All manner of things will be well

“All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome and introduction by our celebrant and preacher the Rev Elizabeth Bunker

For the Eucharist, if it helps, a small table with a candle/cross might help you with focus. If you wish during the communion to have a piece of bread and a glass each with wine/grape juice, please have these ready in advance. It might help to remind you that we are celebrating with millions of other Christians even if most of us are behind “locked doors”.

The service includes preparation with confession, absolution and the collect; then come the  readings, an address and an affirmation of faith; and intercessory prayer.

I will then set up the table, say the Peace and then an Easter Eucharistic prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer the breaking of bread and an invitation to communion after we will say a prayer of thanksgiving and service will end with a blessing.

 

A note from your webmaster – because of copyright I am not able to insert links to YouTube videos for the hymns. You might like to search for them yourselves?

The Service

Opening Hymn – Christ is made the sure foundation

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the church in one;
holy Zion’s help forever,
and her confidence alone. 

To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of hosts, today:
with thy wonted loving-kindness
hear thy people as they pray;
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee to gain,
what they gain from thee forever
with the blessed to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign. 

Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
One in might, and One in glory,
while unending ages run.

 

Greeting and Welcome

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

 

Easter Anthems

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us:

so let us celebrate the feast,

 

not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness:

but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

Christ once raised from the dead dies no more:

death has no more dominion over him.

 

In dying, he died to sin once and for all:

in living he lives to God.

 

See yourselves therefore as dead to sin:

and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Christ has been raised from the dead:

the first fruits of those who sleep.

 

For as by man came death:

by man has come also the resurrection of the dead;

 

for as in Adam all die:

even so in Christ shall all be made alive

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now

and shall be forever. Amen

Confession

Let us confess our sins to Almighty God

(A time for reflection)

 

Absolution

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

Hear then the word of grace and the assurance of pardon

Your sins are forgiven for his sake.

Collect

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us

the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us

you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

 

Acts 7.55–60

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

Standing before the high priest and the council,

55 Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,

gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God

and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

56 ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened

and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’

57 But they covered their ears,

and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.

58 Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him;

and the witnesses laid their coats

at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed,

‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice,

‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’

When he had said this, he died.

 

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

 

Psalm 31.1–5, 15–16

R Let your face shine on your servants

[and we shall be saved].

1 In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;

let me never be put to shame;

deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Incline your ear to me;

make haste to deliver me. R

3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,

for you are my crag and my stronghold;

for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me. R

4 Take me out of the net

that they have secretly set for me,

for you are my tower of strength.

5 Into your hands I commend my spirit,

for you have redeemed me,

O Lord, O God of truth. R

15 My times are in your hand;

rescue me from the hand of my enemies,

and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant,

and in your loving-kindness save me. R

Glory to the Father, and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit

as it was in the beginning is now
and ever shall be forever, Amen

 

 

SECOND READING 1 Peter 2.2–10

A reading from the first letter of Peter.

2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation – 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight. 5 Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands  in scripture: ‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’

7 To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,’ and 8 A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 

Gospel Hymn; Jesus, lover of my soul

 

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenceless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
Source of all true righteousness;
Thou art evermore the same,
Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.

 

Hear the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John 14,1-14

Glory to you, O Lord

 

Jesus said to his disciples: 1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’

6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’  8 Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ 9 Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”?

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.

12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.’

 

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you, O Christ

 

 

Sermon – Revd. Elizabeth Bunker

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

It’s very good to be back with you all again. I hope you are keeping safe and well.
We are all getting used to this Covid world of isolation; I don’t know about you but I’m not finding it easy.
We are a household of four rather than the usual two – two of my sisters are living with us for health reasons. And my husband Tony is WFH. (Working from home!)
What do I really miss?
1) worship in a church building
2) seeing the children and grandchildren,
3) having time on my own, to myself.
But there are ways round these things as we are discovering.
1) new ways of being church
2) we can chat with family and friends by phone, Skype or Zoom if we have the technology
3) the having time to myself is a bit more difficult though it doesn’t need technology!

How about you?

