Sermons by preacher

Listed below are the most recent sermons preached by our residential clergy. Please click on any date for a text transcript.


The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, The Dean

29 April 2018 - Choral Matins

Sometimes, God needs to convert the church, and can’t do it from within. So, God works from without. The Dean challenges our approach to mission in the run up to 'Thy Kingdom Come'.


The Revd Canon Edmund Newey, The Sub Dean

16 September 2018 - Choral Matins

'There is a serpent by the wayside watching those who pass by: beware lest he bite you with unbelief.' The Sub Dean reflects on the ancient serpent of Revelation 12, reminding us that Christ holds all the true power.

5 August 2018 - Choral Matins

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength… my stony rock, and my defence, my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust, my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge. The Sub Dean reflects on the Psalmist's claim in light of creation, sin, and death.

15 July 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Only by abiding in Christ through his grace may we have any chance of imitating him in his perfect humanity and being united with him in his risen life with God. The Sub Dean invites us to consider that imitating Christ is not enough; we must learn what it means to abide in him.

24 June 2018 - Choral Matins

Like Mary, John represented then all of humankind, whose fate was being decided in his heart.  The Sub Dean reflects on the easily overlooked ministry of John the Baptist as a God-bearer alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary.

22 April 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Knowing Christ to be the good shepherd, the true, the perfect shepherd, requires of us not just passive acquiescence but active love and service. This 'Good Shepherd' Sunday, the Sub Dean explores the challenge that underlies the familiar metaphor.


The Revd Canon Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology

9 September 2018 - On Leaving 'Vengeance' to God - Said Matins with Hymns

It’s often said that the Old Testament is all about vengeance and retribution, and the New Testament all about compassion and forgiveness. This is an oversimplification, says Canon Biggar. But how should Christians respond to appalling acts of evil?

12 August 2018 - On Christian 'Sin' - Choral Matins

Christianity cannot be simply pessimistic. After all, it's not simply about sin, but also about salvation. Canon Biggar explores the Christian doctrine of sin which is both realistic and hopeful.

13 May 2018 - Choral Matins

Canon Biggar reflects on the treatment of 'empire' in the scriptures. Acknowledging a diversity of opinions and welcoming debate, he argues against the view that the Bible is straightforwardly 'anti-imperialist'. He concludes with an open invitation: 'I don’t for a moment suppose that you will all agree with my views, but I do commend the topic of empire to you as something that deserves your attention and reflection.'

29 April 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Sometimes it’s best to forego—to sacrifice—vindication. Best, lest the risk of letting sinful, destructive passion get the upper hand. Canon Biggar explores the self-sacrificial love by which we participate in the eternal, death-defying life of God.

8 April 2018 - Said Matins with Hymns

‘How does God’s suffering save us?’ Canon Biggar explores Christ's self-sacrifice and the interplay of silence and compassion by which we are saved.


The Revd Canon Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History

29 July 2018 - Said Matins with Hymns

Why do we sing hymns? Canon Foot reflects on the historical, theological, and practical importance of praising God through hymns.

10 June 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Living out the sort of discipleship that Mark advocates in his gospel means distancing ourselves from our petty squabbles, from the sibling rivalries that damage our mission and detract from our teaching, and to focus instead on the message that Jesus preached.  Canon Foot reflects on 'a house divided'.

19 April 2018 - Choral Eucharist

A true disciple of the cross will always acknowledge Jesus, will accept the cost of discipleship and will give preference to the gospel over the lures and attractions of worldly life. Canon Foot challenges learn from the example of Alphege, Bishop and Martyr.

15 April 2018 - Said Matins with Hymns

God is faithful; his promises endure for ever. Canon Foot explores the story of the Israelites and God's faithfulness through the lens of baptism.

18 March 2018 - Choral Matins

As we prepare to walk to Calvary and witness the crucifixion, we will be assisted by the liturgical worship offered in this place to reflect upon our own sins and weaknesses, for which Christ suffered and died. Canon Foot explores 'acceptable liturgical worship' in the context of Passiontide.


The Revd Canon Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity

8 July 2018 - 'The Politics of God' Said Matins

We are saved individually to work in the kingdom of God; to work for the kingdom of God – for that justice, generosity, mercy and love that are the outworking of the kingdom for the common good. Canon Ward challenges us to envision the politics of God at work in our lives and communities as we obey the commandments from the Book of Deuteronomy.

1 July 2018 - 'God's Touch' Choral Eucharist

There is life and healing in being touched by God. There is life and healing in touching God. Canon Ward explores the powerful transformation and restoration that Jesus brings through touch as we become increasingly like our Creator.

27 May 2018 - Choral Matins

We are the love of God; we live that Trinitarian love. Canon Ward explores how the doctrine of the Trinity speaks into the sufferings of the world.

13 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist

'Consecrating Oneself' Canon Ward explores the intimate conversation between Jesus and the Father that we overhear in John's Gospel.

22 April 2018 - Choral Matins

'Seeing God' Canon Ward reflects on the illimitable nature of the divine, reminding us that we can perceive God in anything and everything if we entrust ourselves, and our sensory perceptions, to God.


The Venerable Martin Gorick, The Archdeacon of Oxford

9 September 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Bring faith and action together. The Archdeacon challenges us to do away with favouritism, remembering that the poor in the world may also be rich in faith.

26 August - Said Matins with Hymns

The two most difficult things to get straight in life are love and God. The Archdeacon explores the connection between truth and the love of God expressed in Jesus Christ.

29 July 2018 - 'The Feeding of the Five Thousand' Choral Eucharist

Nothing we do for God is ever wasted. The Archdeacon reminds us that Christ is able to take the little that we have to offer and multiply it for good.

