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.

Jesus Christ, whom we worship, is our crucified, risen and ascended Lord and we have walked with him through his journey of love.  We have faced the agony of his suffering and death on the cross.  We have rejoiced at his bursting free from the bonds of death.  We have enjoyed his risen presence with us and his revelation of himself through the breaking of bread.  We have seen his return to the throne before which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that this Jesus is Lord.  And now, with the followers of his own time, we await the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, his gift to his people, through whom we make Christ known to the world.

         As we wait in silence

         Fill us with your Spirit.

         As we listen to your word

         Fill us with your Spirit.

         As we worship you in majesty

         Fill us with your Spirit.

         As we long for your refreshing

         Fill us with your Spirit.

         As we long for your renewing

         Fill us with your Spirit.

         As we long for your equipping

         Fill us with your Spirit.

         As we long for your empowering

         Fill us with your Spirit.

Hymn:  Come down, O love divine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgUFay0th9A&list=RD2v5wvJbvVQQ&index=2

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.


       The Spirit of Truth will convict the world of guilt about sin, righteousness and judgement.  We have grieved the Holy Spirit, so we 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 that the Spirit will work through our lives to bring Christ to the world.

      Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire: strengthen your children with the gift of faith, revive your Church with the breath of love, and renew the face of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Acts 2: 1-21

When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

This is the Word of the Lord 

Thanks be to God

1 Corinthians 12: 3-13

Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

This is the Word of the Lord 

Thanks be to God

Hymn   Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPVuLOXh8vE

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 

Glory to you, O Lord.

John 20: 19-23

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.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

 Praise to you, O Christ.


We have waited a long time for this day.  We started back in December, on Advent Sunday, when the great season of waiting begins with a church empty of decoration and a stripped-back liturgy.  The promise of God to humanity then grows as the seasons roll from one to the other: first a son is born, then he is baptised and presented to the world as Messiah, only for him to take us into the wilderness for 40 days of self-denial and self-examination.  Then come suffering, betrayal, rejection and death on a cross, and burial in a stranger’s tomb.  We have celebrated his resurrection, we have wondered at his Ascension and now we come to the fulfilment of yet another promise – the gift of the Holy Spirit.  However, just like all the other fulfilments, this one is more than a little strange. 

At the top of your liturgy today is a modern Russian icon for Pentecost.  It shows in stylized form 10 of the disciples, heads surrounded with haloes, each one holding a flame within it.  Four of these saints are holding books – who might they be?  One is holding a scroll – who is he?  They look this way and that, amazed at what they are experiencing and seeing on each other.  Is this how you envisaged the event, as it was read to us this morning?  The “violent wind” is a little difficult to portray in such a static representation, maybe, and the interior of the room is very Russian Orthodox in character, but the purpose of an icon is not for us to look at its surface but to pass through the depiction of saints receiving the Holy Spirit to the very presence of God himself.  It is like George Herbert’s idea of glass – we can simply look at the piece of glass in the window frame, or look through it “and then the heav’n espy.”  Look again at the icon.  It is full of human emotion, despite the very still faces and vague gestures, but the radiating lines on the floor and the walls of the room lead us upwards, between the gathered saints, to God.  Our eyes are carried up and through the drapery beyond the stage to the reality of the divine.

Pentecost not only leads us upwards to God, though: it is designed to lead us outwards, to the rest of the world.  Chris Lynch did a magnificent job with reading all the places from which the crowd in Jerusalem had gathered, so I thought it would be a good idea to find out where they are.  I don’t know if you like early evening game shows on TV, but Richard Osman’s House of Games on BBC2 has a round called, “Where’s Kazakhstan?”, during which contestants have to identify towns or venues on a blank map.  So here is a  map of the Mediterranean world at the time of Pentecost.  I have therefore renamed this, “Where’s Cappadocia?”.  The green sections at the top represent the barbarian hordes.  The red sections are the Roman Empire, the pink are client kingdoms of Rome, and the yellow area is the Parthian Empire, but important, because the Jewish Diaspora, which is fully represented in Luke’s account of Pentecost, goes as far as ancient Babylon – many families stayed there, and are still there, after the Babylonian Exile in the 7th Century BC.

