Background Image

Archived Sermons

  • Sermon from 31 January, The Revd Canon Chris Newlands

    SERMON AT LANCASTER PRIORY – 31ST JANUARY 2021 I love the stones of this place! As you can imagine I’ve spent a lot of time over the past eleven years here in the Priory. I’ve loved to absorb the atmosphere, breathe in the air (on a Sunday afternoon it has been good to smell the incense from the morning service... Read more

  • Sermon on Easter Day 2020

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster HOLY WEEK 2020 ADDRESS 6 – EASTER DAY It is Easter Day and none of us thought we would be spending it like this! We are not in church, as many of us long to be. Instead we are in our own homes, some of us with those we love – some of us are alone,... Read more

  • Sermon on Good Friday 2020

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster HOLY WEEK 2020        ADDRESS 5.  GOOD FRIDAY – THE CRUCIFIXION The crucifixion scene on the closed centre panel of the altarpiece is one of the most moving depictions of the crucifixion in Western art. It is not rendered “polite” or innocuous, because the crucifixion itself was neither polite nor sanitised. It was a brutal execution,... Read more

  • Sermon on Maundy Thursday 2020

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster HOLY WEEK 2020 – MAUNDY THURSDAY – JOHN THE BAPTIST An unusual addition to the scene of the Crucifixion is the presence of St John the Baptist, pointing towards Jesus on the cross. Of course, the Baptist was not physically present at the crucifixion – he had been executed on the orders of King Herod years... Read more

  • Sermon on Holy Wednesday 2020

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster HOLY WEEK 2020: THE VIRGIN MARY AND ST JOHN AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS The closed Altarpiece shows the scene of the Crucifixion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is one of the most vivid and challenging interpretations of the crucifixion ever committed to canvas. Two thirds of the image contains nothing... Read more

  • Sermon for Holy Tuesday 2020

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster HOLY WEEK ADDRESS 2020 – 2                                    THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY The open altar-piece gives a very different impression to the closed image. Where there was darkness only broken by the dramatic form of the crucified Christ and those who were witnesses to the crucifixion – in this second set of images, here we have an explosion... Read more

  • Sermon on Holy Monday 2020

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster HOLY WEEK ADDRESS 2020 – THE ISENHEIM ALTARPIECE INTRODUCTION Last year we holidayed with family in Alsace, in Eastern France. We spent a day in Colmar, a beautiful ancient city with beautiful churches, buildings and lots to see. But when we arrived in the main square, the first thing that caught my eye was... Read more

  • Sermon on Passion Sunday

    Lent 5 Passion Sunday, 29 April 2020 The Revd Canon Prof John Rodwell, Hon. Associate Priest It’s a bit of an open secret among preachers that, provided you change the catchy introduction, you can preach the same sermon year after year. In fact, of course, congregations often know this, like many things preachers assume are secret to them.  And why not repeat... Read more

  • Sermon for Lent 1

    Sermon for LENT 1, at Lancaster Priory, 1st March 2020 Preacher: The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster As we begin this season of Lent, the Gospel reminds us of the Biblical example of Jesus going away into the desert for forty days and forty nights. “Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by... Read more

  • Sermon for Next before Lent 2020

    Sermon preached at the Priory Church of St. Mary of Lancaster on Sunday, February 23rd, 2020  Preacher: John-Francis Friendship  ‘All of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another’ (2 Cor. 3:18)   INTRODUCTION First let me say what a pleasure... Read more

  • Sermon for Rogation Sunday – 2019

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster at Lancaster Priory I am conscious that there are those present today who have made a lifelong study of the Environment and how we can tread more gently on God’s good earth and be kinder to this planet which has been the home of the human race for as long as... Read more

  • Sermon on Mayor's Sunday 2019

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster at Lancaster Priory SERMON FOR THE MAYOR, Cllr DAVID WHITAKER AND COUNCIL OF LANCASTER – 2019 From Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and section known as the Beatitudes, which our new Mayor has just read for us, Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Just one line... Read more

