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Second Sunday after Trinity – 26th June 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Canon Lyndy Domoney

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Thy hand, O God, has guided

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

Build my life

Sermon Text

I wonder what is the most important thing in our lives? What is the most important duty which if we didn’t do we would not be ourselves. What obedience defines us and who we are?

Try and think of something that you really cannot put off doing, something you cannot procrastinate about, something which has got to be done now come what may.

Because that is what Jesus is talking about here. First of all he turns his back on those who will not receive him. He didn’t appear put of the blue he had sent messengers ahead of him but still they did not receive him. Rather than waste time and effort he just turned and walked away. As he was leaving someone asked to follow him but said they had to bury their father first.

In Jewish culture at that time one of the most sacred duties of a son was to bury his father. If he did not do this when he should then he was not a proper Jew. He would feel that he had failed and the rest of the nation would agree with him and treat him as an outcast.

And yet here is Jesus saying I am more important than that duty. If you want to follow me then I am the most important thing in your life full stop. No ifs no buts no maybes, nothing else compares to me.

These are pretty severe messages. They are not warm and comforting thoughts.

This week’s readings force us to face the twin challenges of accepting Jesus for what he is and of then putting him first.

This is no accident. We are in the season of Trinity. That long period between Pentecost and Advent. It is the season when we look at the teaching and life and ministry of Jesus in detail and try to understand what they mean to us and how we should respond to them. Very often this makes for uncomfortable reading.

Jesus is making the point that if we are trying to follow him then we should not be concerned with what has gone before but concentrate on where we are going. On what we are trying to achieve.

Now by this stage I might be feeling very worried that there is no way that I can ever live up to Jesus’s challenges to me this morning.

However there is a bright light on the horizon, all is not lost. Just before the start of Trinity we celebrated Pentecost when God sent down the Holy Spirit to help us. When we fail, as we will because we are only human, then we can ask for the help of the Spirit.

As the final line from the epistle this morning says; ‘If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit’ and that is how we can face these challenges. We can do our best, we can try as hard as we can to accept Jesus and to put him first, we can pray for the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit and we can leave the rest to God.

Amen

The Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist (The First Sunday After Trinity) – 19th June 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Due to pastoral issues there will be no online sermon for today.

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

Goodness of God

 
Prayerful

Benedictus

Compline for Wednesday 8th June 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

Trinity Sunday – Sunday 12th June 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from Ann Cork

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 
 
 
(For “Holy, holy, holy – see Prayerful hymn below)

More Modern:

 
Prayerful

Holy, holy, holy

Sermon Text

Compline for Wednesday 8th June 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

Pentecost (Whit Sunday) – Sunday 5th June 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Canon Lyndy Domoney

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

Pentecost sequence – Veni Sancte Spiritus (Taize) (Shorter version)

Sermon Text

John 14; 16 &25-27 and Acts 2; 1-4


Read v25 – John’s gospel – words spoken by Jesus to His disciples that evening of the last supper –
preparing them for what lay ahead; from the scriptures – we know that they were together again a
few days later – after His resurrection – when – as we are told – He “showed them His pierced hands
and side” – then after 40 days during which time Jesus had continued to teach and encourage His
disciples – He Ascended into Heaven – having told them (Acts 1; 4) to wait for the gift that The
Father would send to them – the Holy Spirit – Who would give them the power to do what He had
entrusted them to do – ie carry on His ministry here on earth.
Wait! Don’t you thing that waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do? And it must have
been especially hard for these disciples who were bursting to tell anybody and everybody who
would listen about what had happened – but Jesus had told them to wait – so they did – meeting
together, praying together as they waited! For another 10 days – until the feast of Pentecost.
A harvest festival, Pentecost was one of the 3 main Jewish festivals that was celebrated annually,
and attracted Jews from throughout the known world to Jerusalem. – and it was at that significant
time that God fulfilled the promise to send His Holy Spirit.
And – Holy Spirit came – manifest in audible and visible signs.
Wind or breath – are both used in the Old and New Testament as symbols of Holy Spirit – and on
that Pentecost day – Holy Spirit came – we are told – as a violent wind – or as one translation says –
“like the roaring of a mighty windstorm” – certainly no gentle breeze. Wind can be cleansing /
purifying / refreshing; but also unsettling and disruptive – as it tends to stir up that which has been
settled / comfortable /stationary!
Fire was another OT symbol of Holy Spirit, picturing God’s purifying presence. He had confirmed
the OT Law with fire; in Exodus 19; 16 – 18 we read – “Mount Sinai was covered with smoke
because the Lord descended on it in Fire…” Now at Pentecost, God authenticated Holy Spirit’s
presence by sending fire again. On Mt Sinai, fire had come down in one specific place – at
Pentecost – tongues of fire came down upon all the believers who were gathered – individually –
causing them to respond by speaking in languages that they had previously not known.
Believers and non-believers alike could actually see that something supernatural was happening; as
the believers experienced His presence – everyone responded in one way or another to what they
heard. V6 – “When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered” – they were all excited – WHY?
= Not only because of the noise – but they could hear their own language being spoken. To this
international audience – being far from home – it was wonderful to hear – in their own language –
the amazing story the believers were telling; they asked questions – eager to know and understand
more! But there were others who just poo-po’d it all! “Oh they’re just drunk” – they said.
Peter however, now wonderfully changed by Holy Spirit from the fearful man he had been – into a
bold and confident ambassador for Christ – assured them that what they saw was the fulfilment of
the prophet Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days – and not drunkenness; He then explained to
everyone what had happened and why!
Now the Jews would have accepted the authority of the OT scriptures, and as Peter quoted from
Joel’s prophecy, which spoke of a time when God’s Spirit would be poured out on ALL PEOPLE –
irrespective of whether they were Jews or Gentiles, whatever their gender, age, class or status – the
crowd – already drawn by all the excitement – could see the evidence and reality of God’s presence
and power in him as he spoke – telling them about Jesus, who He was and why He came to earth;
about His death – resurrection and ascension – ending with an exhortation to repent and be baptised
in Jesus’ name.
We are told that about 3000 people believed and were baptised that day!
And so the church was born!
As that crowd dispersed and returned to their homes – the good news of the gospel was carried far
and wide – crossing and breaking down geographical, racial and political boundaries.
Oh what a lesson we can learn from those 1st disciples; to accept and acknowledge the authority of
scripture; to pray together – and to wait expectantly for the Holy Spirit – allowing Him to empower
and equip us. – and we do not have to wait like those first disciples had to.
Perhaps we need to allow – even invite – the wind of God to stir us up – unsettle us – tip us out of
our comfort zones – open up new and creative opportunities for reaching out and telling people the
good news of the gospel in a way that would be relevant to them!
Perhaps we need to invite the fire of God’s Spirit to cleanse and purify us – both as individuals and
as the Church – so that the telling and showing of our faith will have credibility.
One thing is for certain – we must move the evidence of our faith out into the open – be prepared
and ready to share the good news of what Jesus has done for us with those who will listen – gossip
the gospel – accepting that there will be some who might poo-poo what we say – but carrying on –
doing now what Jesus commissioned those first disciples to do – grow His Church.
And we cannot do that without Holy Spirit – it is He alone that can speak right into the hearts of
those who will listen – and change their world. So that is where we need to start – by praying
together – as the church – and asking Holy Spirit to come and fill us with His presence and His
power so that we can go and tell!.
Are we ready to experience our own Pentecost?

