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       St Clement Church Community St John the Baptist Festival


Good morning to you as we celebrate our service this Sunday when we commemorate the birth of St John the Baptist whose festival falls on the 24th of June. We’re holding a Eucharist in our church building at 10.15, this Service of the Word is for those who aren’t able to be with us in person, but will be worshipping with us in spirit. 

Sending love and prayers and may Christ’s love sustain you always. 

Rev Di and family xx


Let us pray;

Lord God, when your Son came to the Jordan and was baptised by John he saw the heavens open and the Spirit descending as a dove: may we who are baptised into your Church faithfully proclaim in the world the words of your beloved Son. Amen.



Hymn; On Jordan’s Bank’

Our prayers of Penitence

John the Baptist proclaimed; ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Let us turn to the Lord in penitence and faith and humbly confess our sin:


Lord Jesus, you stand among us, and we do not recognise you.. 

Lord, have mercy.


Lord Jesus, we are not worthy to untie the thong of your sandals..

Christ, have mercy.


Lord Jesus, you are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world..

Lord, have mercy.


May Almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save fallen humanity, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever. Amen.


Let us pray our Collect for this day;

Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour by the preaching of repentance: Lead us to repent according to his preaching and, after his example, constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke vice, and patiently to suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen 



Isaiah 40. 1-11

Galatians 3.23 - 29


Hymn; Through all the Changing Scenes of Life’


Gospel: Luke 1. 57 – 66, 80

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘None of your relatives has this name.’ Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 

Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, ‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.


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



This week the Sunday liturgy of the beginning of ordinary time in the lectionary gives way to a feast: that of the Birth of John the Baptist, who was chosen by God to prepare the way for the coming of his Son Jesus into this world.

The birth of John was a special blessing to his parents, who were already advanced in age, they had in fact, lost hope of ever having a child.  So when the birth took place it was a special occasion of rejoicing among relatives and neighbours. 

The Gospel tells us that when they heard “that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her”.  Especially as in those days, when everyone knew it was shameful for a woman not to give a child, especially a son, to her husband. 

On the eighth day after the birth, they undertook the Jewish ritual of naming him, to indicate that the child belonged to God’s own people.  It was also the day on which the child was officially accepted into the community, and, in accordance with custom, it was expected that the child would be called Zechariah after his father or a member of the patriarchal family.  So when Elizabeth said he should be called John, it came as a surprise, as John wasn’t a family name. 

At that time, Zechariah was unable to speak, because nine months earlier, when he was in the Temple, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him to announce that Elizabeth was going to have a son, and Zechariah was struck dumb because he doubted the divine message. 

Mind you, I expect he was a bit surprised!

As Elizabeth’s pregnancy advanced, Zechariah had plenty of time to reflect upon his lack of trust in Gabriel’s words, the blessing of a baby who would become the person to proclaim the arrival of the Messiah.  So, when the moment came to give his son a name, Zechariah did not hesitate: he confirmed that the baby’s name had to be John.

This act of obedience resulted in his speech coming back and his glorifying God.  The Gospel tells us that the neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about ‘throughout the hill country of Judea.”

The entire event was clearly understood as a direct intervention of God.

The name of John means, in modern language, “grace”. By naming him this, the Lord already saw in him his own Son; John is not the Son of God made man, but it is he who announces him, it is he who is his living sign.

In words similar to those used of Jesus, we’re told that the boy ‘grew and became strong in spirit.’  He eventually went to live in the Desert of Judea, and it was there, along the banks of the River Jordan that he began his public preaching.

 He would have been about 30 years of age, the same age as his cousin, Jesus, and called to prepare the way of God’s son’s public ministry, preaching repentance, baptizing in the Jordan, and announcing the Good News. 

John was the last, and in some ways the greatest of the Hebrew Testament prophets. It was he, who in John’s gospel, points out Jesus to his disciples as the; ‘Lamb of God’.  And as those of us in Church on Sunday will hear in our Eucharist Preface, he was also privileged to baptize Christ, ‘the author of Baptism, in waters made holy by the one who was baptized.’ 

