Lectionary Reading Blog for 7 August: 11th Sunday after Trinity

LiturgyandSpiritualityWhy would Jesus, or in this case probably Luke, address the readers with ‘little flock’ (poimnion)?

We do not find this word in Mark, Matthew or John. They use another word when referring to literal or metaphorical flocks (poimne). But they never use it to address people. Neither does Luke do that again; he does use the word again in Acts; twice as a reference to the church.

‘Little flock’ sounds intimate but might also come across as patronising. The “do not be afraid” echoes the “do not worry” of verse 22. Jesus’ advice is: do not worry about your life so that you do not strive for food and clothes but for the kingdom. In your striving for the kingdom do not be afraid because God delights in giving his kingdom. It is uncanny how a gentle and kind saying: “Do not be afraid, little flock,…” has such a challenging and difficult demand: “Sell your possessions”.

I am unsure whether Luke saw a connection between ‘making treasure in heaven’ and ‘waiting for the master’. Both have their attention diverted from the immediate here and now to the kingdom of heaven and the coming of the Son of Man. Luke does not explain what the waiting looks like; maybe selling your possessions is a practical way in which you can be alert for the return of the messiah and the coming of the kingdom. The question remains: Where is your treasure?

7 August 2016
Luke 12: 32-40


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 31 July: 10th Sunday after Trinity

LiturgyandSpirituality“Who set me to be a judge over you?” is Jesus surprising and fascinating answer when somebody asks help with sharing an inheritance.

I want to interrupt the text and call out: “God”; God set Jesus as judge over us or did I misunderstand?

Luke himself confirms this later on in Acts 10 (42) when Peter explains the good news to Cornelius he says of Jesus: “… he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead”; although Peter (or Luke) might here only be referring to Jesus Christ after the resurrection.

Of course our text today is set before the resurrection. Does Jesus ask the question to verify how seriously his suggestions will be taken? Does Jesus not see himself as a judge? Jesus goes on not to judge between the person and his brother but to judge the possible greed that underlies the question.

It is a shame that the NRSV translation is not consistent in its translation of ‘soul’ (psuche). In verse 19 it translates ‘soul’ but in verse 20 ‘life’ for the same word. The ambiguity of the Greek texts asks us: what happens to your soul when you store up an abundance of possessions? And of course: who is the judge of that? Jesus’ advice is crystal clear: “Sell your possessions” (33).

31 July 2016
Luke 12:13-21


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

Lectionary Reading Blog for 24 July: 9th Sunday after Trinity

LiturgyandSpiritualityIt is delightful that the friend in our passage shares his bed with his children (v7).

This is again a small reminder that we are looking into a different world. It comes as a shock how different Luke’s version of the “(Our) Father” is. But it is wonderful how his use of the word ‘sins’ (hamartia) really shows up the ‘indebted’ (opheiló) in the same verse (4).

Matthew (6: 9-13) uses derivatives of debt both times in his version of this prayer. Interestingly the verb that belongs to getting rid of both sin and debt is ‘to let go’ or to ‘leave’ (aphiémi). A loosening of something that binds you.

It shows a very financial image in times when debt has taken on global significance and is threatening our economy and society. I wonder who really owes us, and what do they really owe us, and what do we really owe and how can we let go? A question that can be asked in our personal lives as is often done when praying this prayer of Jesus. The same question could be asked of our global economy.

Put in these terms I wonder whether honest answers might bring that Kingdom of God a good deal nearer. At the end of this passage it seems as if Luke is not very confident that we know what ‘good gift’ to ask of our ‘heavenly Father’; he just makes sure that we are clear about what to ask, knock and search for: the Holy Spirit. She will help us to let go.

24 July 2016
Luke: 11:1-13


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

Lever Arts in Residence

From their temporary base in Sarum College, artists Gillian and Jake Lever will use their time here to research, create new work and respond to the context of the college, the cathedral and city.

Until Monday 22 August 2016

Open evening on Friday 19 August 2016, 6pm to 8pm. Free and open to all. Book your place by emailing info@dev.sarum.ac.uk or telephoning 01722 424800.

Gillian and Jake run Lever Arts from their studio in Birmingham.

Gillian makes abstract paintings whilst Jake’s practice spans drawing, painting, printmaking and installation.

As well as creating exhibitions, the pair devise participatory experiences in the areas of health and education. They seek to work soulfully with materials, people and places, and have exhibited widely within sacred spaces, galleries and at festivals.

March 2016 marked the end of the ‘Soul Boats’ project Jake created for Birmingham Cathedral. See how the exhibition was made:

Soul Boats from Soul Boats on Vimeo.

See the installation of ‘Soul Boats’ in  Birmingham Cathedral:

Soul Boats from Soul Boats on Vimeo.


Contact us   |   Exhibitions at Sarum College

Full-time Qualified Chef Vacancy

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Full-time Qualified Chef vacancy.

To find out more about the post, please read the following documents:

We recommend downloading Adobe PDFs to your computer and then opening them with Adobe Reader to maintain full compatibility.