Compline for Wednesday 1st June 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by John Taylor

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Seventh Sunday of Easter – Sunday 29th May 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from Jamie Worthington

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Christ triumphant, ever reigning

More Modern:

By our love

 
Prayerful

In the Lord is my joy

Compline for Wednesday 25th May 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Sixth Sunday of Easter – Sunday 22nd May 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Canon Lyndy Domoney

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

O Jesus, I have promised

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

Prayer for peace

Sermon Text

Acts 16: 9-15

Sometimes in the life of a Christian we are called to do something, be somewhere, go somewhere, speak or be silent and it seems to make no sense. At other times we feel we have been left hanging about. waiting for instructions which take an age to come, far too long for our impatient ways.

This waiting can sometimes feel a hard thing to do. There we are all fired up with enthusiasm, wanting to crack on with whatever it is we feel called to do and we are told; hold fire, just wait a bit and, worst of all, we don’t know why. We haven’t got a clue what is going on. We have never seen the plan and we do not know what the big picture is let alone where we fit into it.

All we can do is wait and trust. And then, all of a sudden, things fall into place.

Paul had been working his way north through Turkey and tried to go in one direction but, in the verses before our reading this morning, we are told that; ‘the spirit of Jesus did not allow him to do so’ so he wandered along waiting for instructions.

I have no idea how patiently Paul waited. Whether he chaffed at the delay and went pacing about muttering under his breath or whether he was, secretly at any rate, physically relieved at a brief rest because he had been charging about all over the show and his body was starting to show wear and tear we do not know. The temptation at this stage is to say it doesn’t really matter and to concentrate on what he did when he reached Greece but I think it does matter. I think it does matter a lot and there is a vital lesson here for us all.

Most of us have to learn to relax a bit. To have faith and trust is almost a given but it also helps to develop a habit of accepting the down time that God gives us. To take advantage of and revel in periods of calm and inactivity and to use them to just think and to be in God’s presence. To calm our nerves and quieten our minds.

It is a very common complaint, and I am certainly as guilty as anyone else, that life is just too busy. That there never seems to be enough time to achieve everything that one wants to. The pile of books waiting to be read just grows and grows. The to do list never reduces, as soon as one thing is crossed off another two appear.

To try and deal with this some of us go on sabbaticals, others on retreat. We take holidays which involve planning, expense, travel delays, frustration, anti-climaxes and unfulfilled expectations which just seem to make matters worse.

So why do I become impatient when God tells me to be still and rest and wait for him to tell me what to do next?

What we do know is that when Paul’s instructions came in the form of a vision pointing him in the direction of Greece Paul immediately set about finding a way to get there concluding that it was where God was calling him to go and preach the good news. He arrived full of energy and enthusiasm. Went on to work wonders and achieve great things. He is a leading and shining example of what it means to be a Christian.

Who knows perhaps it was that period of waiting that God provided him with that gave him the strength he needed?

Amen

Compline for Wednesday 18th May 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Fifth Sunday of Easter – Sunday 15th May 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from Lindy Ellis

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to heaven

God Is love, his the care

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

Let there be love shared among us

Compline for Wednesday 11th May 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Fourth Sunday of Easter – Sunday 8th May 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

