Archives February 2008

Mothering Sunday Liturgy, Year A

I don’t do All Age Service. If the Mass isn’t All-Age then you obviously aren’t doing it right. Every Sunday is therefore All-Age. This is for Sunday…

 The Make and Do will be a bookmark with tissue-paper flowers, the homily around it is still to be decided. It is also Church Parade, so unashamed about the over-use of Sydney Carter hymns – overused they may be, but they are actually very good

Introit Hymn

1 One more step along the world I go,
One more step along the world I go.
From the old things to the new
Keep me travelling along with you.
And it’s from the old I travel to the new.
Keep me travelling along with you.

2 Round the corners of the world I turn,
More and more about the world I learn.
All the new things that I see
You’ll be looking at along with me.

3 As I travel through the bad and good
Keep me travelling the way I should.
Where I see no way to go
You’ll be telling me the way, I know.

4 Give me courage when the world is rough,
Keep me loving though the world is tough.
Leap and sing in all I do,
Keep me travelling along with you.

5 You are older than the world can be,
You are younger than the life in me.
Ever old and ever new,
Keep me travelling along with you.

Sydney Carter (born 1915)
© 1971 Stainer & Bell Ltd.


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

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.


My dear friends in Christ, welcome, for we come together as the people of God this Mothering Sunday as people of all ages. We gather to hear God’s holy word and to receive his holy sacraments.

Each Mothering Sunday, we remind ourselves of three important sources of care and love: firstly, Our Blessed Lady, whose devotion and care of Our Lord is an inspiration and model to us all; secondly Holy Mother Church, which provides us all with shelter and welcome when we are in needs and reflects our joy and celebration when we are in the good times, and lastly, those who care for us and love us within our families.

One of the natures of God is as our Heavenly Father, but elsewhere in scripture, God is also described as a Mother, who succours his beloved children on his lap (Isaiah 66:12-13) and as a Mother Hen, protecting his chicks under her wing (Matthew 23:27). But we recognise that sometimes we do not always do what is right by God, and so we come to say sorry to God, seeking his forgiveness.

Penitential Rite (Saying Sorry to God)

My friend Jesus, help me to be good
to do the things and say the things
all good children should.
And if I sometimes slip a bit
and do get out of hand.
Then please, my friend Jesus,
make the grown-ups understand
that it isn’t always easy
to be as good as good can be.
But I am getting better Lord,
’cause you are helping me.

Kyrie Eleison

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy


May God who loved the world so much
that he sent his Son to be our Saviour
+forgive us our sins
and make us holy to serve him in the world,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God of Compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Reading: Colossians 3:12-17

The Reading comes from one of the Letters of Saint Paul

Dear Friends,
Don’t forget that God wants to get to know you,
because he loves you.
But you must help each other
to know how much God loves you ‘
by singing his songs. And remember!
When you sing these songs, say ‘thank you’ to God
for he is your Father in heaven

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Gradual Hymn

Praise Him, praise Him,
all His children praise Him,
He is love, He is love;
Praise Him, praise Him,
all His children praise Him,
He is love, He is love.

Thank Him, thank Him,
all His children thank Him,
He is love, He is love;
Thank Him, thank Him,
all His children thank Him,
He is love, He is love.

Love Him, love Him,
all His children love Him,
He is love, He is love;
Love Him, love Him,
all His children love Him,
He is love, He is love.

Words and Music – Anon.

Gospel: John 19:25-27

The Lord be with you
And also with you

Hear the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
Glory to you, O Lord

When Jesus was on the cross, his mother stood beside him, and her sister was there as well, and Mary of Magdala.

Jesus looked at his mother,
and he looked at John, his best friend,
who was standing beside her,
and he said,

‘Mother, John will take care of you
as if he was your own son.’
Then he said to John, ‘I know she will be like a mother to you.’

And when Jesus had died, John took Mary home to stay with him.

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

Homily & Make and Do — Fr. Simon

Creed – I believe in God Almighty (tune: Hyfrydol)

I believe in God Almighty,
he who made both heaven and earth.
I believe he is our Father,
and through him we have our birth.
I believe and trust in Jesus,
God the Father’s only Son.
I believe he came to save us
for he loves us, every one.

And I love his Mother Mary,
for through her my Lord was born;
born to suffer death and sorrow,
born to rise on Easter morn.
I believe he lives for ever,
death for him was not the end.
He returned to God his Father
that his Spirit he might send.

