St Maxentius Worship at Home – Trinity 15 – 17th September 2023


Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well, it is looking like we are coming into Autumn now and so we will be celebrating our harvest on the 1st of October, donations for Urban Outreach will be the order of the day.

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew’s recollection of the unforgiving servant and Rev Hannah has done the reflection for us and Joyce has done the intercessions, so many thanks to them.

Last weekend was the induction for my ordinand training and the term starts tomorrow, it is all very exciting but also a little nerve wracking so please bear with me as I work out a way to keep the Worship at Home going as well as my studies. Angie Foster from Christ Church Walmsley is also on the same journey so may I ask for your prayer support for us.

God Bless. 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.

Lord God, defend your Church from all false teaching and give to your people knowledge of your truth, that we may enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


ROMANS 14. 1-12

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.

Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

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 18. 21-35

Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

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


“To err is human, to forgive divine”  is a well known quote from Alexander Pope’s poem An Essay on Criticism. We are all human, and we all stray and err from the path that is right. We all hope to be forgiven, but as humans it isn’t always easy for us to do so. We sometimes can’t help but bear a grudge, we feel wounded and betrayed. Jesus tells us today that forgiveness offers divine freedom.

There is another famous quote attributed to a number of different people that goes: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person”. I guess the logic here is that only a madman would do such a thing. It reinforces the point-forgiveness can release us from oppression that we are putting upon ourselves through freeing us from a grudge that we are holding.

We come to this knowledge today after hearing last week about how we should seek to deal with conflict in our communities. This is the next piece of the puzzle. Peter has just heard Jesus sketch a process for holding members of the disciple-community accountable for actions that have brought harm. Commitment to justice-seeking is important, but Peter wonders how far mercy should extend: should I forgive my sibling (fellow community member) as many as seven times? Jesus replies with a summons to radical forgiveness: not seven times but seventy-seven (the phrase may also be translated seventy times seven)—which is to say, stop keeping count! This is a radical summons to forgiveness which Jesus balances with an insistence on accountability and just relations through the parable of the ‘unforgiving servant’.

The focus of the parable is on one servant in particular, evidently a highly placed administrator who has managed to accumulate a financial obligation of staggering size. His debt of 10,000 talents combines the largest monetary unit and the largest numerical value in his world. Although 10,000 might not sound like a lot to us here today, it is enough for us to understand that it is a debt that would never have been repaid, an amount beyond our comprehension. Such a huge debt that is, against all odds, forgiven! Radical forgiveness indeed. However, as we know the servant goes on and encounters one who in turn owes him a debt and doesn’t show the same mercy and forgiveness. Upon hearing of this, the king is consumed with rage and reinstates the original, unpayable, debt to the servant who had been previously forgiven. Whilst we may think that the meaning of this parable is blindingly obvious and apparent, Jesus offers a commentary on the parable to ensure there is no misunderstanding. He reinforces his earlier caution that any who expect forgiveness from God are to be already practitioners of mercy themselves. Each one of us is called to forgive from the heart—soulfully, from the centre of our being.     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 them.

Almighty God, we come with gladness to worship you, bringing ourselves, bringing our loved ones, bringing our all, meet with us now, be with us always…..We pray for our Team of churches and for all the clergy within the team, we pray for our fellow churches in our Mission Community; we pray for a further growing together, and we pray also for the witness of your people everywhere, that through their life and service your love will be made known; your word proclaimed; and your kingdom brought closer.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We bring to you our world of so much pain, especially all those areas of conflict or natural disaster, bringing so much need and sorrow; a world you care for so deeply that you willingly gave your all for it, living and dying among us through your Son, Jesus Christ. Reach out again in mercy and heal our wounds.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We pray for friendship in our homes and families; as we grow together in love and respect, may we also grow in understanding about what it means to share the friendship of Christ by judging no one and touching the lives of one another with love and understanding.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We pray for those in need: the sick and suffering and today our thoughts are especially with Rev Peter Reiss, Thomas Causton, Barbara Priestley, Irene Garbet, Joan Finch, Stephen Haslam, Sue Roberts and Colin Roberts. We pray for the lonely and distressed; help each one to look to you in their troubles, that they may receive the strength and peace which you alone can give.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We pray for those who have died, for the souls of those whose hope was in their Lord, and whose rest is now with him, especially today Stanley Schofield, and from our book of remembrance: David Philip Summerton, and Irene Rose Hart. The Christian hope is our Easter faith, our trust that by Christ’s resurrection, we may follow him into his kingdom.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Lord, give us a vision of the way you can use us, the way we can deepen our fellowship, the way you can speak to us. Help us to dream of what our church can become and help us to work towards that dream’s fulfilment.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Rejoicing in the fellowship of 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.


May God give us and all of those we love his comfort and peace, his light and his joy, in this world and the next and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all now and for ever more. Amen.

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