St Maxentius Worship at Home -Sunday – 8th October 2023


Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well. I am having to make a change to our worship at home as I am now doing ordinand training and my time is now very limited. There will still be a service for you, but it will be the same for a few weeks and each week I will change just the readings, prayers and reflection. Today’s reflection is by Rev Peter and the intercessions are by Arthur Greaves, many thanks to them both.

Jan B.


Almighty God your Son has 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.


The Holy Spirit fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly; love mercy and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with heartfelt repentance and true faith turn to him; have mercy on us and deliver us from our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and bring us to everlasting life, 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.


God, our judge and saviour, teach us to be open to your truth and to trust in your love,

that we may live each day with confidence in the salvation which is given through Jesus Christ our Lord.



If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

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


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

MATTHEW 21.33-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: ‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes”? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’ When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet

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


Last week we had a parable about two sons, one who did as asked and went to work in the vineyard, the other who did not. This week, following on from the passage last week, we have a parable about tenants who want the vineyard for themselves, and who will threaten, and even kill to get it. Like last week, this parable is told against the religious leaders who have opposed Jesus, and who will go on to seek his execution. In its immediate context, Jesus is showing how resolutely antagonistic the religious leaders are, and telling them they are not just wrong, but facing God’s judgment for their behaviour. The image of the vineyard reminds us of Old Testament passages where a vineyard is a metaphor for Israel, for God’s chosen people. God can find new tenants to replace the wicked ones.

But the parable also challenges us. Do we see the world that God has given us as something we have, as it were, on loan, where we are called to be good tenants, good stewards? At Harvest, we are thankful for the produce of the land, thankful that we have enough, even more than enough, but we are also challenged when we know too many do not have enough and when – often – those who grow our food, or who help transport it or produce it, are not earning a living wage.

The parable also challenges us as churches – As churches are we good tenants of what God has given us? Are our churches places where the fruit of the Spirit is found and in abundance? If the owner of the vineyard were to send his son would we welcome him with enthusiasm and thanks? Would he be pleased with how we are? That is quite a sharp set of questions!

We live in a world or part of the world, where so many have decided for whatever reason that this is not God’s world or that God is not just distant, in a far country, but not interested. It is now countercultural to go to church, Younger generations are growing up without any signposts for faith and are taught that this world is all there is (to think about).  it is not easy to speak of our faith, what God means to us and what we believe God calls us to do and be. We are in a minority if we see ourselves as tenants in the vineyard, stewards of God’s world, answerable to God, but also loved by God. But hopefully a minority that has hope and feels thankful because we have a gracious God who has given us so much.

What does it mean to us to believe that we have been given this world, given an understanding of what life is about, that we are connected to our Creator and that there is a promise of eternal life? How good is that, and God is not some demanding absent landlord determined to get the last drop out of us, but a God who will welcome us into his Kingdom as children are welcomed by a parent.

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.


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 them.  

Let us pray trustfully to God who has loved us into being and cherished us all our life.

Guide your Church into ways of spiritual beauty and gracious wisdom. May your word be spoken out with passion and heard with humility and joy. Sustain and feed us so that we may bear fruit in abundance.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Loving God, may justice and righteousness flourish in this neighbourhood, this country,

this world. Bless all those who work to right what is wrong and mediate where there is conflict. Raise up leaders who are happy to serve and protect them from power’s corruption.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Lord help us to be good stewards of creation, to respect the sanctity of life. In times of disasters make us ready to take action for our brothers and sisters in difficult parts of the world.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer,

Loving God, we thank you for the nurturing we have received and pray for our children and young people as they grow. Protect them from evil and strengthen them in faith; may they continue to be yours for ever.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Loving God, give comfort and healing to all who are in any kind of need, sorrow or pain.

May they sense your reassuring presence and know that you are there with them, wherever their journey takes them. Here we especially think of Barbara Priestley, Thomas Causton, Sue Roberts and Colin Roberts.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Merciful God, we remember with thankfulness and gratitude all those who have left their mark on our lives by giving us love and laughter, but who have now gone before us to be with Christ. We hold them in our hearts, knowing that you, Lord, hold them in yours – we think of any who have died recently – and from our book of remembrance – James Charles Thomas, Doris Carr, Margaret (Peggy) Pollitt, Renee Walton and Freda Halliwell.

Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Loving God, we thank you for all the care and attention that you lavish on us; makes us worthy of our calling and continue your ongoing work in us.

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.


 May the Lord bless us and watch over us; the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us; the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more. Amen.

Scroll to Top