  • Sermon on Ash Wednesday: 6th March 2019

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster, Lancaster Priory. This year, 2019, marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2. A sobering thought, especially given that we have only just finished our 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Twenty years is not long between wars. For those who, like my mother, lived through two world... Read more

  • Sermon on 3 Before Lent: 17th February 2019

    The Revd Canon Prof John Rodwell, Hon. Associate Priest. Lancaster Priory We could see San Gimignano long before we arrived, its clustered hill-top towers coming and going on the horizon ahead as our bus wound its way up the twisting valley among the leafing oakwoods.  Rosemary and I had caught an early service, just a few of us tourists among... Read more

  • Sermon on Plough Sunday: Sunday 20th January 2019

    The Revd Canon Prof John Rodwell, Hon Associate Priest. Lancaster Priory Early of a morning, before he clocked on for a day shift at the local colliery, our next-door neighbour Reg could be seen watering his sweet peas with the contents of the previous night’s chamber pot – suitably diluted.  Taking against the people who bought our house when we... Read more

  • Sermon for Holocaust Memorial Day 2019

    The Revd Canon Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster, Lancaster Priory 27th January 2019 Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 21 years ago, I was Vicar of Shrub End in Colchester. Not the main parish, a bit out of the centre, somewhat like Scotforth here in Lancaster. A healthy mixture of urban and rural, estates and developments, with a lively group of parishioners, many of whom... Read more

  • Sermon on Advent Sunday 2018

    The Revd Joel Love, Vicar of Rochester, 2 December 2018 at Lancaster Priory Readings:            Jer. 33.14-16; 1 The. 3.9-end; Lk 21.25-36 Jesus said ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.’ (Lk 21.33) In the + Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. In the film ‘Toy Story’ (1995), Buzz Lightyear and Woody get trapped... Read more

  • Sermon on 15th July 2018: Trinity 7

    The Revd Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster, 15 July, Lancaster Priory Imagine, if you will, a nation’s leader who is more obsessed with his own importance than caring for the people entrusted to his care. That man, being a narcissist, loves people flattering him, praising him, offering him gifts – and those people are also rewarded with outlandish gifts, often great... Read more

  • Sermon on John The Baptist: 24 June 2018

    The Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah, 24 June, Lancaster Priory Comfort, Comfort my people, says the Lord Luke 1:57-66 and Isaiah 40:1-11 Today is the feast observing the birth of John, who later came to be known as the Baptist. This week is also called Refugee Week, set-aside to think about the plight of millions of refugees and migrants across the world.... Read more

  • Sermon for the Second Sunday of Trinity 2018

    The Revd Canon Prof John Rodwell, 10 June 2018, Lancaster Priory Worth a Detour A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Trinitytide, Lancaster Priory Jim Garbett RIP  20.2.1931-25.5.2018 In his later, still energetic, years, Jim Garbett, for the repose of whose soul we prayed here on Friday, laying his earthly remains to rest … Jim developed an enthusiasm for visiting small towns:  Gainsborough,... Read more

  • Holy Week and Easter Sunday 2018 Sermons

    HOLY WEEK 2018 Holy Week and Easter Sunday Sermon series The Rev Catherine Pickford, Priest in Charge of St Mary’s Stannington, Diocese of Newcastle Please click on the dates below to read each sermon Holy Monday 2018 Holy Tuesday 2018 Holy Wednesday 2018 Maundy Thursday 2018 Good Friday 2018 Easter Sunday 2018   Read more

  • Lent Sermon Series on our Priory Strategy 2018

    LENT 2018 Sermon series on Five Priorities for our PRIORY STRATEGY Please click on the links below to see each sermon Away Day Introduction The Revd Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster WORSHIP The Revd Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster DISCIPLESHIP The Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah, Associate Priest, Lancaster Priory WITNESSING The Revd Dr Rebecca Aechtner, Assistant Curate, Lancaster Priory GROWTH The... Read more

