Sermon from Father Peter

Our worship together is in the name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you:

         and also with you.

Hymn: Christ the Lord is risen again

Let us pray

         Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:  cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


         Christ died to sin once for all, and now lives to God.  Let us renew our resolve to have done with all that is evil and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

         Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

         Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


         Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

         Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

         Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

         For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

Let us pray

      Almighty God, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification:

Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

Acts 2, 22-32

Acts 2:22-32

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:   “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:

“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
    Because he is at my right hand,
    I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

 29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.

This is the Word of the Lord  Thanks be to God.

1 Peter 1: 3-9

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

This is the Word of the Lord Thanks be to God.

Hymn:  Sing alleluia to the Lord

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

         Glory to you, O Lord.

John 20: 19-end

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

         Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon from Michael Tonkin

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20.29)

One of the saddest aspects of this present Pandemic is the fact that it forces so many people to be alone; to ‘self isolate’, either on their own or with a partner, and for so many to die alone away from family and friends.  I read of one lady whose husband was taken to hospital, and into isolation where he later died, the saddest thing, the lady said, was that she no longer had anyone to cuddle.

We are by nature a homogeneous animal, it is in our DNA to gather together and to seek comfort from one another, probably as the disciples were doing in that locked room where they had gathered.

We also heard, in the Gospel Reading from Easter Sunday, how Mary Magdalene, on realizing that, who she thought was the gardener, was actually Jesus, at once went to hold on to him. ‘Jesus said to her, ”Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.”’

Then, of course there is poor old Thomas, who I must say I always feel a little sorry for.  He knew that Jesus, the one who he had faithfully followed for years, had been crucified by the Romans, had died and been placed in a tomb, and yet now he was to believe that he had suddenly turned up in a locked room with his companions.  Well, would you have believed it?  Yet it was true, and again there had to be that physical proof, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Here the very physical evidence that Thomas had asked for.

There is also that wonderful moment, on that first visit, when Jesus breathes on those gathered disciples, passing on to them the Holy Spirit.  As in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, that same Holy Spirit they would receive again at Pentecost, that empowered them, to leave their locked room and go out and face the crowds and tell the Gospel story.

It is a Gospel story that has travelled through time and across the world touching millions of lives.  Bringing hope where there has only been despair, bringing healing and love, when all was thought to be darkness and pain.  In many ways, in countless parts of our world today, there are many feeling helpless, alone and often unloved.  Yet we know as Christians, as others of different faiths also know, there will always be one who loves us, walks with us and holds on to us very tightly.  For as Peter wrote in his first letter to the early church;  “Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.“

So even in those darkest of times, when there maybe few or even no one at our side, if we have our faith, and hold on very tightly to that, then we will truly never be alone.  Amen

Ubi Caritas, sung by the Taizé Community

Angela’s Intercessions

Prayers – with thanks to Angela Hollingworth

Dearest Lord, let us give thanks for a beautiful Spring, as we pray fo rour troubled and ailing world.  We know that your love will always be there for us.  May we reach out to you and feel your presence, always, in times of peace, sickness, danger and death.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for churches throught the world, and give thanks for Peter’s minstry and all who work for our church, which, sadly, is empty but lives within our hearts.  Let us pray also for our sister churches, for Justin Welby, Pope Francis and Bishop Cleopas of Matabeleland and for the Green Park School in Zambia.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen, and let us give thanks for he rloyalty and devotion to this country and to God.  We pray for those in authority.  Please guide our government to protect and love our people and to help us all as we struggle through turbulent times uintil we reach calmer waters.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Let us pray for the world and all those suffering from Corona Virus and other diseases, for the refugees, who suffer from poverty and fear.  May hatred and jealousy be a victim of the virus.  May your love triumph.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for families, friends and nighbours.  We ppray for those we love, who are near of far.  Let us give thanks for our NHS and all who work to heal and care for our people.  Please guard them as the fight to save lives.  Let us not forget soldiers, firefighters and police: those who work in supermarkets, pharmacies and some schools.  And thank you for those who take our refuse and keep our streets clean.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Let us protect all children.  We pray for those who are abused, lost and suffering.  Let us pray also for those suffering from depression, loneliness, psychiatric and serious medical conditions.  Please guard the frail and the elderly who are cut off from their families and friends.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for our planet and hope that when this crisis is over, we may be able to wrk towards healing our beautiful world.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.  We give thanks for the recovery of Serge Lourie, and we remember especially Alan Hay, Annie Kunz, Juliet Low, Lisa McTaggart, Joan Pritchard, Johanna Proctor, Kevin Willoughby and Max Weston.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Let us pray for those who have died, in this country and throughout the world.  We pray for those who mourn.  May we be strengthened by your love and consolation.  We remember Juliet Daly, Mary Allman, Shelagh Cochrane, Mary Smith (Judith Colliver’s mother), and a family friend, Yasmin Van Den Benken

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Dearest Lord,

We pray for healing, love and peace:

In our hearts

In our homes

In our nation

In our world

The healing, love and peace of your will;

The healing, love and peace of our need.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then they were glad when they saw the Lord, Alelluia.  The peace of the Lord be always with you: and also with you.

Be present, be present, Lord Jesus Christ, Our risen high priest;

Make yourself known in the breaking of bread

Hymn:  Ye choirs of New Jerusalem

         The Lord be with you

         and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

         We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

         It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right , our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, almighty and eternal Father, and in these days of Easter to celebrate with joyful hearts the memory of your wonderful works.  For by the mystery of his passion, Jesus Christ, your risen Son, has conquered the powers of death and hell and restored to women and men the image of your glory.  He has placed us once more in paradise and opened to us the gate of life eternal.  And so, in the joy of this Passover, earth and heaven resound with gladness, while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation sing for ever the hymn of your glory.

         Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

         As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

         Our Father, who art in heaven,

         hallowed be thy name;

         thy kingdom come;

         thy will be done;

         on earth as it is in heaven.

         Give us this day our daily bread.

         And forgive us our trespasses,

         as we forgive those who trespass against us.

         And lead us not into temptation;

         But deliver us from evil.

         For thine is the kingdom,

         the power and the glory,

         for ever and ever.            


         The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
+ the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.        Amen.

Hymn Crown him with many crowns

Louis Vierne  Carillon de Westminster