Sunday 20 September Virtual Service Hello everyone.

Thank you to Bryan for leading our intercessions, to Laura for reading the Gospel, to Gill for our virtual resource for our young people, and to Lesley for the band’s song choice for this week.

Bob Baker our organist is playing in Church this morning – for the first time in six months since the confirmation service on 15 March. I asked Bob to choose a celebratory hymn and Bob has chosen, “Awake, awake fling off the night”. The words are based on Ephesians chapter 5 verse 14: “Awake O sleeper and rise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light”. It is a splendid morning hymn encouraging us “to walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5. 8).

It would appear that most of our regular congregation are choosing not return to “live worship” in the Church building at this stage. It has been a quiet start attendance-wise in September. We will of course keep going with our virtual worship as our main way of worshipping as a Church family for a good while yet. 

If you are planning to return to worship in Church in the coming weeks please allow a little extra time for arriving in Church as everything takes that bit longer with filling in the form for Test and Trace, sanitising hands, and so on. The provision is for up to around 35 people in church observing physical distancing, and a further 25 people in the Church Hall (with video link and sound relayed through) making space for 60 people in total. 

Next week our service in Church will be an All Age act of worship: morning prayer with musical contributions from the band – but no singing just yet – and readings, a short reflection and prayers. 
In October we will resume services of holy communion on Sundays.

For the rest of the month our services will revert to the pattern we had before the pandemic – so we give thanks for a certain resumption of normality next month.  

For the first three Sundays in October the Church will be decorated for Harvest and you are welcome to bring non-perishable items for our Harvest collection if you wish. On Sunday 4 October the Guest preacher at the start of our Harvest Festival ‘season’ will be Reverend Bridget Hawkins. 

Our blessing this week reflects the theme of our sermon today, based on a prayer by Oliver Cromwell:

Strengthen us, O God, to relieve the oppressed
And to reform the abuses of all professions;
that many be not made poor to make a few rich
For Jesus Christ’s sake

Thank you for all your gifts to the asylum seekers at the Mercure.  They have run out of storage space at the moment, so can accept no more for the time being.  They will be looking for other kinds of support in the future, in particular help with acquiring English.  If you feel called to this kind of work, watch this space for future information.

The Diocese has just published details of lay training.  If you are interested in courses on ‘The World of Jesus’, ‘Pastoral Conversations’ or a new Discovery Course please click on

Church services are held at 9.30am every Sunday.  There is also a Holy Communion service on Thursdays at 10.30am.  Due to social distancing regulations, numbers may be limited at these services.  This weekly Virtual Service will continue for the time being as well.

Virtual Service 20 September