Saturday night fever

My Independent today carries a ‘Thou shalt not pinch sermons from the Internet’ piece about the tendency of young Catholic priests to download and read sermons as if their own. Can this be true? Are people really stupid enough to do this? I can’t bear to read my own old sermons – let alone anybody else’s.

But I do tend to do a bit of Saturday sermon-surfing – more to find something to give me something to think about than a great lump of undigested text to download. But at present I can’t find anything much that suits me. I had an affection for Sarah Laughed for a while – but she seems to have run out of steam. In truth, things have never been the same since Jane Williams stopped writing sermon notes in the Church Times.


  1. Or where the preacher appears to have clicked on a link in the text and goes off at a complete tangent?

  2. You can always detect Internet plagiarism in sermons. Listen for the last line, ‘For more information, click here’.

  3. My father-in-law was Canon Robert Bisset of Bearsden, and I remember when courting his daughter, that I was instructed not to interrupt him in his study, when the smoke from his cigarettes could be smelt outside his study door….as that was when he was writing his sermon!

    It was before wordprocessors, and he hand-wrote them in in-describable script in typist pads. We have some of them still and the interpretation of the content has not got any easier!…..does anyone have an OCR programme for a ‘spider’s scrawl’?!

    He did use them in different locations as appropriate, and one could tell the ones he liked to use, or felt were especially meaningful, by the dates and churches, which were noted at the top.

    He felt that if something was worth saying once, there was a chance that it was worth saying again. So I have no problem with hearing ‘re-heated porridge’.

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