United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Worship on the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Greeting

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

All        He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Lord of all time and space, who was and is and is to come,
we worship and adore You for You alone are worthy of our praise.
There is none before you, none above you.
Your glory is ever before us
and this morning we are glad to take our place alongside all those who even now,
on earth and in heaven, are raising their voices to exalt You,
their minds to know You and their hearts to love You.
May our worship be a fitting offering –
a gift in return to the giver of every good and perfect gift.
In Jesus’ name, we pray; Amen.

 

Hymn

Crown him with many crowns,

the Lamb upon his throne;

hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns

all music but its own!

Awake, my soul, and sing

of him who died for thee,

and hail him as thy matchless King

through all eternity.

 

Crown him the Lord of love;

behold his hands and side,

those wounds yet visible above

in beauty glorified:

no angel in the sky

can fully bear that sight,

but downward bends his burning eye

at mysteries so bright.

 

Crown him the Lord of peace,

whose power a sceptre sways

from pole to pole, that wars may cease,

and all be prayer and praise:

his reign shall know no end,

and round his piercèd feet

fair flowers of paradise extend

their fragrance ever sweet.

 

Crown him the Lord of years,

the Potentate of time,

creator of the rolling spheres

ineffably sublime:

all hail, Redeemer, hail!

for thou hast died for me;

thy praise shall never, never fail

throughout eternity.

 

Prayers of penitence

What God has prepared for those who love him,

he has revealed to us through the Spirit;

for the Spirit searches everything.

Therefore, let us in penitence open our hearts to the Lord,

who has prepared good things for those who love him.

 

All        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.

 

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

First reading
1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Gospel
John 17:1-11

After Jesus said this, he looked towards heaven and prayed:

‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

‘I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Sermon

 

Affirmation of faith

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

 

Hymn

Majesty, worship his majesty
Unto jesus be all glory, power and praise
Majesty, kingdom authority flow from his throne
Unto his own his anthem raise.

So exalt lift up on high the name of Jesus
Magnify, come glorify, Christ Jesus the king
Majesty, worship his majesty
Jesus who died, now glorified
King of all kings.

 

Prayers of intercession

As it was Ascension Day on Thursday, risen Lord you reign in glory. Rule in our hearts and

lives, mould our wills to your will and bring every knee to bow in humble adoration; for you

are one with the Father and the Spirit, holy and eternal.

All        Amen

We hope soon to be able to worship together. God the source of life and joy we thank you

for the gift of music, its uniting different voices in one song, its stirring of the depth of the

heart in praise; fill us with its vibrancy, that our lives may rejoice in your love and be

renewed in the spirit of hope now and always.

All        Amen

King of Kings and Lord of Lords hear our prayer for Elizabeth our Queen and all who share

with her in the government of this country. May she be an instrument of your peace and

justice and may this nation proceed in unity and concord and be a beacon of hope to the

world, through Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace – the source of true glory.

All        Amen

Christ be our light, our hope our way. Christ be our shield in the darkest day. Christ be our

song of joy and delight. Christ be our steps through day and night. Christ be our peace

within our hearts. Christ be our all and never depart.

Thanks be to thee our Lord Jesus Christ for all the benefits you have given us, for all the

pains and insults you have born for us. Oh, most merciful Redeemer friend and brother, may

we know you more clearly and follow you more nearly now and forever.

All        Amen

 

Collect

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

All        Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…

 

Hymn

The head that once was crowned with thorns

is crowned with glory now:

a royal diadem adorns

the might Victor’s brow.

 

The highest place that heaven affords

is his, is his by right,

the King of kings, and Lord of lords,

and heaven’s eternal Light;

 

The joy of all who dwell above,

the joy of all below,

to whom he manifests his love,

and grants his name to know.

 

To them the cross, with all its shame,

with all its grace, is given:

their name, an everlasting name,

their joy, the joy of heaven.

 

They suffer with their Lord below

they reign with him above;

their profit and their joy to know

the mystery of his love.

 

The cross he bore is life and health,

though shame and death to him;

his people’s hope, his people’s wealth,

their everlasting theme.

Blessing

As we go from this time of worship, remind us, God, that this is the beginning, not the end.  That You call us to Yourself then send us out to love and to serve. So may the blessing of

God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

be amongst you and remain with you always.

 

All        Amen!

