Please take time to read the weekly and daily prayers which can be found on the Prayers page.
The weekly Spiritual Communion Service documents as well as other documents you might find useful are posted on the Services page.
Also, notices are updated on the Weekly Notices each Sunday and, sometimes, extra notices are posted during the week. There is a lot of useful information on the Weekly Notices. Please use thislinkto access the page.
We advise you to follow the 'Pray as you Go' website daily, for each day's short service.The service is reflective, quiet and aims to help you to become more aware of God’s presence in your life, listen to and reflect on God’s word and grow in your relationship with God. (link below). You need only click on the date and follow the service which you can pause at any time. There is the option, if you wish, to download specific parts of the short service, such as the reading, prayer or music. Having used this site regularly I enjoy just following the service. Try it. https://pray-as-you-go.org
DAILY BREAD (16th January)
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145:1-2) Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
BIBLE READINGS ON SUNDAY 10th JANUARY
First Reading Genesis 1:1-5
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Gospel Reading Mark 1:4-11
John the baptiser appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptised by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptised you with water; but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit." In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
REFLECTION ON SUNDAY 10th JANUARY
In our gospel reading today we read that as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he heard a voice coming from heaven saying, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
If you saw heaven being torn open today and if you heard the voice of God what would God be saying to you?
Would God say that he was well pleased with you?
Let us all be children that our heavenly Father is pleased to say, “These are my beloved children, with whom I am well pleased.”
And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
EPIPHANY Epiphany Day, otherwise known as ‘Three Kings Day’, is a Christian holiday that occurs on the 12th night after Christmas, 6th January. This date is celebrated as being when the manifestation of God to the Three Wise Men and their consequent voyage to meet the newborn baby Jesus occurred. The name ‘Epiphany’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘to reveal’, or ‘to appear’. It is referred to in the New Testament of the Bible during the birth of Christ and the Second Coming following the Resurrection. Which countries celebrate Epiphany Day? Although in some countries, such as the UK and the USA, Epiphany Day is not treated as significantly as Christmas and Boxing Day, lots of Christian nations around the world celebrate it as being just as special. For example, Eastern Orthodox Christians have their actual Christmas celebrations on Epiphany Day, such as the importance of the date in their beliefs. In Spain and many Latin countries, Epiphany Day is called ‘El Dia de Los Reyes’, and involves the trading of gifts and traditional feasts, much in the same way as Christmas. Popular traditions of Epiphany Day In the countries that celebrate it, Epiphany Day is a day that includes the celebration of lots of local and national traditions. Here are some of them:
In the UK, many people leave their decorations up until the Twelfth Night of Christmas, only considering the Christmas festivities over when Epiphany Day is over.
Ireland traditionally called Epiphany Day ‘Women’s Christmas’, during which women were encouraged to rest and relax following the hard domestic work over the festive period.
In Poland, the ‘Trzech Kroli’, or ‘Three Kings’ festival, is celebrated with a huge parade that features 3 costumed Kings riding on zoo animals and handing out sweets and gifts to children.
Some Southern US states celebrate Epiphany Day and the consequent festival period by baking King Cakes, based on French tradition.
In some German-speaking countries, groups of people called ‘sternsinger’, or ‘star-singers’, travel from door-to-door singing carols dressed as the Three Wise Men
REFLECTION ON SUNDAY 3rd JANUARY
Although that great Feast Day of Christmas has been and gone the season of Christmastide continues. For those able to visit church there is still an opportunity to stand before the crib and look upon the Holy Family.
In that crib, we are still able to look upon a scene from a stable over 2000 years ago and see the greatest gift of all … Jesus!
Perhaps you could take some time now to reflect upon the following:
What gifts do you have in your life?
Do you give thanks to God for them?
How are you a gift to others?
BIBLE READINGS ON SUNDAY 3rd JANUARY
First Reading Ephesians 1:3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
Gospel Reading John 1:1-18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.
The steeples of Saint Mary’s and Saint Bartholomew’s.
Brothers and sisters in Christ praying for each other, our communities and our world. May God bless us all abundantly at this time.