Sermons and Letters


St Philip & St James

Parish Church Alderley Edge



Dear Neighbours,

The last day of October is the 500th anniversary of the day when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Saxony and triggered off what we have come to know as the Reformation.

Opinions will vary, but I think the greatest achievement of the Reformation was publishing the Bible in vernacular languages so that its contents could, never again, be hidden from public view.

However, being able to read the Bible did not lead to the people of Europe living together in peace. Martin Luther did not go the way of previous reformers and end up being burned at the stake, because he enjoyed the protection of the Elector of Saxony. This gave Luther and other reformers, including those involved in shaping the Church of England, a dependence on secular power which would later come back to haunt them, not least when Europe suffered the horrors of modern warfare.

The Vatican’s efforts to broker peace in Europe 100 years ago came to nothing and the reformed and orthodox churches, encumbered as they were by national allegiances, were silent or worse.

In the end, World War I ended because people refused to continue to fight. In Russia, the small Bolshevik Party placed itself at the head of a movement of mutinous soldiers using the slogan ‘Peace, Land and Bread!’ People yearning for peace with justice found no leadership in the church and instead followed a vanguard that had given up on God and led them to the gulags.

This is why the church must approach remembrance with a humble heart, aware of its historical shortcomings, but trusting in a merciful God who allows nations, churches, communities and individuals to repent and to try again, allowing ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit to walk in the way of peace.

May God have mercy on us all, Robin

Sermons and Letters September
Letter September 2017

Letter from Vicar October 2017
October 2017

Vicars Letter August 2017
Letter August 2017

Vicars Letter July 2017
Vicars letter July 2017

Sermon Following Bomb Attack in Manchester
This sermon was preached in our church on the Sunday after the terror attack on the MEN Arena

Vicar's Letter May 2017
Vicar's Letter May 2017