Where did all these people come from?  Answer, just about every corner of the Roman world.  You can see that from Rome in the west to the land of Elam in the east, from Pontus by the Black Sea to Libya and Egypt in the south, faithful Jews had travelled to fill the Temple on this particular festival – fifty days after Passover, and the first of the barley harvest celebrations.  Remember, these are Jews who live outside Israel, in Jerusalem for worship.  The disciples making a cacophanous racket, first thing in the morning, would have drawn the crowd, and Peter’s words to them about the Messiah and the gift of the Holy Spirit would have struck a chord with all those who longed for the Messiah’s coming.

I want us now to look at a different sort of picture: Babel, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.  The half-finished skyscraper as imagined by Bruegel comes from the story in Genesis 11, when the people on earth rebelled against God and built a tower to reach up to heaven to take God down and replace him with themselves.  God confounds their plans, and scatters them across the globe, confusing their languages, so that they could no long understand each other when they meet.  A fine mythological account of diversity of speech, you would rightly say, but why bring it up here?

Because Luke wants us to make that connection.  Here in Jerusalem are people from all round the world, who all speak different languages, suddenly able to understand one person who is speaking to them, in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost has started the process of healing Babel.  Our scattered peoples are being brought back together into one people, the people of God, by the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Just as Christ’s 12 apostles will rebuild the Israel of God as a people who do not need a temple in Jerusalem but can worship him anywhere, so the Holy Spirit will use those 12 apostles to re-unite in one voice the peoples of the world in the worship of God and the service of others.  For Luke, the Church is the new creation, the redemption of Adam, the recreation of the Garden of Eden.  And just as the Spirit was present at the creation of the world (Genesis 1:1), so the Holy Spirit is present as that process of re-unification gets under way on the day of Pentecost.

We are scattered through Kew and elsewhere because of a deadly virus, shut up in our homes, locked out of our churches.  Yet we are brought together as we worship, our language is united as the Spirit pours through us, our prayers are united as we share our common desires and concerns for those we love and for all God’s world. 

To mark that unity, and that challenge to take that unity of love and care out from ourselves and into the world to heal it and recreate it, we will finish with a mass candle lighting session.  I hope you have candles and matches, as we will shine out with the light of Christ, and dare to take it out into a frightening and as yet unknown world.  We, God’s united people, will have to help rebuild it after lockdown.  We, God’s united people, will be those who will call for the grace, mercy and generosity that have been demonstrated at local level so powerfully through this lockdown, to be made permanent in government social policy, health policy, housing policy, transport policy, employment policy, tax policy – you name it, what we have engineered and prayed for through this time of lockdown has to be made a permanent feature of our reconstructed society, and the Holy Spirit will lead us in that effort.  We are not alone, we are united in God, through the Holy Spirit who binds us to him for ever.  Alleluia!

Prayers – with thanks to Harriet Grace

On this Sunday of Pentecost when the disciples were filled with the holy spirit and spoke in tongues, and the crowds outside heard them speaking in their own languages, let us dwell on what this means: the idea that through the disciples, God was reaching out to each one of us, and that we were special enough to be spoken to in a language we would understand.   Lord in your mercy hear our prayer…

In this pandemic time of uncertainty about the future we pray for strength to live with not knowing.  There are so many things we cannot know.  We are being tested in a way we may not have imagined possible.  We may find it hard to cope; it may feel unbearable.   We pray that your spirit is within us and we can believe you are there; and never feel cut off from your loving presence.  Lord in your mercy hear our prayer…

As we come to the end of week ten and  lockdown starts easing, we pray for all those who are ill with the Coronavirus at home or in hospital and ask for their quick and full recovery.  We pray for their loved ones who may be isolated from them and are living in anguish.  Help us to stay with what is happening now and offer our support where we can.  We pray that we remember those with underlying conditions or with disabilities who may die when they did not need to; for those who have been self-isolating and have not seen another person for weeks and are now fearful of doing so; for the woman I saw on Thursday who stood at a social distance and told me she was homeless and asked for money.  I had none and felt helpless, suspicious and fearful.   Grant us your healing love.   Lord in your mercy hear our prayer…

We pray for the schools and nurseries who this week will open their doors to some of their pupils and infants.  We pray in particular for Queen’s School and for the Barn Nursery and all the teachers and staff who with courage, planning, and foresight are making this possible.  We pray that this will safely enhance the lives of all involved and will be a stepping stone to a world where children and students can learn and grow together again.   We pray for all those worried about their jobs and their financial future and ask that they are not forgotten; and that our attempt to get back to a new normal will continue successfully.   

