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Sermon of the Year: The Power of Love


Preachers from around the UK are being encouraged to submit written sermons of no more than 1500 words on the theme of love to be in for a chance to win a year’s tuition to one of the UK’s leading theological colleges.

The national Sermon of the Year event run by Preach magazine in partnership with LST is back again for a fourth year running after a successful 2018 event which featured on BBC’s The One Show.

The theme for 2019 is ‘The Power of Love’ and all entries must be submitted by midnight on Sunday 3 March 2019.

Four finalists will preach their sermons on Thursday 20 June 2019 in front of a panel of judges and a live audience at London School of Theology (LST). The first place winner will be awarded a year’s free tuition at LST which the winner can either use themselves or gift to someone else or a £500 LST book shop voucher.

Rev Dr Calvin Samuel, Principal of LST and Amelia Gosal, Chief Executive of LWPT, will be hosting the competition which will be taking place at the LST campus in Northwood from 7pm. The judging panel consists of a range of accomplished ministers, speakers and academics that are set to evaluate the sermons submitted before concluding on a winner. Panellists for Sermon of the Year 2019 are:

  • Dr Krish Kandiah – Founding Director of charity Home for Good, academic and theologian
  • Dr Chloe Lynch – Academic and Practitioner
  • Rev Anne Calver – Minister and Author
  • Antony Billington – Head of Theology, LICC

Dr Calvin Samuel, Principal of LST, said: “I look forward to hearing the gifted finalists share their sermons and to welcome the winner to attend LST, one of the world’s leading centres of theological study and training within a global city.

“Sermon of the Year is always an exciting event for LST and Preach magazine and it is wonderful to see the relevance and celebration of preaching in our society today.” 

The Sermon of the Year event was launched in 2016 by Preach magazine and London School of Theology, with the hope that it would encourage debate and reflection on the craft of preaching. The 2018 event was covered on BBC’s The One Show.

Louisa Lockwood, Editor of Preach, said: “We have been delighted at the interest and conversation generated by Sermon of the Year, and heartened by the consistently high standard of the entrants: we wholeheartedly encourage applicants regardless of level of skill to enter.

“Sermon of the Year continues to show us that preaching is alive and well and still one of the most powerful agents of transformation in the church. We were delighted to see the event appear on national TV last year and are excited to see the hidden preachers this year’s event will bring into the spotlight.”

Sermon of the Year 2018’s winner Lydia Lee is a former teacher who has taken up her place to study at LST. Her winning sermon was a meditation on Jesus in the boat on the Sea of Galilee, relating the fear of the disciples to her own experience of anxiety and fear.

Lydia said: “The final was just such a great evening. It was a real privilege and honour to be picked as the winner. Being in an all-woman final was really special. Some women still find it difficult to step out into teaching roles in the Church.

“We had four women, from all different walks of life. It wasn’t a statement from the organisers. The judging was all done blind, but that was what stood out for me about it.”

The judges were impressed by her personal and profound take on the competition’s theme, ‘Be Set Free,’ and enjoyed her poised yet vulnerable delivery.

The runner up of Sermon of the Year 2019 will be awarded 50% off a year of study at LST or a £250 LST bookshop voucher, and the top 10 sermons entered will be published in a book. Previous years’ books can be purchased from CPO.org.uk for £5.


For further information, please contact Preach magazine’s Communications Manager Rochelle Owusu-Antwi, rochelle.owusu@lwpt.ac.uk T: 01923 231811

Notes for Editors

Preach resources are produced by the Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust, an ecumenical charity established in 2005. LWPT supports preachers through resources, training and grants. For more information, please visit www.lwpt.org.uk and www.preachweb.org

LST is the largest interdenominational evangelical theological college in Europe with over 350 students as well as resourcing a further 1,000+ students worldwide. Delivering first choice theological education both online and on campus in London. Find out more at www.lst.ac.uk

Posted by Alex Drew