In heavenly love abiding

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

Peaceful moments of worship

Sermon Text

My Sheep Listen to My Voice. John 10; 22-30 and Psalm 23.
Easter 4 2022

In todays gospel reading we see Jesus in the Temple at the time of one of the annual feasts. We are
told that the Jews had gathered around Him, and challenged His identity. Now Jesus by His actions
and teaching had told and showed them many times Who He was; on one of those occasions –
recorded in v 14 – of this chapter – Jesus had said – “I am the good Shepherd – I know my sheep, and
my sheep know me..” – but – as the saying goes – ‘there are none so blind as those who will not see’ –
and they had chosen ‘not to see’ – chosen to ‘not hear’ – chosen to ‘not follow’ – and He now gives
them the reason for that choice – “because you are not of my sheep”. v 27 “My sheep listen to
My voice; I know them, and they follow me………”
Now perhaps to our thinking, this was a curious self description – but to His listeners, it was one
they could readily identify with – as in those days and in that land – much of which was unsuitable
for agriculture – sheep farming was common – so this image Jesus uses to describe Himself – was
familiar to the people – something they could readily imagine – but not only that – it was familiar
because it was frequently used in the Scriptures [Old Testament] to describe the nature and
character of God – and Jesus – in these word pictures, is declaring – again – His true identity to those
who would listen and hear what He said; then – just in case anyone missed it – He says in v 30 – “I
and the Father are One.” – and it was these words in particular that – on this occasion – enraged His
listeners, in fact we’re told they – “picked up stones to stone Him.”…
It would be good to remember how this ‘shepherd’ image of God was used in the Old Testament –
Isaiah writes in
Isaiah 40; 11 – “He – ie the Sovereign Lord – tends His flock like a Shepherd; He gathers the lambs
in His arms and carries them close to His heart; ……………” we see it in several of the Psalms – eg
Psalm 95; 7; Psalm 100; 3 – beautiful imagery of a loving, caring and intensely personal
relationship.
Matthew [2; 6] in his narrative of the Magi’s visit to Herod to ask directions to find the baby born
King of the Jews – tells us that the chief priests quoted the Prophet Micah’s prophecy concerning
the birth of the Christ to them – “But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah are by no means least
among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be The Shepherd of my people
Israel” – pointing very specifically to Jesus – who claimed to be THE Good Shepherd; not A good
shepherd – anyone could learn to be a good shepherd – but THE Good Shepherd.
Psalm 23 the Psalm set for today – is probably the most familiar scripture using this imagery;
written by King David – using the imagery of both sheep and Shepherd out of his own experience
of having been a shepherd and caring for his own flock of sheep – but focusing on his understanding
of being a sheep in God’s flock and his personal experience of God’s presence and love.
David – who knew the history of the People of Israel – and had had a personal knowledge of God
most of his life – had found God to be utterly faithful – so he could say –
v 1 “the Lord is my Shepherd – therefore can I lack nothing”. This tells us of his relationship with
God – he then goes on to talk about the specifics of God’s provision. v2 – Of how the good
shepherd knows exactly where to find green pastures – even in the most barren desert – how He
knows where to find life giving water – not stagnant – not too fast flowing; v3 – healing and
guidance; v4a – protection – He knows how to protect His sheep in dark and dangerous places –
and is totally faithful – but 4b – also speaks of Gods’ discipline, love and re-assurance.
David Adam – christian Author and Priest has said –
“ this is not a cozy Psalm – but one that acknowledges that green pastures cannot be taken for
granted; desert, wilderness, hunger, thirst, darkness, death – are all realities – yet it knows these do
not have the last word.” NO – God does! – and the Psalm continues – as……. v5 – speaks of hope –
5b – being set apart for Him, and of the abundance of these ‘overflowing’ blessings – the psalm
ends with the blessing and security – and their eternal quality – FOREVER. ( indeed, everything
King David, you or I could ever need.) – but having said that – we must remember that David –
through his own misdeeds and disobedience could also relate to Isaiah’s comment in ch 53; 6 of his
writings when he said – “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way”
– David did “go his own way” for a time – but when he turned back to God – was sorry for what
he’d done – he experienced the truth of God’s forgiveness and reconciliation as well the blessings.
I am the good shepherd! Jesus is saying that He alone fits the profile constructed by the imagery of
God portrayed in the OT. He has warned His listeners earlier about the havoc someone who does
not truly care for the sheep can cause when left in charge of the flock – “…………. he runs away
(when danger threatens the flock – “ because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.”
(ch 10; 12-13) – no provision, no guidance, no protection –
but Jesus assures us in v 29 “..no-one can snatch them [that is His sheep] out of my hand” – once
we make Him our Shepherd – once we put our lives into His hands – He will watch over us – even
when we stray – and bring us back into fellowship with Himself – forgiven and restored.
Jesus says that His sheep know His voice, my prayer is that His sheep would listen to His voice, and
follow where He leads – Jesus is THE Good Shepherd and He has laid down His life for you.
Have you given Him yours – have you chosen to become one of His flock?
Prayer
O Lord Jesus, good and beloved Shepherd –
Stay beside me to defend me,
Within me to guide me,
Before me to lead me,
Behind me to guard me
and above me to bless me,
that with You and in You
I may live and move and have my being – for ever and ever. Amen

Compline for Wednesday 4th May 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Third Sunday of Easter – Sunday 1st May 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

This joyful Eastertide

I cannot tell

More Modern:

I will follow

Living waters

 
Prayerful

Healing light

Sermon Text

May 1st 2022

Acts 9: 1-6, 7-20

People become Christians in any number of ways. Some grow up in a Christian family, are familiar with the Bible and it’s message from the word go. They know that God and Jesus love them from an early age. Indeed they cannot remember not knowing.

Others slowly come to believe after a journey of discovery which varies in length from person to person. Yet others come to faith in a blinding flash of light or in what seems to be the blink of an eye when they are least expecting it. Some fight against it for as long as they can whilst others are desperately searching to be convinced.

There is no right or wrong way. No way is better than another.

And yet humans are rarely satisfied. Those who have grown up Christians sometimes feel that they have missed out on a conversion experience and those older converts occasionally bemoan missing a Christian childhood.

Saul as he then was at the beginning of our reading definitely had a religious outbringing. He was superbly well educated, enthusiastic about his work and clearly destined for great things. In todays terms he was a high flyer on the fast track to rapid advancement.

He knew his Bible inside out. He firmly believed in the coming of the Messiah and that when the Messiah did arrive his own life would never be the same again.

He was absolutely convinced that this was right and proper and that so was he. He was doing God’s work in the right place, at the right time and in the right way.

He was wrong.

The Messiah did come. Saul’s life was never the same again. He even underwent a change of name. Only problem was he didn’t recognise the Messiah when he came and even applauded his execution.

