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               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service



Good morning to you all and welcome to this morning’s service.

Now into November, with frequent heavy rain showers and low temperatures

it is definitely time to ‘batten down the hatches!’

With love



Let us pray


Loving God, we praise your name with all you have created. You are present in the whole universe, and in the

smallest of creatures. We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us as stewards of your creation.

May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP26 as they seek to embrace the changes needed to foster

a more sustainable society. Instil in them the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions for the poorest

 and most vulnerable, and commit their nations to the care of Our Common Home.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.




Hymn: 495 God is working his purpose out


Our prayer of Penitence


God our Father,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins.

For turning away from you,

and ignoring your will for our lives;


Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.


For behaving just as we wish,

without thinking of you;


Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.


For failing you by what we do,

and think and say;


Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.


For letting ourselves be drawn away from you

by temptations in the world about us;


Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.


For living as if we were ashamed

to belong to your Son;


Father, forgive us:

Save us and help us.




Do NOT let pride

outweigh your love

that is too many words

for the heart to carry.       K. Rad


Let us pray our Collect for the 3rd Sunday before Advent


Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the king of all: govern the hearts and minds of those in authority, and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin, to be subject to his just and gentle rule: who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.






1 Kings 17. 8 - 16

Hebrews 9. 24 - 28


Hymn: 148 The God of Abraham praise


Gospel of Mark 12. 38 - 44


(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.                 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)



Jesus was teaching in the temple, and a large crowd was listening to him.

He said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the

marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets!                                                                                                                                  They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers.                                                                                                                                                     They will receive the greater condemnation.’


He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury.                                      

Many rich people put in large sums.                     

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.

Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those

who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her

poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’


(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)




Two brief stories in our Mark reading today, deal with issues that are still challenging today.

First are those who think that they are more important than everyone else. In Mark’s estimation scribes

are self-important, arrogant and full of self-aggrandisement.


Scribes act as both lawyers and theologians, assisting people with financial as well as spiritual affairs. In some

cases, they actually manage people’s money for them. While scribes are not permitted to charge for their services,

 nothing stops them from soliciting contributions for their personal support. Their long prayers give them a

reputation for piety, which makes it easy for them to take unscrupulous advantage of unsophisticated people.

Jesus points to them as men entrusted with religious leadership but many focus on what they can get rather than

what they can give. Their long robes, expensive and impractical for manual labour, identify them as professionals.

The scribes relish the public honours that accompany their positions. In the market place, people rise respectfully

 when they approach. In the synagogue, scribes sit in seats of honour on the dais facing the congregation – seeing,

 but more importantly being seen.

These are temptations for every age. Who doesn’t like red carpet treatment? Who doesn’t enjoy wearing finely -

tailored clothes? Who doesn’t enjoy being addressed by an honorific title? All these can be innocent or corrosive,

depending on how they affect our relationships.

Now, not all scribes are guilty of abusing their position. People who hold honoured positions often serve

honourably, but dishonourable people also seek out such positions.


When it comes to today – how do you judge someone’s intentions? What is certainly clear is, that in the Kingdom

of God, what is valued and important is different from that of the human kingdom.

Certainly, in the second short story, the offering of the rich people is rendered unimportant or insignificant.

A poor widow, who gives everything she has, Jesus holds up as an example.

Now, does this mean everyone should give everything they have? I don’t think so, if we link this story to one

earlier in the chapter – a question of paying taxes. Here, the Pharisees point out that Caesar’s head is on the coin,

so, Jesus says ‘render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.’

The widow has decided that her money, what little of it she has, belongs to God.


What about us? Time is money. What if, for us today, it is our time that equates to the widow? Helping those

in need, doing something constructive with all our resources, not just our money, might be a better way to

embody this text rather than simply filling out a direct – deposit slip.


The contrast between the self-serving scribes and the widow couldn’t be any greater. She doesn’t give out

of her abundance, what’s left over, she gives from the very depths of her being.

Her giving is sacrificial – selfless.


This section of Mark is about the kind of faith that we’re supposed to have, and the kind of faith that we don’t.

The faith of Jesus Christ isn’t a self-absorbed faith. It’s a faith that digs deep, a faith which is sacrificial, a

faith which bears the cross.

