Category Archives: Worship

Circuit Service 17th May 2020

Everyone is welcome to join us tonight at 6:30pm. The service this week is being broadcast via YouTube and can also be accessed by the Sutton Park Methodist Facebook Page. The preacher tonight is Revd Stephen Froggatt and Revd Malcolm Oliver will be breaking bread.

There is also a Circuit Youth and Junior Church Service at 4pm led by Deacon Rachel Thomas-Prasad. Please contact Malcolm for Zoom details.

Daily Hope – Free Telephone Service of Prayers & Hymns

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.


Daily Hope, which is available from today, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

DailyHope phoneline – 0800 804 8044

The service is supported by the Church of England nationally as well as through the Connections group based at Holy Trinity Claygate in Surrey and the Christian charity Faith in Later Life.

Although thousands of churches across the country are now running services and prayer groups online while public worship remains suspended, many people – especially older people – do not have access to the internet.

The line also recognises the impact of social distancing restrictions and self-isolation measures on those suffering from loneliness. Statistics from Age UK suggest that 49% of older people believe the TV or a pet to be their daily source of comfort and interaction. While many organisations are encouraging people to use better use of technology, ONS figures also state that 2.5 million people aged 75 and above have never used the internet.

Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
Options available include materials also available digitally by the Church of England’s Communications team such as Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service.

A section called Hymn Line offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by the Connections group

Archbishop Justin said:
“With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are. The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season. I want to urge people to spread the news about this service. If there is someone you know who is particularly struggling, give them a call and let them know about the Daily Hope. I’m going to phone a friend; will you join me?”

Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, added:
“The Church must be those who offer hope to our nation at this time, and I am delighted that Faith in Later Life is able to be part of this project. We know as an organisation of the challenges for older people in our society in normal times and these are not those, so I want to add our voice to that of the Archbishop and get people sharing this number with whoever they know who would most benefit.”

Pippa Cramer, founder of Connections, said:
“At Connections we have found that well-loved hymns are a source of comfort and hope to our seniors. Hymns we Love has proved to be an accessible and popular way to explore the story and meaning behind some of our favourite hymns.”

Notes for readers

Connections – One of the largest weekly gatherings for seniors in the UK, Connections welcomes over 150 guests to Holy Trinity Church in Claygate, Surrey. Started 10 years ago by Pippa Cramer, its vision is “to create a safe and welcoming community for seniors where they can connect with each other and the church and to provide the opportunity to demonstrate and share the love of Jesus”. It reaches elderly church and non-church members, many of whom are lonely and isolated, building a community of support and friendship that has also served as a bridge into church.

Faith in Later Life seeks to inspire and equip Christians to reach, serve and empower older people through the local Church and to encourage older Christians in their faith. A key part of the Faith in Later Life mission is encouraging churches to reach older people of any faith or none in the wider community who may be isolated or lonely, and sharing the hope, love and good news of Jesus Christ.

Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer audio are available on Soundcloud and via the Church’s free Time To Pray app.

The weekly online service is available from 9am each Sunday and this, as well as the full range of national resources, can be accessed on our church online page. This is all provided by the Church of England Communications team.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY: Monday, 27 April 2020
Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
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.

Zoom! Circuit Service Easter Sermon

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Down through the centuries, that Easter Acclamation has rung out on Easter Day, from first dawn, to the evening light, proclaiming the end – not just of the night passed, but of darkness for ever. Death is defeated, and the Light of Christ has entered the world, never to be extinguished.

As Revd Alan explained in his recent Blog posts, we are learning to experience a little of what it is like to be living in exile, singing the songs of lament. Yet we do so with the trusting faith of the psalmist who proclaims repeatedly at the end of the lament – “Yet will I praise my Lord and my God, for he is faithful and his love is everlasting”.

Easter means that the darkness will never again take the upper hand. More soberly still, not even the death of those we love is able to separate us from the love of God. In the face of death, and through the tears of grief, we can sing as we weep, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow” and “Thine be the glory”. Easter gives us a hope that the world cannot give.

