Sunday Sermon - 20.03.22

Delivered by Rev’d Lorraine Lynch

‘Repent or Perish’


REPENT OR PERISH! ….it’s such a fierce life-threatening command!
It reminds me of Dr. Ian Paisley, the fiery Irish Rev’d and politician who was reported to have been preaching one Sunday on the End Times - and in particular on the ‘Day of Judgement’. As he reached the climax of his address he said that… 
“On the ‘Day of Judgement’ there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”  At which point an old woman put up her hand and said “Dr. Paisley, I have no teeth” Paisley replied “Madam, teeth will be provided!” 

Sunday Sermon - 13.03.22

Delivered by Rev’d Michele Knight

Year 2 C - Complexities


I was telling someone this week, that one of the most important things I have learned in my life is that you never really know what is happening, or has happened, in the lives of other people.  Most of us are a lot more complex than others think we are. We are neither the waste of space that our opponents claim, nor the extremely virtuous people that some of our friends might like to imagine.

There are some observers of life who boast that they can sum up a person in a few minutes. I have undertaken many studies that claim to be able to work out people's personalities and categorise them into neat little groups or boxes...

Sunday Sermon - 26.02.22

Delivered by Rev’d Selina McMahon

Last Sunday after Epiphany


In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Every year the church goes mountain climbing.  We go, like Peter and James and John did, following Jesus. And it’s at the mountain height we see him as he really is. By him and with him and in him the glory of God shines. 

But why?  Why do we climb to see this light?  Why do we take valuable time away from our busy lives and devote ourselves to climbing the mountain where God's glory is revealed?  Aren't there hungry to be fed?  Jobs to be done?  Aren't there bills to be paid?  Children to be fed and clothed? Sick to be healed?  Grievers to be consoled?  Why does Jesus take this time away from his mission?  Why do we?

Sunday Sermon - 20.02.22

Delivered by Rev'd Dr Gemma Dashwood, written by Rev’d Selina McMahon

7th Sunday after Epiphany


People can be very selective in what they expect from a sermon. It’s almost as if ideas have been formed in advance. Expectations are raised, and, if the preacher doesn’t live up to their unwritten brief, they are in trouble. Can I make my excuses now and say that this sermon was prepared by Sel, so these are her thoughts, not mine, in case you want to take her to task on them later.

Nevertheless it is true that, to many people, if you were to preach of a God who is judgmental, vengeful and angry, not many people will object. That’s almost what is expected of a God who sets plans in motion by giving people a hard time to punish others at some future date. We only have to look at the story of Joseph and his brothers, Joseph’s intense suffering and eventual redemption all so that the entire tribe of Israel would at some future date be saved from a famine, and you can see the sort of God many people believe is at the heart of our faith. 

Sunday Sermon - 26.09.21

Delivered by Rev’d Michele Knight

18th Sunday after Pentecost


May my thoughts, words and heart be true to you O Lord, and may those who listen know your will in their lives.
Some weeks ago, Sel preached a sermon that, in part, spoke about how we use the word ‘literally’ incorrectly in our everyday speech.  She told us that this word is meant to be understood in an exact sense, as something that is or has actually happened. However, in common language, as well as in the Oxford dictionary, this word can also be used for emphasis while not being used to describe something in an exact manner. Using ‘literally’ in this sense is usually known linguistically as hyperbole – that is using exaggerated statements or claims meant to or make a point.

Sunday Sermon - 16.05.21

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Easter 7 


Today is the seventh Sunday after Easter and the first after the ascension. We have been hearing about the 
lives that as disciples we are expected to try to live. We have been learning in greater detail of the 
transcendental nature of Jesus as we grow in awareness of him as God. Today we are at the truly pointy end. 
Today we are recognising how we like Jesus transcend two worlds, this world of human experience in which 
we exist and the world of heaven in which we are called to belong. 
Todays gospel passage is part of the larger unit of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples that starts in Chapter 13 
of John Gospel with the foot washing scene and concludes in chapter 17 with Jesus’ prayer.

Sunday Sermon - 02.05.21

Delivered by Rev’d Julie Leaves

Easter 5B 


I know some preachers who are well versed in poetry (pun intended) and can usually come a beautifully apt poem to illustrate the theme of their sermon. While I have read a little poetry and have a couple I love, I can’t claim to be an adept. I, on the other hand, can sometimes come up with some interesting choruses. The one that I feel has something to say in association with our Gospel goes by the name of “That’s why I’m bananas for the Lord.” Would you like me to sing it for you? 
“He’s a peach of a saviour. He’s the apple of my eye. He gives us fruit in season and his love will never die. 

Sunday Sermon - 25.04.21

Delivered by Rev’d Selina McMahon

Anzac Day Service


How good is your memory?

