Lectionary Reading Blog for 13 March: 5th Sunday of Lent

LiturgyandSpiritualityIt is such a shame that the monsters in the bible (whether you translate as: dragon, dinosaur, sea monster, or venomous serpent) sometimes get translated out.

In my translation it has become a jackal. This image of the monsters here is an image of chaos: the chaos is honouring God. The ostrich (literally the daughters of the ostrich) is an unclean animal and might also refer to an extinct bird. The dragons and ostriches share the water in the wilderness with the people of God; they also share declaring the praises of God.

Even though the writer tells us not to remember the ‘former things’ he has just reminded us of Israel’s salvation from Egypt. What are the former things that should be forgotten? Do the Israelites need to forget about living in exile? The way in the wilderness is a way out of exile but not to the ‘land of milk and honey’ but into the wilderness. The new thing that God is doing is not taking his people out of the wilderness but taking them into the wilderness and making the wilderness habitable.

13 March 2016
Isaiah 43:16-21


This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.

Lectionary Blog  |  Ministry at Sarum College

Sarum College Bookshop Shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year

NewBookshopCongratulations to Sarum College Bookshop who have be shortlisted for the British Book Industry Awards Independent Bookshop of the Year 2016.

The Bookshop has been nominated along with four other bookshops in the South-west region which include The Book Shop Liskeard, St Ives Bookseller, The Torbay Bookshop, Paignton and Winstone’s Books, Sherborne.

Regional winners will be announced on Friday 4 March, with those going on the the British Book Industry gala awards ceremony in London on Monday 9 May.

Lectionary Reading Blog for 6 March: Mothering Sunday

LiturgyandSpiritualityEvery single one of these readings for Mothering Sunday are about mothers who “let go”.

Whether it is the mother of Moses leaving her baby on the river to be found by a princess, or Hannah giving her little boy to the Lord (1 Samuel 1: 28) for ministry in the temple, or Mary hearing of the sword that will pierce her soul and standing at the foot of the cross; all these mothers become faith heroes by letting their children go.

In my mind there is a small niggle that warns me concerning these stories: are they really life-giving to women or are they written from a male perspective that does not take the women into account? On the other hand there is in my mind the overwhelming acknowledgement of the wisdom that comes with these stories. Only a parent who has created a safe bond with the child can then also truly let the child go. It is in the process of letting go that the genuine greatness of parenting comes to light. Is there not comfort in this thought?

God is such a mother, who lets go, who sets free. And we become more mother-like, more God-like, when we lose (or have lost) our children; whether we lose them to death or to the 1000 other things you can lose your child to. It is in the losing that we receive, just like Mary, Hannah and the ‘Levite woman’ who was Moses’ mother.

6 March 2016
Exodus 2:1-10; 1 Samuel 1:20-end; Luke 2:33-35; John 19:25b-27


This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.

Lectionary Blog  |  Ministry at Sarum College

Lectionary Reading Blog for 28 February: 3rd Sunday of Lent

LiturgyandSpiritualityPascho is the Greek verb for ‘to suffer’ not to be confused with pascha which is the Greek noun for ‘pass-over’ the Jewish feast that celebrates the Exodus.

This word pascho (not pascha) is used in Luke only for the suffering Jesus entered into on the cross; except of course in this passage Lk. 13:2.

This passage in Luke is such a relief; finally Jesus is speaking of a topic we all desperately want to know about. Why is there suffering? I wonder why we all want to know about it so desperately? Do we want a certain answer to punish ourselves or others? Jesus’ view is fascinating. He claims that all are equally sinners or debtors (Greek?) (NRSV – offenders) whatever they suffer but we do need repentance to avoid worse suffering and death.

Fruitlessness is sin, it is forgiven for so long but it does need amending in the parable of the fig tree. Jesus is equally resolute in his denial of a link between sin and suffering as he is in his affirmation of this connection. We probably know it from the small and big parables in our lives. The suffering Syrian nation is not more sinful than any other nation but if all were to repent worse could be avoided both there and here. Isaiah also wants us to repent, to ‘return to the Lord’ to ‘forsake the wicked way’ and the ‘unrighteous thought’.

28 February 2016
Luke 13:1-9 and Isaiah 55: 1-9


This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.

Lectionary Blog  |  Ministry at Sarum College

Lectionary Reading Blog for 21 February: 2nd Sunday of Lent

LiturgyandSpiritualityIn Exodus 19:10-11 we read: “the Lord said to Moses: ’Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down (…)’ ”.

Today and tomorrow Jesus does not wash clothes but he heals and exorcises. And on the third day he ‘is perfected’, he is ‘completed’.

Our thoughts wander to John 19:30 where Jesus says on the cross: “It is finished”. If Jesus and Luke did have Exodus 19 in mind it seems as if they reinterpret Jesus’ death as ‘the Lord coming down’. It seems to me that this passage in Luke defies ‘logical’ reading. It is almost like a cryptic puzzle that is best enjoyed by letting the associations run free.