 

Copyright

Common Worship is (c) Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England

Biblical texts are from the Holy Bible New International Version Anglicised (NIV-UK) is (c) Copyright Biblica, Inc

Majesty by Jack Hayford is (c) Copyright Rocksmith Music Inc

The opening prayer and blessing are from The Church of Scotland Weekly Worship

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Holy Communion on Ascension Day

 

“Therefore God has exalted him to the highest place and given him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”   (St Paul)

The Gathering 

Alleluia, Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for forty days we have been celebrating with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his bursting from the tomb and his defeat of the power of sin and death. He appeared to his disciples many times and told them about the kingdom of God.
Today we recall how he left this earth and returned to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Trusting in his reign over all creation, and submitting to his kingly yet loving rule, let us sing his praises.

 

Hymn
Hail the day that sees him rise, alleluia!
Glorious to his native skies; alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals giv’n, alleluia!
Enters now the highest heav’n! Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits; alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
Christ hast vanquished death and sin; alleluia!
Take the King of glory in. Alleluia!

There we shall with thee remain, alleluia!
Partners of thine endless reign; alleluia!
There thy face unclouded see, alleluia!
Find our heav’n of heav’ns in thee. Alleulia!

 

Prayers of penitence
Christ has gone up on high, leading captivity captive
and bringing gifts for men.
As we prepare ourselves to meet him here in the courts of heaven
let us call to mind our many failures and sins.
Lord Jesus, you suffered a cruel death on the cross for
our redemption,
yet we have forgotten your pain
and stayed in the realm of the evil you defeated.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you were raised from death to bring us new life,
yet we have preferred the comfort of the familiar,
and the empty promises of a sinful world.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you have ascended to your Father and our Father,
your God and our God;
plead there at the right hand of God
for our forgiveness and entry into the fullness of his presence.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

 

Words of absolution

We pray
Risen Christ,
you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven:
help us to seek and serve you,
that we may join you at the Father’s side,
where you reign with the Spirit in glory,
now and for ever.

All: Amen

First Reading – Acts 1:1-11                                                                                                                                         In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’

This is the word of the Lord:

Thanks be to God.

Second Reading – Ephesians 1:15-end
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

This is the word of the Lord
All: Thanks be to God

Hymn
Majesty, worship his majesty,
Unto Jesus be all glory, power and praise.
Majesty, kingdom authority flow from his throne,
Unto his own, his anthem raise.

So exalt lift up on high the name of Jesus.
Magnify, come glorify Christ Jesus the King.
Majesty, worship his majesty,
Jesus who died, now glorified,
King of all kings.

Gospel Reading – Luke 24:44-end

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Luke
Glory to you, O Lord.

He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

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

 

Sermon

Profession of Faith

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended to heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

We pray
Let us join our prayers with those of our Saviour Christ,
seeking the Father’s blessing and the gifts of the Spirit.
Jesus Christ, great high priest,
living for ever to intercede for us,
pray for the Church, your broken body in the world …
Lord, hear us.
All: Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, king of righteousness,
enthroned at the right hand of the majesty on high,
pray for the world, and make it subject to your gentle rule …
Lord, hear us.
All: Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, Son of Man,
drawing humanity into the life of God,
pray for your brothers and sisters in need, distress or sorrow …
Lord, hear us.
All: Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, pioneer of our salvation,
bringing us to glory through your death and resurrection,
surround with your saints and angels
those who have died trusting your promises …
Lord, hear us.
All: Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, Lord over all things,
ascended far above the heavens and filling the universe,
pray for us who receive the gifts you give us for work in your service …
Lord, hear us.
All: Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ,
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at your feet;
for you are alive and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
All: Amen.

 

The Lord’s Supper
We share the peace
Jesus says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father’. Alleluia.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
All: And also with you.

Hymn
Alleluia, sing to Jesus
His the sceptre, His the throne
Alleluia, his the triumph
His the victory alone:
Hark the songs of peaceful Sion
Thunder like a mighty flood:
Jesus, out of every nation
Hath redeemed us by His blood.

Alleluia, not as orphans
Are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia he is near us,
Faith believes, nor questions how;
Though the cloud from sight received Him
When the forty days were o’er,
Shall our hearts forget His promise,
I am with you evermore?

Alleluia, bread of angels,
Thou on earth our food our stay;
Alleluia, here the sinful
Come to you from day to day,
Intercessor, friend of sinners
Earth’s Redeemer plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia, king eternal,
Thee the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia, born of Mary,
Earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne;
Thou within the veil hast entered,
Robed in flesh our great High Priest;
Thou on earth both priest and victim
In the eucharistic feast.

We offer the great prayer of thanksgiving
The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.
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.

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.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again….

Blessing and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer
Rejoicing in God’s new creation, let us pray with confidence
as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come; your will be done;
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

We break the bread
Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us;
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us;
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Communion
Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleliuia!