Red yellow green brown scarlet black ochre peach ruby olive violet fawn lilac gold chocolate mauve cream crimson silver rose azure lemon russet grey purple white pink orange BLUE!

Those words come from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and is a list that's not easy to remember without practice.

Some people can remember lists like that quickly and easily – we often (incorrectly) say that they have a photographic memory. For others (like me), they need to study. And to try, and try and try again until they get it right. I am always overwhelmed by people who are required to retain vast amounts of essential information – medical staff, for example, for whom, remembering the correct dose of the correct drug for the correct illness is a matter of life and death: me? I struggle to remember what colour car I drive.

Sunday Sermon - 04.02.21

Delivered by Rev’d Julie Leaves

Epiphany  - week 5


Do you know far an observant Jew is allowed to walk on the Sabbath without it being classed as “work”?
According to Jewish law sets the maximum walking range from one’s city to 2,000 cubits, just under a kilometer (However, this measurement starts 70 2/3 cubits (34 m) from the city limits.) Practically speaking, this means that you may not walk a straight line more than 960 meters in any direction in the wilds outside your city limits; but if I’ve understood correctly, walking within your city is fine. A walk to and from the Synagogue or to the home of family or friends is acceptable. So it was perfectly acceptable, and indeed right and fitting, for Jesus and his disciples to go to the house of Simon Peter’s mother in law. As soon as he enters the house, Jesus goes to her and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then, we’re told, the fever left her, and she began to serve them, a beautiful response after being restored to wholeness.

Sunday Sermon - 14.02.21

Delivered by Rev’d Selina McMahon

Year B Last after Epiphany  - The Transfiguration


I've never tried cheese rolling in Gloucester, but many people have. Each year a 5 kg cheese is rolled down a hill and hundreds of people run after it, trying to beat it to the bottom. It's a horrifically dangerous event since the hill is on a sixty degree slope. Cuts and bruises are common from people who fall. Broken limbs are not rare. Neither have I tried bog snorkeling, which takes place in Wales, and which is exactly what it sounds like.  However, I have been to a proper Burns night Supper and toasted the haggis. These odd British customs all take place for one reason - it's tradition. 

Sunday Sermon - 24.01.21

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany


Our readings last week spoke of recognising the voice of God when God, when Jesus spoke to us. Today we must consider our response to the call of God through Jesus in our lives. 
Imagine --- The man Jesus walks into your life and says ‘stop whatever you are doing and come work with me.’ On offer is a job for which you feel inadequate, a job with suspect if any clearly defined working conditions. O yes! There may be travelling, living hand to mouth, ridicule should you take up the invitation. 
Imagine --- The man Jesus standing in front of you, looking straight at you saying, ‘stop whatever you are doing, come work with me.’
How would you answer? How to date, have you answered? Would you say yes or no or would you hesitate asking for time to make arrangements first, to protect your nest egg. 

Sunday Sermon - 17.01.21

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany

In her book, A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall tells how her late preacher-husband felt a sense of destiny, a sense of call in his life.

Marshall explains;  One dark night, Peter, then a young man, decided to take a Shortcut across the Scottish moors. He knew there was a deep deserted limestone quarry in that area, but he was confident that even in the dark he could avoid it. Suddenly, he heard someone call, "Peter." There was great urgency in the voice. Peter stopped and responded: "Yes, who is it? What do you want?" There was no answer. He walked a few more steps and then heard the voice calling more urgently "Peter!"
He then he stumbled falling on his knees. Putting out his hand to catch himself, he found nothing there. He was at the very edge of the abandoned stone quarry. Just one more step would have meant certain death."

Sunday Sermon - 17.01.21

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany

In her book, A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall tells how her late preacher-husband felt a sense of destiny, a sense of call in his life.

Marshall explains;  One dark night, Peter, then a young man, decided to take a Shortcut across the Scottish moors. He knew there was a deep deserted limestone quarry in that area, but he was confident that even in the dark he could avoid it. Suddenly, he heard someone call, "Peter." There was great urgency in the voice. Peter stopped and responded: "Yes, who is it? What do you want?" There was no answer. He walked a few more steps and then heard the voice calling more urgently "Peter!"
He then he stumbled falling on his knees. Putting out his hand to catch himself, he found nothing there. He was at the very edge of the abandoned stone quarry. Just one more step would have meant certain death."

Sunday Sermon - 20.12.20

Delivered by Rev’d Selina McMahon

Sermon for Advent 4

Whenever we are called to carry out any form of activity in virtually and arena of life these days, we are first of all faced with a barrage of forms to complete. When organising such activities for groups (particularly where children are involved) it is essential that we complete a “Risk Assessment”. We identify “what could go wrong” and assess it's likelihood and the impact if it did. Whereas some things will almost certainly go wrong (a belt of rain on the parish barbecue, for example), their impact isn't that great (soggy sausages warmed up in the oven).

