Printable services for those unable to attend St C





        St Clement Church Community 20th Sunday after Trinity Service


Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service, whether in your own home or our church building.  This Sunday 22nd October we shall be holding our Eucharist service in church using our usual service booklets.  If you’re unable to be there I hope you join us with this Service of the Word.  May Christ’s love sustain you always. 

With much love and prayers, Rev Di and family xx


Let us pray;

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.  Amen.


Hymn: Through all the changing scenes of life’

Our prayers of Penitence

As we join in worship today, let us seek the renewal of our lives in the light of God’s love for us, revealed by Jesus Christ:


Jesus, Saviour of all, who revealed the breadth of God’s love, forgive us when we fail to show care to those who are different….

Lord, have mercy.


Jesus, Son of God, who revealed the depth of God’s love, forgive us when we are too busy to pray, or to seek God’s will….

Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, Son of Man, who revealed the cost of God’s love, forgive us when we have made light of our failings….

Lord, have mercy.


May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our failings, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Let us pray our Collect for the 20th Sunday after Trinity

God, our light and our salvation: illuminate our lives that we may see your goodness in the land of the living, and looking on your beauty may be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 




Isaiah 45. 1-7

1 Thessalonians 1.1 - 10


Hymn; Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken’

Our Gospel Reading is taken from Matthew  (22.15-22)

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.


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



A story to lighten our thoughts; a little boy wanted £100 to buy a new bike, and his mother told him to pray to God for it. He prayed and prayed for two weeks, but nothing turned up. Then he decided perhaps he should write God a letter requesting the £100.00.
When the Royal Mail received the letter addressed to God, they opened it up and decided, as it was a request for money, to send it to the Prime Minister.  He and his Government were so impressed and amused that they instructed the Chancellor of the Exchequer to send the little boy a cheque for £5.00. They thought that this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy. The boy was delighted with the £5.00 and sat down to write a thank-you letter to God, which read;  Dear God; thank you very much for the money. I noticed that you had to send it through the Government. As usual, they deducted £95.00 tax for themselves.
Well, nobody likes to pay taxes, but we can read in the Bible there must be obedience to those in authority for the greater good of all, and that includes our government, HM Revenue and Taxes, and honouring and respecting the governing authorities as agents of God.  But more on that later!

Jesus says things in many different contexts: for instance he gives sermons, tells stories or parables - and he answers questions. ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s’ is an answer to a question – and needs to be understood in that context.
It’s a difficult saying for various reasons and seems to have more than one meaning – a bit like a parable. You rather wish Jesus had gone on to explain precisely what he meant: particularly because the saying seems to deal with the issue of the relationship between religious and political beliefs: which of course is still a huge question nowadays.
The question that the Pharisees had asked was: ‘is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?’ Taxes were a big political issue in those days – as of course they still are today – and the particular tax that is probably being discussed here is the ‘Census’ tax introduced in AD 6 or 7 when Judea came under direct Roman control.

The Census tax was hugely resented by the Jews – and resentment over taxes contributed to the revolt in AD 70 which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.

Of course if you were a Roman you’d argue that taxes were a good thing – necessary if you were going to build roads, aqueducts, etc. – and to bring the benefits of ‘empire’ to small, unruly countries like Judea.
But the Pharisees’ question is a deliberate tricky one. If Jesus says yes it is right to pay taxes, then this puts him on the side of the Romans, and if he says no it’s not, then this puts him on the side of the Jews who were opposed to Roman rule.

It’s a no-win situation, Jesus puts himself at risk of alienating – even enraging – his Jewish listeners if he says yes, and he’s in danger of arrest by the Romans if he says no. And we know with the benefit of hindsight that answering such questions and telling the truth as he sees it will eventually lead to Jesus being arrested and killed.
So does Jesus answer the Pharisees’ question? Well yes, I think he does even if at first it sounds a bit evasive.  Matthew records that those who heard his answer went away in amazement, and I don’t think this is merely because he has, for the moment, outwitted the Pharisees with a clever response.

The Pharisees frequently try to trick Jesus with questions – but note that this time it’s a political rather than a religious question. It’s really asking: which side are you on in this political debate about taxes.

One answer Jesus could have given is ‘I don’t know: I’m not interested in politics: I’m a religious leader not a politician’. But he doesn’t do that. Jesus responds to the question by talking about God in his answer, he brings God into politics if you like.
Of course the idea that God is concerned with political questions is controversial, and I’m not saying that God is on the side of one party in political debates more than another, but I am saying that, following the example of Jesus, what God wants and requires from political structures and policies needs to be taken into account.
The answer to the Pharisee’s question illustrates this point. Some Bible translations use the word ‘render’ instead of ‘give’, and ‘render’ from the Greek translation actually means ‘give-back’. Jesus, through the visual aid of the Denarius borrowed from the Pharisees is in effect saying that since the emperor’s head appears on the coin then give back to him what is his, or even give back to him what he deserves.

So Jesus acknowledges that we have political obligations – particularly through paying taxes, but surely also through engaging with the political process in other ways.  This nowadays means voting, but also by taking a part in local and national political decision-making in other ways: lobbying our MPs about injustices in our society for example.