We are also learning how to be church when we can’t leave our homes. Using video conferencing platforms like Zoom or WhatsApp for staff meetings has broadened to include Bible Studies, Prayer Groups, Home Groups and Fellowship Groups. Watching live broadcasts over Facebook or YouTube includes the opportunity not just to participate but also to connect to people beyond the normal geographical boundaries.

We can’t meet to share in Holy Communion, but we can fast and pray, as Revd Alan says. We can develop a spiritual hunger for renewed fellowship. Yet we can also take bread and wine, tea, toast, cake, scones, biscuits (even jelly and ice cream!) – whatever we have to hand – and deliberately and mindfully consume them. As we do so, we can be aware that the God we worship is bigger than all our doctrines and buildings and traditions, and that this God can meet us where we are even in the simplicity of a shared family meal.

On the first Easter the old order was broken for ever. So it is for us. We will never go “back to the way we were”. We will never go back to the old normal – it will be a new normal, and it is precisely in the newness of life that we encounter God’s relentless re-creation of each new day. We are called to be co-creators with God. We are called to behold the one who says “See! I am doing a new thing!” And we are called to join in with the Missio Dei – the work and purpose of God.

That first Easter changed history. We are living in a history-making era, and future generations will look back and see how well we handled this pandemic. Will they see how the churches took charge of social care while the hospital staff took charge of medical care? Or will they ask what the churches did when they had a chance? Will they encounter the risen Christ amongst the empty Church buildings or amongst the supermarket cashiers, the shelf-fillers and the delivery drivers? 

That first Easter changed the way the world saw those first disciples. Previously they were viewed as simple, illiterate fishermen. Suddenly they were transformed into fearless preachers of a radical new gospel. This virus outbreak is already changing the way we view our lowest-paid workers, as we realise that it is them who actually hold this country together. 

Jesus turned the world upsidedown. Easter reset history. We are living through uncomfortable times and there will be no going back.

But what of tomorrow? In Luke’s Gospel, the final pages give us the story of the Road to Emmaus. The encounter with the unexpected and unrecognised Christ is one that keeps repeating. Even as we tread the weary paths around the house, shuffling between TV and kitchen and bedroom and bathroom, we can be aware, if we look, of the One who walks with us, accompanying us even in those moments when we feel most alone.

Easter changes everything. Many have locked themselves into their homes and many are afraid. But God is far, far greater than a lockdown. This Jesus appeared to the disciples when they were afraid, and when they were in lockdown.

Jesus came among them and said ‘Peace be with you’. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

The peace of the risen Christ be with you all, and with all those you love, and with all those who love you, today and always. Amen.

What’s On – Easter Day 2020

Easter Streamed Service – Birmingham District

The Birmingham District will seek again to offer Sunday worship at 10:30am
See their website for details.

The Easter Day service is best followed via Facebook
This service will include a Love Feast. Here’s the Order of Service.

Other Worship At Home Resources

Our friends at Family Friendly Churches are offering, free of charge, weekly prayers, address and a couple of hymns as videos (with words and music) for use within the home. These can be found here.

The Worship Cloud are producing a free weekly sheet as well as making our Local Arrangement services freely available. See here.

Roots On The Web are also generously making plenty available at their site here.

For other streamed services and worship resources, please see the Four Oaks Church Website.

Resources for Holy Week 2020

A compilation of resources to help you mark Holy Week this year – Maundy Thursday / The Last Supper and Good Friday in particular.