Sunday Sermon - 13.12.20

Delivered by Rev’d Selina McMahon

Sermon for Advent 3: "Gaudete! - Rejoice!"

In 1972, Steeleye Span relased the son, Gaudete.I won't sing it but the first line is "Gaudete, gaudete Christos est natus Ex Maria virginae, gaudete." Rejoice, Christ is born of Mary." Gaudete. Rejoice.  The word is sprinkled throughout today's readings: in Isaiah, the prophet proclaims that God has sent him to bring "glad tidings to the poor" and "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul" whereas St. Paul instructs his followers to "Rejoice always".

Sunday Sermon 02.11.20
Delivered by Rev’d Shelley Knight

By a happy coincidence All Saints day falls on a Sunday this year. It’s a day when we think about the high profile saints. St. Paul, St John or even St Francis. We at St Pauls celebrate the dual feast days of All Saints and All Souls noted in our Collect Prayer this morning it says "Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those inexpressible joys you have prepared for those who truly love you."  A fairly hard ideal to live up to I think.   In our Church we don't put as a great importance on the Saints as others. This week at Villa, I had a lady show me her cross with a medal of St Benedict imbedded in and she told me that I could bless myself with it.  I must admit I felt a little uncomfortable doing this...

Sunday Sermon 11.10.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

One of the greatest challenges I have experienced in my life came with being a parent. As a parent and qualified adult it is my responsibility to facilitate and guide the training of my apprentice adult children so they are adequately prepared to take their own place as qualified adults in the community. There are times when they are easy students, but there are many times when they believe they know better, when they choose another path rather than one framed by experience...

Sunday Sermon 04.10.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Have you ever made a promise and failed to keep it?

We have all made promises in our lives, promises that when we borrow some thing, we will return it as it was lent, promises that we will meet certain targets for repayments and so on. Those of us who have been confirmed recited for ourselves our baptismal promises originally made on our behalf by others. Importantly, when we make or receive promises we in good faith expect that they will be kept but sometimes for all kinds of reasons they are not...

Sunday Sermon 27.09.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

The opening of today’s gospel clearly identifies the chief priests and the elder’s of the people as the audience to whom Jesus is addressing his message. This context will not change for several weeks now. So what is special about this audience?
Firstly, the chief priest and elders of the community are the religious and; given the intertwined nature of the relationship between the scriptures, ritual and social-cultural governance for the Jewish people; the most powerful leadership group...

Sunday Sermon 20.09.20
Delivered by Gemma Dashwood

Last week I preached another student sermon at St Paul’s, and my supervising priest informed me just before we started the service that my mark for my sermon would be based on how many of the congregation read their Bailiwicks as I spoke. What he hadn’t banked on, however, is that at the start of my sermon I offered to buy everyone a beer if they (just this once!) put down their Bailiwicks and listened to me. In the interests of fairness, I am happy to make the same offer today!

Sunday Sermon 13.09.20
Delivered by Gemma Dashwood

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen  As many of you know, part of my Formation Programme towards Priesthood involves me getting marked on my sermons. My Supervising Priest has informed me that my mark will be based on the number of people who are still reading their Bailiwick while I speak. So if, as a favour to me, you can put your Bailiwicks down for a few minutes, I’ll be very grateful!

Sunday Sermon 30.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

The weight of the cross is heavy, but lifting such a weight strengthens faith Fr Maximilian Kolbe, St’s Peter, Paul and Mother Teresa, many of the disciples and even our own Mavis Parkinson share in various kinds of martyrdom, the surrendering of their life for God. This was the cross they were asked to carry.  Fr. Kolbe a Catholic Priest from Poland who during World War II, was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp because of his commitment to his faith, volunteered to replace a fellow prisoner who was to be executed by starvation...

Sunday Sermon 23.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Revelation is always a key moment in life. In fiction it often comes at a climax of a piece, although it is rarely as simple as that in real life. The Gospels record that Jesus spent the first part of his ministry actually shielding who he really was from those around and about. If you recall, when he cast out demons he would often forbid them to speak since they knew who he was. However, he did need his followers to actually come to realize who he was for themselves. And so, almost immediately prior to his entry into Jerusalem, he took them aside for the final part of their education...

Sunday Sermon 16.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur at St Paul's

The Canaanite woman described by Matthew (15:22) is possibly the same woman also referred to by Mark (7:26) as the Syrophoenician woman. In either case while the actual identity of the woman is unknown we are lead to believe by Matthew verses 21-22, that she is from the region of Tyre and Sidon. Interestingly, scholars considering the writings of Josephus, suggest that Jesus even being present in this region at the time was odd given the Canaanites were firstly Gentiles, and more so descendants of Israel’s ancient enemies. 