He participated in the murder of at least one of the Messiah’s supporters and was energetically organising the persecution of as many of the other followers as he could get his hands on.

All that ended in blinding flash of light, literally in the blink of an eye as he temporarily lost his sight.

He must have felt that his world was crashing down around him. Everything he had believed in was true but he had made the most fundamental error imaginable. The longed for Messiah had come but rather than acknowledging him and working with him Saul had denounced and persecuted him. Saul continued that persecution even after the Messiah had died.

The important thing is God turned things around. Saul became Paul and used all his knowledge, learning, experience and enthusiasm to promote the message of Jesus rather than trying to repress it. God was not going to let Saul off the hook entirely. He was forgiven, turned around, given a second chance but it was hardly a soft option. Paul went from being a pillar of the establishment to, in some sense, an outlaw.

His conversion came at a cost but the benefits far outweighed the consequences. He became the person God had always intended him to be. This is what God does for all of us.

It doesn’t matter whether we are cradle Christians, new converts, hesitant seekers or abject deniers we all push back at times. We all have moments of doubt and sometimes total denial or rejection.

The story of Paul is one which gives us all hope. We get things wrong, God forgives us. It doesn’t matter how wrong we are, what mistakes we have made genuine repentance is always met with a fresh chance. It doesn’t mean an easy life, it doesn’t mean every problem goes away, it doesn’t mean no setbacks but what it does mean is the peace and fulfilment that can only come from working with God rather than against him and the prospect to look forward to of eternal life with our maker and saviour.

Amen

Compline for Wednesday 27th April 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Second Sunday of Easter – Sunday 24th April 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Our sermon for today is from Jamie Worthington

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

Open our eyes

Compline for Wednesday 20th April 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

Easter Day – Sunday 17th April 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
 
 
Prayerful

Gebet für die Ukraine

Compline for Wednesday 13th April 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Palm Sunday – Sunday 10th April 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

The kingdom of God

Calm me O Lord

Sermon Text

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is not just a story or history but it is a personal challenge to each one of us. It asks a fundamental, difficult and disturbing question which some people spend their whole lives avoiding. Others who try and answer it find not only hope and joy but fear and hard work.

The procession of Jesus was clearly carefully pre planned. It drew attention not only to Jesus but also to those who were closest to him. There was nowhere to hide when the cavalcade came into town. Jesus was seeking maximum visibility, complete exposure.

The reading tells us that all the disciples began to praise God joyfully and just as importantly, loudly.

This drew the attention of the authorities who tried to quell what they feared might bring down the displeasure of the Romans. Jesus gave them short shrift and carried on as he had planned.

This is where the question begins to arise. What was going through the minds of the disciples when the authorities arrived on the scene? Surely, at least some of the disciples must have seen and overheard the exchange because it has been written down for us to read. What did those disciples think of it? Did it make them stop and pause?

Yes it was all very jolly shouting and singing and dancing in the street but now the police had raided the rave. The Pharisees had ordered Jesus to stop and may well have been looking round taking note of who was with him.

Did this suddenly concentrate their minds? Did they pause for a moment and wonder what might happen to them if this all went horribly wrong?

As Jesus swept past the Pharisees did any of the disciples out of the corner of their eye see a look of hate or anger on the face of authority and think to themselves; this might not necessarily end well?

If they did those disciples might have stopped to ask themselves; am I really in this for the long haul? What do I do if Jesus asks me to do something I don’t want to or might put me at risk? It is all very well for Jesus to put the important and powerful down in public but what if he tells me to do the same?

That question is still being asked of us. We may be happy to follow Jesus all the time life is a party but what do we do when the music stops? What do we do when he asks us out of our comfort zone?

Do we keep on going, continue to follow him or do we seek a quieter life somewhere out of harms way? Sooner or later that is a question we may all have to answer. Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 6th April 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Fifth Sunday of Lent – Sunday 3rd April 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
For Ukraine
 
 
 
Prayerful

Peace

Sermon Text

I love to praise people. I love to be able to thank them for something good that they’ve done. Not lies or half-truths but genuine praise. People do amazing things all of the time and it so easily gets ignored:

• The extra hour spent cleaning up after an event.
• The smile and good service at the checkout.
• The time spent patiently listening to someone who just wants to talk.

I love to notice these things and be able to give praise where it is due. But there is something very wrong with me – I don’t know how to handle praise when it comes my way. I’m split in two – I like to know that people think well of me (I’m only human) but at the same time I just do what I do, so it feels wrong to take the credit. I could say that I don’t deserve it, it is just the Spirit’s work in me – it’s true but that sounds way too pious, pompous even. Perhaps I’m just English and it’s that innate distrust of ‘showing off’.

So, with this background in mind, you may be able to picture my reaction when I read John 12.1-8. I won’t try to summarise it, the little story is already concise and well crafted, so here it is:

“Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. 2 A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.
3 Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.
4 A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6 Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.
7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.””

(Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society)

I hate showing off and so my first reaction to that story was, well Judas has a point. Why ‘waste’ all that perfume? I suspect for a moment the other disciples were probably with him too, even I suspect, her sister Martha.

But then Jesus turns it round. It is a beautiful thing that Mary has done. Then the penny dropped. I suddenly remembered who Jesus is. I suddenly realised that Mary was following the prompting of the Spirit and offering everything to Jesus. She wasn’t calculating profit and loss, she just knew that this was right and she acted. The penny dropped: it is never wrong to be extravagant with God!