  • Sermon on Ash Wednesday 2018

    THE REVD DR REBECCA AECHTNER, LANCASTER PRIORY Ash Wednesday Sermon (John 8. 1-11) ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return….’ These haunting words which we will soon hear, penetrate the soul. They force us to confront our humanity and our mortality. In a few minutes many of us will receive the imposition of ashes, a physical mark... Read more

  • Sermon on Rogation Sunday 21 May

    ROGATION SUNDAY 21 MAY 2017 The Revd Canon Prof John Rodwell, Lancaster Priory ASKING FOR THE GOOD OF CREATION These days, at four in the morning, a blackbird starts to sing outside our bedroom window, disposing the beautiful song just as much for the benefit of our neighbours as for us.  Wild birds have their territories but they seem to take little... Read more

  • Sermon on 2nd April 2017

    LENT 5 – PASSION SUNDAY The Revd Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster, Lancaster Priory “RADICAL NEW CHRISTIAN INCLUSION” Today the Church in the West begins the season of Passiontide, as we come closer to the Holy Week of the Passion of Our Lord, which begins with our Palm Sunday observance. Ornaments are covered in hessian or purple cloth, just as Christ’s... Read more

  • Sermon on 5th March 2017

    THE REVD DR ANDERSON JEREMIAH, LANCASTER PRIORY Reflecting on Radical Inclusion Matthew 4:1-11 “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”, we began our journey into Lent on Wednesday with those words. This morning we are lead by the Spirit to the wilderness along with Jesus, may be we’ll spend few moments with him, as he encounters... Read more

  • Sermon on 13th November 2016

    The Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah, Lancaster Priory The sower, the act of sowing and the seed (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) The events of the past week may have pushed some of us to think that we are in a lion’s den, just like Daniel. Nothing to protect ourselves from the lions but only pray to God and wait for his... Read more

  • Sermon on Easter Sunday 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory The Revd Dr Liz Horwell For me two images blend to evoke that first Easter morning. First: the beautiful church gardens in my previous parish in Wanstead (though you could substitute a garden image of your own, where before dawn on Easter Day we would stand silently waiting for the sun to slip over the horizon... Read more

  • Sermon on Tuesday of Holy Week 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory Insiders and Outsiders, The Revd Dr Liz Horwell If Jesus’ suffering wasn’t pre-ordained or demanded by God; what was it about? I suspect we need to look no further than human nature to find our answer. Jesuit Gerard Hughes in his wonderful book ‘God of Surprises’ asks his readers: “If Christ were to appear in... Read more

  • Sermon on Maundy Thursday 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory The Revd Dr Liz Horwell So now in our Holy Week observances we begin to mark out in our liturgy the final events of Jesus’ life. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, this evening is marked by the Passover meal where Jesus blesses bread and wine and shares them with his disciples just as Jewish families had... Read more

  • Sermon on Good Friday 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory The Revd Dr Liz Horwell This week as we’ve walked alongside Jesus in his last days, I’ve suggested a number of factors that might have contributed to why Jesus died: the unpredictability of human life, human nature separating ‘them and us’, God’s love which offers itself out and waits for our response, and... Read more

  • Sermon for Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

    Revd Leah Vasey-Saunders, Vicar of Lancaster.  2nd June 2022 Luke 22.24–30 Our reading today reminds us of the very highest ideals of what it means to be a leader. Jesus, hearing his disciples quarrelling over which of them was the greatest, tells them that anyone who would follow him must follow a very different example to that of the rulers they saw... Read more

  • Sermon on Monday of Holy Week 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory The Revd Dr Liz Horwell For nearly two thousand years people have been arguing over why exactly Jesus died. The disciples at the time could make no sense of it: their Messiah was to be triumphant, blessed by God; but being nailed to a tree to die marked one as cursed by God. Their Messiah was... Read more