I believe his Holy Spirit
lives within our Church today.
And he gives his truth and guidance
so that we will know the way.
I believe, when life is over,
Christ will take us home with him,
and in joy we’ll live for ever,
evermore in peace Amen.

With bubbles blown throughout the congregation


God has made us one in Christ. He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come, has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

Offertory Hymn

1 I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem
I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

2 I danced for the scribe
And the Pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn’t follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John –
They came with me
And the Dance went on. Chorus

3 I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die. Chorus

4 I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black –
It’s hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I’d gone,
But I am the Dance,
And I still go on. Chorus

5 They cut me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you
If you’ll live in me –
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said he. Chorus

Offertory Prayer

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made, it will become for us, the bread of life.
Blessed be God forever!

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God forever!

Pray, my dear friends, that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his church.

Lord God, we bring you these gifts of your
creation, so you may transform them, as you transform us by your love.


Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you.
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Thank you, God our Father.
You made us to live for you and for each other.
We can see and speak to one another,
and become friends,
and share our joys and sorrows.

And so, Father, we gladly thank you with every one who believes in you; with the saints and the angels, we rejoice and praise you, saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full
of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Yes, Lord, you are holy;
you are kind to us and to all people, for this we thank you.

We thank you above all for your Son, Jesus Christ.
You sent him into this world
because people had turned away from you
and no longer loved each other.

He opened our eyes and our hearts
to understand that we are brothers and sisters
and that you are Father of us all.
He now brings us together to one table and asks us to do what he did.

Father, we ask you to bless these gifts of bread and wine and make them holy.
Change them for us into the body + and blood of Jesus Christ, your Son.

On the night before he died for us,
he had supper for the last time with his disciples.
He took bread and gave you thanks.
He broke the bread and gave it to his friends, saying:

Take this, all of you, and eat it:
this is my body which will be given up for you.

In the same way he took a cup of wine.
He gave you thanks
and handed the cup to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all people
so that sins may be forgiven.

Then he said to them:
Do this in memory of me.

God our Father,
we remember with joy that Jesus died to save us.
In this holy sacrifice,
which he gave as a gift to his Church,
we remember his death and resurrection.

Father in heaven,
accept us together with your beloved Son.
He willingly died for us,
but you raised him to life again.
We thank you and say:
Glory to God in the highest!

Jesus now lives with you in glory, but he is also here on earth, among us. We thank you and say:
Glory to God in the highest

One day he will come in glory
and in his kingdom
there will be no more suffering,
no more tears, no more sadness.
We thank you and say:
Glory to God in the highest

Father in heaven, you have called us
to receive the body and blood of Christ at this
Table and to be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Through this sacred meal give us strength to please you more and more.

Lord, our God, remember Kenneth our bishop before you
Help all who follow Jesus to work for peace and to bring happiness to others. Bring us all at last together with Mary, the Mother of God, and all the saints, to live with you and to be one with Christ in heaven.

Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, Almighty Father, for ever and ever.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who
trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us Lord for all evil
And grant us peace in our day
In your mercy keep us free from sin
And protect us from all anxiety,
As we wait for the coming of your Son,
Jesus Christ, Our Lord

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.
for ever and ever. Amen.


We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Agnus Dei


This is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those who are called to his supper
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Communion Hymn

1 Lord Jesus Christ,
You have come to us,
You are one with us,
Mary’s Son;
Cleansing our souls from
all their sin,
Pouring your love
and goodness in;
Jesus, our love for
you we sing,
Living Lord.

2 Lord Jesus Christ,
Now and every day
Teach us how to pray,
Son of God.
You have commanded us to do
This in remembrance, Lord, of you;
Into our lives your
power breaks through,
Living Lord.

3 Lord Jesus Christ,
You have come to us,
Born as one of us,
Mary’s Son;
Led out to die on Calvary,
Risen from death to set us free,
Living Lord Jesus, help us see
You are Lord.

4 Lord Jesus Christ,
I would come to you,
Live my life for you,
Son of God.
All your commands I know are true,
Your many gifts will make me new,
Into my life your power
breaks through,
Living Lord.

Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (born 1925)
© Josef Weinberger Ltd

Post Communion Prayer

Loving God,
as a mother feeds her children at the breast
you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life:
help us who have tasted your goodness
to grow in grace within the household of faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



The Lord be with you
And also with you

The peace of God,
which passes 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 almighty, the + Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.


The Mass is ended, go in the peace of Christ
Thanks be to God

Recessional Hymn

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same;
his holy Name–the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to childrens children and for evermore!