Sunday Sermon 10.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon at St Paul's


I’m going to do something a bit odd and ask you to forget about Jesus for a moment or two.  I know, “another one of Fr. Steve’s crackpot ideas”, but run with me on this one, because I want to suggest that the Gospel reading we have just heard has very little to do with Jesus at all. So let’s forget about him for the moment. It’s really a story about a group of men in a boat.  

It starts off well enough. The lake is a freshwater one, about 21km long by about 13 km wide. The men, experienced fishermen who would have known how to handle themselves on this lake, had set out in fair weather. However, the weather on this lake is notoriously temperamental and before long they are facing huge waves lashing the boat while a raging headwind hinders progress.

Sunday Sermon 10.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur at St Thomas' 


There are as many variations of being Christian as there are Christians but there are only two major groupings into which all in some way find themselves. Those who take risks and those who play it safe. What type of Christian are you?   Most of us are familiar with today’s Gospel passage and many of us are quick to recognise Peter’s failing as his focus was drawn away from Jesus and toward the wind. But, is this really the point of the  passage. I suggest to a degree, yes; but there is more. I actually think Peter receives an unfair amount of poor press by people exploring this passage. Consider for a moment, while Peter’s loss of focus does lead to his loss of buoyancy and need for rescue, is it possible that in fact it is not Peter who failed, but rather the apostles who unlike Peter were too afraid to even try to reach Jesus, so remained safe in the boat. 

Sunday Sermon 10.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur at St Thomas' 


There are as many variations of being Christian as there are Christians but there are only two major groupings into which all in some way find themselves. Those who take risks and those who play it safe. What type of Christian are you?   Most of us are familiar with today’s Gospel passage and many of us are quick to recognise Peter’s failing as his focus was drawn away from Jesus and toward the wind. But, is this really the point of the  passage. I suggest to a degree, yes; but there is more. I actually think Peter receives an unfair amount of poor press by people exploring this passage. Consider for a moment, while Peter’s loss of focus does lead to his loss of buoyancy and need for rescue, is it possible that in fact it is not Peter who failed, but rather the apostles who unlike Peter were too afraid to even try to reach Jesus, so remained safe in the boat. 

Sunday Sermon 02.08.20
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon


Many years ago, a group of us spent a day on the streets of the city of Leeds in the United Kingdom. We had fifty pence – about a dollar in Australian money. No mobile phone. No credit cards. Just 50 pence and a cross. Here’s mine. We spent 12 hours with no agenda, nowhere particular to go, just wandering the city looking for God. I have to be honest, watching the shoppers dashing by without regard to the people who spent every day on the streets, knowing that you hadn’t even got the money to buy a cup of tea or coffee, knowing that even the public toilets would cost almost half of the total amount of cash in your pocket, was a sobering experience. I didn’t find God in Leeds – I found God’s absence....

Sunday Sermon 27.07.20
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon


People love mystery. It's the reason why people love crime stories films. There is always something a little unknown which keeps the reader or viewer guessing. Mystery, properly used, can heighten our worship because it allows us to get an idea of something about God, without trying to reduce God to such mundane levels that we can actually understand it completely....

Sunday Sermon 19.07.20
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

To be brutally honest, I'm not overly fond of Simon Cowell. I'm not really attracted to those shows where people appear, performing their part piece in front of a screaming audience to allow Simon, or another judge to pour scorn on them. Yes, every so often there is a Susan Boyle in the mix but all too often the attraction is to see how bad some of the acts are and how much ridicule the judges can pour on them. Whether it's "Australia's got talent", the X Factor, Dancing with the Stars or even Masterchef, I don't find it attractive to watch people being judged...

Sunday Sermon 12.07.20
A return to the church post COVID restrictions

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Well, the big day has at last dawned. After 114 days, we are finally able to gather once again in church to celebrate the holiest of all the sacraments: Holy Communion. Having finally marked the Resurrection of Christ with the lighting of the new Easter candle, we are able to take our places once more and gather at the Lord's table to receive him in a very particular way; in the sacrifice of the Eucharist. We will gather, still isolating and using excellent hygiene, in order to enter a state of transcendence...

Sunday Sermon 28.06.20
Evensong - Homily, St Peter and St Paul

Delivered by Gemma Dashwood

Tonight we celebrate the festival of Sts Peter and Paul – both of whom played critical roles in the earliest days of the founding of the Christian church. As many of you would have read in Fr Steve’s reflection, Peter and Paul were in fact very different people, with contrasting backgrounds, and at times, opposing points of view. But they also had another thing in common – they didn’t always get it right!...

