What we all need to learn about Discipleship from the Church Army Messy Church Review | Father Richard Peers

Review of the paper here.

Language is powerful. When I was Head of a majority black school in Lewisham I was chuffed when a pupil told me, “You talk about black people like black people do.” When I asked what she meant she said that I didn’t look embarrassed to use the word “black”. But I knew my limits. It is never appropriate for a white person to use the ‘N’ word.

Digital media exposes the power of language. In the two platforms I use there are ‘trigger words’ that I occasionally use. Words that trigger a predictable, and predictably strong, reaction. “Management” is guaranteed to…

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“Real Community is messy” – Messy Church: anecdote to evidence, reviewing the Church Army evaluation | Father Richard Peers

“Trust and Verify” my Headteacher used to say when I was an Assistant Head. “Of course I trust you. Now show me the proof.”!

In education we are used to producing evidence of impact. What difference has this made? How do you know?

Messy Church (MC) has been around for a while now – Lucy Moore began this work 14 years ago. Anecdotally it has been a huge success. It is really good therefore to see the publication of research on Messy Church that helpfully identifies what is happening, what is going well and what is not going so well. This report is particularly significant because Messy…

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Do you not yet understand? – Sermon St Bene’t’s, Cambridge 19 2 19 | Father Richard Peers

Sodality Evening for Ordinands


Preacher Fr Richard


Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5,10 Noah, God was sorry that he had made humankind

Mark 8:14-21 We have no bread / Do you not yet understand?


“Do you not yet understand?”

I was baptised 52 years ago, Confirmed 44 years ago, came to adult faith with an experience of Baptism of the Spirit 39 years ago, have a degree in theology have been ordained priest 25 years ago. But those words still bite deep, Jesus speaking to me:

“Do you not yet understand?”


As you know the readings in the daily eucharistic lectionary…

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On praying the Little Hours: New Wine and 1 Thessalonians (5:17) | Father Richard Peers

I met her at the New Wine Leaders’ Conference in Harrogate last year. We got on straight away, after she told me there was no doubting that the friend and colleague I was with was my son, “You have the same smile!” (sorry Dave, although technically possible, I suppose … ). We have kept in touch ever since although we were at different weeks of New Wine United in the summer and look like being so this year too.

We communicate about prayer (and books, sometimes, books on prayer). She has changed her routine to get up earlier and have time with the Lord in the early morning. It has taken about…

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Doctrine for Mission: why we need a new systematic theology | Father Richard Peers

Reading Adam Tooze’s book Crashed: How a decade of financial crises changed the world on the economic crisis 2008 – 2018 (see my review here), I was struck by his question, near the end of the book, on the status of economics as the ‘queen of the sciences’, a title traditionally reserved for theology. The same question had come into my mind when I read Yanis Varoufakis’ book Talking to my daughter about the economy (see my review here).

Post-modernism would have us believe that there is no shared world view, no common narrative for understanding the world. It is interesting that both of the…

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Liturgy for Mission: How often have you prayed the Creed today? | Father Richard Peers

In the Anglican Breviary (top) and the Monastic Diurnal (below) the rubrics give the instruction for prayers to be said before and within the Office. On an ordinary day the Apostles Creed would be prayed four times. In the Book of Common Prayer, Cranmer, using the traditional Office as his model, included the Creed at both Matins and Evensong. For catholic Anglicans the Rosary would have been prayed daily by many, adding a further recitation of the Creed.

In Common Worship Daily Prayer the Creed is printed on the inside back cover, as if it is, like the Gospel Canticles, also printed in the…

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Guest Post: Consecrated celibacy – a personal journey | Father Richard Peers

There is much confusion about celibacy in both the church and society. I am privileged to accompany a number of individuals as well as a national, ecumenical network of solitaries. It is a delight to publish this guest post from one of those I accompany as her ‘guardian of vows’ on behalf of the bishop to whom she made them.
I rejoice that this vocation is flourishing in our church, I am convinced that it is a sign of the Spirit at work and that we won’t be able to make sense of our sexuality debates unless we get the vocation to celibacy right.
The writer wishes to remain anonymous.

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