Coffee and Mingling!


Relax your body…
Open your mind…
Engage your spirit…
This is the house of God
Prepare to worship.

Life is an indescribable gift
Our worship is a celebration of that gift
(And of the giver)
In our worship we have rediscovered
God’s marvellous affirmation of life.

Tonight we invite you to bring all that you are
Into worship:
Your struggles and failures,
Your joys and fears,
Your faith and your doubts.
Your culture,
Your sensuality,
Your whole self.
Bring your self and be at home now
God is here
And all are welcome

 Jonny Baker

A gathering video suitable to begin anything even slightly weird or wonderful. Audio from Mark Isham’s Crash Soundtrack. Vocals by Fr. S and a youth group from the Isle of Wight.

Random Notes from the College Chaplaincy

Here I sit in the local sixth form college: door open and no-one in sight. It’s not like University where there is an endless circuit of life-amid-the-lectures but here it is like a normal school, except with pink hair: pink hair everywhere. So, between lessons it is deathly quiet, and I await the mad rush of breaktime when I can over at my door and smile at people as they pass by. It’s not much, but it’s chaplaincy and I like it.

Thinking further afield, Number One Son completed his A’ Level intentions form this morning: choices which on one level seem as arbitrary as deciding whether to cross the road [it could get you killed, after all or so significant as to alter the course of his life: a life I have great interest in, but ultimately no control over. I can advise, exhort, plead and anything else, but ultimately it is his decision. So, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology [Physics has lost out recently, a duff Mock GCSE paper, a lack of trust in a certain teacher and the suggestion that he goes to a subject clinic for physics, something he appears to be allergic to, so no Physics. The form asks for “Intended Career Path” and he put down (incorrectly spelled, note – what hope does that give you) – Medicine, when in reality I know he has no idea whatsoever and really wants a job so bizarre that people have to ask at dinner parties “How on earth did you get to do that?” (not a bad one, I suspect, but how does that ambition fit these precise, clinical and league-table obsessed processes I don’t know). Only a few months until GCSEs, then that step is passed. You want them to do well, but you can’t do it for them, and more than anything you just want them to be happy. Preferably not poor, but happy one the less.

Reel Big Fish

My ears are ringing, my back aches and I feel like a hundred years old this morning as I took Liam and Emma and a friend of theirs to see Reel Big Fish play at the Portsmouth Pyramids. Now, as a youth worker, I am used to being surrounded by young people, and it doesn’t normally bother me, but maybe because I hung back from them so as to not cramp their style, because I was effectively there as a bloke on my own (and haunted by the words of the Smiths: So you go on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home and you cry and you want to die -“How Soon Is Now?” has untold influence on my inner monologue). The audience were made up of teens: a wild menagerie of School and Sixth Form College with a few Uni Students thrown in, and I felt old.

I was there in the 80s and I saw The Selecter, The Specials, the Beat and Madness in that flourishing of Ska from the Midlands. I had forgotton how much energy was implicit in Ska, as today it is given a much more punky edge. As well as enjoying the band, I was just captivated by the exhuberant dancing (not just in the moshpit) and the sheer joy of watching young people enjoying themselves in a unstudied way. In this postmodern world, RBF seem to cross a lot of boundaries and cultures: a melting pot of music and influence. It was great.

…and now my shoulder is killing me. Need an appointment to sort this out by, I suspect, surgery. This is the price you pay for touching base with your youth: Lou should have come too and then we could have experienced this together and it makes me realise that we should get back out to small, sweaty gigs a lot more.

Reel Big Fish “Sellout”

Reel Big Fish Fish “Take on me” – they do a good line in Ska-based covers, even launching into Mettalica’s “Enter Sandman” at one point.

A Dangerous Pet (a School Assembly for Mothering Sunday)


You will need:

  • a large cardboard box with a hole cut in the back for your forearm to go into the box. Punch a couple of holes in the lid and tie with string so that it does not come open until you are ready.
  • a hand-mirror inside the box.

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

The Lord be with you and also with you

Who has a pet at home? What kind? Cats? Dogs? Guinea-Pigs? A Snake? Well, today I have brought a a very unusual and special pet who needs a new owner. Show the box. Your arm is inside, but this is hidden from the children. Make. scratching and movement noises inside the box.

Looking after this pet is very demanding. Ask for a volunteer. Go through the details below slowly. Keep asking your volunteer if she is prepared to go to this much trouble. If she backs out at any point, ask for another volunteer to take her place.