22 July 2018 - Said Matins

With all other brave, often forgotten, women disciples and apostles across every age and generation, we give thanks today. For St Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles. The Archdeacon encourages us to celebrate the life and ministry of St Mary Magdalene.

1 July 2018 - Choral Matins

Have you ever been out at sea in a storm? The Archdeacon reflects on Paul's hardships on the Mediterranean Sea and, similarly, the migrants crossing those same waters more recently. He challenges us to consider how we might follow the command in Deuteronomy: ‘Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted...Open your hand to the poor and needy.’ 


Canon Professor Carol Harrison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity

15 July 2018 - Said Matins

We may be wanderers, but because of God’s continuing faithfulness, we are not fugitives. Canon Harrison reflects on the wandering banishment of Cain and encourages us to wander not as fleeing fugitives but as loving sojourners.

17 June 2018 - Choral Matins

‘Extemporising’  Canon Harrison reflects on the spiritual discipline of extempore preaching: those 'moments of love, when we forget ourselves, abandon ourselves, act freely, unself-consciously, spontaneously; when we are inspired, consumed, drawn by the object of our love.'

6 May 2018 - Choral Eucharist

For love cannot be forced, coerced or commanded. Love is, by definition, only love when it is a free response to being loved. Canon Harrison reflects on our God who is Love.


The Revd Canon Grant Bayliss, Diocesan Canon Precentor

26 August 2018 - Choral Eucharist

When Jesus starts to unpack what he means in saying, “I am the bread of life”, themes of sacrifice, obedience, worship, intimacy, spirit and flesh, and the reality of Jesus’ identity, all coalesce. The Diocesan Canon Precentor challenges us to remember that in the eucharist we are both given bread and taken as bread.

22 July 2018 - Choral Eucharist

“And then she hears her name, she hears Love say/The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.” The Diocesan Canon Precentor reflects on the encounter between Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the garden after his resurrection.

7 June 2018 - ‘Hearing God’s Call’ Vocations Eucharist

‘The word of God is not chained’ The Diocesan Canon Precentor reminds us that God's work does not depend on us: 'God wants to work through us and he will give us every opportunity to be his hands and feet, his eyes and his voice in the world; but he doesn’t need us.'

3 June 2018 - Choral Matins

‘Transforming Grace’  The Diocesan Canon Precentor reflects on the limitations of the law, reminding us that 'true faith is based on transforming grace'.

8 April 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Jesus breathes on the disciples and, in that moment, Adam’s sin and its consequences are undone. The Diocesan Canon Precentor reflects on Christ's personal post-Resurrection appearances.


The Revd Clare Hayns, College and Cathedral Chaplain

19 August 2018 - Choral Eucharist

We are to imagine ourselves as hungry children waiting to be fed from a banquet. The Revd Clare Hayns reminds us that when we receive the Eucharistic bread and wine, we take into ourselves the very life of Christ.

8 July 2018 - Choral Eucharist

Paul says: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness…for whenever I am weak, then I am strong’. The Revd Clare Hayns looks at the lives of Paul, Ezekiel, Jesus, and others to explore the paradoxical truth that we find strength when we give up self-reliance and begin to depend on God and others.

17 June 2018 - Choral Eucharist

God’s kingdom will continue to grow despite us; and God’s kingdom will continue to grow through us; and God’s kingdom will continue to grow because of us.  The College Chaplain explores two little seed parables.

11 March 2018 - Choral Eucharist

‘Blessed are the pure in heart' part of the Beatitudes Sermon Series [click for audio]


The Revd Philippa White, Succentor, Assistant College Chaplain, and School Chaplain

16 September 2018 - Choral Eucharist

What does God call each of us to - and what will it cost? As the Cathedral commissions our new Organist, Cathedral Operations Manager, and Lay Clerk the Succentor challenges us all to remember that the call of God extends to everyone.


Janet Proudman, Cathedral Licensed Lay Minister

28 January 2018 - Choral Eucharist


Selected sermons by guest preachers:

30 June 2018 - Ordinations - The Rt Revd Dr Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester

Being a priest or a bishop are both wonderful callings but neither are the pinnacle.  If we are following the pattern that Christ laid out for us, being a servant is the highest calling of all. Bishop Colin encourages the newly-ordained deacons to remember our central aim of becoming a more Christ-like Church.

30 June 2018 - Ordinations - The Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham

The acid test of a healthy church is not numbers, nor whether people enjoy church, nor yet how good and holy churchgoers feel. How is power used among us? Bishop Alan reflects on the servant ministry that Christ models for us, encouraging the newly-ordained deacons to 'beware the leaven of the Pharisees'.

20 May 2018 - Choral Matins with University Sermon - The Bishop of Ripon

Our lives are far more about navigating our way through mist than they are about enjoying the views from the top of the mountain. This Pentecost, Bishop Helen-Ann invites us to consider afresh not just who we are, but whose we are.

6 May 2018 - Choral Matins - The Rt Revd Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

'Water' The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland invites us 'to live as God’s wet Christians, drenched in God’s grace and
love​' as he reflects on the prophecy of Ezekiel in the light of Christ's Resurrection.

1 April 2018 - Choral Eucharist - The Bishop of Oxford

‘Resurrection’ Bishop Steven reminds us, on this Easter Day, what it means when we declare: "On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures."

29 March 2018 - Chrism Eucharist - The Bishop of Reading

‘Peeling off the skin’ Andrew Proud, Bishop of Reading, calls us to remember the importance of our baptismal vocation, at the Diocesan Service for the Blessing of Oils.