It is never wrong to be extravagant with God. Perhaps I need to let go a little more. I don’t like showing off, but sometimes I need to accept that the exuberant gesture is the right one, the Spirit filled one. I need to trust that voice inside, the prompting of the Spirit. I need to practice acting on it. Sometimes I may get a rebuke like Peter, when Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan”. But if I don’t act on that voice I’ll never learn to recognise it clearly. So I need to take the risk and act. When I get it wrong, well, then I say sorry and bring it to God, and let the Spirit do a little more fine-tuning in me. But when I get it right, it is worth it to hear Jesus’ praise or picture his smile: even if the praise makes me squirm a bit!
So my note to myself for today: It is never wrong to be extravagant with God!
Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 30th March 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Fourth Sunday of Lent (Mothering Sunday) – Sunday 27th March 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Tell out my soul

More Modern:

 
 
Kids:
 
 
Prayerful

The Lord bless you and keep you

Sermon Text

Over the years I have listened to or read the parable of the Prodigal Son many times. I always have the same reaction; what a pair of children.

A spendthrift son who wastes all his money and then comes creeping home broke and hungry. Probably bringing his washing with him as well.

A resentful, sulky son who does what he thinks he should or must with a view to inheriting the family firm but without any great love or graciousness, who frightens the servants and then throws a tantrum when he feels he is not being treated with the respect and generosity he considers he has earnt and deservers.

The story Jesus told two thousand years ago still sounds true and believable today.

What, I wonder, about the father’s reactions? Would they be the same now as then? In the same way that sibling rivalry and jealousy is as much of a problem now as it was then is parental love as automatic a reaction as before?

I strongly suspect it is. The media is full of stories about children returning home to live with parents or other older relations because of difficulties in affording to buy a place of their own.

Over the last couple of years many children seem to have come to the conclusion that life in lockdown resulting from Covid is remarkably similar to life in a strange and foreign land struck by famine and have returned home for comfort and support.

Homecomings can often be difficult and awkward. Bad enough sometimes when visiting an older relation one hasn’t seen for several years when both you and they have changed since last meeting. Sometimes out of all recognition but relationships can be even more strained when living with each other in close proximity all day long.

Both parents and children have got used to living on their own and adjusting to the new arrangements can sometimes be tricky.

What this passage teaches us is that we do not need to be worried about returning to God no matter how long it has been or what the circumstances were when we left. If we have changed God hasn’t. If we are feeling awkward he isn’t. He is just overjoyed to welcome us back into his company. He wants us to move in, to stay and to never leave. He has no worries or hesitation in bringing us into his home to live with him.

All we have to do, like the prodigal son, is to say, I am sorry, I was wrong, please may I come home and God will hold the door open for us and welcome us in with open arms. Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 23rd March 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Third Sunday of Lent – Sunday 20th March 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from Lindy Ellis

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Blest are the pure in heart

May the mind of Christ my saviour

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

The kingdom of God is justice and peace

Sermon Text

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today we are looking at a tyrant, seemingly without any compassion, who is prepared to use his superior army to get his way against all opposition, prepared to subdue another nation to ensure what he sees as his own security. There seem to be no limits to what he will do to get his way – maybe it is because he is wondering just how safe his own position is. No, I am not talking about Vladimir Putin and Ukraine today in 2022, but about Pontius Pilate in Galilee in the first century during the lifetime of our Lord Jesus Christ, Pilate who seemed to revel in trampling on the religious sensibilities of the Jews.

At the beginning of today’s gospel, a group of people have returned from Jerusalem with some really hot gossip. They recounted how Pilate had slaughtered a group of pilgrims from Galilee in the temple itself, and worse still their blood had mixed with the blood of the temple sacrifice. I have the feeling that those people, who were so keen to pass on the news, rather enjoyed being the first to tell everyone, even though what had happened was so horrific. Haven’t we all at some time rather enjoyed being the first to be able to tell others something they haven’t yet heard about? This is fine if it is good news, but we do need to guard against that glee, that schadenfreude, that it is possible to feel as we pass on bad news.

However, the men had other motives in bringing up this subject in front of Jesus – in their minds they had two questions for him. Jesus has declared his intention to go to Jerusalem – isn’t he afraid of what will happen to him there? Jesus answers that at the end of this chapter of Luke’s gospel, and we read that in last Sunday’s gospel. He will do his Father’s will, whatever it may lead to. Secondly, many people believed that the things that happen to you in this life are punishments or rewards from God according to what sort of life you have led – we see this throughout the Old Testament, and we even hear echoes of it today. Surely, they suggested, those slaughtered pilgrims must have been very wicked people for such a fate to happen to them?

But Jesus very quickly dispels that idea. Those men were no worse than anyone else, and unless each one repented something equally bad would happen to them. We may interpret Jesus’ words as foretelling the suppression of the Jews by the Romans, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in the year 70, or maybe he was talking not about physical death, but the death of the soul.

As so often, Jesus then goes on to illustrate his point with a parable, telling us about the unfruitful fig tree. Many of those listening would have heard John the Baptist using a similar metaphor. His message had been ‘Repent’, he said that we had to show that repentance by changing the way we behave towards others. He went on to say, ‘Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’ Jesus takes this a little further by telling us that we can have no idea of when that axe will be picked up and used to chop us down. Just because we are allowed to go on flourishing, does not imply God’s approval of our way of life. We never know when the axe will fall.

During Lent, we are encouraged to examine the way we live. I’m not talking about popular ideas like not eating chocolates or biscuits for a few weeks. I am thinking of something deeper and more difficult. I suggest that we should all pray to God to ask him to reveal our true selves to ourselves, to show us the truth about the way we live. It is so easy to fool ourselves – I’m not so bad, we tell ourselves – I more or less follow the 10 commandments – there’s lots of people a lot worse than me. St John understood this when he wrote in his first letter, ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away’. So during Lent, let us really stop and pray to God to ask him to show us our true selves – to ask him to show us how much better we can be.

