Sermon of the Year 2017 finalists announced

This is the second year London School of Theology (LST) and Preach magazine have run a national competition to celebrate and reward excellence in preaching.  The first round in the competition involves written sermons on the subject ‘God in the dark.’ The top ten entries will be published in a book, available for sale through from June 22nd.  Four finalists will preach their sermons live on Thursday June 22nd, 7 – 8.30 pm at LST to an audience and a panel of judges. The first prize is a year’s free tuition at LST; one runner up will be offered a 50% discount.

The panel of judges

 Ann Calver is a Baptist minister, co-author of three books with her husband Gavin and serves on the New Wine leadership team. She is an LST alum and stars in a new weekly programme on TBNuk.

Natalie Collins Winner of Sermon of the Year 2016 and a gender justice specialist who runs Spark, a consultancy to enable individuals and organisations prevent and respond to male violence against women. Natalie writes a regular column in Preach magazine.

Calvin Samuel is the president of LST. He is a Methodist minister and previously served as academic dean of St Johns College, Durham and director of the Wesley Study Centre.

The finalists

Andrew Baldwin has spent his working life in cross-cultural gospel ministry in (West) Berlin, Turkey and London. His current work in Turkey involves helping train local believers in basic theology in their own church settings, and working with the Langham Preaching ministry to raise up national believers as effective expositors of the Word. When in the UK he attends both a Baptist church, and a bilingual church-plant, where he occasionally preaches in both English and Turkish. Andrew is married to Debbie. They have two children and recently became grandparents.

Andrew says, ‘The fact that a group was wanting to promote preaching in an age

when it is frequently disparaged was very encouraging. My own Christian life has been transformed by the impact of faithful, Spirit-inspired preaching, and I long to grow more in effectiveness in this too.’

Carole Hodgkins is a retired sixth form teacher, living in Essex, where she attends her local Anglican church. She has three daughters; her eldest daughter died aged 36 in 2000, leaving behind two young children. She is divorced and has lived alone for many years.

This is the first sermon Carole has ever written! She says, ‘I felt I would like to give it a try!  I believe God guided me to write this sermon. When I talk or write about God, his presence is very powerful.’

Siku is an artist, author, theologian and musician. He is one of Britain’s leading comic book/concept artists having worked for 2000AD; producing titles such as Judge Dredd, Slaine and a strip he co-created called Pan-African Judges. He has also worked for Marvel UK and COM X. He is the author and creator of the best selling The Manga Bible which is translated into at least 19 languages, author of The Manga Jesus, co-authored Lion’s Hero Bible and created the innovative cutting edge graphic novel bible course, Drink It! He is married to Bell and they live in London.

Siku’s aim is to give the gospel a new language that would challenge the next two generations. He says, ‘New wine in old skin bags will break the bag; our culture needs fresh theology… a new skin bag!’

Chris Took has had a varied working life, ranging from teaching computing for a YMCA youth employment programme, to being director of elections for a deputy prime minister to being the Anglican Communion’s webmaster. He will be spending the next few months covering the UK general election in Northern Ireland for

Chris is a licenced lay minister in the Church of England and has been preaching for over a decade. He says, ‘I try to be entertaining, thought-provoking and challenging, and I love experimenting with video technology in my talks. The Sermon of the Year competition was a challenge I couldn’t resist!’

Matt Adcock


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