Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.


A project to upgrade the heating and lighting in Clifton Cathedral is now underway. For the duration of this project, the Cathedral will be closed to the public from Monday to Friday. Weekday Masses are once again being celebrated in the James Room. Weekend Masses will continue to be celebrated in the Cathedral.


Sunday 24th September 2017
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 55: 6-9     Philippians 1: 20-24, 27     Matthew 20: 1-16


In God’s Good Time.

Some things are so simple that we refuse to believe them. We think they can’t be true. There must be a catch. There’s got to be some small print somewhere. One of these things is the way that God deals with us in granting us the gift of faith. There, we’ve said it already: gift. God is totally generous. He doesn’t make any charge for revealing himself to us. It costs us no silver or gold to respond to that gift. We can’t buy faith in God.

Yet no matter how many times preachers may say this from the pulpit, we find it hard to believe. We’ve become used to paying our own way. We don’t expect to get something for nothing. After all we’re not asking for charity! It’s a pity that God’s ways are not our ways. For then we would be able to keep God in check. If God expected us to put in a forty hour spiritual week and earn our own eternity, then we could make him accountable.

Then God would have to be fair and just, instead of treating everyone as though they were long lost friends. Some people would be shown up for what they are: lazy, unreliable and undeserving. The rest of us, who lead good industrious lives, would know that we could rest in the knowledge that we have done a fair day’s work in God’s service and could look forward to something of a bonus.

But God seems to have a soft spot for certain undesirable types. He doesn’t seem to appreciate the long hours we put into our religion. In fact he seems incapable of time-keeping at all. And before we know where we are, all sorts of eleventh hour Christians are being treated the same as us. It’s as if he had grace to burn.

It would make more sense if God stopped being so generous. People will only take advantage of him. And what’s more, it’s so unfair. Just because the boss is rich doesn’t mean that all the workers should get equal pay. Why can’t God be more like us? Perhaps in time he will be. But whose time?




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2017