ST. MAXENTIUS WORSHIP AT HOME – Trinity 13, Sunday 11th September


Our worship and prayers today are all in the shadow of the death of our monarch of 70 years standing, a moment in our nation’s life when we – collectively – acknowledge the passing of a remarkable life, the end of an era (the Elizabethan Era) and when we all wonder exactly what we should do, and what will happen.

In this service we remember our nation, our new King and his role, our government which is also new this week. In the words of the old Prayer Book we continue to pray that “under [the monarch] we may be godly and quietly governed”. We pray for our communities and neighbourhoods and we know that along with our national mourning, each person and family also have their hopes, joys, needs and challenges. We pray for those we know especially those who struggle in body, mind or spirit. Please use this service to draw closer to God our Maker, our Redeemer, the one whom our Queen knew to be her true King and Lord, and whom she served her whole life.


Loving God, we have come to worship you.

Help us to pray to you in faith, to sing to you in praise with gratitude, and to listen to your word with eagerness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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 all of 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.


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, who called your Church to bear witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may be drawn to you; through him who was lifted up on the cross, and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Isaiah 6: 1-8

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

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


Uzziah was a good king, and under Uzziah the nation had had stability and peace for once; his death was a time not just of mourning but of increased uncertainty. This is the time when Isaiah (not to be confused with Uzziah!) is called by God, and in his call he has a vision. Although there is an empty throne in Judah, although there is uncertainty in the corridors of power, the Lord remains seated on his throne – not because he is not bothered, but because he is not unsettled. God is still in charge, in control, present, and he calls on Isaiah to see if he will go and speak for him.

We may be somewhat dazzled by the pomp and glamour of a big royal event, but – if you like – the glory of God is ten times more. Not just footmen but seraphs, and not just trumpets but voices such that the building shakes.

Isaiah understands that God is present seated, still on the throne; Isaiah is also reminded that God is holy and utterly glorious, scarily so – how could we dare enter his presence? Isaiah discovers God has a job for him to fulfil.

Today and in the coming weeks may we be assured that despite the changes in our country, despite uncertainties God is present and on his throne. In case we get too preoccupied, may we be reminded of the searing holiness of God, and yet his mercy; and may we respond to his call, “Follow me”, “Love the Lord and love your neighbour”; “serve the Lord with gladness”.

Rev Peter


LUKE 15. 1-10

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

Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’

So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

‘Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’

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


There are two key themes which bubble through these two parables; finding and rejoicing. What is interesting is that the rejoicing is done by the one who lost the item, not by the one who was lost. If these parables are helping us understand salvation, you might think it is the one who is saved and rescued that would be rejoicing, but, no, they tell of the joy that there is for the one who finds and how that joy is shared with friends and in heaven.The shepherd, who has spent the night looking for this sheep that has wandered off – and who has had to leave the other sheep maybe with the lad, while he goes off – it is he who has the grin on his face – he is so pleased to have found his lost sheep. The woman who was desperately looking for the lost coin; she calls in the neighbours who may not have even known it was lost – or was there a lot of crashing and banging as she turned the little house upside down?! – and she throws a party. In both parables Jesus invites us to understand how much joy there is in heaven when the lost are found and restored, and that this joy is shared: “Rejoice with me ..”

There is joy in heaven when what was lost is found, when what had gone returns. If we think of God as the judge who condemns and punishes we need to think again. In Eden the man and woman hid from God; here the owner is determined to find what is missing, even if he has 99 others; in fact the one that is missing takes up 99% of his attention. 

These are two short vivid parables – they are insights into the person of God, not the complete account of everything. The shepherd is delighted to find his missing sheep, one out of a hundred; the woman the lost coin, one out of 10. In the next parable, the father has a son who leaves (we call him the Prodigal Son), and the father rejoices to see his son returning and makes him so welcome, despite how the son has treated him, but the story continues with an older son who does not rejoice, who goes outside, leaves the house, and the father goes out too to him, asking the older son to come back. We don’t know if he does or not.

If we have grown up in church all our life, if we have always been part of the sheepfold as it were, we may not readily associate with feeling lost and far from God; if we have struggled in life, felt lost and alone, known we have gone wrong, then we – I hope – have known the feeling of God finding us and picking us up, the “welcome home”, that despite all, God loves us and rejoices to have us (back) in his family. Whichever pattern we are in, I hope we can know the joy that God has in us being his child, sense the joy in heaven – how extraordinary that God is so excited and delighted in us, we who are all flawed and who fall short in so many ways. 

And if we have not yet discovered and sensed this delight, may we discover it and feel the warmth of God’s grace and love for us, that we are so special to our Creator.

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 Holy Spirit, born of 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, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come 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.

Jesus does not avoid the company of sinners but befriends them.

Let us pray to God who longs for all to be rescued

Heavenly Father, thank you for our bishops, priests and deacons, and all who are called to different ministries in the Church. Bless them as they work in your service and uphold them with you power.

Lord in your mercy            Hear our prayer

We pray for our new Prime Minister and cabinet as they take up the mantle of leading the country. Let them be mindful of the needs of the people, who are struggling to cope day to day, both financially and mentally, as they deal with the ever-increasing cost of living. May those who govern be governed by your love and those who lead be led by your directing.

Heavenly Father, we pray for peace and justice. Strengthen and guide world leaders and all those involved in diplomatic efforts as they seek to resolve the situations in war torn countries.

Lord in your mercy            Hear our prayer

Thank you, Lord God, for our families and friends, those we meet each day and those we seldom see. Draw all our loved ones closer to you, and search out those whose faith is fragile.

We pray for the families whose loved ones are leaving home for the first time to start the next stage of their lives at university or college.

Lord in your mercy            Hear our prayer

Heavenly father, help us to support all those who are sad or lonely, lost or afraid of what they have become. Comfort them with your presence and give them courage and hope.

We pray for those who are sick, especially Catherine Browning and Kevin Maguire.

Lord in your mercy            Hear our prayer

Have mercy, Heavenly Father, on those who have recently died; may they enjoy the eternal life of heaven where there is no more pain, sorrow or weariness.  As we reflect on the life of our beloved Queen we pray for her family and all those close to her as they, with us, mourn her passing. We pray for all others who mourn at this time.

You turn our darkness into light, in your light, shall we see light.

We remember those whose anniversaries fall at this time:  Jack Finch, Elizabeth Kay, Eric Smith

Lord in your mercy            Hear our prayer

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your long-suffering patience with us. Be with us as individuals, a community and as a nation in this troubled time.

Gracious God, we give thanks for the life of your servant Queen Elizabeth,

For her faith and her dedication to duty.

Bless our nation as we mourn her death and may her example continue to inspire us;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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 this day 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 God, who gives patience and encouragement, give us a spirit of unity to live in harmony as we follow Jesus Christ, so that with one voice we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more. Amen.

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