Sunday Sermon 07.06.20
Trinity - Exodus 34:1-8; Song of 3YM; 2 Corinthians 13:11-14; Matthew 28.16-20

Delivered by Rev'd Stephen Monsiegneur

‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’  Being Christian we are charged as individuals and as the body of Christ, the Church’, to take forward the mission of God. Becoming Christian occurs through a baptism where there declaration to God is made in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. A reference that for many is confusing...

Sunday Sermon 21.05.20
Ascension Day 

Delivered by Rev'd Steve McMahon

The Ascension, coming forty days after we celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, is a part of the story of Jesus that we often ignore. Every time we say the Apostles’ Creed together, as one of the things we believe about Jesus, we affirm: ‘He ascended into heaven’. But how often do we think about what that actually means?

Sunday Sermon 03.05.20
Feast of ss. Phillip and James

Delivered by Rev'd Steve McMahon

When people are asked to name the apostles, the majority will get one or two. Judas Iscariot and Peter are commonly named. Those who have a little knowledge may get a few more, Andrew, Doubting Thomas, James and John. But it usually stops about there – few will be able to tell you anything about some of the rest of the Twelve. Philip and James (usually called "James the Less" to distinguish him from the other James) fall into this category, and that is not really surprising because we know so very little about them...

Sunday Sermon 26.04.20

The Third Sunday of Easter

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Have you ever found yourself so worried by something only to discover that you had the solution as they say, ‘at your fingertips’, but you were simply too preoccupied to recognise it?  This is the situation in today Gospel where Cleopas and the other disciple find themselves as they walk the road toward Emmaus.  It is the third day after the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus and as the disciples journey, they are sharing their thoughts...

Sunday Sermon 05.04.20

Palm Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

A lot has changed in the five weeks of Lent 2020 and I suspect that like me, many are of the view that they have sacrificed more than was planned.  Today is Palm Sunday, the Sunday of the Passion, the Sunday that marks the end of lent and the beginning of the holiest week of the Christian faith. But this is not the typical Palm Sunday we are accustomed too or were expecting. The arrival of COVID‐19 has threatened humanity in a way that few of us can honestly say we have experienced in our lives before...

Sunday Sermon 29.03.20

Year A Lent 5

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

As we continue to spend time in isolation while doctors look for a means to deal with the Coronavirus, we might ask ourselves why isn't God doing something about it? Why isn't a cure for this deadly disease being presented to us on a plate? It's when we look at the account of Jesus raising Lazarus that we can begin to get a glimpse of a solution to that age‐old dilemma.  The most remarkable thing about this event is that Lazarus was already dead when the message reached Jesus...

Sunday Sermon 22.03.20

Mothering Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Julie Craig‐Leaves

This is what I wrote at the top of my page. It’s shocking and sobering. I’m not sure it’s easier to know that, throughout the Anglican Church of Australia, Bishops and Archbishops are telling their parish clergy the same thing. We’re not alone. We’re not picked out for special treatment.  The measures your Rector and Wardens are working on are very similar to every parish in our Diocese, in our Nation, across the Anglican Communion and among each denomination...

Sunday Sermon 26.01.20
Epiphany 3

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

One of the lessons I teach all new curates and students is that whatever you do in a service, do it positively. Even if you make a mistake, do it with confidence and there is a good chance that no-one will notice. Indeed, sometimes, a mistake actually becomes part of the liturgy when it is discovered that it helps with the flow of the worship. Like it or not, ritual plays an important part of our time together in worship. The pattern by which we carry out our services is important since it not only provides familiarity with a potentially obscure set of actions, but it is also full of symbolism because it is the key to revealing hidden spiritual truths...

Sunday Sermon 08.12.19
Prepare For The "way Of The Lord", Advent 2

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

Today we begin the second week of Advent – and a time of continued preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus and revel in the anticipation of His Second Coming. 

In today’s gospel we here John the Baptizer, who prepared Judea for the first coming of Jesus, telling us how to prepare for the coming of Jesus in this Holy Season. 

‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ (Matthew 3:3)

This instruction to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’; is important, it exists not only in today’s sentence from Mark, or the reading from Isaiah but throughout the calls of Old Testament prophets and the Gospel’s...

Sunday Sermon 13.10.19
Made to be whole
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

On the way to Jerusalem to face the cross - while he was near Samaria - Jesus encountered ten lepers; ten outcasts; ten people with the equivalent of ebola. They are under a sentence of death. No one will come near them or touch them; no one will even touch their clothing and their eating utensils. By the rules of their society (rules created because of the fear of contamination) lepers were forced to live apart from everyone else, and on those occasions when they drew near to others for one reason or other, they rang little bells to announce their presence and to warn others to stand off...