Streamed Services from some of our partner churches:
Four Oaks Catholic Church
The Ark Community Church, Four Oaks
Four Oaks Baptist Church

LOCALLY – See Streetly Methodist Church for Good Friday
This will be a YouTube Live broadcast at 11am

The Saltmine Passion Play Audio Drama
“Saltmine Theatre Company are bringing you The Easter Story to your front room.
We are excited to announce that over the last few weeks Saltmine Theatre Company have been producing a Passion Play audio drama for you to enjoy this Easter.
This drama revives The Birmingham Passion Play 2019 – our unique, contemporary re-telling of the Easter story which performed live to over 3,000 people and processed through the heart of the city of Birmingham.
The Saltmine Passion Play Audio Drama consists of three 15 minute episodes, spanning from Jesus’ triumphant procession to the crucifixion and resurrection. Each episode is accompanied by images of the 2019 live performance in Birmingham.”

Worship At Home Resources

The Vine At Home
Service for Good Friday (10th April) is provided here.

Family Friendly Churches Trust (FFCT)
Maundy Thursday: We offer a resource to lead a Passover at home on Maundy Thursday. There is a pamphlet with all the words you need on the evening that you can download and print along with a set of instructions and recipes.
Good Friday Video: We offer a full service for Good Friday based on the Stations of the Cross. All the images are taken from a community art project in Upwell and Outwell in the Fens Circuit of the Methodist Church and put together with a service led by Ann Bossingham to give a rich visual experience.
Go to http://www.ffctideas.org.uk/Corona.php for more details

Roots On The Web
A page of resources from Roots here.

Messy Church – for families and those with young people
So much here.

The Methodist Church – Nationally
More high quality resources here – please take time to choose.

The Methodist Church – Birmingham District
Many links here too.

An at-home service if you can’t get to a funeral

With the current restrictions on movement in place it may not be possible for everyone to attend a funeral. The Methodist Church offers this short act of worship to help you say your formal goodbyes while remaining in your home.  

At-home service if you can’t get to a funeral (Pdf)
At-home service if you can’t get to a funeral (Word)
LARGE PRINT VERSION At-home service if you can’t get to a funeral (Pdf)

What’s On – Week Beginning 5th April 2020

WORSHIP AT HOME

Bible readings, Hymns and Psalms from the Methodist Prayer Handbook:

Sunday 5th April (Palm Sunday): Matthew 27:11-54, StF 277, Psalm 31:9-16
Monday 6th April: Isaiah 42:1-9, StF 338, Psalm 36:4-11
Tuesday 7th April: Isaiah 49:1-7, StF 17, Psalm 71:10-14
Wednesday 8th April: Isaiah 5-:4-9a, StF 319, Psalm 70
Thursday 9th April (Maundy Thursday): 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, StF 572, Psalm 116
Friday 10th April (Good Friday): Isaiah 52:13-53:12, StF 285, Psalm 22
Saturday 11th April (Holy Saturday): John 19:38-42, StF 291, Psalm 31:1-4

Find Reflections on these passages on the Methodist Church Website

 Lectionary Readings for Today (Palm Sunday)
Matthew 21.1-11; Psalm 118.1-2,19-29
Read these Scriptures online
For some thoughts on these passages, have a look at Words On The Word

Lectionary Readings for Today (Passion Sunday)
Isaiah 50.4-9a; Psalm 31.9-16; Philippians 2.5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66
Read these Scriptures online
For some thoughts on these passages, have a look at Words On The Word

The Methodist Church Worship At Home Sheet
This week’s sheet for you to download and print off at home is here.

Online Streamed Services
The Birmingham District will seek again to offer Sunday worship at 10:30am
Wesley’s Chapel London on Sunday at 11am
SwanBank Methodist Church on Sunday at 10:30am

Weekday Morning Prayers
09:00 Monday-Friday – from Wesley House Cambridge with Resources for following the prayers and readings.  
10:00 Monday-Friday – from Wesley’s Chapel London

Worship Resources
 These resources have been generously provided by the following:
Roots On The Web 
The Family Friendly Churches Trust 
The Worship Cloud – Free Vine At Home Resources
The Worship Cloud – Vine Service for Palm Sunday
The Worship Cloud – How To Fold Your Own Palm Cross
Illustrated Ministry’s Junior Church Activity Sheets