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer…

We thank you for all the  good things during this time, that can feel like miracles: the key workers in hospitals – the doctors, the nurses,  the cleaners who go in at dawn every day to make hospitals safe, the cleaner at the Royal London Hospital who spoke to Clive Myrie on BBC news and who radiated a spirit of giving.  We pray for care workers and thank them for their loving attention, including my granddaughter, who has had mental health issues and who has been working successfully in homes looking after the elderly and has found healing.   We thank you for all that we may have learned at this time right down to the Zoom technology and the App required to record these prayers.  We thank you for the blessing of sunshine, flickering shadows and light pouring on to us day after day.   Lord in your mercy hear our prayer…

We pray for all those who are sick in mind, body or spirit and all those caring for them.  In particular:  Alan Hay, Julia Holboro, Annie Kunz, Luci Mitchell-Fry, Joan Pritchard, Johanna Procter, Kevin Willoughby, Max Weston

We pray for those who have died and for all those left behind mourning their loss.  In particular:  John Axell, Joy Dyer, Pattie Johnson, Norma Williams, Rex Thorne,  and for those known to us who have died recently and not so recently.  Lord in your mercy hear our prayer…

We thank Peter and all at The Barn and St Luke’s who work hard to bring the church to the congregation in their homes, and pray for us all.

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

Hymn:  Spirit of God, as strong as the wind  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8AZ46GKqc

The Peace

God has made us one in Christ. He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come, has given us the Spirit to dwell in our hearts.  Alleluia. 

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:  There’s a spirit in the air  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEcBkPf_ut4

              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, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  We give you thanks that, after he had ascended far above all heavens and was seated at the right hand of your majesty, he sent forth upon the universal Church your holy and life-giving Spirit: that through his glorious power the joy of the everlasting gospel might go forth into all the world.  Therefore we join with angels and archangels and with all those in whom the Spirit dwells, to proclaim the glory of your name, for ever praising you and saying:

              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.      


Blessing of Light – please light your candle at this moment

Blessed are you, sovereign God, overflowing in love.  With Pentecost dawns the age of the Spirit.  Now the flame of heaven rests on every believer.  Strong and weak, women and men tell out your word: the young receive visions, the old receive dreams.  With the new wine of the Spirit they proclaim your reign of love.  Amid the birth pangs of the new creation the way of light is made known.  Source of freedom, giver of life, Blessed are you, +Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Blessed be God for ever. 


For fifty days we have celebrated the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over the power of sin and death.  We have proclaimed God’s might acts and we have prayed that the power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead might be at work in us.  As part of God’s Church here in Kew, I call upon you to live out what you proclaim.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, will you dare to walk into God’s future, trusting him to be your guide?

By the Spirit’s power, we will

Will you dare to embrace each other and grow together in love?

By the Spirit’s power, we will

Will you dare to share your riches in common and minister to each other in need?

By the Spirit’s power, we will

Will you dare to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God?

By the Spirit’s power, we will

Will you dare to carry the light of Christ into the world’s dark places?

By the Spirit’s power, we will


May the Spirit, who hovered over the waters when the world was created, breathe into you the life he gives.  Amen.

May the Spirit, who overshadowed Mary when the eternal Son came among us, make you joyful in the service of the Lord.    Amen.

May the Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the day of Pentecost, bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ.   Amen.

And the blessing of God almight, the +Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with you and those you love, today and always.   Amen.

Filled with the Spirit’s power, go in the light and peace of Christ. Alleluia!

Thanks be to God.  Alleluia!

Hymn: O thou who camest from above  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3UYybc7Xa0

Carillon-sortie by Henri Mulet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq8i69-L-Fs

Watch a Pentecost message from the Bishop of Southwark here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNyTpukI_Bs&feature=youtu.be