We are undoubtedly living through one of the greatest crises of our lives. Series 4, Reflections for a Church in Lockdown, aims to resource the Church during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Series 1 – 3 of My (extraordinary) Family saw 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?

Come and See: An exploration of the Passion of Jesus in St. John

Episode 2: The story of Jesus passion takes place in the darkness and the cold of the night.

  • 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 Rev’d 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

Come and See: An exploration of the Passion of Jesus in St. John

Episode 3: The Evangelists invite us to place ourselves in the story through the characters who come and go.

  • 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 Rev’d 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

Come and See: An exploration of the Passion of Jesus in St. John

Episode 4: The theme of kingship runs through John’s story of the passion.

  • 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 Rev’d 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

Come and See: An exploration of the Passion of Jesus in St. John

Episode 5: We have journeyed from the garden to the courtyard to the pavement of Pilate and now we travel with Jesus to the cross.

  • Reading: John19. 17-37 by Julia Hollander. (NRSV)
  • Commentary by Bishop Steven.
  • A minute of silence follows +Steven’s commentary for personal reflection.
  • Hymn: When I surveyed the wonderous cross, recorded and performed at home by Tom and Mandy Green for this podcast.

This episode was produced by The Rev’d 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

Come and See: An exploration of the Passion of Jesus in St. John

Episode 6: The final part of our story and the final part of our devotion this Good Friday must look forward.

  • 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 Rev’d 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)

Many listeners will know of Bishop Ossie, the Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman, our South African link diocese. In this latest edition of My Extraordinary Family, Bishop Steven chats to Bishop Ossie about his vast, rural diocese on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, his forthcoming retirement and what it means for our two dioceses to be in close partnership. For more, read a brief report of Bishop Steven’s visit to K&K in September 2017.

Bishop Steven and Katie Tupling

Katie Tupling is Bishop Steven’s first guest for series 2 of My (extraordinary) Family. One of the people behind Disability and Jesus, she is also Chaplain among Deaf People and Disability Advisor for the Diocese of Oxford – her dream job. She shares her own faith journey as someone with cerebral palsy (CP) and what it means for disabled people to be in church and society: celebrated, not pitied. You can read a profile of Katie in Pathways magazine and find Ability Sunday resources on the Diocesan website.

Olivia Graham with Bishop Steven in the background

The Queen has approved the appointment of Olivia Graham as the next Bishop of Reading. In this special edition of My (extraordinary) family Bishop Steven talks with Olivia about her Christian formation, her ministry since ordination and her hopes for the role she is about to take on. Olivia will be consecrated in a service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 19 November, you can find further details on the Diocese of Oxford website.

Dr Philip Salmon is a parliamentary historian by trade who is involved in a scheme to renew John Henry Newman’s historic vision for St Mary and St Nicolas Church in Littlemore to provide a community space in one of Oxford’s poorest communities. Bishop Steven visited the church to talk to Philip about the scheme. Read more and see photos of St Mary and St Nicolas Church here.

Tony Wilson became our new Diocesan Director of Education, leading a team that supports 283 Church of England Schools across the Thames Valley region, in January. As he approaches the end of his first term in his exciting new role, Tony chats with Bishop Steven about the challenges and opportunities present in the education sector. Further information about becoming a foundation governor is available on the website.