Our generation, many of those in isolation, are fortunate in many ways – most of us have pensions, stability and help to get shopping delivered etc.
For many, and the majority in some parts of the UK, making ends meet without work, living in a flat with no garden, with children not at school must be very difficult.
And for the many households where there is serious illness or incapacity, where the carers can no longer visit, where you cannot visit your loved ones in hospital or care homes life must be almost unbearable. Many people are doing a great deal to help others as we echo the wartime spirit of over 70 years ago but still there are gaps which cannot be filled.
We pray for all those who are suffering and we give thanks to God for the generosity of so many with gifts of time, money and skills.
As people of faith we have one gift that cannot be taken away – wherever we are, whatever the situation. We are loved by our Heavenly Father; he is with us yesterday, today and tomorrow. And we love God and in this Easter season we continue to rejoice in the glorious resurrection of Jesus, our Lord.

In today’s psalm, some verses from Psalm 31, the writer describes God as a ROCK, a CRAG, a STRONGHOLD, a TOWER OF STRENGTH. Because God loves us he wants to protect us and so we have these powerful images of God to hold onto. And we are also told that God will keep us SAFE; he will LEAD AND GUIDE US; he will REDEEM US. Jesus describes himself in today’s gospel as the Way, the Truth and the Life. God is looking after us, he is showing us the path to tread, the words to use, how to live our lives to the full. And he will redeem us.
In verse 5 we read the words which Jesus would have known from his Hebrew Bible and which we read just over four weeks ago as he uttered them as his last words on the cross before his death.
Into your hands O Lord I commend my spirit.

And I expect many of you are familiar with the Derbyshire mining village of Eyam?

During the bubonic plague outbreak of 1665-6 the people of Eyam quarantined themselves in a famous act of self-sacrifice to prevent the spread of the plague. Villagers used to place money in six holes drilled into the top of the boundary stone to pay for food and medicine left by their anxious neighbours. By the end of the outbreak more than a quarter of the village’s population of almost 1,000 were dead. The plague however was contained.

Then as now diseases are transmitted via trade routes and centres; then as now successful isolation can contain outbreaks

It was the village priest, Willian Mompesson, who in the face of more and more deaths manged to convince villagers that quarantining the village was the right thing to do, although the number of deaths in the village would soar.

And social distancing means not only isolation but also open air funeral services that reduced physical proximity and families burying their own dead in fields and gardens rather than the church graveyard. Church services too were held in the open air just outside the village so that families were able to stand far apart from each other with the vIcar preaching  to them from an outcrop of limestone rocks. Mompesson realised, in June 1666, that things were going to get much worse before any improvement. He knew if he didn’t stop the frightened people leaving the village in panic, it would spread to other villages and towns. Once it reached nearby Sheffield or Manchester, things would be back to London proportions.

The experience of the villagers is relevant again now as communities and countries engage with the concept of quarantine, a word derived from the Italian quarantina, a period of 40 days. In 14th century Venice plague-infected ships had to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing.

And of course the bible cites several examples of periods of 40 days and this is reflected in our church calendar:

the time Jesus spent in the wilderness before beginning his ministry;

the number of days in Lent;

the number of days between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

To conclude, I imagine that many of us marked last Friday 8 May, the 75th anniversary of VE Day, in some special way but did you know that 8 May is also the date when we commemorate St Julian of Norwic.h?  The 14th century spiritual writer – her own name is unrecorded – was an anchoress, i.e she set herself apart for God, and lived isolated in a cell attached to the church of St Julian in Norwich. At the age of 30 when extremely ill, she received a number of visions and on her recovery she recorded them in her book, Revelations of Divine Love. In one of these visions God revealed to her an answer to a question that had troubled her for a long time. She did not understand why sin had not been prevented. The words of revelation she received were these: It was necessary that there should be sin but all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

 A great reassurance for us all in these difficult days.

Amen.