Sunday Sermon 06.10.19
A sermon on facing fear
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

There is a legend from the Orient about a traveller making his way to a large city.  One night he meets two other travellers along the road - Fear and Plague.  Plague explains to the traveller that, once they arrived, they are expected to kill 10,000 people in the city. The traveller asks Plague if Plague would do all the killing. "Oh, no. I shall kill only a few hundred.  My friend Fear will kill the others."...  

Sunday Sermon 29.09.19
St Michael
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

If you were to glance at the booklists available from Amazon, you’d notice that “fantasy literature” is currently in vogue. These are books that retell old myths or invent new ones and there are a plethora of feature films about them. From King Arthur to Beowulf, from the Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, they relate stories which, while they do not claim to be factual, nevertheless proclaim fundamental truths. Indeed, some truths can only be conveyed by fiction. As author Neil Gaiman once pointed out, "the point is not so much that fairy tales tell us that dragons exist, as much that dragons can be defeated"...  

Sunday Sermon 15.09.19
Who does God rejoice over? – Luke 15:1-10
Delivered by Rev’d Michelle Knight

May the words of my mouth and the mediations of our hearts and minds be acceptable to you, O Lord.
Today Jesus tells two parables about losing and finding.  When first reading the passages for today I was reminded of an incident when I was conducting a funeral a week ago and a man came up to me and introduced himself as the back sheep of the family.  I wondered at the time why he felt that way about himself.  It prompted me to choose this is the graphic for the booklet I do up weekly to use when we take Communion to the homes of those who cannot come to church...  

Sunday Sermon 21.07.19

Sermon preached on Lunar Communion Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

At approximately 2:30 in the morning, a three year-old boy was roused from his slumber. Brought downstairs he could hardly keep his bleary eyes open as he watched the small grey television set in the corner of the room bringing back pictures from a venue some quarter of a million miles away. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" didn't really impact on his young brain - at least, not immediately. 
Twelve months later it was a different story... 

Sunday Sermon 19.05.19

Sermon preached to Easter 5

Guilty as charged?

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Imagine, you are arrested and put on trial. Your alleged crime: you are a Christian. Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
In the early days it would have been relatively easy – you would only have needed to state that “Jesus is Lord” and you'd have been off to the arena to feed the lions quicker than you could say “Here, kitty, kitty”, but would that be enough now?

Sunday Sermon 04.19

Sermon preached to Queensland Country Women’s Association

Based on Jeremiah 29:11-14 & Luke 12:16-21

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

I'd like to begin by asking a question:
Hands up all those who have seen Avengers: Endgame
Hands up all those who know what Avengers: Endgame is.
For the uninitiated, it's the twenty-second film in the Marvel Studios superhero saga which began back in 2008. It's the culmination to a story arc which began when Robert Downey-Junior's character Tony Stark, built a suit of armour and became Iron Man. Now a complex story spanning eleven years, numerous characters, locations on earth and beyond, it would take you a whopping total of 47 hours 48 minutes to watch them all from beginning to end.

Sunday Sermon 05.05.19

Acts 9:1-6

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

May I speak in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 
Before I start, I would like to offer full disclosure as to the situation here today. 
(Place large L plate on pulpit)
I’d like to thank Father Steve for giving me this opportunity to preach at St Paul’s today. Actually I say “thank” but ... well let’s just say that my experience of a few weeks ago of being the only senior doctor on at night in a busy hospital when there were two concurrent cardiac arrests in two separate wards at 3am was less stressful than preparing to do this today. Anyway. I digress

Sunday Sermon 28.04.19

Passage: John 20:19-31 (NRSV)

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came... 

Sunday Sermon 19.04.19

Good Friday

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

The sun beats down on him as he hangs there in agony, blood caking dry on his forehead as it continues to ooze from the holes in his hands and feet. The young man hangs there, dying in front of your eyes. 
And it's all your fault. 
He hangs there, bleeding, beaten and dying because of the sins you have committed. Every one of them throughout your life has caused him to be in this point of despair, desolation and abandonment. 
Except, he isn’t quite alone. Standing nearby is his mother. Mary stands witness to her son’s brutal, public execution. She has, as the gospels hint, been bemused by her son; his life has been something of a mystery to her. However, she knows that there’s more to him than meets the eye and she’s learned to trust in him and wait. .

