ST. MAXENTIUS WORSHIP AT HOME – Sunday 24th April- Easter 2


Good morning everyone and I hope you had a happy Easter; for me it was a wonderful church service with the biggest congregation we have had since Covid began, it was so lovely to see everyone, the sun was shining and in the afternoon I was blessed by all my family and extended family coming round to share it with us, with lots of food of course. A perfect day showing hope and happiness after a tough time for all.

I hope that you feel that Easter is a fresh start and a time of hope, we will continue to hear what it was like for the disciples and followers of Jesus, as for them, it was a time of change and uncertainty, Thomas is certainly the one we remember in his inability to believe what has happened, as we will hear in the Gospel reading today.

The intercessions are by Joyce Armstrong and the reflection by Rev Hannah, many thanks to them.

Jan B

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. He has raised Jesus from the dead.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed Alleluia.


Almighty God, your Son opened for us a new and living way into your presence. Give us new hearts and constant wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Christ our passover lamb has been sacrificed for us. Let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.

Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight. We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love. Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin. Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation, through 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


Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


ACTS 5. 27-32

When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’

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 20, 19-31.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

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


There is some interesting translation debate amongst bible scholars as to whether what we read today as ‘believe’ would in fact be better translated as ‘trust’. The usual prologues into John’s gospel suggest that the purpose of John’s gospel is that hearers will either come to ‘believe’ or continue to ‘believe’ that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Thus it follows that the passage we have today is about whether or not Thomas ‘believes’.

If, however, we embrace ‘trust’ rather than ‘believe’ there is suddenly a slightly more nuanced version of what we hear today. Jesus’ words to Thomas become: “Do not be distrusting but trusting” and “Are you trusting because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to trust.”

How does the concept of trust illuminate the Gospel differently? We live in a world where it is sometimes difficult to trust, yet there are also some who are relying on the trust economy to keep themselves going, even to thrive. Behind where I live there is a farm that has a shed at the end of its lane selling eggs with a box for people to deposit their payment into. Some people are able to open their homes in an AirBnB style, this requires trust. Some of us may even be considering how we might help Ukrainian refugees we find in our area, offering our support, relying on trust.

Within this economy of trust, there is also an element of risk. Jesus’s disciples in the wake of his crucifixion were at great risk. Jesus doesn’t promise that their ministry will be risk free, but he still asks them to trust. Cooperation with him requires trust, what he is asking of them brings risk. One can’t exist without the other but we should be prompted to ask ourselves today: If we neglect to grow our trust in Jesus by avoiding risk, how can we possibly cooperate with Jesus’ post-resurrection ministry?

Jesus does what he can to establish a trust relationship with Thomas, he offers his scars and Thomas sees and trusts. This is the start, and the trust relationship is nurtured from hereon in. What Jesus demonstrates here is the evolution of trust through relationship with Thomas. Trust is not a one-time, absolute assent, but a relational virtue that can be nurtured and grown. Let us use Thomas’ example of trust today to show how we might enjoy this relationship growth based on trust too.          Rev Hannah


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.


During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme.

In the knowledge that God is here with us, let us pray.

We remember how the women came to the tomb, intending to anoint your body only to find the tomb empty, your body gone.

We remember how the disciples refused to believe, dismissing the women’s tale as nonsense, only suddenly you were there standing among them.

We remember how Mary stood weeping in the garden, confused and shaken, mistaking you for a gardener, and then you spoke and tears gave way to laughter.

We remember how two weary travellers were walking on the Emmaus road, disappointed and disillusioned, their hopes in tatters, their dreams crushed, and then you were with them, Christ crucified but risen.

We remember how Thomas doubted, could not accept the resurrection until he’d seen you for himself, until he’d touched your wounds and seen you face to face. And then you were there and after doubt there was faith.


We pray for our Church and ask your blessing on all who teach the good news in today’s uncertain world, we ask for your continued guidance and support for all our bishops, priests and deacons.

Lord, hear us                              Lord, graciously hear us

We pray for all the many areas of our world which are torn apart by hatred and violence, famine, disease or religious differences; we pray for an end to conflict and a deeper commitment to peace.

Lord, hear us                              Lord, graciously hear us

We pray for all our families and friends, those near to us and those we seldom see; we ask you to dwell in our homes both through times of joy, heartache and sadness teaching us to show one another the love and understanding you show to us.

Lord, hear us                              Lord, graciously hear us

We pray for all who are suffering as we gather here this morning, remembering especially Anne Hoyle. Gather them up in your love and give them your healing, your strength and courage, your hope and wholeness.

Lord, hear us                              Lord, graciously hear us

We pray for all who have died; thinking especially from our Book of Remembrance of:

Arthur Bernard Loynd, Joyce Dickenson, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ormerod, Annie Entwistle and Ernest Arthur Kilner.

Welcome them into your presence, give comfort and strength to those who love them and miss their company, and give us all a greater understanding of the new life you offer.

Lord, hear us                              Lord, graciously hear us

We remember today how, though all questioned, all struggled to accept the glorious truth, still you came, restoring hope to hearts dulled by despair, joy to lives bowed down in sorrow. Good news then – still good news today.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of St. Maxentius and all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole of your creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your 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 for ever. Amen.


God the Father, by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead, strengthen us to walk  with him in his risen life; and the blessing of God almighty , the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all now and forever more. Amen.

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