The Book of Common Prayer instructs us that if (when we cannot receive Communion because of some just impediment), we offer ourselves in penitence and faith, giving thanks for the redemption won by Christ crucified, we may truly ‘eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ’, although we cannot receive the sacrament with our mouths.
You might like to use the following prayer:

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you in the blessed Sacrament,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.
Prayer after Communion
Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you most humble and hearty thanks
for all your goodness and loving kindness.
We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And give us, we pray, such a sense of all your mercies
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful,
and that we show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Dismissal

Hymn
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
does his successive journeys run;
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on his love with sweetest song,
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on his name.

Blessings abound where’er he reigns:
the prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
the weary find eternal rest,
and all the sons of want are blest.

To him shall endless prayer be made,
and praises throng to crown his head;
his name like incense shall arise
with every morning sacrifice.

Let every creature rise and bring
peculiar honours to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud Amen.

Blessing
God the Father,
who has given to his Son the name above every name,
strengthen you to proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord.
All: Amen.

God the Son,
who is our great high priest passed into the heavens,
plead for you at the right hand of the Father.
All: Amen.

God the Holy Spirit,
who pours out his abundant gifts upon the Church,
make you faithful servants of Christ our King.
All: Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
All Amen.
We go

Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Copyright
Common Worship, material from which is included in this publication is © Copyright Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.
Majesty by Jack Hayford is (c) Copyright Rocksmith Music Inc. Reproduced under CCL licence 206171

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. It started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 and  has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.
The hope is that:
…. people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family – as a church, individually or as a family;
…. Churches will hold prayer events, across the UK and in other parts of the world;
…. people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit and find  new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

Join in this festival of prayer and worship by seeing what is going on in our Diocese  here

 

A Reflection for Ascension Day by Fr Damian Porter

Why are you men looking into the sky? (Acts 1:11)

The apostles, we are told gazed into the sky, with astonishment and amazement. Not surprisingly! If it was difficult for them to understand what they were seeing, it is still more difficult for us to picture the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven.

In religious art, The Ascension is sometimes pictured as feet coming out of the bottom of a cloud, certainly pilgrims to Walsingham will be familiar with this image, or maybe an image of Jesus apparently floating in the air above the apostles. It is difficult to portray adequately partly because it’s hard for many to understand, at least beyond seeing it as a work of magic, like Harry Potter apparating, or like something from Dr Who!

Perhaps the Apostles were perplexed and looking into the clouds because, at the time, they so were so overcome with a sense of Christ’s absence. He had, after all, be taken from them, he had physically left, and was no longer seen among them, but to leave it there is surely to miss the point. We need to move on from seeing the Ascension as Christ’s leaving, or Christ being absent.

Remember the promise of Jesus:

 “I will not leave you comfortless”

 “I will be with you always, even to the end of time”

Perhaps particularly appropriate to our experience during this pandemic “whatever you do for the least of these, you do also for me” A reminder that the Risen Christ is present in the people we and others are serving.

Before the Ascension, Christ was present in just one place, now he is present in every place.
In his earthly life, Jesus walked the streets, towns and villages of Palestine, bringing healing and hope to people. But now his presence is known through every land.

Then He dwelt in one man and one place, yet now he dwells in every person who has been baptised into his life.

In his earthly life, Jesus taught the crowds in the market place, from the boat, and on the hillside. But now his words are read from every Church and chapel and pulpit, and are livestreamed and available to countless on line followers.

Then, he healed a few of the sick, but now he blesses millions of the sick through the work of doctors, nurses and carers.

In his earthly life, Jesus prayed in solitude in Gethsemane, but now he prays in every Christian.

Then, his human body was raised on a cross outside a city wall, and he suffered and died, and now we celebrate him present, and receive his risen life in word and sacrament.

He showed love and compassion to the weak and vulnerable, yet now his people bring that compassion to communities across the world, caring for the hungry, the distressed, and the isolated, not least at this time through the work of those providing emergency food supplies,  running errands, or reaching out with love, friendship and encouragement in any number of ways.

We need not be those who gaze up into the sky, like the apostles did, we need not be those who see the absence of God, even (or especially) in the midst of crisis.

Rather, we rejoice that he dwells with us, he lives in us, he speaks and works through us. He is not absent – but among us and within us for ever. Through us his love is to be lived and experienced that others may see, and believe, and that his Kingdom may indeed come on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

Last week is Christian Aid Week – We won’t have envelops through the door or at church – so why not donate on line. The need is very great, especially at the moment under the circumstances the world finds themselves in.

If you wish to donate you can do so here.

Greeting

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

All        He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Hymn

Father, Lord of all Creation,Ground of Being, Life and Love;Height and depth beyond descriptionOnly life in you can prove:You are mortal life’s dependence:Thought, speech, sight are ours by grace;Yours is every hour’s existence,Sovereign Lord of time and space.