The Prayers by Shena Wright

Father God,
We thank you that you have spoken through history, calling people to your service – ordinary, everyday people, just like us: hesitant, fearful at times, and often uncertain of their ability to do what you asked of them – yet receiving the strength they needed, when they needed it.
Still today, you call your people to challenging area of service……to do jobs they’d rather not do;  issues they’d rather not face, and messages they’d rather not deliver.  Most of us recognise some, or all of these occasions…….what did we do? Did we ignore your call……or did we grab your hand and tentatively dip our toe into unknown waters?
Lord, we know we always have the choice…. you never force us.  But if we don’t try, how do we grow, how do we learn, how do we move forward?  In our hesitancy, help us remember your promise that you will ALWAYS give us the resources we need to meet the task.
Lord in your mercy…….HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Father, we live in challenging times where we are required to stay at home, in order to halt the spread of this virus.  In our isolation, when we may feel lost and alone, show us that you are near.  May we feel your presence, may we know you are close by.  When we feel uncertain, remind us you are watching over us….guiding and guarding.  In that knowledge, may we meet each day with quiet trust and thanksgiving.
Lord in your mercy………HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Today in the first book of Peter we are reminded that we ” are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation – GOD’S OWN PEOPLE”. Lord may we be for ever confident in that knowledge .
With all churches closed at this time, it is difficult for us all – we so miss our gathering on a Sunday to worship you – to praise you – to hear the teaching of your word  – to join with the intercessory prayers, and to meet with our friends in our church family.  Lord, we know you understand that missing piece of our jigsaw, and you reassure us in Jesus’s words from today’s Gospel, ” Do not let your hearts be troubled , believe in God, believe also in me.”
We pray our faith is not weakened or diluted in these troubling times.  Help us to stay strong and faithful, calling on the name of Jesus who is the route, the path, the way to you…..”I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Teach us Lord Jesus through these experiences,  to trust you more completely, knowing that whatever may be asked if us, your hand will hold us firm and see us through.
Lord in your mercy…..HEAR OUR PRAYER.

We give thanks for all the ways we are able to contact people……telephone  calls, emails, WhatsApp and Zoom meetings…..and of course waving and calling to neighbours as we go for a walk.  We pray that all our church family is being looked after, that our phone calls are making a difference to someone’s day.  We ask for your “prompt” Lord, to make that call when you pop a name into our heads.  Help us all to keep an eye on one another, and an ear open to listen when someone is in need of human contact. We pray for Nick and all those who find these weeks particularly challenging.  Hold them close Lord, let them know they are NEVER alone, for you are but a breath away.
Lord in you mercy….HEAR OUR PRAYER.

And finally, I am going to read a poem from Nick Fawcett’s ” Poems to Help You Pray”, which is based on v. 14,15, of  this morning’s psalm 31:

Every hour, every minute, every day I give to you
for I know you’re with me in it, reaching out to bless anew.
Take the present and tomorrow, take my laughter and my tears;
whether I know joy or sorrow, buoyant hopes or nagging fears.

All I’m facing, all I’m feeling, Lord, I place into your hands,
for in you is inner healing – one who cares and understands.
Though I’m weak and hesitating, you are there to help and guide.
Always, Lord, I find you waiting….ever-present by my side.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Affirmation of faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life. The one for whom we exist

We believe and trust in him

Do you believe in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again

We believe and trust in him

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God, and makes Christ known in the world

We believe and trust in him

This is the faith of the church. We believe and trust inone God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples saying:

Peace be with you.

Then they were glad when they saw the Lord

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

.

 

Offertory hymn, We pray the heavenly Father

 

We pray thee, heavenly Father,
to hear us in thy love,
and pour upon thy children
the unction from above;
that so in love abiding,
from all defilement free,
we may in pureness offer
our Eucharist to thee.

Be thou our Guide and Helper,
O Jesus Christ, we pray;
so may we well approach thee,
if thou wilt be the Way:
thou, very Truth, hast promised
to help us in our strife,
food of the weary pilgrim,
eternal Source of life.

And thou, Creator Spirit,
look on us, we are thine;
renew us in thy graces,
upon our darkness shine;
that, with thy benediction,
upon our souls outpoured,
we may receive in gladness
the Body of the Lord.

O Trinity of Persons!
O Unity most high!
On thee alone relying
thy servants would draw nigh;
unworthy in our weakness,
on thee our hope is stayed,
and blest by thy forgiveness
we will not be afraid.

 

Easter Eucharistic prayer

 

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 indeed right, our duty and our joy,

always and everywhere to give you thanks

almighty and eternal Father,

and in these days of Easter

to celebrate with joyful hearts

the memory of your wonderful works.