Sunday Sermon 14.04.19


Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur


Passage: Luke 19:28-40

Are you excited? 
You started this service outside, waving palms, parading and singing. Sounds to me like you are excited. And so you should be, after all we are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day Jesus enters Jerusalem as a king.
But I have a question; Will you still be praising him in a few days or will you be blaming him for letting you down?
It is about 30-35AD Jesus, knowing the danger, decides not only to go into Jerusalem, but to make a statement as he approaches and enters the city. Following Jesus instructions, a donkey or colt has been acquired by his disciples and with cloaks as a saddle Jesus mounts the animal and the procession begins...

Sunday Sermon 24.03.19

Lent 3

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur


Passage: Luke 13:31-35 (NRSV)

Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.

Well here we have some Pharisees, typically represented in the Gospels as opposed to Jesus warning Jesus that Herod is out to kill him. Then as if without a care Jesus calls Herod a Fox.

What is going on?

A why would Jesus call Herod a Fox?

Interestingly the narrative of today’s passage only appears in Luke’s Gospel. Biblical Scholars argue that we cannot presume that all Pharisees were opposed to Jesus, in fact Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, the two men who buried Jesus after his crucifixion, were both Pharisees and secret followers of Jesus. 

Sunday Sermon 17.03.19

Lent C - 2

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon


The Great Earthquake of Lisbon struck at 9:40am on 1st November 1755. Being All Saints Day, most of the population were at mass at the time. The quake lasted between 3 and 6 minutes and destroyed 85% of the city including virtually every church, burying the people within who were celebrating the festival – it being a particularly important one. The one area of the city which remained untouched was, ironically, the red light district - the area of streetwalkers and brothels. It seemed that God favoured the prostitutes rather than the worshippers.


Or did he?

Sunday Sermon 10.03.19

Lent 1C - I am, you are, we are…  Beloved

Delivered by Rev’d Dr Jo Inkpin


If you have ever been to St Luke’s church in Toowoomba, you will know it has wonderful stained glass windows.  These include, above the high altar, a replica of the famous medieval ‘Blue Virgin’ window from Chartres cathedral.  Another outstanding feature, at the west end, above the baptistery, is a beautiful modern Australian stained glass window; which, almost like an Aboriginal dot painting, plots and celebrates so many aspects of Creation.  There are several other windows too which command attention, including one with St Peter and girls from The Glennie School; a rendering of the meeting of Mary Magdalene with Jesus at the Resurrection; and a moving portrait (in the Warriors Chapel) of a dying soldier reaching out and touching the crucified Christ.  

Sunday Sermon 03.03.19

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur


Well, today is the last Sunday of Epiphany, a season that celebrates and rejoices in the fact that our God is a God not just for Israelites but for everyone, and we celebrate that we are called to bring that God into the world. A God of compassion and generosity, a God who does not want us to tremble in fear but be excited with joy at the divine presence. We celebrate that our God is; A God of love.


In a few days we will enter a wholly different season of the church calendar, the season of Lent. What does this mean?

Sunday Sermon 17.02.19

Delivered by Rev’d Michele Knight


Living Lord; open our hearts to your word - a word that passes swiftly and faithfully from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the life. Amen

Last week, when I was talking with some of my friends about preaching on the ‘Beatitudes & Woes’ reading today they said “well that won't be too hard!”, I have to say it would be easy to get up here and talk about how, if we want to be happy all we have to do is to give away materialism, dedicate ourselves to the poor and to bravely ‘turn the other cheek’ when people are mean to us and reject all that we believe in.  It would be easy to stand here and condemn those who are affluent, those who seem blessed by good fortune, enjoy a good life and are well respected in the community.  In fact it might even be seen by some as being typically Australian, in that we often love to condemn and ‘pull down’ those who we consider to be ‘tall poppies’.  But I don't think that this is really the point of our Gospel today and I don't think that this is the message Jesus is meaning us to take from it.

Sunday Sermon 03.02.19

Epiphany - 4th Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur


Jesus has just read from the prophetic scripture of Isaiah. At first he is well received by those present, but as he goes on this reaction changes to one of anger and rejection.

What is going on?

What did Jesus do to elicit such an abrupt and negative change in the tone of the audience?

What does it say to us?

As some will know I did not always identify as an Anglican but rather I was firm in my self-awareness as a Roman Catholic. In fact even after meeting and marrying Ursula who was Anglican, I was convinced that while nice well-meaning people, they did not quite understand the requirements for a relationship with God...

Sunday Sermon 27.01.19

Epiphany - 3rd Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon


One of the difficulties in understanding the scriptures is that we often forget that they were written in a different period, in a different land with a different culture. It is difficult, if not impossible, to understand exactly what the writer is trying to say because we are not sufficiently well-versed in the circumstances surrounding the writing of the particular text. As a result, when we put our modern perceptions upon Biblical events, we skew the narrative; our mind's eye naturally tries to set the scene according to our common perceptions without realising that the situations and locations we're reading about would appear very different if they were to happen today. A typical example of this is to be found in today's Gospel narrative... 