When this pet is young it needs feeding six to eight times a day, including in the middle of the night. (”Could you do that?”…) It also makes a nasty smelly mess that has to be cleaned up… and it needs bathing every day.

As it gets a bit bigger, you have to spend a lot of time talking to it, playing with it and taking it for walks. It is also quite mischievous and can make quite a mess of your things if it is left to itself.

The there is the worry and sleepless nights: this stage lasts several years, and all the time it is growing. As it gets older, it will quite likely get into trouble sometimes and cause you lots of worry and sleepless nights. Eventually it will grow as big as you are.

Then there is the cost. Feeding this pet and giving it all the other things it needs costs as much as £4,000 per year. Can you afford it?…

Children being as optimistic as they are, you should end up with a volunteer who is prepared to say “yes” to all this. Tell her you are going to let her see this special pet now. Ask her just to look at it, but not say anything. Open the lid and hold the mirror at an angle inside the box so she can see her own face, but the other children cannot see the mirror. (Practice this at home with a member of the family.) Enjoy the expression on her face!

Now show the rest of the children the mirror. For those who are slow to catch on, explain how all you have said applies to them.

I suspect that very few of you would really want to take on the responsibility of looking after a “pet” like that, but that is what their mums have done, and we should really show our appreciation for them this Sunday on Mothering Sunday


Mothering Sunday is when we take some time to think about not just our own mothers, but the three mothers that we have:

  • The Mother who gave birth to us
  • Our Mother Church
  • The Mother of Jesus: Mary, the Mother of All Christians

This Sunday is a day when we thank God for our Mothers

  • For all they do for us
  • For bringing us into the world
  • For supporting us in times of need

This Sunday was a day when we thank God for our Mother Church

  • For all it does for us
  • For guiding us in this world
  • For supporting us in times of need

This Sunday was a day when we thank God for our Our Lady Mary

  • For all she does for us
  • For bringing Jesus into the world to save us
  • For supporting us in times of need, helping us in our prayers to God

…so I hope to see you there on Sunday!

Let us pray… there follows extemporaneous prayer thanking God for Mothers.

Conclude with a Blessing: it might be the nicest thing an adult does for them all week.

The Lord bless you and keep you:
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace:
May the blessing of  God almighty, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always

Sermon: Lent 3, Year A

Text: John 4:5-42

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

The best sermons have just three points to make: at College we were taught that, so one Sunday a fellow student stood before a busy church and said the following:

“The best sermons have three points to make:

1. Jesus is God.
2. Mary is his Mother
3. Go to Mass”

And then he sat down. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that ISN’T today’s sermon, although it is, I believe, the finest three point sermon in the history of Christendom.

There is, however, a fine three point sermon to be drawn from today’s Scripture and where we find ourselves in Elson at this time. All of my reading, and thinking and praying this week has drawn me back to these three key points:

1. Jesus reaches out to everyone
2. Our new church hall is not a building project but a mission
3. We need to pray about it

…except, I’m not going to just sit down now. I think it needs a little bit more flesh on it than that, and perhaps an explanation about how these points are connected.

Let us consider our Gospel for a moment…

Jesus commanded his disciples in Matthew 10:5 not to deal with Samaria – to concentrate on the lost sheep of Israel, and yet here Jesus is in Samaria. He was probably travelling through the area to get to another part of Israel.

The Samaritans were both ethnically and theologically related to the Jews, but were the remnants of the Jews claiming to be direct descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, left behind after the Asyrrian conquests in 722 BC. The Samaritans were close, but not close enough and although they shared a common heritage – this encounter took place at Jacob’s Well after all – they were social and religious pariahs. We have all heard and understood the subtext of the Good Samaritan to understand how scandalous this encounter is in polite Jewish Society.

The woman was coming to the Well not early in the morning, when others would gather for this daily, essential, communal chore, but at midday, when she would be on her own. The Samaritan woman clearly saw herself as an outcast amongst an outcast tribe: her turbulent emotional history – five husbands and counting – has placed her at the very edge of society.

And yet, Our Lord breaks the conventions of polite society, the norms of acceptability and he faces the scandal of others in actively challenging conventions in this encounter:

• For Jews did not address Samaritans. At all. Not at all.
• Jews would not ask for food or drink from Samaritans as it would be ritually unclean. Uncleanliness would make a Jew unable to participate in the nice ritual things that Jews like to do.
• Men would not address women they were unrelated to

And yet Jesus speaks to this woman, and not down to her. He speaks to her of matters spiritual with her. He responds to her questions with gentle, profound and timeless teaching for us all.

