Sun 17/1/21

On this page. 

Broadcast & Online services.

Full Morning Prayer with Sermon and Hymns which will be used on ZOOM at 11am to join us email 

Broadcast and Live-streamed Opportunities for Worship
8.10 am  Radio 4 Sunday Worship 
10.00 am Chester Cathedral are livestreaming the Cathedral Eucharist at:
10.45 A modern-style of service will be livestreamed from Christ Church Gipsy Hill available at:
The Prayer Book Society continue to livestream a wide range of Book of Common Prayer Services available at:

A Service of the Word 


Use on Zoom



Leader   We come from scattered lives to meet with God. Let us recognise his presence with us.


Leader   As God’s people we have gathered:

All          Let us worship him together.


All          Lord, direct our hearts, and teach us to pray.  Lift up our hearts to worship you in spirit and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


HYMN    As we are gathered, Jesus is here (UTube version at bottom of page)



Leader   The grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all.
Let us come to him, in sorrow for our sins,
seeking healing and salvation.


All          Lord our God,
              in our sin we have avoided your call.
              Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
              like dew that goes away early.
              Have mercy on us;
              deliver us from judgement;
              bind up our wounds and revive us;
              in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Leader   May the God of love
bring you back to himself,
forgive you your sins,
and assure you of his eternal love
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All          Amen.

Psalm 139

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You know when I am full of hope and enthusiasm, you know when I am struggling to see a way forward. You know when my faith is alive and buoyant, you know when I am full of doubt and dread.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You discern my thoughts from far away. You know my thoughts often clash with one another, that I am sometimes full of certainty, sometimes full of disbelief. A times full of trust, at times full of questions. Sometimes caring, sometimes selfish. And you know too that my mind wanders, sometimes visiting dark corners.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know me better than I know myself, you see me in the darkness and the light, and you understand, you care, and you long to lead me towards life.

© Dave Hopwood

Engage Worship


Reading               1 Samuel 3: 1 - 9


The Jubilate        Jubilate Everybody

O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with 
a song.

Know that the Lord is God;
it is he who has made us and we are his
we are his people and the sheep of
his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and bless his name.

For the Lord is gracious;
his steadfast love is everlasting
and his faithfulness endures from
generation to generation.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever.  Amen.


Reading              1 Samuel 3: 10 - 20



1 Samuel 3: 1 – 20


As I fell asleep one night in Haslington, I heard the constant sound of grain driers in the distance and ‘the popping’ noises of someone lamping in the fields.  Then, a neighbour asked if I had been kept awake by a fire on the street corner.  The constant sound was fire engines pumping water; the popping noise was paint pots exploding in a shed.  The buildings between me and the corner of the street muffled the sound, and I’d slept undisturbed!

We all make the sounds of night fit our experience.  Samuel was no different.  Hearing a voice, he went to see what the elderly Eli needed.  But this is not the childhood story I remember of Samuel hearing the voice of God and Eli telling him he had heard God speaking.  A brief at the first 2 chapters of 1 Samuel, and the rest of Chapter 3 tell us that the Bible story is very different.

Israel has forgotten God. Temple worship is corrupt. Eli the priest was involved in the greedy extortion of the faithful remnant who continued to come to worship. Eli had neglected to teach his sons the ways of God, and they were scoundrels who dishonoured God and the worship of the Temple.  

Enter the barren Hannah, one of the faithful remnant, who stands up to Eli, demanding his blessing and then, despite the mistakes Eli has made with his own sons, entrusts the child of that blessing to his care.

Today, we catch a glimpse of Samuel’s strange and lonely childhood as he serves elderly Eli.  At night, the young Samuel slept in the Temple, with the smell of the burnt offerings, the flickering of the eternal light, and the terrifying presence of the Ark of the Lord for company.  Into this scene, God speaks, but Eli has no-more taught Samuel to expect God to be present in the Temple than he had his own sons.  


The young Samuel may have lived, worked and slept in a sacred space, but he has no knowledge of God’s living presence.  He interprets the voice of God in the only way he knows how and goes to find what Eli requires… and Eli clearly isn’t expecting God to speak either.  Only on the 3rd occasion does Eli rumble that Samuel has heard the voice of God…  ,but at least Eli had the grace to give Samuel a crash course in responding to God’s voice.