It seems to me that the ‘performing cures’ and the ‘casting out demons’ and even being ‘on the way’ to Jerusalem are all examples of ‘the hen gathering her brood under her wings’. In an unexpected twist the perfection or fulfilment happens in the rejection. Even as the little ones (the brood) scuttle away at their own peril, still the Lord comes into the dispersion, into death. Blessed is the third day; blessed is the resurrection; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

21 February 2016
Luke 13:31-end


This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.

Lectionary Blog  |  Ministry at Sarum College

Relationships by Sophie Ryder

028--Sophie-Ryder---18thNovember2015---by-Ash-Mills_webThe monumental wire and bronze sculptures of artist Sophie Ryder will be exhibited in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close from February 12th.

The sculpture display is part of a city-wide exhibition of Ryder’s work led by Salisbury Cathedral.  Sarum College is among the participating venues, which includes Salisbury Museum and The Young Gallery.

Through her wire sculptures and bronze Minotaur and Lady-Hare series, Sophie investigates relationships. A blend of human and animal forms lend otherness to the subjects and the range of emotions they express.

Girl-on-Horse-web
Girl on Horse etching

The bronze sculpture, Kneeling Lovers with Dogs, will be exhibited at the front of the College.

From 16 February, the exhibition continues inside the College with ink on paper, etchings, screen and solar prints.

Relationships, curated by Jacquiline Creswell, opens on 12 February with sculptures and life-size bronzes in the Cathedral Close with further works installed inside the Cathedral from 9 April. A recreation of a studio environment exploring how Sophie works opens at Salisbury Museum on 20 February. Salisbury’s Young Gallery is exhibiting paintings, smaller 3D work and wire drawings from 7 May to 18 June.


Exhibition Times & Dates

Sarum College
Free and open daily from 12 February for outdoor sculptures (indoor works from 16 February) through to 3 July

Salisbury Cathedral
Exterior exhibition 12 February to 3 July 2016; interior exhibition 9 April to 3 July 2016
Free guided art tours plus group craft activities on request (subject to availability)

Salisbury Museum
Recreation of studio environment 20 February to 9 July
£6 group tickets

Young Gallery Salisbury
Smaller 3D work and wire drawings from 7 May to 18 June


Contact us   |   Exhibitions at Sarum College

Bookshop Bestsellers: February 2016

Sarum College Bookshop1. Another Story Must Begin, by Johathan Meyer SPCK £7.99

2. Hymns Ancient & Modern (words edition) Canterbury Press,£12.50

3. Common Worship Morning and Evening Prayer on Sunday, Church House Publishing £2.95

4.  The Gospel in the Willows by Leslie J Francis, Darton Longman & Todd £6.99 (Up 3 places from last month)

5. The Book of Common Prayer Oxford University Press, £10

6. Encountered by Claire Benton Evans, Kevin Mayhew, £9.99

7. Life in the Psalms by Patrick Woodhouse, Bloomsbury £12.99 (no. 1 last month)

8. Prayer by Michael Mayne, Darton, Longman & Todd £6.99

9. Faith Confirmed by Peter Jackson, SPCK £9.99

10. I Am With You (The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book 2016) by Kathryn Grene-McCreight Bloomsbury, £9.99

Book of the Month: February 2016

LifeInThePslamsWebLife in the Psalms by Patrick Woodhouse

Do not be caught out by the early start of Lent! Most of us will seek support for our journey towards Easter. This will often take the shape of a trusted writer, guide and book.

Patrick Woodhouse offers us an exemplary model of a narrative for Lent. He navigates us into and around these ancient, sometimes very contradictory and confusing texts that lie at the heart of Jewish and Christian worship. Out of his own learning and life experience he digs deeply into the Psalms and offers us 30 reflections for the weekdays in Lent. The particular quality of this book lies in the accessibility of learning, the preparedness to accept the difficulties in reading Scripture and the imaginative bridging of the Psalmody and all that makes up our living, loving and longing for a better world. It’s grounded and real!

There is a deeply attractive reflectiveness in this book which will spiritually refresh its reader. However, expect to be changed, by the significant range of challenges that Woodhouse poses for our modern living. In a world dominated by individualism, consumerism and materialism Life in the Psalms will ask you to re-evaluate, renew and refresh your journey. Well-organised, a good price and handy size for pocket or handbag add to the usability of this book. Happy reading!

Reviewed by Canon James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College

Special price of £11.50 in the shop (posted out for free) or buy online for £9.50 + postage until 29 February 2016. RRP £12.99.

Better Together: Sarum Celebrates Anniversary of Merger

006-Sarum-College---26th-September-2015-by-Ash-MillsA year ago today, Sarum College and the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS) merged.

It’s been an incredible year of growth and change.

There’s shared teaching and expertise across all our education programmes.

Alongside our suite of Theology for Christian Ministry and Mission courses for ordination training, we now offer Ministry Study Days for independent students and train Licensed Lay Ministers for the Salisbury Diocese.

A national rural ministry pathway is in the pipeline as well, and we’re delighted to be accepting the first intake of students this autumn.


Contact us   |   Ministry Programmes at Sarum