Christ speaks of the Living Water which only he can provide: the difference between the water of the well and the water of eternal life, the short-term (rather like that woman’s relationships) and the eternal relationship with God.

It is not just his words which teach, but the very way in which he does it, with someone on the outside, beyond the pale.

No-one is beyond Christ. St Paul said in the letter to the Galatians (and that is why we have pew bibles, my dear friends, look it up!) 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28

Neither Jew nor Greek – regardless of being Jewish or anything else; slave nor free – regardless of social status, of course regardless of gender, regardless of … the list goes on, sexuality, colour, high church or low church – all are one in Jesus Christ.

And if Jesus reaches out, then we must reach out. If we are inward looking, then we are not Christ-looking, if we are focused on our own community, then we miss out on the opportunity, the responsibility, the charge we have to meet the needs of the lost sheep of Gosport, those in real need, in real distress, in real hardship, in real hope for the Gospel which redeems all of us.

It means moving beyond our comfort zones, beyond our existing giving, our current time allocation for Church and into a new discipleship which is based upon seeking social justice and making a difference in this community. We are starting to move out of our shell, and yet the Gospel calls us to do so much more.

Reflecting on this brought sharply into focus what we have been discussing with regard to the Church Hall. For this project has wavered and faltered and been amended and curtailed and put off and has lost its way in the past 20 years. We seek the reproviding of the church hall in the grounds of the church, the sale of the tired and worn out and a high quality replacement which will be of wide and significant benefit to the Elson Community. I believe it is a project whose time has come and is a key part of what we have just been speaking of – a radical opportunity to be Christ-like and to engage in this community in service to the wider community.

If we lose the vision for this, and see it about simply a building, a sale, a project, then we will have squandered the opportunity and ignored the clarion call of God. This project is a mission-project, it is about making Christ known in Elson in new and exciting ways, about using our assets to tell the story of Jesus to people yet unborn. There will be frustrations, anxieties and the overwhelming sense that it’s all too much, it’s not for the likes of us, that we are too poor, too old, too weak or busy. If we do that, then we will have forgotten that this is God’s work we are about to embark on. It needs to be grounded in prayer, rooted in devotion, based on faith and built to the Lord.

This brings us onto our third point of the sermon. For if we are to keep the focus of this project as a mission and not just a building project, then we have to pray, pray hard and pray often.

I therefore want to task the monthly prayer group with specific prayers for the future development of the hall; I want to call the people of Elson to prayer, each Saturday at 9:55 for five minutes of prayer before the Parish Office each week until this becomes a reality. If we can but pray for a few minutes each week, keep this in the hands of God and our vision at the heart of our ministry then we can achieve something worthwhile. You can all spare five minutes a week to pray specifically for this.

Living water is beyond what we can drink, what can run through our fingers, it comes not from the outside, but from within. The hall will not be the source of our faith or our outreach, but will be the fruit of that faith, the manifestation of that outreach. Do we want to be the spring of salvation? Do we want to deliver something of meaning, do we want to see the spirit bring forth something powerful? Let us therefore be encouraged, empowered and envisioned, let us seize what God is making possible for us… within our capability, within our grasp.

I need a small group of people to run with me on this: just five people to be my Lions of Judah, the heralds of our New Dawn. The task ahead of us needs people to come together to pray for it and to help it happen. Ask yourself whether you want to see this Church become once again the centrepoint of this community, the instrument of outreach, the mechanism of God’s love, and ask yourself if God is not calling YOU, not anyone else, not someone who sits in another part of the church, someone younger, someone older, someone with more experience or eloquence or money or O’Levels but whether you are being called to be a Lion of Judah, a Herald of the New Dawn and a catalyst for praying through and leading through and seeing through this mission in this place…

Let us pray for them to come forward… as God as called you to this, come forward and grab me after this mass.

So, after all that, to remind you of our three point sermon:

1. Jesus reaches out to everyone
2. Our new church hall is not a building project but a mission
3. We need to pray about it

Pray. Hope. Don’t Worry, and we will build for the Lord in this place.


Taste & See

 CJM – Jo Boyce and Mike Stanley have this lovely toon called “Taste and See”. This video loop is for use in support of a meditation or ritual and has footage from the 2000 edition of Jesus Christ Superstar and an old video loop from Sue at Visions in Leeds. It doesn’t really go anywhere in itself, but provides a suitable backdrop for something else, in our case in place of the Offertory Hymn.