For by the mystery of his passion

Jesus Christ your risen Son,

has conquered the powers of death and hell

and restored in men and women the image of your glory.

He has placed us once more in paradise

and opened to them the gate of life eternal.

And so in the joy of this Passover,

earth and heaven resound with gladness,

while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation

sing for ever the hymn of your glory:

 

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.

 

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,

through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,

and as we follow his example and obey his command,

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit

these gifts of bread and wine

may be to us his body and his blood;

who in the same night he was betrayed,
took bread, and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to this disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way after supper, he took the cup,
and gave you thanks saying:
Drink this, all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins;

Do this, as often as you drink it,

in remembrance of me.

 

Therefore heavenly Father,

we remember his offering of himself

made once for all upon the cross;

we look for the coming of your kingdom,

and with this bread and this cup

we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord,

 

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:

Christ is risen:

Christ will come again.

 

Accept through him our great high priest,

this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,

and as we eat and drink these gifts

in the presence of your divine majesty,

renew us by your Spirit,

inspire us with your love

and unite us in the body of your Son

Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him,

In the unity of the Holy Spirit,

with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,

we worship you Father almighty in songs of everlasting praise. Amen

Pause for reflection 

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

 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.

Breaking of the Bread
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.

 

Giving of Communion
Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you,
and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink
in remembrance that he died for you, and feed on him in your hearts
by faith with thanksgiving.
The body of Christ Amen

The blood of Christ Amen



Post Communion Prayer

 

Eternal God,

whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:

grant us to walk in his way,

to rejoice in his truth,

and to share his risen life;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen

                     

Final Hymn  O Jesus, I have promised

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever 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.

Oh, let me feel Thee near me;
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
Oh, speak to reassure me,
To hasten, or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.

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;
Oh, give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.

Oh, let me see Thy footprints,
and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
is in Thy strength alone;
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
uphold me to the end;
And then in Heav’n receive me,
my Saviour and my Friend.

Blessing and Dismissal

The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always. Amen

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ, Amen

 

Copyright:  Some of this material is copyright Common worship Archbishop’s Council ©2000

Some of the text is copyright © 2015 Archbishop’s Council and Roots for Churches Ltd

© Roots for Churches Ltd adapted

 

Thought for the Week

Julian of Norwich

Show me O anchoress, your anchor-hold

Deep in the love of God, and hold me fast.

Show me again in whose hands we are held,

Speak to me from your window in the past,

Tell me again the tale of Love’s compassion

For all of us who fall onto the mire,

How he is wounded with us, how his passion

Quickens the love that haunted our desire.

Show me again the wonder of at-one-ment

Of Christ-in-us distinct and yet the same,

Who makes, and loves, and keeps us in each moment,

And looks on us with pity not with blame.

Keep telling me, for all my faith may waver,

Love is his meaning, only love, forever.

Malcolm Guite

from ‘The Singing Bowl’, Canterbury Press, 2013.

 

Notices

Prayers for the week; please pray for these streets

Redhoods Way West

Archers Way

Hazelfoot

Saffron Hill

Abbotts Road

Valley Road

Chasten Hill

Beech Hill

Tabor Court

Runnalow & its closes

Fullers Court

Warren Close

Special topics

Our community halls and their activities – that they are all keeping active during the lockdown, and will resume soon

Councillors and local authorities

PLANNED GIVING

Please keep up your planned giving because we need to maintain our cashflow. Offertory envelopes can be dropped in to Sylvia, Shena or Peter but we are trying to avoid handling cash if possible. Could you consider giving by occasional cheque, or setting up a standing order or direct debit? The church and Wilbury Hall hires have ceased, so that income stream is gone! If you could spare a bit more, that would be great!

 

Prayer Hotline

Have you tried the Archbishop’s Daily Hope phone line 0800 804 8044, for music, prayers and reflections? If not, try it! It’s free and inspiring!

FOOD BANK

Thank you for your support. In the current circumstances, the Foodbank is no longer able to accept food donations, and are instead giving vouchers to their clients to spend in supermarkets. If you would like to make a cash donation, please go to

Donate money

 

More general help

You could give online to nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk, who have launched an appeal for all those affected financially by the Coronavirus.