Jesus Christ, the Man for Others,We, your children, make our prayer:Help us love as sisters, brothers,All whose burdens we can share.Where your name binds us togetherYou, Lord Christ, will surely be;Where no selfishness can severThere your love may all men see. Holy Spirit, rushing, burningWind and flame of Pentecost,Fire our hearts afresh with yearningTo regain what we have lost.May your love unite our action,Nevermore to speak alone:God, in us abolish faction,God, through us your love make known.

 

Prayers of penitence

Christ died to sin once for all, and now he lives to God.

Let us renew our resolve to have done with all that is evil

and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

 

All        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.

 

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

First reading
1 Peter 3:13-end

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Gospel
John 14:15-21

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Sermon

 

Affirmation of faith

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

 

Hymn

Beauty for brokenness
Hope for despair
Lord, in the suffering
This is our prayer
Bread for the children
Justice, joy, peace
Sunrise to sunset
Your kingdom increase!

Shelter for fragile lives
Cures for their ills
Work for the craftsman
Trade for their skills
Land for the dispossessed
Rights for the weak
Voices to plead the cause
Of those who can’t speak.

God of the poor
Friend of the weak
Give us compassion we pray
Melt our cold hearts
Let tears fall like rain
Come, change our love
From a spark to a flame.

Refuge from cruel wars
Havens from fear
Cities for sanctuary
Freedoms to share
Peace to the killing-fields
Scorched earth to green
Christ for the bitterness
His cross for the pain.

Rest for the ravaged earth
Oceans and streams
Plundered and poisoned
Our future, our dreams
Lord, end our madness
Carelessness, greed
Make us content with
The things that we need.  God of the poor…

Lighten our darkness
Breathe on this flame
Until your justice
Burns brightly again
Until the nations
Learn of your ways
Seek your salvation
And bring you their praise.  God of the poor…

 

Prayers of intercession

Lord, though we worship you today in our homes, we are joined together by our faith. As you

proclaimed to the Profit Isaiah ‘do not be afraid for I am with you’, help us to take this as our

watchword as we cope with the current problems associated with the current Coronavirus

pandemic.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord, we give thanks for all those on the frontline fighting against Coronavirus – those in the

NHS; care homes; scientists working on vaccines and cures and those who selflessly continue

to work or volunteer to provide food, power, transport and all the essential services we

currently depend on. Keep them safe Lord.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Lord despite all our current problems we take hope from the many signs of your power and

love; the greening of our countryside, the flowers in the hedgerows, the lambs in the fields,

the singing of the birds and the gift of generosity of spirit that is enabling so many people to

help those in need.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Lord we give you thanks for your decision to direct Toby’s vocation to become our priest.

We celebrate the innovative, successful and popular ways that he leads us in worship and

prayer and especially whilst our church building has been closed. Via the internet, he and his

family have brought a whole range of worship styles to our congregation and to our

community as a whole. We also give thanks for the lead he has given us in reaching out into

our local community and his worship with Pastor Anne, as we begin to work together to

provide help for the most disadvantaged members of society.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Lord, take under your protection all those that are in sorrow or who are heavy hearted, those

in pain or distress. Give them strength to endure their hardships and endow them with your

boundless love. We give you thanks for the gift of life as we remember all of those we have

known and loved but see no more. Today we specially remember….. Lord keep them safe

with you in glory. Thank you, God.

Merciful Father

All        accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen

 

Collect

Risen Christ,

by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:

help your Church to obey your command

and draw the nations to the fire of your love,

to the glory of God the Father.

All        Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…

Hymn

1 O Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end;
be thou for ever near me,
my Master and my Friend:
I shall not fear the battle
if thou art by my side,
nor wander from the pathway
if thou wilt be my guide.

2 O let me hear thee speaking
in accents clear and still,
above the storms of passion,
the murmurs of self-will;
O speak to reassure me,
to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
thou guardian of my soul.

3 O Jesus, thou hast promised
to all who follow thee,
that where thou art in glory
there shall thy servant be;
and, Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end:
O give me grace to follow,
my Master and my Friend.

4 O let me see thy foot-marks,
and in them plant mine own;
my hope to follow duly
is in thy strength alone:
O guide me, call me, draw me,
uphold me to the end;
and then in heaven receive me,
my Saviour and my Friend.

 

Blessing

If the God who raised Jesus from the dead is for us, who dare be against us?

All        We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

 

Step out into the world in humble confidence:

there is nothing about to happen that God has not foreseen,

and no situation where Christ will not be there ahead of you,

preparing a place and an opportunity for you.

All        Thanks be to God.

