All Saints' Sermon - 1 November 2020

Father Damian speaks about Saints, both those recognised by the Church and those every day saints, including NHS and Key Workers today, whom we pass day by day.

“...for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

What is your kingdom attitude? Well, I wasn’t expecting to be here this morning – I was due to be preaching at the Patronal Festival of All Saints, Leighton Buzzard where my good friend Cate Irvine is Vicar, but then yesterday evening the government announced that from Thursday we will return to lockdown in England, and I realised I needed to come back early and address the church today.

So, we hot-footed from Norwich from my parents-in-law down the A11 last night. Fr Gerard was all lined up to preach – sorry to ask you to stand down today Gerard. I’m sure there will be a swirl of feelings among us this morning, from ‘here we go again’ to something of the ‘inevitable’ to a sense of deeper ‘foreboding’ and even fears of loneliness – and more besides. We will need to take time to process what we are living through and learn to come to terms with the change we are experiencing. I know just how much St Mary’s means to you, be it worship in person or online and I want to reassure you that we will be here for you, even though St Mary's Church will be closed to congregations from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December. All our services will move online, with many broadcast from the church or our own homes.

So, throughout this coming period we will maintain all advertised services via Facebook every day at 10am. St Mary's Church will still be available for Funeral Services and we will work to re-establish a rota of people to open St Mary's every Wednesday and Saturday from 2-4pm for individual private prayer because we, the people of faith have a mission and a message which no lockdown can prevent – God’s kingdom is real, tangible and there for everyone!

But you know, people have all sorts of funny ideas about God’s Kingdom and what heaven means – and there are so many jokes and stories to choose from on this theme, some of which can’t be repeated in a sermon, but I did enjoy this one: