upon our life together as His church.


Poplar Trees 1  PowerPoint 1

Poplar Trees 2 PowerPoint 2

Poplar Trees 3 PowerPoint 3

Poplar Trees 4 PowerPoint 4

Poplar Trees 5

on the road

On the road

Luke’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry

“.. so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught …” [Luke 1.4]

Luke’s account of the life and ministry of Jesus is the most thorough (and the longest) of the four gospel records. It was written for a man called Theophilus (that may well not have been his actual name, but a ‘cover’ to protect his identity), who was almost certainly an eminent Roman citizen. His account, therefore, was written for a primarily ‘Gentile’ context and does not presume any great knowledge of the Bible.

Luke is up front about his intention: it’s to help this man have the confidence to trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. It could be a costly thing being a follower of Jesus back then (as in many places to this day), and Luke wanted to bolster the embryonic faith of this man in the face of both the hostility he was likely to face and the adversity which almost certainly would be his experience.

Three good reasons why it’s worth our while taking a read of his account of the life and ministry of Jesus are given by Luke in the brief introduction with which the book begins (Lk.1.1-4).

First, he underlines how careful he has been in researching this remarkable and important message: whenever we’re able to double check what he says, he is found to be 100% reliable and accurate.

Then, too, he explains how comprehensive his account is as well. He investigated all his ‘sources’ (other accounts, Bible prophecies, eye-witness accounts, and respected preachers), and he investigated the story ‘from the beginning’. He’s nothing if not thorough!

Moreover, he has taken care to ensure that his account is as clear as possible. It’s what he himself called ‘an orderly account’ – not random reflections and recollections hastily thrown together.


May this study of Luke’s gospel help us all “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”, to the end that we “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (see Heb.12.1-2)

on the road 1  PowerPoint 1

on the road 2  PowerPoint 2

on the road 3 PowerPoint 3

on the road 4  PowerPoint 4

on the road 5  PowerPoint 5

on the road 6 PowerPoint 6

on the road 7  PowerPoint 7

on the road 8  PowerPoint 8

on the road 9  PowerPoint 9

on the road 10 PowerPoint 10

on the road 11  PowerPoint 11

on the road 12

on the road 13  PowerPoint 13

on the road 14  PowerPoint 14

on the road 15

on the road 16  PowerPoint 16

on the road 17    PowerPoint 17

on the road 18   PowerPoint 18

on the road 19  PowerPoint 19

on the road 20 PowerPoint 20

on the road 21  PowerPoint 21

on the road 22   PowerPoint 22

on the road 23  PowerPoint 23

on the road 24  PowerPoint 24

on the road 25  PowerPoint 25

on the road 26  PowerPoint 26



why growth matters, what it looks like and how it happens

“All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing…”
[Colossians 1.6]

Where there’s life there’ll be growth: at least, there will be where the life is healthy.

The message of the Bible is about life. It’s a message about God, about the living God who breathed the dust of the earth into life and who brought the dead on the earth back to life: it’s a message about who God is and how He works and what it is He promises to those who trust in Jesus. And always the theme is life.

To have Jesus is to have life – because He is Himself the way, the truth, and the life (John 14.6); or, as He’d put it earlier, because He is Himself the resurrection and the life (John 11.25).

To have Jesus, therefore, also means you’ll grow: and it’s as much to that end as any other that the Scriptures are given – that we might “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet.3.18).


This series of studies addresses this whole theme of growth, considering why we can expect growth and what that growth will look like, why such growth is important, how such growth will happen and what that entails for the basic patterns of church life.

Hopefully this series will provide an opportunity for us all to pause and reflect on the growth in our own lives as followers of Jesus; and at the same time it will help deepen our understanding of the God-ordained ‘structures’ within the life of the church which are geared towards cultivating such growth.


