Brothers and sisters

Once again it’s been a strange week however I do think I am getting into a bit of a new routine however tomorrow is Palm Sunday which is usually different anyway from our normal Sunday worship.
But this year we can’t meet together for the blessing of our palm Crosses – so why not get creative and make a cross of your own ready for our worship at 10am or use another cross that you have at home or maybe one you wear.
We will mark the start of Holy Week by asking God to bless these for us as a reminder of all that Jesus has done for us.  There is a video on facebook showing how to make a palm cross where you substitute paper or card instead of the Palm Leaves.
We have probably all seen many Rainbows in our windows over the last 2 weeks as a sign of hope in these difficult times, and now at this time we are inviting household to make your own cross out of paper or card, to decorate and colour them in and then blu-tack them to your front window as a public reminder that this is Holy Week.
There will be worship every day during Holy Week at 7pm and there will be other reflections dotted throughout the week on our facebook pages throughout the week, so please do come and join us and walk the way of the cross each day this week with our Lord and countless Christian brothers and Sisters throughout the world.
Another mailing will be issued before we commence the three days that begins on the evening of Maundy Thursday and takes us through the events of Good Friday, the desolation of Holy Saturday before we come to the high point of Easter day.
We are all facing a long journey ahead with our isolation brought about by our response to the Coronavirus outbreak and we do not know when that journey will come to an end.  But together we will get through it supporting and caring for one another as continue together – one day at a time.
As we walk with Jesus and one another in this week ahead we will meet with jeers, rejection, humiliation and great trials but we will also meet with some sympathetic onlookers who will offer help, in small or big ways, to ease the burden.
Throughout the week ahead may we grow in our loving, living personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour who did so much for us and may we all answer for ourselves that question that he puts to us all.

With love and prayers for a most blessed Holy Week.
Michael (Rector)

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There will be a Worship Video on Sunday mornings at 10 am and during Holy week there will be worship every day at 7 pm using the Worship at home resources with this bulletin.


Palm Sunday & Holy Week

Attached to this email are:

1)The prayer and worship at home for Palm Sunday

2) An additional one for use throughout Holy Week.

3) The 3 readings for Palm Sunday that we would have on our normal pewsheet – which includes the shorter version of the Passion narrative.

4) The longer version of the passion narrative which can be used in a sequence of times and places in the home – this has been shared by Bishop David Wilbourne and may be helpful.

5) The national Precentors’ Network has recorded a Passion for online sharing which can be accessed at:

(Cut and paste the above link into your web browser)

 National Initiatives

#LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation (Daily via facebook or sign up)

A pre-recorded Palm Sunday Eucharist with the Bishop of Manchester will be released at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook page.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will publish a reflection on Facebook and his website.

Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.

A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer.

Church of England and the daily prayer app

Daily Prayer is the official app to help you follow Morning, Evening and Night Prayer, wherever you are.

Lots of resources mentioned above and others specifically for families

Bible Podlets is a Bible study and discussion podcast for primary aged children to do with adults. Each episode has fun games/activities, an engaging Bible reading in the form of a news story and deep discussion with places to pause and talk together about the topic.

Guardian of Ancora is an amazing virtual world that 8 to 11 year-olds can enter, and a place where the Bible stories come alive. Download the app to have a go.

The Little Worship Company is a great place to go for under 8’s to explore life and faith together – with an app and a website full of ideas.

Collect’s & Readings for Palm Sunday

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; 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.                Amen

First Reading
Isaiah describes God’s servant as an inspiring teacher who remains virtuous despite being maligned and humiliated.
Isaiah 50.4-9a
The servant of the LORD said:  The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.  Morning by morning he wakens – wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious,  I did not turn backwards.  I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.   The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?  Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.  It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?  All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

Second Reading
Jesus refused to exploit his divinity, instead humbling himself like a slave, even accepting a horrific death.
Philippians 2.5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.   Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Gospel
The passion story is told from Jesus standing before Pilate, until his death upon the cross.
Matthew 27.11-54
Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘You say so.’  But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?’  But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted.
At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas.  So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’
For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.  While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’  Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.
The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’
And they said, ‘Barabbas.’  Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’  Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’
So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’  Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’  So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’  They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.  After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross.  And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.  And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him.  Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’
Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying,  ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’  In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.”’  The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’  When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’  At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink.  But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’  Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split.  The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.  Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

Prayer after Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant, and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation: give us the mind to follow you and to proclaim you as Lord and King, to the glory of God the Father.              Amen 

Click on links below for today’s Order of Service and thoughts for Holy Week



Passion at Home_Bishop David Wilbourne

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