 

The peace of God, which goes beyond all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

And the blessing of God all-loving,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

will be with you now and always.

All        Amen!

 

 

Copyright

Common Worship is (c) Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England

Biblical texts are from the Holy Bible New International Version Anglicised (NIV-UK) is (c) Copyright Biblica, Inc

Father, Lord of all creation by Bishop Stewart Cross is (C) Copyright Mrs M Cross

Beauty for brokenness by Graham Kendrick is (c) Copyright 1993 Make Way Music

The blessing/dismissal is by Bruce Prewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Vicar: Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church St, Clayton-le-Moors
(01254) 384321   tobywebber@btinternet.com

May 2020

Dear friends

Well, how are you doing?  I have managed to speak to some of you (whether on the phone or at a distance when passing during exercise) and have seen social media updates or had messages from others.  Some I’ve had updates of from our pastoral team, who are ringing many of our ‘older’ parishioners on a regular basis.  Others I haven’t had any contact with and I hope that no news is good news.  Don’t be afraid to get in touch one way or the other if you’d like a chat or yourself or someone else to be kept in prayer (publicly or privately).

I know that a number of you or your loved ones have been directly affected by the coronavirus.  A few have been very ill, and others more mildly so.  A few have lost loved ones during this time, in some cases with Covid-19 as the main or contributory cause of death.  Others of you are already living with bereavement or sickness of yourself or a loved one and are having to do so without the physical comfort of relatives or many of the activities and services which can help us through.

Nationally it is good to observe that we are ‘past the peak’, but shocking to recognize that at least 30,000 lives have now been taken by this virus in our country already.  I note, too, that numbers of people in hospital with Covid19 here in the North-West remain high, in recent days overtaking the number in London.

I think that by and large we are all trying to remain as positive as we can and ‘get through’ but we will need to allow time individually and as a society to work through the trauma of this experience.  I pray that we will also take the time to think through carefully what we need to learn from it and how life can and should be different, post-pandemic.

Some of you are in one way or the other on the ‘frontline’.  The whole parish is proud of those of our number who are nursing the very sick and at times accompanying the dying.  Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are also with all those whose work brings them into heightened risk from this virus, whether as carers, in shops, in the emergency services or whatever it may be.  Whilst many of us seek to stay safe and work from home, you are out there day by day.  Our schools and their staffs are working very hard to support home learning, to care for those who need to be in school, and to keep in particular touch with those where there is a special need for support.

We are now in the seventh week of lockdown.  We are now beginning to look for how it will be eased and a gradual move towards greater freedom made be possible, hopefully without compromising public health.  The very simple message will become more complicated and so it will be very important that we continue to follow the instructions we are given.  A good number of you fall into the clinically very vulnerable group and have several more of your minimum twelve weeks minimum ‘shielding’ yet to come.  Our thoughts are with you as you cope with these strictures , especially those who live alone.

We are now well into the Easter season.  For many of us going through Holy Week and Easter without going ‘to church’ was very odd.  However, I hope whether through the services on facebook or through your own times of worship at home, you were still able to feel the reality of the Easter gospel of God’s redeeming act in the death and resurrection of Jesus.  And I hope that whilst physically apart we still feel ourselves to be members of one body, as indeed we are, the body of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope that everyone is now aware of our Facebook live services (Sundays from 10:45, Fridays at 6:30pm) and prayer times (Wednesday and Friday morning prayer and litany at 10am, daily night prayer at 9:30) and that you can access these on-line even if you do not have a Facebook account.  Google ‘Facebook All Saints Clayton’ and you should get the link.

If you aren’t on-line then I hope you have found the Sunday worship services on BBC television or radio.  There is now also a facility to access a FREE Church of England resource called ’Daily Hope’ by ringing 0800 804 8044.  There is a choice of listening, from hymns to a full service and the Mothers’ Union midday prayer.  Also, to enable you to join in the Night Prayer that some of us are sharing in at 9:30pm, I’m including the order of service with this mailing.  It is a very peaceful way to reflect and wind down at the end of the day and to place ourselves and the hurting world into God’s hands in prayer.

Some of you have asked about giving during this time.  The PCCs of both parishes are very grateful to those who give by standing order and whose contributions have continued.  They are very conscious that for some the lockdown has brought financial difficulties through unemployment, being placed on furlough, or the self-employed losing their income.  We quite understand where individuals need to suspend or reduce their giving.  Others who normally give by envelope may wish to help by giving via standing order, or if preferred via one or more one-off BACS payments.  Details for giving to All Saints’ can be found on the church website – or simply get in touch with me or Les Moore at Altham or Linda Bracewell at All Saints’ for details or a form.  Alternatively, you can simply accumulate your giving and bring it when the churches finally re-open.