To what extent each of us should get involved in politics must be a matter for individual prayer, just as any other decision about how we lead our lives must be. 

But the more Christians are involved in the governing structure of our country, then surely the more righteous that government will become.

The answer to the Pharisees’ question illustrates relationship to the political world, it means that our decisions about our political obligations can’t be made in isolation from our religious ones.

Of course, the question we are debating never was a genuine seeking of advice, or a way of opening up a discussion on the subject, it was said purely for entrapment.  But if the Pharisees had really wanted an answer, what would they have made of Jesus’ reply?

And what are we to make of it?  Especially perhaps in this day and age, with prices and taxes rising and the opinion of some that this country looks like it’s going to hell on a hand cart because of our government?

I think we’re wrong if we believe that the church and politics shouldn’t mix.  Our presence in the political world can surely be for the greater good.

In his book ‘The Message of Matthew’, Michael Green says this; ‘The coin bears Caesar’s image, give it back to him.  You bear God’s image, so give yourself back to God.’ Bearing that in mind, I think that in answering the question the way Jesus did, he is asking us to remember who we are, people of God, whose image we bear and whose presence is with us.  Calling us to see things as God would want us to, to live in this world valuing love, justice and mercy, rather than power, wealth and social status.

The message of Jesus is that the kingdom of God is among us now, within this world with all its complicated forms of government, authority and administration of justice. And it’s from within this world that Jesus calls us to give to God what belongs to God, he who is constantly working to make his voice heard. 

The still small voice that might be hard to hear in the clamour of everyday life, but it’s there, and your presence here today or reading our service, demonstrates that you hear it.

The voice of God, that cuts through the commercial atmosphere of competition and exploitation, speaking of fairness and encouragement.

The voice of God, that cuts through cries of vengeance and war, and speaks of understanding and peace.

The voice of God, that cuts through the strident tones of ambition and ruthlessness, and speaks of humility and gentleness.

God calls our voices to join his, to speak the language of his kingdom in this world; and it’s a call to put the vision of God’s kingdom above our own ambitions, resentments and jealousies.

Yes, we may have to pay our taxes, and our MMF…… but we can still answer the call for us to truly be people of God and all that that entails.  We are told we bear God’s image and safe in that knowledge, may we give ourselves to him, enable his voice, and reflect his image to help heal this broken world. Amen.


Hymn; City of God, how Broad and Far’

 Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist. 

We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again. 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.

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



Our Intercessions this week are written by Liz Davies

Faithful God, as we quietly bow our heads and focus our thoughts, we acknowledge that sometimes our faith feels weak. The trials of life test our faith and we find it hard to give thanks and follow your way. Help our faith to grow and help us to know that it is the most important thing in our lives. Show us how to rise above our human weaknesses and to grow stronger in our Christian Faith.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Mighty God, help us to see that things which seem completely impossible become possible if they are approached with faith. Help us to see that if we face a thing saying, ‘It can’t be done,’ it will not. But, if we face it saying, ‘It must be done,’ the chances are that it will; always remembering that we approach no task alone, but that you and all your power are with us.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Creator God, we pray for your world. Forgive us when we are ungrateful, when lack of faith and spiritual blindness prevent us from appreciating the wonder of your creation and the endless cycle of nature.

Forgive us for taking without giving; reaping without sowing. We pray for the farmers of the world many of whom still use methods described by Jesus and we especially pray that they may be treated with fairness for their labours.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Righteous God, as we worship you here, in the safety of our little church, our thoughts go to the suffering of those in Israel and in Gaza who just want to live, in peace.  We also think of those in Ukraine suffering in the continuing war with Russia, and all innocent people caught up in situations where individual’s and group’s need and demand for power disregards the well-being and safety of so many. While we know and can see how destructive a demand for power can be, we pray that somehow reason and an appreciation of the safety of life of all may finally bring peace throughout our world.                                                                                                                                               

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Father God, we pray for our loved ones; for those who lift our hearts and those who turn our hair grey. We pray for those we instinctively warm to and those with whom there are frequent misunderstandings. We thank you God for our opportunities of forgiveness.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Living God, we pray for the hungry, the homeless and the broken; for all for whom this day brings sadness and little joy; for the sick, the lonely and the helpless; for those whose hope has been shattered and their faith destroyed. We especially bring to you: Ken and Reverend Diane, May, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Maureen, Pam and David, Brian,

Rupert and Linda, Diana, Jan and family, Michael and Patricia, Rob and Alison, Stella, Alison, Callum, Jay, and Andy.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


Everlasting God, we pray for those whose earthly journey is coming to an end. May they, through our prayers, know that they are accompanied with love and are never alone. We pray for those who have died, that they may come to know the full joy of your eternal kingdom.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us


May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.                                                            May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people so that we may work for justice for all people.                                                             May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, hunger, homelessness, and rejection, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.                                                                                               May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, 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.  Amen.


Hymn; ‘To God be the Glory!’


The Peace

We are the body of Christ.  In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.  Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and build up our common life.  May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.




May God the Holy Trinity make us strong in faith and love, defend us on every side and guide us in truth and peace.  And may the presence of God watch over us, the power of God protect us, those whom we love, and may we never forget that wherever we are, God is with us always.
























Page last updated: 17th October 2023 3:51 PM