St Maxentius Worship at Home – Easter 4 Sunday 30th April 2023


 Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well. It is quite an exciting time leading up to the coronation, a milestone in history that we are about to witness. Our reading today is about the Jesus being the Good Shepherd and leading us the correct way and as we enjoy the celebrations of what is to come, let us remember who is really in charge.

We are having a Spring Fair on Saturday 13th May, we will be having various stalls including “bottle in a bag” stall so will need lots of bottle bags and we are hoping to have a “ looks new “ toy stall, a café and lots more stalls, so I hope you will support us as all money raised will go to the building fund. On Coronation Monday, we are having a volunteering day in and around church and hopefully the children will be making bird feeders and other things, so do come and join us all ages welcome.

Our intercessions are by Alison Greaves today and the reflection by Rev Hannah, thank you to them both.


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

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has given us new life and hope by raising Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own. He has made us a light to the world.

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


Jesus Christ, risen master and triumphant Lord, we come to you in sorrow for our sins, and confess to you our weaknesses and unbelief.

We have lived by our own strength, and not by the power of your resurrection. In your mercy, forgive us. Lord, hear us and help us.

We lived by the light of your own eyes, as faithless and not believing. In your mercy forgive us. Lord, help us and hear us.

We have lived for this world alone and doubted our home in heaven. In your mercy, forgive us. Lord, Help us and hear us, Amen.

May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days. 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.


Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


1 PETER 2. 19-25

Brothers and sisters: It is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

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


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. Glory to you O Lord.

JOHN 10. 1-10
Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’  Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.


When I was a teacher, one of the things I learnt pretty quickly was that stories with images always helped. There would always be someone who didn’t quite pick up on the image or the concept the first time, so a repetition with a different image would sometimes help. Then there would always be someone for whom the first two images might not have struck a chord, and so the process is repeated again.

It might sound daft, repeat, repeat, repeat, but we all know that this is just one tool that can help to cement an idea. Using slightly different images each time, but with broadly similar meanings, adds to the roundedness of the story and so the teaching can hopefully continue with a sense that everyone knows what is being explored or discussed.

But, when we see something like this written down in our bible passages, we can sometimes get caught up in thinking each image is designed to mean something different. Our passage today is one such example. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees using an illustration to make his point. He chooses something familiar to them, a sheepfold, a shepherd and his sheep. But they do not understand, so Jesus repeats his point more directly.

Jesus uses the image of a gatekeeper for a flock of sheep first AND then also a shepherd who is committed to the wellbeing of his sheep. Jesus is identifying himself as one who is able to keep away predators and one with whom they have a relationship and trust him to lead them safely. The shepherd knows the sheep and provides for them, and the gatekeeper stops the predators from entering into the fold.

We are followers of Jesus, part of his ‘flock’. He, as shepherd, leads us and provides for us; and he, as gatekeeper, protects us. And to all who stick with him, who reject persuasive arguments, distractions and many other things that can lead us away from him, Jesus offers – indeed, promises – his risen life, a life of abundance.

Rev Hannah


I believe in God the Father, maker 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.

The Lord is our shepherd, and we are the sheep of his pasture. Let us bring to him our cares and concerns for the Church and for the world.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations – let your mercy rule all that we do.

Give wisdom to leaders, our governments, our Church and all who minister in word and sacrament that they may be a force for good on earth.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord you are our shepherd, and we thank you for this time that we share in prayer and thanksgiving. In the week ahead we ask you to lead us down the streets of our towns and villages and guide us safely on our journey.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord you are our shepherd, and we pray for the world that was given to us as an inheritance, on the understanding that we would care for it as shepherds care for their flocks. Teach us to look after our beautiful planet and care for it wisely, whilst sharing its gifts more fairly and working together with all its inhabitants to ease its sufferings.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray that we may go into the world working together for change, so that everyone can thrive and share life in its fulness. In all that we do, let us show the love of Jesus and treat all with dignity. Merciful God, you have called us to be a caring Church, bind us together in your service to care for one another in a fellowship of love and to care for the world around us by sharing the good news of Easter, serving those who suffer from poverty, hunger and disease. In the name of Christ our Lord.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Most merciful God, in the midst of disaster we look to you in hope and trust. Accept our compassion for the suffering, bless those who are working for their relief – particularly acknowledging in the coming weeks the support needed for Christian Aid – showing us what we can do to share their task.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind and spirit – especially this week we think of – Rector Peter Reiss, Stanley Schofield, Thomas Causton and Joe Gande. Sue Roberts, Colin Roberts, Stanley Schofield and Stephen Haslam

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ and this week we remember from our Book of Remembrance, Joseph Greenhalgh, Julia Priestley, Mary E. Gradwell and Reginald Entwistle.

Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, we give you thanks and we rejoice in your resurrection. May our songs of praise resound in heaven and earth and bring glory to your name.

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


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.


May Christ the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep, draw us and all who hear his voice, to be one flock within one fold and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us today and for ever more. Amen.

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