Both our churches pledge to give 10% of our general income in charitable donations.  As part of this, All Saints’ PCC have now gifted £1000 during the lockdown to Clayton Baptist Church to help them help our community.  They are very active  as part of the Hyndburn Hub, and at the request of social services also helping needy families more widely across East Lancashire.  Some need a food parcel to tide them over, or because they have no-one to go shopping for them.  Others have come out of prison, or left an abusive relationship or similar and have absolutely nothing.  The Baptist Church on Sparth Road is open daily and you can always drop off food, household essentials, toys/colouring/craft things for children.

One effect of these strange times is the rediscovery of prayer by many who had perhaps given it up as old fashioned or irrelevant.  I’m sure that those of us who pray anyway have found ourselves praying more intently and regularly as we seek God’s peace, his healing for the sick, his strength and protection for the carers.  In prayer may we know his strength to carry us, his peace that passes understanding and courage for the path each of us is called to walk.  And in prayer may we seek his will, his direction for our futures, and that his kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.  Here is a prayer you might like to use:

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may all rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

With my love, prayers and best wishes,

Toby

 

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Worship on the Fifth Sunday of Easte

Greeting

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

All        He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Glorious God of all, You are the giver of new life,
You are the one to whom we owe each breath,
You are the reason for our hope.
Send your enlivening spirit, be present with us as we come close You,
seeking Your light to see what has been revealed
seeking Your warmth to set hearts aglow with Your love
seeking Your truth, that we might trust.
As we proclaim the Easter gospel, that in Your is life which conquers death,
make us anew Your beloved children.

All        Amen.

 

Hymn

Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy One is here
Come bow before Him now
With reverence and fear
In Him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy One is here.

Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendor He is crowned
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant King of light
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around.

Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister His grace
No work too hard for Him
In faith receive from Him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.

 

Prayers of penitence

Christ died to sin once for all, and now he lives to God.

Let us renew our resolve to have done with all that is evil

and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

 

All        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.

 

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

First reading
1 Peter 2:1-10

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Gospel
John 14:1-14

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Sermon

 

Affirmation of faith

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

 

Hymn

Christ is our cornerstone,
on him alone we build;
with his true saints alone
the courts of heaven are filled;
on his great love
our hopes we place
of present grace
and joys above.

O then with hymns of praise
these hallowed courts shall ring;
our voices we will raise
the Three in One to sing;
and thus proclaim
in joyful song,
both loud and long,
that glorious name.

Here, gracious God, do thou
for evermore draw nigh;
accept each faithful vow,
and mark each suppliant sigh;
in copious shower
on all who pray
each holy day
thy blessings pour.

Here may we gain from heaven
the grace which we implore;
and may that grace, once given,
be with us evermore,
until that day
when all the blest
to endless rest
are called away.

 

Prayers of intercession

Jesus, you are the stone rejected by the builders but you are the keystone of God’s

house, make us living stones in the temple of your Church. We pray for all those

called to service in your Church, bringing your living word and love to this your

community.

You are the way, the truth and the life:

Ever-living Christ, hear our prayer

 

Let us give thanks for the selfless and courageous service and sacrifice of those who

brought peace to Europe, seventy-five years ago. Let us pray for nations still

devastated by war, for their people and their leaders, and for those who suffer the

effects or memories of past wars; for veterans, for those who mourn, and for all

innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by the cruelty of others.

You are the way, the truth and the life:

Ever-living Christ, hear our prayer.

 

Lord, you call us to do great things in your name! In this week of Christian Aid, let us

reflect on how your love reaches out to us in the good times and the times when we

find ourselves in need. All that we have is given by you, let us reach out to our

neighbours near and far and share what we have with happy hearts and the

assurance that your love lifts us up and unites us.

You are the way, the truth and the life:

Ever-living Christ, hear our prayer.

 

Father God, we give you thanks and praise, you are steadfast in your love and

through your grace you make us whole. We pray for all those who are your healing

presence in these difficult days –whether they be shopkeepers or surgeons, drivers

or doctors, each plays a part. Strengthen them with your loving and healing presence

that they may know your peace in troubling times.

You are the way, the truth and the life:

Ever-living Christ, hear our prayer.

 

God of the resurrection, in whom the future is always bigger than the past, through

your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, you wipe every tear from the eyes of those who

mourn and are in pain. We pray for all those who have gone before us, those known

to us and loved by us, those who laid down their lives for us in conflicts and all who

have been touched by the coronavirus.

You are the way, the truth and the life:

Ever-living Christ, hear our prayer.