Sunday Sermon 20.01.19

Epiphany - 2nd Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur


What is going on?

Paul in his letter to the community in Corinth is talking about spiritual gifts, while in John’s Gospel, Jesus is found at a wedding party where following an intercession from his mother he proceeds to perform his first and possibly most remembered miracle, turning water into wine.

What is Paul talking about when referring to spiritual gifts?

Why did Jesus turn water into wine?   And

What are we to take from any of this?... 

Sunday Sermon 13.01.19

Epiphany - Baptism of the Lord

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon


The Baptism of Christ brings with it so many problems that many preachers are more wary of it than of preaching on the Trinity.

Jesus, the Son of God, perfect God and perfect man. God knew that, as sin would enter the world through one man, it would be through one perfect, sinless man that salvation would be won. Let's make no mistake, Jesus was truly human. He knew pain, anguish, hunger, thirst, compassion, joy, love, all the emotions that single us out from the rest of creation, Jesus experienced in the same way that we experience them. Look at the Biblical stories of the wedding feast at Cana, the anguish over the death of Lazarus, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and the suffering on the cross to see various documented examples of Jesus showing his human nature... 

Sunday Sermon 13.01.19

Epiphany - Baptism of the Lord

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur 


In today’s gospel we learn that many are following John, being baptised by him.

There is a high messianic expectation and so naturally people begin to suspect John may be the messiah promised to Israel. But john is quick to disclaim such ideas and clear in indicating where people should look. Luke spends some time detailing John’s ministry, lifestyle etc, but only refers to the baptism of Jesus by John in a subtext that is verse 21. Luke then focuses on an interesting aspect that is different in description to the other Gospels, Jesus does not receive the Holy Spirit during his water baptism but rather later when he is in prayer....

Sunday Sermon 16.12.18

3rd Sunday of Advent

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Rejoice – I say again, Rejoice! St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians has been called the Epistle of Joy, because, central to it is the fact that we should pray with joy – the two are linked. We should pray for those we are joyful for, and we should be joyful for those we have prayed for!

St. Paul amplifies that in today’s reading. Twice, Paul uses the word rejoice. It’s as if saying it the once is not enough. But more than that, having said it once reminds Paul what he has to rejoice about. At the time of writing, St. Paul was almost certainly languishing in prison awaiting certain death and this new church at Phillipi with its Christian congregation were just setting out on their way. Persecutions for those early Christians lay ahead - persecutions which Paul knew all too well, for he had been both on the receiving end and on the distributing end prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus...

Sunday Sermon 18.11.18

26th Sunday after Pentecost

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon


A sign in a bookshop I saw recently said "Post-apocalyptic fiction has now been moved to our current affairs section". With the world in the state it is, with the largest military nations in the world apparently sabre-rattling with each other, it's very easy to believe that someone already has their finger firmly on the big red threatening button of nuclear Armageddon.

Today's Gospel reading itself is a doom-sayer's delight with Jesus' response to the disciples questions about the end of days. The strange, morbid fascination with all things cataclysmic, is one that we all too readily leap upon. As you walk down the high street of many cities you will find some religious group or other, brandishing colour leaflets and magazines, purportedly demonstrating that the end of days is finally here. It's a subject that is all too readily proclaimed without, it seems, anyone taking note of Jesus' warning to...

Sunday Sermon 30.09.18

Sermon on Mk 9:38-50

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Many years before I entered the priesthood, I heard a sermon by a real Bible-thumping Ulsterman. Though not as powerfully built as Ian Paisley, he was just as powerfully voiced with a thick Belfast accent which added gravitas to his preaching, particularly when he was expounding on his favourite subject, Hell.


Some say that Hell is being forced to watch England getting spifflicated at the Gabba. Others say that it's the thought of being locked in a room watching Nigella cooking but being forbidden to taste her latest chocolate fondant. However, this particular priest, Fr. Avery, was absolute and fundamental in his understanding of what Hell was actually all about:...

Sunday Sermon 23.09.18

Sermon on Mark 9:30-37

Delivered by Rev'd Stephen Monsiegneur


Let’s begin with an exercise.

Look at the person sitting next to you, smile and say hello, then look back to the front.

You have just greeted a leader.

Seriously! You have just interacted with a person who apart from being the person next to you in church is also a leader in our community.

Whatever our role be it parents, siblings, teachers, or that person in the street, the list is endless; each one of us is a leader. Each one of us sets examples in our behaviors, our speech the way we dress and generally conduct ourselves; But, the question, the unspoken question Jesus put to the disciples in Capernaum, the same question he puts to us today is what kind of leader are we?...