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

5th July service

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

              and also with you.

Hymn:  Amazing grace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHNwxzEbSQk

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.


              Lord God, our maker and our redeemer, this is your world and we are your people: come among us and save us. 

We have wilfully misused your gifts of creation;

Lord, be merciful:  forgive us our sin.

We have seen the ill-treatment of others and have not gone to their aid;

Lord, be merciful:  forgive us our sin.

We have condoned evil and dishonesty and failed to strive for justice;

Lord, be merciful:  forgive us our sin.

We have heard the good news of Christ, but have failed to share it with others;

Lord, be merciful:  forgive us our sin.

We have not loved you with all our heart, nor our neighbours as ourselves;

Lord, be merciful:   forgive us our sin.

              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

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:

increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen

Zechariah 9: 9-12 

Zechariah reading

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
    and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
    and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
    His rule will extend from sea to sea
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
    even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

This is the Word of the Lord  Thanks be to God

Romans 7: 15-25

Romans reading

 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

This is the Word of the Lord  Thanks be to God

Hymn:  Be still and know that I am God  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtflAXHh-jk

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Matthew reading

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said to the disciples, “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon by Michael Tonkin

5th July sermon

‘A Rebellious Son’

“They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard”.

Lines taken from the book of Deuteronomy chapter 21, words the parents of a rebellious son would have said on taking him to the elders of Israel, and words heard again in our Gospel reading this morning, spoken by Jesus, describing how the crowd following him viewed him, this new prophet.

Jesus had just been speaking to the crowds about John the Baptist, who was now in prison, and what the people’s response and opinion of him had been.  Now though, the crowds following Jesus consider John to be yesterday’s news, “For John came neither eating or drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’ ”.  Now they have Jesus, a man who turns water into wine, a man who dines with tax collectors. “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and ‘sinners’. 

Jesus is fully aware of the fickleness of the crowd, how they bend like reeds in the wind, one way and then another.  Jesus knows them well, they are like selfish children, who only want to play their own game, and then, only if they can take the main part.  But of course the end result for these poor, cross, dissatisfied children is that they have no one to play with at all, and no idea how or what to play on their own.

“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to others: “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ “

One can sense the exasperation felt by Jesus, whose own relationship with his own Father is one of complete love and mutual understanding.  For, as we hear in the second half of our Gospel reading:

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Here is the saddest part, for Jesus came then, as he comes now, not to judge but to forgive, not to demand or expect, but to offer.   “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.

But then, as now, we are all so fickle by nature, happy one moment to celebrate our NHS and key workers, only on the next fine day for many to be flocking to the beaches, parks and open spaces, social distancing forgotten, probably putting much past good work at risk.  It is so often not just ourselves that we can put at risk, but those around us, even those not necessarily known personally to us.  Jesus does not demand from us, but that does not mean that his road is always an easy one, or not without some cost.  As with all things in life we cannot just take, or always do just as we want, just playing our own little games to our own rules.  We mostly live in partnerships, in family units and within communities for which we should and must share responsibilities, not just because the law may demand it, or because of the present pandemic, but because our Christian faith and ethos expects it.

As so often in the case with the Apostle Paul, his life and mind appear to be in turmoil!

Paul wrestles with the question of why God gave the Law and what its role had been.

Paul, more than many, having been a Pharisee, knew that it was right to embrace and celebrate the Torah, God’s Law as passed on to the Jews by Moses.  However, due to Adam in the Garden of Eden, humankind was innately sinful, and so the Law as laid down in the Torah, condemns those human sins.

It is only, in fact, by the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross that this ‘innate sin’ has been purged and removed from humankind.  As Paul writes, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord,” 

So too, we in our daily lives and relationships, must thank God for giving us His Son and welcoming us all into His love and care, especially during this present time, not only today but always. As the psalmist writes in today’s Psalm 145:

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made”.   Amen.

Prayers – with thanks to Angela Hollingworth

5th July Prayers

Dearest Lord, we give you thanks for life, as we pray for our troubled and ailing world.  We are comforted by your enduring love and long for your presence 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 ministry and all who support our church, which sadly we miss, but your love in our hearts will always strengthen and sutain us.  Let us pray for our sister churches, for Justin Welby, Pope Francis and Bishop Cleophas of Matabeleland and the Green Park School in Zambia.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen and all those in authority.  Please guide our government to protect and love our people and to respect and care for our global neighbours.  May those in authority be influenced by dreamers rather than schemers.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for families, friends and neighbours.  We pray for those we love, who are near or far.  Let us contunue to give thanks for our NHS and all who work to heal and to save us.  Let us not forget the armed forces, firefighters and police: those who work in supermarkets, pharmacies and schools.  And thank you for those who take our refuse, keep our streets clean and deliver our post.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who fear for their jobs.  For our planet – may we all work to heal the damage.  Please may we be reconciled with those with whom we differ.  Grant us widom in our lives.  May we be kinder to each other.  The Torah says that kindness is the highest form of wisdom.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.  Let us pray for Julia Holboro, Annie Kunz, Gill Risso-Gil, Luci Mitchell Fry, Joan Pritchard, Johanna Procter, Kevin Willoughby and Max Weston.  We give thank for those who work to heal and care for them.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who have died this country and throught the world.  We remember Mary Smith, Pattie Johnson, Norma Williams, Eric Ewington, Ted Wheadon, Graham Foulis Brown.  We pray for their families.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In a world that is troubled by sickness and strife, let us enfold ourselves in the words of a beautiful hymn:

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Fill me with life anew

That I may love what thou dost love

And do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me Breath of God,

So shall I never die.

But live with thee the perfect life

Of thine eternity.

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

Hymn:  Alleluia sing to Jesus  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcD8r3UOMrM

The Peace

Christ is our peace. 

              He has reconciled us to God

              in one body by the Cross.

              We meet in his name and share his peace.

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:  I heard the voice of Jesus say  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rr_4M5LQLo

              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 truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks,

holy Father, almighty and eternal God.  From sunrise to sunset this day is holy, for Christ has risen from the tomb and scattered the darkness of death with light that will not fade.  This day the risen Lord walks with your gathered people, unfolds for us your word, and makes himself known in the breaking of the bread.  And though the night will overtake this day you summon us to live in endless light, the never-ceasing sabbath of the Lord.  And so, with choirs of angels and with all the heavenly host, we proclaim your glory and join their unending song of praise:

              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 love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,
the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and those you love, today and always.  Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.   In the name of Christ.    Amen.

Hymn:   Meekness and majesty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tK1hQpacs8

J.S. Bach/M.Dupré Sinfonia Cantata 29 – Olivier Penin, Orgue Ste Clotilde Parishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKXlzI0pKO4