You can find out more about Sarum College by reading through our website. If, after reading the application documents and learning more about the College through the website you decide that you would like to apply for the post, please send the documents listed below to Richard Amey at Sarum College by 4pm on Monday 18 July 2016, which is the deadline for receipt of completed applications:

  • a completed application form,
  • a completed confidential declaration

Our preference is for applications to be completed electronically and sent by email to ramey@dev.sarum.ac.uk. However, if you wish to download and print the documents, please either hand them into Reception (Sarum College is located in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close) or send them by post to the following address:

Richard Amey
Full-time Chef Role
Sarum College
19 The Close
Salisbury SP1 2EE

Please note that only those applicants who send completed documents (application form and confidential information form) cited above will be considered.

As a charity, we make every effort to keep our expenditures under control. If you apply and wish to have receipt of your application acknowledged by email, please note this in your message when you send your application documents. If you wish to have a confirmation by post, please enclose a stamped and addressed postcard with your application.

Interviews will take place later during the week commencing 18 July 2016. If by the end of 21 July 2016 you have not received an invitation to attend an interview, you may assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

Only candidates eligible to live and work in the UK should apply. All shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK at the selection process.

If you wish to discuss the post before you apply, please contact Richard Amey. Email ramey@dev.sarum.ac.uk or telephone 01722 424809.

Finance Officer (Materninty Cover) Vacancy

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Finance Officer (Maternity Cover) post.

To find out more about the post of Finance Officer (Maternity Cover), please see the following documents:

We recommend downloading Adobe PDFs to your computer and then opening them with Adobe Reader to maintain full compatibility.

You can find out more about Sarum College by reading through our website. If, after reading the application documents and learning more about the College through the website you decide that you would like to apply for a post, please send the documents listed below to Mark Manterfield at Sarum College by 4pm on Thursday 21 July, which is the deadline for receipt of completed applications:

  • a completed application form,
  • a completed confidential declaration

Our preference is for applications to be completed electronically and sent by email to mdm@dev.sarum.ac.uk. However, if you wish to download and print the documents, please either hand them into Reception (Sarum College is located in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close) or send them by post to the following address:

Mark Manterfield
Finance Officer (Maternity Cover)
Sarum College
19 The Close
Salisbury SP1 2EE

Please note that only those applicants who send completed documents (application form and confidential information form) cited above will be considered.

As a charity, we make every effort to keep our expenditures under control. If you apply and wish to have receipt of your application acknowledged by email, please note this in your message when you send your application documents. If you wish to have a confirmation by post, please enclose a stamped and addressed postcard with your application.

If by the end of Monday 25 July you have not received an invitation to attend an interview, you may assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion. The selection process will take place on Thursday 28 July.

Only candidates eligible to live and work in the UK should apply. All shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK at the selection process.

If you wish to discuss the post before you apply, please contact Mark Manterfield. Email mdm@dev.sarum.ac.uk or telephone 01722 424832.

Lectionary Reading Blog for 17 July: 8th Sunday after Trinity

LiturgyandSpiritualityWith the short story of Martha and Mary Luke relates the activity of caring in the “Good Samaritan” with the activity of praying in the beginning of chapter 11.

Both the caring and the praying are things we initiate. But Mary does not take initiative, she does not invite Jesus, she does not serve Jesus, she does not speak to Jesus, she just sits and listens to his word.

The question is what is the difference between the Samaritan and Martha? What is the difference between Martha’s request of Jesus and the prayer of the following verses? Both service and prayer require a certain amount of listening.

The trouble seems to be Martha being ‘distracted’ (v40). A word (perispao) that appears only once in the New Testament and means literally ‘to draw around’ but is used as being over-occupied about something. In this case it is being over occupied by (literally) ‘much service’.

Martha is too busy, mentally driven about by all the serving she is doing. That is recognisable and has nothing to do with either worship or contemplation being a “better part” than action. I wonder whether you could as easily be over occupied by prayer. Bob Bzz-y, bzz-y, bzz-y; busy as a bee; Martha was so busy she could hardly even breathe”.

17 July 2016
Luke 10:38-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

Book of the Month: July 2016

scarsScars Across Humanity by Elaine Storkey

This is probably the most important book anyone could read all year. It is deeply moving, well researched and a call to action that, once started, is impossible to put down.

Elaine Storkey had a wealth of experience to draw on while writing this book. As the President of Tearfund and co-founder of Restored she has worked in areas where gender-based violence was considered a part of every day life. Her familiarity and sensitivity with the issues involved make this book both moving and unflinchingly honest.

 The majority of the book considers the realities of violence against women throughout the world; covering issues such as rape, FGM, selective abortion and forced marriage. There is no place for sensationalism in Storkey’s writing. The impact of her book lies in the facts that she relates, bringing together statistics and descriptions of violence that put the true scale of the problem into clear view. The last sections consider some modern theories of violence against women. Including the role of religion as a contributing factor and as a cure.

 Most importantly this book offers hope. Elaine (a practising Christian and member of the General Synod of the Church of England) is honest about the problems that religions, including Christianity and Islam, have caused. However she extends to people everywhere a vision of hope; making it clear that religion can provide a framework to help understand and ultimately eradicate violence. 

Reviewed by Lynette White

Special price of £8.99 in the shop (posted out for free) or buy online for £6.99 + postage until 31st July 2016. RRP £9.99.