In church throughout Lent we shall be revising the story of how God so loved his people, his creation, that he sent his only Son, his beloved Son, into the world to suffer and to die for us, so that if we believe in him we shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This is a free gift which by grace God gives to us if only we are ready to accept it. I pray that on Easter Morning, we shall all be able to be in church to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, which completed this sacrifice God made for us, and with joy we will thank, praise, and adore the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Dear Father God, thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ our Saviour and for the salvation that we have received through trusting in His death on the cross and His resurrection. My heart overflows with grateful thanks and praise for His amazing sacrifice for our sin. Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 16th March 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

Compline for Wednesday 9th March 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The First Sunday of Lent – Sunday 6th March 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Forty days and forty nights

Be thou my guardian and my guide

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful

O Lord, hear my prayer

Sermon Text

I remember this time of year, some time ago. It was a Friday and we had a quiz with the Youth Group. One of the questions was something like, “We give up something for lent to show our willpower? True or False?”


They all got the answer right. What would you have said?


I’ll repeat the question, “We give up something for lent to show our willpower? True or False?”

What would you have said? I’ll give you the answer at the end.
That made me think of another group of young people who visited our church each year from Ukraine. They were the Zuzulenka dancers, all aged between 14 and 18. I looked at the pictures in the brochure from 2016. Bright young, excited faces with their whole life ahead of them.

I think of those faces as I see the pictures of Ukraine now. I see the destruction and pray that they are safe. I feel a little closer to the events that I see on the news, and a little more traumatised. I hear and see and read of the evil being done to Ukraine and its people and I pray for peace. I pray for strength for its people. I pray for Holy Spirit to give hope to the people too, 75% of whom would call themselves Christians.

My mind then moved to the Bible reading for today, the story of the temptation of Jesus from Luke 4.1-13. Again, I read of evil. This is evil personified, in the form of the devil. In that reading the temptations seem more personal. They don’t seem to be on the same scale as the evil happening in Ukraine. The don’t seem the same, but they are. They are the same because it is ordinary people who cause evil. In this case it was one man with lots of power. Putin looked out from the Kremlin, then at a map showing all the kingdoms of the earth. There was a whisper in his ear, “I can give all of these to you, just worship me.” Putin has supported the church in Russian, so he knows that he should worship Christ, and him alone. But sadly, the little man was dazzled by the praise, he bowed the knee to a false god, and ordered in the tanks.
Maybe Putin thought that he would have the willpower to resist temptation when it came. A powerful, self-confident man like him, temptation would be no problem. Perhaps, perhaps I am just being fanciful.

Maybe I will have the willpower to resist temptation when the devil comes to call. Maybe you will too. Or maybe not.


So back to that quiz. “We give up something for lent to show our willpower? True or False?”

False! Definitely false. On Ash Wednesday I was reminded that I am dust and to dust I shall return. In lent I learn just how weak my willpower is. I look at this world, I pray for peace. I remember the ash, I take Jesus’ hand and now the journey can begin…

Amen.

Compline for Ash Wednesday (2nd March 2022)

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Sunday before Lent – Sunday 27th February 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

This Sunday we also have Prayers for Peace for Ukraine. These are led by The Revd. Lyndy Domoney (see below).

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. lyndy Domoney

Prayers for Peace for Ukraine, led by The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor (recorded prior to the invasion of Ukraine)

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

For the healing of the nations

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful

The fruits of silence

Sermon Text

Luke 6; 17-26. Recorded February 2022
Having observed the festival of Candlemas — or ‘The Presentation of Christ in the Temple’ on the
Sunday before last – which concluded our Christmas celebrations – we now turn away from the
Cradle of the Nativity and begin to move intentionally towards the cross of crucifixion – the
defining event of our Christian faith. And in our Gospel reading today – we see Jesus’ walk to the
cross just beginning.


If we look back at the story recorded just before our reading started in verse 17 – we see Jesus –
coming down the mountain to join the crowd that had followed Him and were waiting for Him; He
then chose and appointed 12 of them to be Apostles – or ‘called out ones’; then – moving further
down the mountain, to where a larger crowd of people from all over the region had gathered, found
a level place and began to demonstrate – or give evidence – of His true identity — showing by what
He did – Who He was; we’re told that He healed them all – from multiple kinds of disease and evil
spirits – and even though they couldn’t possibly fully realise Who this Man really was – or what He
would ultimately do – for now it was enough to be with Him and experience first hand – His power
and compassion.


Then addressing a smaller group of disciples – including the newly appointed Apostles – Jesus
began to teach them – entrusting to them the core values of a new way of life that He would call His
followers to live; about a quality of ‘being’ – of living – that was different to the ‘norm’ of the
religious establishment of the day and the apparently ‘blessed’ lives being lived by the upper
echelons or elite of society, which looked so attractive to the ‘have nots’.


He taught them by giving them what we know as – ‘The Beatitudes’ – or ‘Beautiful Attitudes’ as a
pattern to live by; familiar words – recorded in greater length by Matthew in his gospel, we have
here in Luke’s account a slightly abridged version – addressed to people who followed Him because
they had realised their own spiritual poverty, and who wanted to draw closer to God and learn what
it would mean to be wholly dependent on Him. Jesus’ talk about the poor and hungry, sad and
marginalised, had little or nothing to do with material poverty or riches – and everything to do with
a richness of life possible for those who truly knew and loved God – a knowledge and love that
would affect the way they behaved, understood themselves and others – that would be reflected
through their lives – in their ‘being’; new attitudes to live by that would show others something of
God. Jesus turned their ideas about happiness and fulfillment upside down – and then went on to
show them how.


