Series 7 of Bishop Steven Croft’s popular podcast looks at the first letter of Peter, with Bishop Steven and friends reflecting on its lessons for us as we look to becoming a deeper church again.

We are undoubtedly living through one of the greatest crises of our lives. Series 4, Reflections for a Church in Lockdown, and series 5, Comfortable Words, aim to resource the Church during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Series 6, Come and Eat, encourages us to put ourselves in the way of God’s grace as we regather.

Series 1 – 3 of My (extraordinary) Family see Bishop Steven talking with someone he’s come to know in his travels about their faith, their work and their story. What does it mean to them to become more Christ-like: contemplative, compassionate and courageous for the sake of God’s world?

The Lamb of God: A journey through St John’s story of the passion

We see both darkness and light around us in this pandemic – the darkness of human isolation and suffering; the light of love as people reach out to one another. The story of Jesus’ passion takes place in the cold darkness of night, but John tells us that light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.

  • Reading John 18.15-27 by Julia Hollander. (NRSV).
  • Commentary by Bishop Steven.
  • A minute of silence follows +Steven’s commentary for personal reflection.
  • Taizé: Kyrie, kyrie, eleison.

This episode was produced by the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker in collaboration with Steven Buckley and Phil Hind. Music performed under CCLI 535160 and Limited Online Music License LE-0018115. Licenses registered to the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance.

Image credit: Shutterstock (378764134)

Sculptures

The Lamb of God: A journey through St John’s story of the passion

The Evangelists invite us to place ourselves in the story through the characters who come and go. Like them, we are both powerful and powerless before this story of the cross.

  • Reading John 18.28-40 by Julia Hollander. (NRSV)
  • Commentary by Bishop Steven.
  • A minute of silence follows +Steven’s commentary for personal reflection.
  • Taizé: Kyrie, kyrie, eleison.
  • Hymn: Amazing Love. What sacrifice, recorded and performed at home by Tom and Mandy Green for this podcast.

This episode was produced by the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker in collaboration with Steven Buckley and Phil Hind. Music performed under CCLI 535160 and Limited Online Music License LE-0018115. Licenses registered to the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance.

Image credit: Shutterstock (259696796)

Jesus wearing crown of thorns

The Lamb of God: A journey through St John’s story of the passion

As Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he is making a profound statement of who he claims to be. But in all that follows, Jesus takes this claim to kingship and power and to being God’s Son and God’s Messiah and turns it inside out.

  • Reading: John 19.1-16 by Julia Hollander. (NRSV)
  • Commentary by Bishop Steven.
  • A minute of silence follows +Steven’s commentary for personal reflection.
  • Taizé: Kyrie, kyrie, eleison.

This episode was produced by the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker in collaboration with Steven Buckley and Phil Hind. Music performed under CCLI 535160 and Limited Online Music License LE-0018115. Licenses registered to the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance.

Image credit: Shutterstock (671434105)

Crucifixion and sunlight

The Lamb of God: A journey through St John’s story of the passion

As we come to the centre of the story, we travel with Jesus to the cross. No-one takes Jesus’ life. He gives it. What has he done? What has been completed?

  • Reading: John 19.17-37 by Julia Hollander. (NRSV)
  • Commentary by Bishop Steven.
  • A minute of silence follows +Steven’s commentary for personal reflection.
  • Hymn: When I survey the wondrous cross, recorded and performed at home by Tom and Mandy Green for this podcast.

This episode was produced by the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker in collaboration with Steven Buckley and Phil Hind. Music performed under CCLI 535160 and Limited Online Music License LE-0018115. Licenses registered to the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance.

Image credit: Shutterstock (718434559)

Relief carving of Jesus

The Lamb of God: A journey through St John’s story of the passion

We end these reflections with much to think about, but hopefully with anticipation: not cast down by the solemn events we have rehearsed but deepened by them. The story is told but is not yet complete.

  • Reading John 19.38-24 by Julia Hollander. (NRSV).
  • Commentary by Bishop Steven.
  • A minute of silence follows for personal reflection.
  • Intercessions followed by The Lord’s Prayer Led by Paul Cowan.
  • Closing message from Bishop Steven.

This episode was produced by the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker in collaboration with Steven Buckley and Phil Hind. Music performed under CCLI 535160 and Limited Online Music License LE-0018115. Licenses registered to the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance.

Image credit: Shutterstock (203336479)

As we reach the sombre anniversary of the start of the first national lockdown, revisit this podcast from October 2020. Take a moment to reflect on all that has passed and cast your fears for the future on the Lord.


Look back over the last six months and reflect for a moment. What part has fear played in your own life and your life’s journey? What part is anxiety playing now in the key decisions of your life? Does it have too loud a voice? Does all of that fear and caution have the support of reason? Are there inner fears which you are keeping buried deep inside and cannot name or talk through with those closest to you? Are those chains of fear shaping the decisions you make in your work or your Christian service?

If that is the case, listen to the word of the Lord to you: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand”.


The famous Dad’s Army episode at the start of this episode is taken from this BBC clip on YouTube
Photo: Shutterstock

Some people spend their whole lives trying to discover what is important and valuable – what really matters in life. Some stumble across it almost by accident.

The final lines of the Creed remind us of the blessings which are ours in Christ, offered to us by God, free of charge.

This film marks the end of our series on the Creed, but there is still so much more to come and see.

oxford.anglican.org/come-and-see

Sometimes God can feel distant and far away, and the truths about God can seem hard to take hold of.

When we feel worn down by life, the Holy Spirit can bring us comfort and peace. But how do we actually experience the Holy Spirit at work in our lives?

This is the fourth of the Come and See weekly films from Bishop Steven. It accompanies daily email reflections throughout Lent.

See the journey so far and join us at oxford.anglican.org/come-and-see

Even on the best of days, there are shadows in our lives – darkness created by our human tendency to mess things up. There’s a shadow at the end of our journey too. The Bible calls it ‘the shadow of death.’

The third part of the Creed makes the remarkable claim that Jesus rose from the dead, three days after he was crucified. What does that mean for the darkness within us? What lies beyond that final shadow?

This is the third of the Come and See weekly films from Bishop Steven. It accompanies daily email reflections throughout Lent.

Find out more and join at oxford.anglican.org/come-and-see

When all around us is in chaos, coming back to the Father can help us recover a sense of identity and purpose. But what’s the next step on our journey?

The four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – unfold the powerful truth of Jesus. But they weren’t written to simply tell us about him – they invite each of us to take the next step and follow Jesus for ourselves.

Come and see more…