 

You promise a time when you yourself will be with us, transform us through the

resurrection of your Son who makes all things new. Through the gifts of the Holy

Spirit transform the hearts and minds of all your people, put a new song in to our

hearts that guided by prayer we may create a new world in your image until you

come again in glory.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour,

Jesus Christ, Amen

 

Collect

Risen Christ,

your wounds declare your love for the world

and the wonder of your risen life:

give us compassion and courage

to risk ourselves for those we serve,

to the glory of God the Father.

All        Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…

 

Hymn

Thy hand O God has guided
Thy flock from age to age
The wondrous tale is written
Full clear on every page
Our fathers owned Thy goodness
And we their deeds record
And both of this bear witness
One Church one faith one Lord.

Thy heralds brought glad tidings
To greatest as to least
They bade men rise and hasten
To share the great King’s feast
And this was all their teaching
In every deed and word
To all alike proclaiming
One Church one faith one Lord.

Through many a day of darkness
Through many a scene of strife
The faithful few fought bravely
To guard the nation’s life
Their gospel of redemption
Sin pardoned man restored
Was all in this enfolded
One Church one faith one Lord.

Thy mercy will not fail us
Nor leave Thy work undone
With Thy right hand to help us
The victory shall be won
And then by men and angels
Thy name shall be adored
And this shall be their anthem
One Church one faith one Lord.

 

Blessing

If the God who raised Jesus from the dead is for us, who dare be against us?

All        We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

 

Step out into the world in humble confidence:

there is nothing about to happen that God has not foreseen,

and no situation where Christ will not be there ahead of you,

preparing a place and an opportunity for you.

All        Thanks be to God.

 

The peace of God, which goes beyond all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

And the blessing of God all-loving,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

will be with you now and always.

All        Amen!

 

 

Copyright

Common Worship is (c) Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England

Biblical texts are from the Holy Bible New International Version Anglicised (NIV-UK) is (c) Copyright Biblica, Inc

Be still for the presence of the Lord by David J Evans is (c) Copyright 1986 Thankyou Music

The blessing/dismissal is by Bruce Prewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Order for Night Prayer (Compline)

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. 


Preparation

 

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

All  Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord

All  who made heaven and earth.

 

A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

The following or other suitable words of penitence may be used

 

All    Most merciful God, we confess to you,

before the whole company of heaven and one another,

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed

and in what we have failed to do.

Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit

and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.

 

O God, make speed to save us.

All    O Lord, make haste to help us.

All    Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever.

Amen.

Alleluia.

 

The following or another suitable hymn may be said or sung

 

Before the ending of the day,

Creator of the world, we pray

That you, with steadfast love, would keep

Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,

From fears and terrors of the night;

Tread underfoot our deadly foe

That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done

Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;

And Holy Spirit, by whose breath

Our souls are raised to life from death.

The Word of God
Psalmody

One or more of Psalms 4, 91 and 134 may be used daily.
Or Sundays Psalm 104:1, 21-33, Monday Psalm 86, Tuesday Psalm 143, Wednesday Psalm 31:1-5, 19-end, Thursday Psalm 16, Friday Psalm 139:1-18, Saturday Psalm 91

Scripture Reading

One of the following short lessons or another suitable passage

Sunday: You, O Lord, are in the midst of us and we are called by your name; leave us not, O Lord our God.  (Jeremiah 14.9)

 

Monday: Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

 

Tuesday: Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

Wednesday: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:6,7)

 

Thursday: Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in the faith. (1 Peter 5.8, 9)

 

Friday: God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. (1 Thess 5:9,10)

 

Saturday: A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his.  Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.  (Hebrews 4:9-11a)

 

The following responsory may be said

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.

All  I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye.

All  Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle: The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

 

All  Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.

 

1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  ♦

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  ♦

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  ♦

and the glory of your people Israel.

All  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

All  Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.

Prayers
Time for your own prayers of thanksgiving and intercession

 

Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven

The Conclusion

In peace we will lie down and sleep;

All  for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,

All  for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,

All  so do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;

the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us;

the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace.

All  Amen.

Common Worship: Daily Prayer is © Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England.  Used by permission.

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Vicar: Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church St, Clayton-le-Moors
(01254) 384321   tobywebber@btinternet.com

May 2020

Dear friends

Well, how are you doing?  I have managed to speak to some of you (whether on the phone or at a distance when passing during exercise) and have seen social media updates or had messages from others.  Some I’ve had updates of from our pastoral team, who are ringing many of our ‘older’ parishioners on a regular basis.  Others I haven’t had any contact with and I hope that no news is good news.  Don’t be afraid to get in touch one way or the other if you’d like a chat or yourself or someone else to be kept in prayer (publicly or privately).