It was hard, and we know from scripture that much of Jesus’ teaching only became truly
understandable to them after His resurrection, after He had sent Holy Spirit Who gave them the
power to live that life; we also know, that many people who had followed Him during His walk –
who had been there there that day as He introduced them to the Beautiful Attitudes – couldn’t come
to terms with His death, couldn’t believe that He had risen and they drifted away – lost.
So today – we’ve looked at the beginning and the end of THE walk we’ve begun; a walk that took
Jesus about 3 years, a walk that will take us only 8 weeks – a walk that will shortly take us into
Lent, that time traditionally set aside for reflection – self denial – a personal MOT time – but also a
time of gratitude as we follow Jesus to the cross and beyond – gratitude that must surely grow as we
realise and understand more of what He did for us – and the gift of hope He has set before us ; the
hope of life after death – and the certainty – that as it was for Him – so it will be for those of us who
belong to Him – that death is not the end but the beginning of something new.


v19. “ If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all people.” Amen

Prayer for Peace for Ukraine

At the 6.30pm Compline this evening (24th February) at Billingford we will be having a time of prayer for peace for Ukraine. I am encouraging people to come along and join us. If you can’t make it, please take a little time at around 6.30pm to pray for peace in Ukraine. You might light a candle and listen to the following Taize song as part of your prayers too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-TIUXM1gns

From 8pm to 9pm tonight (24th February), St. John’s in Harleston will be open for prayer for peace.

These are in addition to the focus on Peace at all of our services this Sunday, as called for by our Archbishops. We will also be praying for peace at our Ash Wednesday services, again as called for by our Archbishops.

Please pass this on to anyone you think would want to join us in prayer, either in person or from home.

God bless,
Nigel.

Compline for Wednesday 23rd February 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Second Sunday before Lent – Sunday 20th February 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from Lindy Ellis

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Will your anchor hold?

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

More Modern:

It is well

 
 
Prayerful
 

Compline for Wednesday 16th February 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Third Sunday before Lent – Sunday 13th February 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

Luke 6; 17-26. Recorded February 2022
Having observed the festival of Candlemas — or ‘The Presentation of Christ in the Temple’ on the
Sunday before last – which concluded our Christmas celebrations – we now turn away from the
Cradle of the Nativity and begin to move intentionally towards the cross of crucifixion – the
defining event of our Christian faith. And in our Gospel reading today – we see Jesus’ walk to the
cross just beginning.


If we look back at the story recorded just before our reading started in verse 17 – we see Jesus –
coming down the mountain to join the crowd that had followed Him and were waiting for Him; He
then chose and appointed 12 of them to be Apostles – or ‘called out ones’; then – moving further
down the mountain, to where a larger crowd of people from all over the region had gathered, found
a level place and began to demonstrate – or give evidence – of His true identity — showing by what
He did – Who He was; we’re told that He healed them all – from multiple kinds of disease and evil
spirits – and even though they couldn’t possibly fully realise Who this Man really was – or what He
would ultimately do – for now it was enough to be with Him and experience first hand – His power
and compassion.


Then addressing a smaller group of disciples – including the newly appointed Apostles – Jesus
began to teach them – entrusting to them the core values of a new way of life that He would call His
followers to live; about a quality of ‘being’ – of living – that was different to the ‘norm’ of the
religious establishment of the day and the apparently ‘blessed’ lives being lived by the upper
echelons or elite of society, which looked so attractive to the ‘have nots’.


He taught them by giving them what we know as – ‘The Beatitudes’ – or ‘Beautiful Attitudes’ as a
pattern to live by; familiar words – recorded in greater length by Matthew in his gospel, we have
here in Luke’s account a slightly abridged version – addressed to people who followed Him because
they had realised their own spiritual poverty, and who wanted to draw closer to God and learn what
it would mean to be wholly dependent on Him. Jesus’ talk about the poor and hungry, sad and
marginalised, had little or nothing to do with material poverty or riches – and everything to do with
a richness of life possible for those who truly knew and loved God – a knowledge and love that
would affect the way they behaved, understood themselves and others – that would be reflected
through their lives – in their ‘being’; new attitudes to live by that would show others something of
God. Jesus turned their ideas about happiness and fulfillment upside down – and then went on to
show them how.


It was hard, and we know from scripture that much of Jesus’ teaching only became truly
understandable to them after His resurrection, after He had sent Holy Spirit Who gave them the
power to live that life; we also know, that many people who had followed Him during His walk –
who had been there there that day as He introduced them to the Beautiful Attitudes – couldn’t come
to terms with His death, couldn’t believe that He had risen and they drifted away – lost.
So today – we’ve looked at the beginning and the end of THE walk we’ve begun; a walk that took
Jesus about 3 years, a walk that will take us only 8 weeks – a walk that will shortly take us into
Lent, that time traditionally set aside for reflection – self denial – a personal MOT time – but also a
time of gratitude as we follow Jesus to the cross and beyond – gratitude that must surely grow as we
realise and understand more of what He did for us – and the gift of hope He has set before us ; the
hope of life after death – and the certainty – that as it was for Him – so it will be for those of us who
belong to Him – that death is not the end but the beginning of something new.


v19. “ If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all people.” Amen

Compline for Wednesday 9th February 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Fourth Sunday Before Lent (70th Anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II) – 6th February 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from Jamie Worthington

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

 
 
The World Blessing 2022
 

Compline for Wednesday 2nd February 2022 – Candlemas

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by John Taylor

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) – Sunday 30th January 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from Lynda Mansfield

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful
 

Compline for Wednesday 19th January 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Sue Auckland.

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Third Sunday of Epiphany – Sunday 23th January 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 
 

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

There is a Yorkshire saying, “The higher the monkey climbs, the more he shows his backside!” Though it is a little cruder in the original. This is a saying aimed at those who have got above themselves. The one who went away and made some money, and has now come back to his home town or village and is splashing the cash. Is telling tall tales of his adventures and making out that he is above those that he grew up with.

Sometimes, it can be utterly justified. Some people think that a little worldly success, money or fame makes them a better person than the mere insects they grew up with. They have climbed so high that all they show is their shame, and they cannot see it.

Sometimes though it is not justified. Sometimes, the person who went away is not trying to show off. The person has been away and has been changed by it. They are different but they are not trying to belittle anyone. However, the simple fact that they are now a little exotic and different means that the locals feel left behind. They feel jealous, and it is out of their jealousy that they try to put their former friend down.

