Author Archives: Revd Neil Summers

About Revd Neil Summers

Revd Neil Summers served as a non-stipendiary minister in the Team between 2000 and 2014, whilst continuing his work as a lecturer in further and adult education. In October 2014, he was licensed as full-time Team Vicar of St John the Divine. He has particular interests in the literary and poetic aspects of scripture and theology, the rational case for faith and belief in an increasingly secular culture and the strengthening of links between the local church and the community in which is it set. Among his spare time pursuits are travel, literature, theatre, dance (only as a spectator!) cycling, singing in a local community choir, and gardening.

Sermon: Mothering Sunday, 31 March 2019, St John the Divine

When my own mum was still alive, I used to scour the shops for a card which celebrated Mothering Sunday rather than its relatively new incarnation, Mother’s Day.  Today was never meant to be solely about mothers; its original meaning was more … Continue reading

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Sermon: Sunday next before Lent, 3 March 2019, St John the Divine

In a predominantly rationalist and scientific age, some Christians of a more liberal and progressive stance find stories involving the inexplicable, like Jesus’s Transfiguration, which we’ve just read – or, indeed, the miracles – rather awkward.   The temptation often is … Continue reading

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Sermon: Second Sunday before Lent, 24 February 2019, St John the Divine

Readings Genesis 2.4b-9, 15-25; Revelation 4; Luke 8.22-25 Preacher Revd Neil Summers Within a long strand of Hebrew tradition, the sea was associated with evil powers.  According to an ancient creation myth, when God made the world and separated out … Continue reading

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Sermon: Fourth Sunday before Lent, 10 February 2019, St John the Divine

Readings Isaiah 6.1-8; 1 Corinthians 15.1-11; Luke 5.1-11Preacher Revd Neil Summers In the Bible, it is often the case that when God’s servants hear his call, it is accompanied by a profound awareness of their own unworthiness, even sinfulness. In … Continue reading

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Sermon: Epiphany, 6 January 2019, St John the Divine

The Feast of the Epiphany comes at that time of the year when, for most people, the magic of Christmas has worn off.  Last night was Twelfth Night, so the decorations are down and you are left with pine needles … Continue reading

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Sermon: Christmas Day, 25 December 2018, St John the Divine

This year’s Christmas cards have brought the usual mix of images: snow scenes, stars, Bethlehem, robins, Santas, reindeer, Christmas trees, and Nativity scenes – that enchanting combination of the sacred and secular which makes up the modern Christmas.  As usual, … Continue reading

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Sermon: Midnight Mass, 24 December 2018, St John the Divine

Some years ago, the clock up in the spire of St. John’s was out of order – and therefore silent – for many months, until it was eventually repaired and we were able once more to hear the familiar sound … Continue reading

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Sermon: Advent Sunday, 2 December 2018, St John the Divine

Readings  Jeremiah 33.14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3.9-end; Luke 21.25-36 Preacher  Revd Neil Summers   If you like fairy tales, romance and magic, the chances are you would enjoy a musical by my favourite modern-day composer, Stephen Sondheim.  ‘Into the Woods’ is … Continue reading

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Sermon: Second Sunday before Advent, 18 November 2018, St Mary Magdalene

Readings  Hebrews 10.11-14, 19-25; Mark 13.1-8 Preacher  Revd Neil Summers   Don’t worry: you haven’t missed out on Christmas, but today I need to tell you the year comes to an end next week.  Not the calendar year, of course, … Continue reading

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Sermon: All Saints’ Day, 4 November 2018, St John the Divine

Readings  Isaiah 25.6-9; Revelation 21.1-6a; John 11.32-44 Preacher  Revd Neil Summers   November is the month for remembering.   Last Thursday was All Saints’ Day, commemorating those often nameless saints throughout the ages who do not have an individual day of … Continue reading

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