Back now after a week off in Cornwall for half-term. Refreshed. Renewed.

Psychic paid to evict council house ghost

Psychic paid to evict council house ghost | Oddly Enough | Reuters

Strange: had the council asked their parish priest to do it, it would have cost them nothing.

A number of times I have been in to “pray through” a house: a little bit of holy water, a few short prayers giving permission for release. Sorted.

In case anyone might find this useful…

For the releasing of spirits within a home

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


Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father, who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured out upon you.
Go forth, faithful Christian!
May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God in Zion,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the angels and saints. .

May you return to your Creator
who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints
come to meet you as you go forth from this life.
May you see your Redeemer face to face.

May the Angels, the Saints, the Prophets and the Patriarchs join us/me in prayer as we ask for God’s blessing on this house.

May it be filled with joy, with laughter, with the Saviour’s love
May it be free from fear, from anger, from resentment
May all who dwell within it live in the love of Christ

We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord. Amen

Joining our prayers with the whole company of heaven we join our prayers with those of the blessed virgin:


Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death. Amen.


Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

May Almighty God +bless us and keep us, now and forever. Amen.

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My Tuppence

Shame on those who criticise without thinking first (Matthew 7:1, anyone?), especially when they are former Archbishops of Canterbury or current members of General Synod. Lord Carey should go to ground now: his tenure at Lambeth was a disaster (decade of evangelism? decade of decline more like), and by subverting ++R’s leadership he does no one any favours.

Useful links:

My only comment on the actual subject which is supposed to be under debate is that if the Beth Din can apply to Jewish Family Law then it would appear to be only fair that the Sharia should apply to Muslim Family Law. Sounds fair to me.

I am more dismayed by the media and their manipulation of this non-story into a ‘controversy’, and the subsequent hijacking of the furore by Evangelicals (and it is almost always them) determined to remove ++R.

Warning: Fr. Simon now kicks off and starts to speak the unspeakable

Why must the whole game be run by rich Evangelicals who think that because most of their congregation drives a BMW and they can pay the Parish Share in a weekend they have to have the monopoly on the Church? Isn’t Anglicanism supposed to be a broad church united by some common principals, rather than a Convented club which decides who is in and who is out through a Confession (sounds a bit Lutheran to me…) and a rigid adherence to a narrow interpretation of scripture.

This perspective only seeks to drive out the different, the unconventional, the uncomfortable and the catholic from Anglicanism (both from the sanctuary and the nave). According to them, Homosexuality in the Vicarage bedroom is a more pressing issue than reaching the untouchables on the Council Estate, that sign and symbol and an authentic contact with the sacred is secondary to buildings with posh sound systems and adequate parking facilities and plenty of courses for more middle-class people to be helped to become comfortable with shopping at Waitrose without guilt.

In youth work, I have seen New-Wine Non-Anglicans move in and push away any notion of an Inclusive Anglican Identity, undermine input from volunteers and supplant it with a slick Alpha-style machine which generates nods from young people but does not engage them with faith because it is simply entertainment rather than discipleship – Saturday morning TV which mentions Jesus (a lot, but that’s where it ends). Any problems in your life – think you’re Gay, or Depressed, or Poor, or Troubled then it’s just Sin and you can’t play our game because you’re a sinner, and unlike Jesus, we are not prepared to sit down and eat with you (are the GAFCON Bishops getting this, I wonder). Where is the Gospel in that? Young People will walk away in droves when they see that a narrow, homophobic church only seeks to brainwash them into a bland dependence, rather than encouraging them to develop faith not by telling them what to do, but to discover for themselves what God calls them do: to engage their mind and their soul with the sacred and to be transformed.

I care passionately for the Church: for the Body of Christ that is wrapped up in it in all its messy, uncomfortable clashes. The Church should be tolerant of diversity and if it is truly Gospel-led then it would see where some parts of the Torah (Leviticus 18:22 for example) should be consigned as completed and over and done with. I love the Anglican Church, but despair of those who wish to tear it apart and prevent those of us with a different Spirituality (++R and me) from having any input into the wider church.

Like most Inclusive Christians, I sometimes feel so under siege at times, and maybe the time has come to start expressing more forthrightly what the issues are: concentrate on the Gospel and its proclamation and be allowed to flourish in the love of Christ for what and who we are.

There. Said it now.