I know that a number of you or your loved ones have been directly affected by the coronavirus.  A few have been very ill, and others more mildly so.  A few have lost loved ones during this time, in some cases with Covid-19 as the main or contributory cause of death.  Others of you are already living with bereavement or sickness of yourself or a loved one and are having to do so without the physical comfort of relatives or many of the activities and services which can help us through.

Nationally it is good to observe that we are ‘past the peak’, but shocking to recognize that at least 30,000 lives have now been taken by this virus in our country already.  I note, too, that numbers of people in hospital with Covid19 here in the North-West remain high, in recent days overtaking the number in London.

I think that by and large we are all trying to remain as positive as we can and ‘get through’ but we will need to allow time individually and as a society to work through the trauma of this experience.  I pray that we will also take the time to think through carefully what we need to learn from it and how life can and should be different, post-pandemic.

Some of you are in one way or the other on the ‘frontline’.  The whole parish is proud of those of our number who are nursing the very sick and at times accompanying the dying.  Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are also with all those whose work brings them into heightened risk from this virus, whether as carers, in shops, in the emergency services or whatever it may be.  Whilst many of us seek to stay safe and work from home, you are out there day by day.  Our schools and their staffs are working very hard to support home learning, to care for those who need to be in school, and to keep in particular touch with those where there is a special need for support.

We are now in the seventh week of lockdown.  We are now beginning to look for how it will be eased and a gradual move towards greater freedom made be possible, hopefully without compromising public health.  The very simple message will become more complicated and so it will be very important that we continue to follow the instructions we are given.  A good number of you fall into the clinically very vulnerable group and have several more of your minimum twelve weeks minimum ‘shielding’ yet to come.  Our thoughts are with you as you cope with these strictures , especially those who live alone.

We are now well into the Easter season.  For many of us going through Holy Week and Easter without going ‘to church’ was very odd.  However, I hope whether through the services on facebook or through your own times of worship at home, you were still able to feel the reality of the Easter gospel of God’s redeeming act in the death and resurrection of Jesus.  And I hope that whilst physically apart we still feel ourselves to be members of one body, as indeed we are, the body of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope that everyone is now aware of our Facebook live services (Sundays from 10:45, Fridays at 6:30pm) and prayer times (Wednesday and Friday morning prayer and litany at 10am, daily night prayer at 9:30) and that you can access these on-line even if you do not have a Facebook account.  Google ‘Facebook All Saints Clayton’ and you should get the link.

If you aren’t on-line then I hope you have found the Sunday worship services on BBC television or radio.  There is now also a facility to access a FREE Church of England resource called ’Daily Hope’ by ringing 0800 804 8044.  There is a choice of listening, from hymns to a full service and the Mothers’ Union midday prayer.  Also, to enable you to join in the Night Prayer that some of us are sharing in at 9:30pm, I’m including the order of service with this mailing.  It is a very peaceful way to reflect and wind down at the end of the day and to place ourselves and the hurting world into God’s hands in prayer.

Some of you have asked about giving during this time.  The PCCs of both parishes are very grateful to those who give by standing order and whose contributions have continued.  They are very conscious that for some the lockdown has brought financial difficulties through unemployment, being placed on furlough, or the self-employed losing their income.  We quite understand where individuals need to suspend or reduce their giving.  Others who normally give by envelope may wish to help by giving via standing order, or if preferred via one or more one-off BACS payments.  Details for giving to All Saints’ can be found on the church website – or simply get in touch with me or Les Moore at Altham or Linda Bracewell at All Saints’ for details or a form.  Alternatively, you can simply accumulate your giving and bring it when the churches finally re-open.

Both our churches pledge to give 10% of our general income in charitable donations.  As part of this, All Saints’ PCC have now gifted £1000 during the lockdown to Clayton Baptist Church to help them help our community.  They are very active  as part of the Hyndburn Hub, and at the request of social services also helping needy families more widely across East Lancashire.  Some need a food parcel to tide them over, or because they have no-one to go shopping for them.  Others have come out of prison, or left an abusive relationship or similar and have absolutely nothing.  The Baptist Church on Sparth Road is open daily and you can always drop off food, household essentials, toys/colouring/craft things for children.

One effect of these strange times is the rediscovery of prayer by many who had perhaps given it up as old fashioned or irrelevant.  I’m sure that those of us who pray anyway have found ourselves praying more intently and regularly as we seek God’s peace, his healing for the sick, his strength and protection for the carers.  In prayer may we know his strength to carry us, his peace that passes understanding and courage for the path each of us is called to walk.  And in prayer may we seek his will, his direction for our futures, and that his kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.  Here is a prayer you might like to use:

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may all rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

With my love, prayers and best wishes,

Toby