Reader from Bidborough wins Sermon of the Year

The Sermon of the Year 2019 has been won by Clare Masters, a Reader at St. Lawrence, Bidborough and former palliative care doctor.

Preach Magazine and the London School of Theology hosted the exciting national final on Thursday 20 June, to celebrate and reward excellence in preaching.

The four finalists were given ten minutes to preach on the theme of, The Power of Love.

Clare Masters preached her narrative sermon in front of a live audience and a panel of judges to win the prize of a year’s tuition at the London School of Theology (LST).

Clare has been preaching over the past 10 years at St Lawrence, Bidborough.

Her winning sermon was an illustrative piece on Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the issue of blood, relating the stories to themes of belonging, hope and healing. The judges praised her delivery and content, referring to her “incredible gift of storytelling”, and the skill of her sermon.

Clare said:

“I happened to see a post on our diocesan Facebook page about the Sermon of the Year, with its aim to encourage and celebrate the art of preaching.

"I love bringing the Bible to life for our church family, especially stories of encounters with Jesus, so I decided to submit a sermon - despite being wary of the ‘competition’ factor.

“Being selected as a finalist was a great surprise, and the final was an amazing evening with Preach Magazine and LST proclaiming God’s love.”

The top 10 sermons submitted have been published in a book and previous Sermon of the Year books are also available. Visit:

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