Archives July 2015

We come together – a marriage hymn to “the Lord of the Dance”

Hymn: We come together

We come together to witness love
These two people joined by Above
We see in them a spring of care
Spreading wide, both here and there

Love then, however it may be
Love will defeat the enemy
Marriage shows when two people care
The love of God is always there.

We wish them joy throughout the years
Ups and downs,  joy and tears
Support each other
Through both sickness and health
Good times, bad times, poverty and wealth

Marriage is a journey which you now both share
Marriage is a mystery
which leads you God knows where
But with God in your union you’ll do no wrong
Reflect his love and it will be strong


Fr. Simon

Homily Notes: Ordinary 14 Year B Mark 6:1-6 – “I am getting old”

  • I am definitely getting old.
  • Although last weekend marked the 13th  anniversary of my Priesting, I have now spent so long in ministry that I am starting to reap the rewards of that length of ministry:
    • I now find myself marrying off former members of my Youth Group
    • I find myself being asked to baptise their children
    • In my personal life:
      • I regularly now enjoying going to the Pub with the young man now taller than me, whose nappies (terry nappies, of course!) I used to change
      • Only this week I celebrated with my middle daughter her 21st Birthday with a dinner out with her and her fiancé, for she too has graduated and is now engaged.
    • And yes, it makes me feel old.
    • Perhaps it seems a little strange to you, to be ministered to by a man who is, in many cases for you, the same age as your children (and I’m firmly in my mid-forties, slightly amused by constantly being referred to as a young clergyman)
    • I remember inviting a friend to come and house sit for us at our last Vicarage whilst we went to the Greenbelt festival, and I was anxious that Katrina would be alright in the house. She was after all, someone who I had known from youth club: gangly, self-conscious, but with a deep and profound faith. It was Lou who reminded me that
      • a) she was now 24
      • b) married (and I married them)
      • c) bringing her baby to stay
      • Maybe she would be alright after all!
    • But I couldn’t let go! I couldn’t forget the teenager, and allow the adult to show.
    • How often are the young, or the new to faith, or those who have experienced challenge in their lives disempowered by a simple phrase:
      • “I remember you when…”
    • In God’s grace, people grow, learn, develop, shape
    • God forgives (for if he didn’t, where would any of us be?)
    • So should we.
    • One of the most telling things a young person said to me was “the problem with being a young person is that no-one takes my faith seriously. They assume that I don’t have a relationship with God. They patronise me”.
      • That man is now a Baptist Minister leading a Church in Yeovil.
    • Forget the past (for God surely does)
    • Look to the future.
    • We should ask NOT “what was this church like in the past” and rest on the laurels of that, for the past in the Church was always somuch better wasn’t it?
    • Instead we should be asking
      • “what will this church look like?”
      • “what can we do when the Holy Spirit works within us?”
      • NOT “what did we used to do? (and seemingly don’t do anymore)”
      • BUT “what will we do now, where and to whom does God call us to minister?”
    • The text of Mark goes on further to describe the sending out of the disciples on their first mission, a mission that we share in.
    • They ventured out to minister empowered by the hope of the future, for there was no past, only a message of forgiveness, healing and grace and a call to respond seriously to that.
    • They were not custodians or guardians of a heritage, but bearers of a gift.
    • Just as you are.
    • The twelve sent out today do not represent the Clergy, or the Churchwardens or even the choir; but all of us
      • Each and every one.
      • We are all sent as missionaries, fed at this altar for the road, and later today or tomorrow you will encounter someone who needs God
      • Will you shake the dust off your feet before them and ignore their cry?
      • Or will you be a blessing to them?
        • By your presence
        • By your kindness
        • By your prayer
      • The gift which is within each and everyone gathered here today is the most powerful gift in the world
        • A gift to change our community
        • A gift to change the world
      • It does not matter whether some will want to hold you back, remind you of your past, your exuberant youth, your occasional (or in my case) frequent mistakes
      • The Gospel message has no need of the past
      • The Good News takes us into the future with hope.


Deanery Synod Worship, 2nd July 2015

shared at Christchurch, Estover, Plymouth, 2nd July 2015

Follow this link:

Gathering: Bless the Lord, My Soul

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

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouths shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 139


Matthew 6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Ritual: Let go

Prayer: Silence

The Lords Prayer Challenge

Our Father in heaven.
Don’t say ‘Father’ if you do not behave like a son or daughter. Don’t say ‘Our’ if you only think of your self.

Hallowed by your name
Don’t say ‘Hallowed’ if you do not honour that name.

Your Kingdom come
Don’t say ‘Your Kingdom come’ if you are weighed down with material goods  

Your will be done On earth as in heaven
Don’t say ‘Thy will be done’ if you do not accept the hard bits
Don’t say ‘as it is in heaven’ if you only think about earthly matters

Give us this day our daily bread
Don’t say ’Our daily bread’ if you have no concern for the hungry or the homeless

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who against us
Don’t say ‘Forgive us our sins’ if you remain angry with someone

Lead us not into temptation
Don’t say ‘Lead us not into temptation’ if you intend to continue sinning

But deliver us from evil
Don’t say ‘Deliver us from evil if you are not willing to make a stand against injustice

For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen
Don’t say ‘AMEN’ without considering the words of your prayer!


The Lord bless you and watch over you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
The Lord be gracious to you
The Lord look kindly upon you and give you peace
And the blessing of God Almighty, Father Son and Holy Spirit
be upon you and remain with you this night and always