It must have been quite terrifying for the young Samuel, yet he invites God to speak.  And what a message God has for Samuel.  This is no simple starter helping Samuel recognise God’s voice and respond in a small way.  It is a hard test.  

He receives a brutal message to deliver to Eli.  One which tells how God will bring Eli’s sons to a violent.  No wonder Samuel lay until morning, afraid to tell Eli his message.  Samuel does not know that God has already spoken to Eli about his sons’ death, or that God had promised to raise up a faithful priest to serve in the Temple.  It is to Eli’s credit that he encourages Samuel to tell him the truth message God has given him, which Samuel faithfully does.

That is quite a test, but Samuel passed it, and a relationship of trust began with God.  One which allowed God to use Samuel to lead Israel back to faith, and to become an important figure in God’s story of his people.  

This is not the story of an elderly servant of God encouraging the younger generation to listen to God that my childhood book told.  It is a biblical event which shows us that God can use anyone he chooses as his messenger.  Even, or perhaps especially, young children.

So how might God speak to his messengers today?  How might God speak to us?  We might hear a voice.  Perhaps through something someone else, or several people say.  It might be in our minds, as my own call to ordination was; a thought so persistent at times it felt audible, or a picture we can see in our minds’ eye.  Most often, God speaks to us through the bible.  Words seem to stand out from the page, or sound extra loud as the bible is read.

However God speaks, if he has something we need to hear, he will speak.  Even if, like Samuel, we are inexperienced listeners and messengers.

S Anne Lawson

13 January 2021 

Hymn                  Dear Lord and Father of mankind            


Statement of Faith

Leader   Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.


All          Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even death on the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.


Prayers of Intercession

Leader   Let us pray to God,
who knows us better than we know ourselves,
and understands our world.

Lord, we know we are called 
to be the body of Christ;
make us worthy of that calling,
fervent in all our prayer and worship,
loving, faithful and honest in our lives,
so that the whole Church displays 
what God is like.

Leader   Draw us closer:

All          closer to the heart of God.


Leader   We pray for the grace and wisdom
to care for this world we have been 
given as our home,
for perception in the difficult decisions,
and commitment to justice and peace.

Leader   Draw us closer:

All          Closer to the heart of God.


Leader   We pray for the people of these parishes,
whose hopes and struggles, sorrows and
fears are already known to you.
May each household be blessed as we pray,
and may your love fill each life.


Leader   Draw us closer:

All          Closer to the heart of God.

Leader   We pray for all who do not yet know you,
and all whose hearts are poisoned with hate
or weighed down with despair;
May your light scatter their darkness
and bring them hope and healing.

Leader   Draw us closer

All          Closer to the heart of God.


Leader   We give you thanks for those who have
died to this life and are born into your heaven;
comfort those who miss their physical presence,
and bring us all to share in the fullness of your life.

Leader   Draw us closer

All          Closer to the heart of God.


Leader   We give you thanks for all that point us
towards the beauty of your love,
and draw us closer to you.

Leader   Merciful Father

All          Accept our prayers
for the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


©Susan Sayers (adapted.)


The Collect for the Second Sunday of Epiphany

Leader   Eternal God,
              our beginning and our end:
              bring us with the whole creation
              to your glory, hidden through past ages
              and made known
              in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All          Amen

Leader   Believing the promises of God, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.

All          Our Father, who art in heaven,

              hallowed be thy name;

              thy kingdom come;

              thy will be done;

              on earth as it is in heaven.

              Give us this day our daily bread.

              And forgive us our trespasses,

              as we forgive those who trespass 

                                           against us.

              and lead us not into temptation,

              but deliver us from evil.

              For thine is the kingdom,

              the power and the glory,

              for ever and ever.



Hymn    Will you come and follow me


Closing Prayer

All   God of power,
may the boldness of your Spirit                  
transform us,
may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,
may the gifts of your spirit equip us to
serve and worship you
now and always.  Amen.