  • Sermon On Wednesday of Holy Week 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory The Revd Dr Liz Horwell So far this week I’ve argued that Jesus died because he was seen as an outsider; and because in coming to earth as a human he willingly subjected himself to the unpredictability of being human. Today I’d like to add into the pot one of the key themes in... Read more

  • Sermon on 17th May 2015

    And we give to Jesus the glory, the splendour, the victory and the majesty because he has been raised to that glory by God our heavenly Father for as God’s Son he was born and lived among us, and so came to know all our joys and sorrows, our pain and our woes, our hopes and our fears. And as the sinless one he was crucified to bear our sins. Read more

  • Holocaust Memorial Sermon, 31st January 2016

    Sermon at Lancaster Priory – Holocaust Memorial 2016 Rev. Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster The season of Epiphany which is now drawing to its end, is not just an opportunity to prolong the celebrations of Christmas from its traditional 12 days, to a longer period of 40 days until the feast of Candlemas, on 2nd February. The readings, and themes of the season have... Read more

  • Sermon on 10th May 2015

    Sometimes people wake up to find that the world has changed completely – and find it hard to find their place in that new world order they now see. Everything they believed to be solid and dependable had now gone, to be replaced with uncertainty, fear, and suspicion. Read more

  • Sermon at Midnight Mass, 24th December 2015

    Rev’d Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster Having seen a certain film recently, I’m having to concentrate very hard so I don’t slip up and accidentally say in the middle of a service, “The Force be with you” instead of the more customary – “The Lord be with you!” To say that there is a religious element to Star... Read more

  • Sermon on 26th April 2015

    Today is known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” as the Gospel set is the passage from John’s Gospel when Jesus first describes himself as the ‘Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.’ Those who would be shepherds must know their sheep and be known (and by implication, be trusted) by them. That relationship is modelled in Christ’s ministry to his disciples and those closest to him after his Resurrection, as he gathered people to himself to teach, to train, and to strengthen for their own future ministry, as modelled in so many of the encounters Jesus had with his disciples and others after his Resurrection. Read more

  • Sermon on Mayor's Sunday 2015

    Rev’d Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster The island municipality of Patmos in Greece is an idyllic destination for many. Guaranteed sun and its air of quiet tranquillity are factors which draw many visitors year after year. The ancient city at the heart, with its acropolis – a smaller version of the more famous Acropolis in Athens has dominated the Chora,... Read more

  • Sermon on Easter Day 2015

    Humanity has been created in God’s own image to be his people, set in a world of beauty and wonder and shared with the myriad wonders of creation in the seas and in the skies, as well as on the land – and humanity over all this created order is entrusted with the wisdom and knowledge to preserve God’s creation, though humanity is also the species which has the potential to destroy it. Read more

  • Sermon on 3rd April 2015

    Day: Good Friday Date: 3 April 2015 Place: Lancaster Priory Theme:‘Going it Alone’ Film:  ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ by David Yates (2011) Readings: Isa. 52:13-53:end; Heb. 10:16-25 or Heb. 4:14-16; 5:7-9; Jn. 18:1-19:37 ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced’ (Jn 19:37). We began this week with the first film of a trilogy, and we reflected... Read more

  • Sermon on 2nd April 2015

    Day: Maundy Thursday Date: 2 April 2015 Place: Lancaster Priory Theme: ‘Living in a New Reality’ Film:  ‘The Hunger Games’ by Gary Ross (2012) Readings:Ex. 12:1-4, 11-14; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-17, 31b-35 ‘If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them’ (Jn 13:17) The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in a dystopian future and in a state called ‘Panem’. The... Read more

  • Sermon on 1st April 2015

    Day: Wednesday in Holy Week Date: 1 April 2015 Place: Lancaster Priory Theme: ‘Betrayed’ Film: ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by that Coward Robert Ford’ by Andrew Dominik (2007) Readings: Isa. 50:4-9a; Heb. 12:1-3; Jn 13:21-32 ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him’ (John 13:31) In the Name of the Father… ‘The Assassination of Jesse... Read more