This is the setting of the reading from Luke 4, read today. Jesus has returned to his home town and has gone to worship. Everyone is there, they have heard of all the miracles and healings that Jesus has done. Will they welcome their hero home or will they turn on him. Well our reading ends before we find out, but I can tell you that just a few verses later the people Jesus grew up with, turn on him, they drag him out and even try to kill him.

That was then but what now? Well there is the obvious lesson not to be too hasty in our judgement of people. But more than that, there is a lesson on how we treat Jesus’ message now.

Back then Jesus quoted from the prophet Isaiah and said of himself,

“The Lord’s Spirit has come to me,

because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor.

The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners,

to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers,

and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.’”

“What you have just heard me read has come true today.”


I can read those words and be challenged. Challenged to join with Jesus mission to be filled with the Spirit, to be good news for those who are poor and offer a way out for everyone who is weighed down by the injustices of this world, blinded by greed, and I can strive in Christ to free people from their suffering.

This call of Jesus will shake up every cosy notion I have about faith. It blows out of the water the idea that faith is a private thing, and even more so that faith has nothing to do with politics. I can embrace Jesus’ claim, and make a nuisance of myself, calling out for justice and equality and not being silenced until I get it. I can encourage others to do the same.

Equally, I can read those words of Jesus and be challenged. Challenged to reject this idea of a Jesus that leaves the walls of our churches. I have known this Jesus from my youth, how dare he come back now and shake up my comfortable world. I can embrace what I have always known to be true and silence those who make a nuisance of themselves.

Those words of Jesus. They challenge me and you as much now as they did in Jesus’ home town all those years ago. Do I embrace Jesus’ words, and follow him? Do I force him back in his place, in church, in a cradle, in a grave.

Today, do I embrace Jesus’ words? Do you?

Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 19th January 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell.

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Second Sunday of Epiphany – Sunday 16th January 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon for today is from The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

Our God

The wedding

Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

I like a party. I love being with good people, celebrating together. So it can be no surprise to anyone who knows me that I love this story of Jesus at the wedding feast. This story is described by John as the first sign shown by Jesus. The first hint of who he really is. And it comes in the middle of the party, after all the guests have had plenty to drink.

So what is the sign? Well, I could say it is the changing of the water into wine, which, wonderful as it is, would be to miss the point. The sign is much more than some excellent wine.

The sign is that heaven has broken through into this earth. The result is the water changing into wine. And such wine. It is described as the best of wines. What else would you expect when heaven comes to earth. And lots of it. Again, would you expect anything other than over the top generosity when heaven comes to earth.

So what is the sign? That Jesus is the heavenly Word made flesh. This is just a glimpse of who Jesus is. In him heaven has come to earth, so we should expect miracles to happen all around him.

The exuberance of this casual act by Jesus is also a hint of what we can expect at the great heavenly banquet described in Revelation. That is when earth enters heaven. Human beings, and the whole of creation are described as feasting in heaven forever. A great heavenly party, with earth invited.

So what is the sign? Heaven has come down to earth, but equally earth is lifted to heaven. That is what is happening in Jesus. In Jesus, heaven and earth, God and humanity are one.

‘Heaven and earth, God and humanity are one.’ That is easy to say but what does it mean? Well it means a lifetime of sermons for one thing. It is the fact at the heart of Christianity. A mystery for all of us to ponder and wonder about, throughout our lives.

In Jesus heaven and earth become one. We are called to be like him, to be ‘Christlike.’ That doesn’t just mean to be live a good and moral life. It means much more. It means that we are to be places where heaven and earth meet. That is what the Spirit is doing in me and in you.

So what is the sign?

Water into wine.

Heaven come down to earth.

Earth lifted up to heaven.

And all in and through Jesus, our lord, the Word made flesh.

Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 12th January 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today:

The Baptism of Christ – Sunday 9th January 2022

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon for today is from John Taylor

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

O Breath of Life, come sweeping though us.

Spirit song (O let the Son of God enfold you)

Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

The Baptism of Christ follows closely on from the Epiphany which is the revelation of God in the form of the human Jesus. I sometimes feel that today is slightly overshadowed by all the excitement of Christmas and isn’t always fully appreciated for the important day it is.

The human nature of Jesus as being both totally and completely human whilst at the same time wholly divine is it the very root of the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This is considered by many to be the greatest mystery of the Christian faith.

For some it is evidence the Christians are mistaken and for others it is the foundation of our faith. Just because we cannot fully explain or understand something does not mean that it is untrue. I have no idea how the whole complicated ecological system works but I believe that plants grow as a result of the interaction of heat, light and water. I believe this to be true even if I do not understand it.

In the same way that I believe that our planet operates I believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God to save us all and that he was, inexplicably, both fully God and fully human.

Because Jesus was human, lived a human life, experienced human emotions, enjoyed his food and drink, got tired, was moved to compassion, cried over the death of a friend and in the end died a human, or perhaps more accurately, an inhuman, death, because of this linking with humanity I know that he understands what I am going through during all my life.

An indispensable part of Christianity is baptism. At its most basic baptism is the induction or admission of a person into the Christian faith. On baptism we become part of the Christian family. There are all sorts of learned debate about aspects of baptism. Infant baptism as opposed to adult, totally emersion in, or symbolic sprinkling of water et cetera but the common denominator is that the baptised person is no longer a spectator but a player. A participant in Christian life in whatever way works with or for them.

This is why today’s memorial or celebration of the Baptism of Christ is so important. Jesus was baptised just like everyone else. He wasn’t, and isn’t just an onlooker in our lives. He wasn’t and isn’t a visiting deity inspecting lowly humanity at close quarters on earth rather than merely peering down from heaven. He was, and is, one of us and his baptism is an integral part of that oneness.

Amen

Compline for Wednesday 22nd June 2022

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today: