Avery happy Christmas to you all. Very best wishes from all at St Maxentius to you and your loved ones, we have a service today at 10am. The children performed their nativity on Wednesday and we had lots of different characters as it was the children’s choice who they came dressed as. See the photos in the next magazine.

Our reflection today is by Rev Peter and the intercessions by myself.

Jan B.

I bring you news of great joy; a Saviour has been born to you.

Unto us a child is born, a son is given.

He is Christ the Lord, Alleluia

We worship and adore him, Alleluia.


Almighty God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Father of all, we have sinned against heaven and against you. We are not worthyto be called your children. We turn back to you again. Have mercy on us, bring us back to yourself as those who were dead but now have life, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us. You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Lord Jesus Christ, your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth: accept our heartfelt praise as we worship you, our Saviour and our eternal God. Amen.


ISAIAH 52. 7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


HEBREWS 1. 1-4

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


The letter to the “Hebrews” is a most remarkable letter; we do not know who wrote it, but the focus is on how Jesus is the true fulfilment of so much of the Old Testament – he is the ultimate and complete sacrifice, he is the great High Priest, he can forgive sins, he is the true King from David; he is greater than the angels.

The writer begins in a way that is completely in line with Jewish thinking. God has spoken in the past. We are not in a world made by a silent non-communicating God. God has spoken in many ways – through the wonder of Creation (Genesis 1); he has spoken in giving the Law and Commandments (Exodus), he has spoken through the saving act of the Exodus from slavery in Egypt; he has spoken through the prophets, in the rituals and sacrifices, he has spoken in story and proverb.

“BUT in these last days”, he writes, “God has spoken to us by a Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things.” This is a complex sentence. Jesus himself is the Word, but Jesus’s words are also the speaking of God. Who Jesus is, what Jesus did and also what he said and taught are all the speaking of God into the world.

From this basis Hebrews will go on to explore and describe the significance of Jesus, the Son, the one who completes all those previous spoken and enacted utterances of God.

In our winter of discontent, cold, war, rising prices, strikes and struggles, do we hear God speak to us through Jesus. The birth of a baby is something to celebrate, but Christmas is not just about the birth of a baby, but the great “communication” of God, from God, by God into the world.

When people speak, some will listen, some will hear but forget, some will fail to understand either content or significance, some will react negatively. Some will be too preoccupied to take it in, whether from business, self-absorption, anxiety, or a realisation that it is too challenging so better deflected away.

As we start in on the letter to the Hebrews we find ourselves being challenged more and more about who is this Jesus, the one born of Mary, brought up by Mary and Joseph, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, at the same time, the one begotten not created, “the reflection of God’s glory, the exact imprint of God’s very being” as Hebrews puts it. This ordinary baby, growing through ordinary childhood yet God Incarnate, living within the restraints of time, growth, space and poverty.

It should make our brain hurt to try and grasp this, but it should also lead us to worship, adoration, thanks and praise for this is amazing news – God has spoken, and the message is one of love, mercy and hope.

Rev Peter


I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Here we pray for the church, for the world, those in need and those who have died, you can follow your own prayers or these below on today’s theme.

Blessed are you, Lord or God for you sent Jesus Christ the word made flesh to be among us and show us the way to your kingdom. Lord we welcome you into our hearts, our home and our lives. We ask you to bless our church and all who preach, lead and pray with us here and throughout the world. Guide all preachers of the word that they may lead us to you and help us know you and your love.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

We rejoice with the shepherds and pray for peace on earth and goodwill among peoples. We ask your blessing upon all areas where there is war, conflict and oppression. We remember those who are not at peace with themselves or others. We pray for all who are disturbed or distressed.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord you, your Son was born into an ordinary family in very humble surroundings, may this reflect your peace and glory in our own homes and bring blessings on our own loved ones. We pray for all families around the world especially those who are unable to get together today.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

We remember all who find this a stressful time. We pray for the world poor and those who are deeply in debt. We remember before you the homeless and we pray for the work of Shelter and other relief organisations. We seek your blessing upon all who are ill or lonely and those who feel neglected or forgotten at this time. We remember also those who are ill and in hospital.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Lord, we rejoice that you came down to earth as a human, that we might share the joys of the kingdom of heaven. We remember before you friends and loved ones departed especially those who have died this year. We pray for the soul of Mary Cooper and from our book of remembrance, Norman Morrell, Barbara Mellor, Henry Hattersley and Lily Wood. We rejoice in the fellowship of Mary and Joseph and all your saints. May we share with them in your glory.

Merciful Father. Accept these prayers for the sake of you Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


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 forever. Amen.


May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the wise men, the obedience of Mary and Joseph, and the peace of the Christ -Child be ours this Christmas; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and remain with us always. Amen.

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