  • Sermon on 31st March 2015

    Day: Tuesday in Holy Week Date: Tuesday 31 March Theme:‘Interruptions on the Journey’ Film: ‘Ida’ by Pawel Pawlikovski (2013) Readings: Isa. 49:1-7; 1 Cor. 1:18-31; Jn 12:20-36 ‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself’ (Jn 12:32) Those people who saw the film ‘Ida’ on Sunday night at the Gregson will know that it raises... Read more

  • Sermon on 30th March 2015

    Day: Monday in Holy Week Date: Monday 30 March 2015 Theme: ‘A Pause Before the Journey’ Film: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ by Peter Jackson (2001) Readings: Isa. 42:1-9; Heb. 9:11-15; Jn 12:1-11 ‘Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead’ (Jn 12:1) As you will have... Read more

  • Sermon on 22nd February 2015

    Many writers and film-makers have tried to imagine what went through the mind of Jesus during the forty days and forty nights that he spent in the wilderness. Perhaps the most famous example of this kind of thing is The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis (made into a film by Martin Scorsese in 1988). The French author of The... Read more

  • Sermon on 25th January 2015

    As Quakers in Lancaster much of our early history in this town, concerns stories of persecution, imprisonment in the castle, followed then by stories of Quakers prospering and developing as a religious community. The particular story in relation to the Priory church is of the founder of our movement George Fox. Fox was a man committed to a deep inner... Read more

  • Sermon on 31st August 2014

    Augustine lived most of his life in relative peace: he was a Roman citizen at a time when Christianity was tolerated – his mother was a devout Christian, his father a pagan, who became a Christian on his death-bed. Of exceptional intelligence, he studied in Carthage and then in Rome, before being appointed to the highest academic office at the time,... Read more

  • Sermon on 5th October 2014

    Priory Eucharist Readings: Deut. 8:7-18; ‘Harvest of Selves’; Lk. 12:16-30 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing (Lk. 12:23) Have you ever played the guessing game ‘Animal, Vegetable, Mineral’? One person has to think of something and then the rest of us will ask them questions about it as we try to work out what it... Read more

  • REMEMBRANCE DAY – 9th November 2014

    SERMON AT THE REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE I love taking photographs – as anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows. I will photograph all manner of things, from plates of food served in a restaurant, to scenes of local colour in a distant country, and I have been known to assume some unusual positions to get just the right angle... Read more

  • Sermon on 30th November

    Readings: Isa. 64:1-9; 1 Cor. 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-end Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Mk 13:31) In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen What do you do when you come to the end of a really good book you’ve been reading? Do you, like some... Read more

  • Sermon on 23rd November

    Today is the feast of Christ the King. These ‘Sundays before Advent,’ as they are called, are dressed in rich liturgical red – (red denoting kingship and the blood of martyrs); Read more

  • Sermon on 14th December 2014

    ADVENT 3   Year B   2014   Lancaster Priory 10am 14.12.14 – preached by Revd Jill Novell …The spirit of the Lord is upon me..he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives…to comfort all who mourn… Flicking through the tv channels with the ‘remote’ recently, I come across the end... Read more

  • Sermon on 28th December 2014

    Twelve days ago, on Tuesday 16 December 2014, seven members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan entered a school in the northern city of Peshawar and opened fire, killing 145 people, including 132 schoolchildren. Some have thought this was the Taliban’s response to the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai earlier this year. Whatever the reason, this was a tragedy for all... Read more

  • Sermon on 11th January 2015

    ‘Ooh!’ exclaimed my mother, ‘It’s pebble-dashed’, this for her a final touch of sophistication to the seaside bungalow where we were preparing to move from a terrace in a Yorkshire pit town Read more

  • Sermon on 18th January 2015

    2nd Sunday of Epiphany/Week of Prayer for Christian Unity My primary school had one television and one video cassette recorded, which were kept in a lockable trolley with heavy-duty wheels. It was about as tall as the average adult human being, which meant it was much taller than Mrs Scott, who heaved it into our classroom as often as... Read more