“All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”   [Colossians 1.6]

Growing 1  PowerPoint Slides

Growing 2

Growing 3 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 4 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 5 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 6 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 7 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 8

Growing 9 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 10 PowerPoint Slides

Growing 11  PowerPoint Slides

Growing 12  PowerPoint Slides

Growing 13  PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie


a bird’s-eye tour of

Paul’s letter to the church at Rome

“the gospel .. is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.. ” [Romans 1.16]

Paul’s Letter to the Romans was from the start a foundational document: and down the centuries it has proved to be hugely influential in the experience of countless individuals.

It’s a long letter – running to 16 substantial chapters: and, because of the very thoroughness with which Paul sets out the message of the gospel through this letter, it can also seem quite daunting!

Because it’s so foundational, however, and because as we get to grips with the teaching it contains it invariably proves so transforming in the living of our lives, we’ll be running a 9-part course in the autumn, entitled ‘Romans for rookies’. The plan is to run this course at two different times, one through the day and one in an evening, in order to make it as available as possible to as many as possible.

This present series of Sunday morning studies through the summer months will hopefully provide something of a ‘taster’ for the course!

Although the Community Groups will be taking a break through the summer, study material with questions in the usual form will nonetheless be available week by week through the summer – in the hope that individuals may still find it a helpful means of reflecting further on the ground covered on a Sunday morning.


Paul hadn’t visited Rome at this point in his ministry, but he saw the strategic importance of the church at Rome and planned to be with the believers there in the near future.

This letter is effectively, therefore, his way of introducing himself and his message to them. May the Lord use these studies help acquaint, or re-acquaint, us all with the great truths of the gospel!

Saving Sophie 1  PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 2

Saving Sophie 3 PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 4 PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 5 PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 6 PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 7   PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 8  PowerPoint Slides

Saving Sophie 9 PowerPoint Slides

Immeasurably More


learning from the letter to the Ephesians

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! [Eph.3.20f]

The letter to the Ephesians was almost certainly written towards the end of Paul’s ministry while he was a prisoner in Rome. It represents the mature reflection of a man who had lived and breathed the gospel for long decades: and as such the letter provides a concise and distilled summary of the substance of his message.

It’s a message which had clearly been tested, and proved its mettle, in the face of real hostility, and in the furnace of great cultural diversity: and it’s a message, too, whose fruit in the lives of believers had already been amply demonstrated by the time this letter was written. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to find that for succeeding generations of believers it has been both a hugely encouraging, and at the same time a powerfully formative book of the Bible.

As we study this letter together, accordingly, both on a Sunday morning and in the Community Groups, may the Lord Himself use it to shape each of our lives at the individual level into the likeness of Christ Himself: and may He also use it to fashion in us, as a local congregation, a fellowship of believers pulsing with the grace of the Spirit of God and portraying in our communal life the glory of the gospel.

The very structure of the letter underlines the essence of that gospel. What God has done for us in Christ (chapters 1-3) is followed by how we then are to live for Him (chapters 4-6): as those who have been freed from the slavery of sin (that’s what the Lord has done for us in Jesus), we now learn to live as free men and women (that’s what we seek to do through the enabling power of God’s Spirit).

Enjoy this study and expect to be changed!

w/b 8 January 2017 Immeasurably More 1   PowerPoint slides 1

w/b 15 January 2017 Immeasurably More 2  PowerPoint slides 2

w/b 22 January 2017 Immeasurably More 3  PowerPoint slides 3

w/b 29 January 2017 Immeasurably More 4  PowerPoint slides 4

w/b 5 February 2017 Immeasurably More 5  PowerPoint slides 5

w/b 12 February 2017 Immeasurably More 6 PowerPoint slides 6

w/b 19 February 2017 Immeasurably More 7 PowerPoint Slides 7

w/b 26 February 2017 Immeasurably More 8 PowerPoint slides 8

w/b 5 March 2017 Immeasurably More 9 PowerPoint slides 9

w/b 12 March 2017 Immeasurably More 10 PowerPoint slides 10

w/b 19 March 2017 Immeasurably More 11 PowerPoint slides 11

w/b 26 March 2017  Immeasurably More 12 Powerpoint slides 12


w/b 23 April 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 1  PowerPoint slides 1