To the people of Jerusalem he was presented as a man of total honesty and integrity. Perhaps it was this which attracted so many to come and hear him. Finally, because of this, he ultimately lost his life when he denounced King Herod who had married his brother’s wife, our Eucharist Preface ends with; ‘he gave his last and greatest witness to your Son.’

John the Baptist had an unusual vocation, and his life has a special meaning for all of us. We are, through our baptism, also called to be forerunners of the Lord. Our baptism imposes on us an obligation to share our faith and to give witness to the Way of Jesus, both in word and action, because there’s no other way our non-church community can come to know and experience the love of Christ. 

In that sense, we are all called to be ‘preachers’. Our lives individually and collectively are meant to send out a message and an invitation: ‘Come and join us and share our experience of faith, love and fellowship.’

So as we commemorate the festival of St John the Baptist, let us reflect his vocation by the way we live our lives, thankfully we don’t have to eat locusts and wild honey,

but we can clear a path which will draw people closer to knowing and experiencing Christ. We may not be prophets, but we are still called to testify to the Light. We are called to testify to what Jesus did for us, and we are called to testify to what Jesus has done for the world by proclaiming His message of salvation. Our world now depends on us to give voice to God’s message, and may we proclaim it with the same boldness and conviction as John the Baptist. Amen.


Hymn; Be thou my Vision’


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. Amen.


Our Intercessions this week are written by Helen Dunbar

Let us pray to our loving Creator. Almighty God, we ask you to hear our prayers for the Church, the world and people in particular need.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer


We pray for all churches across the world; we ask your blessing on Archbishop Justin and Bishop Hugh. Here at St Clement, we pray for our own dear Rev’d Diane, as she works to enrich the ministry in this community.  We thank God we can be here at St Clement and worship with our Christian family. Let us remember the many Christians in other parts of the world, whose lives are very different to ours, living in fear and unable to openly worship and go about their daily lives.

We pray for all who are persecuted for their beliefs.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer


We pray for the homeless and hungry and all who have no place to rest.  May they find kindness and generosity wherever they may go.

Lord, be merciful to all who find doors shut against them and give blessings to all who reach out to those in need.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

Guide the leaders of all nations that justice and peace may prevail throughout the world. We pray for the healing among nations; for food where there is hunger; for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain; that your love may bring peace to all. We pray that the leaders will work together to meet the challenges facing our world.

We pray for all students whether at school or university who face end of year and national exams this term; Dear Lord help all of them to focus on their revision and get their reward; give them quiet hearts and quick minds when it really matters.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer


Show us, O God, how to love not only the animals, birds, and all green and growing things, but the soil, air and water by which we live, so that we may not exploit or pollute them for our own profit or convenience.

Help us to cherish these necessities for our survival, and guide those in authority to ensure that the human spirit may not be starved in pursuit of material comfort and wealth.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer


Bless and guide King Charles and Queen Camilla; may they have help and guidance from you as they go about their duties.

Lord in your mercy; hear our pray


Dear Lord, have compassion on all who are wearied by pain and illness. Bring wholeness and healing to all who reach out to you. We pray for Ken and Revd. Diane, May, Susan Lauren, Lynda, Barrie and Sandra, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Michael and Patricia, Alison, Pam and David, Maureen, Stella, Alison and Rob, William, Callum and Elaine, Jay, Ann, Andy, Lola, and Roger, all those known to us and those who have no one to pray for them.

We pray for all whose anniversary falls at this time – for Lillian Stribley and Skye Hart-Vella. Loving God, we pray for those saddened by the death of someone close and dear to them, either recently or at this time of year. We remember Leslie who passed away this week and our thoughts and prayers go to her husband Keith and all their family.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Clement and St Andrew,

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


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 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. 



Hymn; Stand up, Stand up for Jesus



Through the tender compassion of our God, may the dawn from on high break upon us and guide our feet into the way of peace.  And may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always.






















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