Mark Chamberlain and I have returned from a lovely trip to the West Coast, leading two training sessions on preaching (Greymouth one night, Westport the next). Some feedback suggests the sessions went well. Particularly appreciated was the fact that we did not do all the talking! Apart from some discussion, some input via some excellent YouTube clips researched by Mark, on each night we had several preachers give five minute excerpts from sermons (followed by some appreciative feedback).
It was a great privilege to hear these sermon excerpts. The range of preachers included those new to the task and those very experienced. Among many things we reflected on, one thing stands out for me: there is no substitute for experience. Money can buy training videos and books. It can pay for the travel costs and stipends of people such as Mark and me (thank you to various trusts). But money cannot buy experience when it comes to preaching. So ...
... vicars and priests-in-charge, please, appropriate to your parish, make as many opportunities available to your lay preachers as possible ... lay preachers, take up all the opportunities you are given!
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