w/b 30 April 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 2 PowerPoint Slides 2

w/b 7 May 2017  Immeasurably More Part 2 week 3 PowerPoint slides 3  (Due to a technical error, this sermon was not recorded and is not available on our sermons page)

w/b 14 May 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 4 PowerPoint slides 4

w/b 21 May 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 5

w/b 28 May 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 6 PowerPoint slides 6

w/b 4 June 2017  Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 7 PowerPoint slides 7

w/b 11 June 2017  Immeasurably More Part 2 week 8  PowerPoint slides 8

w/b 18 June 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 9 PowerPoint Slides 9

w/b 25 June 2017 Immeasurably More Part 2 Week 10 PowerPoint Slides 10

With One Heart And Voice


a people who pray together

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  [Romans 15.5-6]

Should we pray together as a congregation, and if so, why? And how does that differ from the praying together which forms part of our Sunday worship?

Is there Scriptural warrant for a congregational ‘prayer meeting’, and if so what is it?

Where, for instance, would you take a person if they asked for the biblical rationale for a fellowship of God’s people gathering on a regular basis specifically to pray together?

There are a whole load of good and important questions around this theme of corporate prayer! Our hope is that it will prove both important and helpful for us to look at these questions together, through the Sunday morning series of studies and then in the context of our Community Groups.


The hardest thing – but perhaps the most important thing – may be for us deliberately to start in our thinking from a ‘blank canvas’: our past experience and our previous approaches are bound to inform our thinking, understandably so, but it will be important for us to ensure that they don’t prejudice our thinking.

We’ll aim to get to grips then, first, with the principles involved, and then try to discern together how these principles will be best worked out and expressed in practice here at this time.

Hopefully, our being able prayerfully to address these issues together in this way will help us come to a clear and common mind under God on this crucial matter as to His way forward for us here at this time.


“If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then …”



Week beginning Sunday 23 October 2016: With One Heart And Voice 1

Week beginning Sunday 30 October 2016: With One Heart And Voice 2

Week beginning Sunday 6 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 3

Week beginning Sunday 13 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 4

Week beginning Sunday 20 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 5

Week beginning Sunday 27 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 6

Week beginning Sunday 4 December 2016: With One Heart And Voice 7

Week beginning Sunday 11 December 2016: With One Heart And Voice 8

Opening The Floodgates

The book of Acts records the story of the early church and the remarkable spread of the gospel, through the testimony of a small group of very ordinary people.

“[Jesus] said to them ..’you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” [Acts 1.8]

The story is one of the floodgates of heaven being opened, and a great river of grace flowing across a dry and thirsty humanity – fulfilling in a wonderful way the Lord’s words through Isaiah –

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.” [Is.44.3f]


The aim of our studies over these weeks is to learn together how those floodgates may be opened again in our own context; for our land today is similarly parched, and as thirsty as ever for the Lord Himself. We’ll hope to get, and then share, feedback from the different Community Groups, so that together we can hear what the Spirit is saying to us as a fellowship through His Word.

Perhaps the prayer which should be on all our hearts through these studies, therefore, is best expressed in the words of the following song, first penned some 30 years ago –

Lord, we long for You to move in power
There’s a hunger deep within our hearts
To see healing in our nation: send Your Spirit to revive us

Heal our nation, Heal our nation, Heal our nation
Pour out Your Spirit on this land

Lord we hear Your Spirit, coming closer
A mighty wave to break upon our land
Bringing justice, and forgiveness: God we cry to You, ‘Revive us’

Heal our nation, Heal our nation, Heal our nation
Pour out Your Spirit on this land.

Each week we will update the links below with the materials for the coming week.

w/b 15 August   Opening The Floodgates 1

w/b 22 August  Opening The Floodgates 2

w/b 29 August Opening The Floodgates 3

w/b 5 September Opening The Floodgates 4

w/b 12 September Opening The Floodgates 5

w/b 19 September  Opening The Floodgates 6

w/b 26 September  Opening The Floodgates 7

w/b 3 October Opening The Floodgates 8