In short – the faith of Jesus Christ isn’t about us. It’s not about me. It’s not about you.

It’s about what we give to God and about the amazing riches that God gives in return.

It’s about a God who isn’t self-absorbed, a Christ that isn’t self-absorbed and faithful Christians

that aren’t self – absorbed.

Whether we are ‘professionally’ religious or not, we are to be the window – loving, living and giving sacrificially.




Scarlet’s poem


Love requires no answers and no reciprocation.

Love is not balanced on a scale.

Love is not always an equal exchange.

Love is selfless giving,

and if you can’t handle a hollow echoing silence,

a zero return on investment,

then perhaps, the true essence of what it means to love,

has yet to be learned.


Affirmation of our faith


Let us declare our faith in God.


We believe in God the Father,

from whom every family

in heaven and on earth is named.


We believe in God the Son,

who lives in our hearts through faith,

and fills us with his love.


We believe in God the Holy Spirit,

who strengthens us

with power from on high.


We believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



Hymn:  418 O happy band of pilgrims




Everlasting God, open our eyes that we may see you. Open our ears that we may hear you. Open our mouths that we may speak your praise.


Holy God, we pray for your Church throughout the world, for sceptics and believers; for all those who seek God at home, at work, in the streets and in the pews, for all who search for life.

We pray for the stillness to listen to the voice of the Spirit, to recognise what you have already done for us and to give you our endless thanks.


Lord hear us;

Lord graciously hear us


Creator God you gave to us the care of our planet and yet all we seem to do is spoil it. We pollute the atmosphere in our striving for worldly goods, we endanger the lives of your animal kingdom in our constant desire for farmland and cash crops and we bring death and destruction in senseless wars and terrorism. We pray for a time when common sense rules and we learn once again to be good stewards of your wonderful creation.


Lord hear us,

Lord graciously hear us.


Father God in this troubled world with so much uncertainty, we need more than ever the humility to accept how inadequate we are without your guidance, and we pray to you for wisdom, faith and hope. We pray for those who lead us, clergy – especially our own Reverend Diane, politicians and educators: for the army and police who guard and protect us. Please grant them good judgement and integrity as they face the many problems of modern life, not least the ongoing pandemic.


Lord hear us,

Lord graciously hear us


Loving Father, we bring before you the sick and the suffering and ask that especially in these difficult times, we may honour you and encourage others by our prayers for those who are suffering today.

We especially remember Father David and Pamela, Ken and Diane, Daphne and Dave, Trevor, Ollie, Margaret, Brian and those known to each one of us and those who have no one to pray for them.


Lord hear us,

Lord graciously hear us


Gracious God, you give light to those in darkness who walk in the shadow of death; so remember in your kingdom your faithful servants, that death may be for them the gate to life and to unending fellowship with you.


Lord, hear us

Lord, graciously hear us


Faithful God, you have promised to be with us and long ago sent your Spirit to live amongst us to guide us to a future of goodness and hope. As we travel into the week ahead seeking your truth and justice, help us to feel your presence and see your answers to the prayers we have made to you this morning.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Clement and St Andrew and all the Saints.


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


Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us.


Our Father, who art in heaven,                                                                                                                                          hallowed be thy name;

 thy kingdom come;

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.  

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.



The story is told of two women in Shanghai who were discussing the topic of pride and began to wonder if Hudson Taylor (1832 -1906 - he was a British pioneering missionary to China who founded the China Inland Mission. (CIM) He was known for his sensitivity to Chinese culture, and his zeal for evangelism) was ever tempted to be prideful because of his many accomplishments. One of the women decided to ask Taylor’s wife, Maria, about it.

Maria promised the women she would find out.

When Mrs Taylor asked her husband if he was ever tempted to be proud, he was surprised.

‘Proud about what?’ he asked.

‘About all the things you’ve done,’ his wife explained.

Taylor responded, ‘I never knew I had done anything.’


The Peace


Peace to you from God who is our Father.

Peace from Jesus Christ who is our peace.

Peace from the Holy Spirit who gives us life.

The peace of the Triune God be with us always.





Hymn:  431 O thou who camest from above





Now may the Lord of peace himself give us peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with us all.                                                                                                                                                                                                






























Page last updated: 5th November 2021 8:18 AM