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St Clement Church Community Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday Service



Good morning and welcome to our service.


It is autumn – well it is October – but the temperatures and weather seem out of quilter for the time of year. I gather it is likely to be well into the 20 degrees later this week … in October?

It is strange isn’t it, just how geared up we are to ‘things as they usually are’ – ‘things as they should be.’

Since the end of 2019 – the beginning of Covid – so many things have been different, not as they used to be. So, perhaps we just need to accept things as they are, good or bad, and make the best of every day, no matter what.

With love to you all



Let us pray:


Heavenly Father, we come before you today in humility and faith.                       We thank you for all you have given us and the many blessings in our lives.

We ask for your guidance and strength.                                                                         Show us the way and fill us with courage and wisdom.                                                       Help us to remember your love and grace and to be faithful in our service to you.

Give us the patience and understanding to face life’s challenges with grace.

We ask these things in your name.




We say together:


Dear God, thank you for your amazing power and work in our lives. Thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over us.                                  Thank you, that you are able to bring hope through even the toughest times, strengthening us for your purposes.

Thank you for your great love and care.

Thank you for your mercy and grace.

Thank you that you are always with us and will never leave us.

Thank you for your incredible sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life.

Forgive us when we don’t thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you’ve given.

Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh.

Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy.

We love you and we need you, this day, and every day.

We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy.

In Jesus’ name. Amen


Hymn: 52 O worship the Lord


Prayer of Penitence


Christ, the light of the world has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In His light, let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.


Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love,

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed,

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ,

who died for us,

forgive us all that is past;

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light.



Let us pray our Collect for the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity


Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us your gift of faith that, forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to that which is before, we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of  everlasting joy; 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 5. 1 - 7

Philippians 3. 4b - 14


Hymn: 383 Jesu, lover of my soul


Gospel: Matthew 21. 33 - 46

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: ‘Listen to another parable.

There was another landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence round it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch tower.

Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.

When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce.

But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.

Again, he sent other slaves, more than first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.”

But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.”

So, they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’

They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’


Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes?”


Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.

The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard the parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.

They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.


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




Do you like stories? I do. Some are simple, they are what they are, but others are so much more. It really does depend on what you hear or how you read them.


Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. All the neighbours came around that evening and said, “That’s too bad.” The farmer said, “Maybe.”

The next day the horse came back and brought seven wild horses with it. All the neighbours came around and said, “That’s great, isn’t it?” The farmer said, “Maybe.”

The next day his son, who was attempting to tame one of the horses, and was riding it, was thrown and broke his leg. All the neighbours came round in the evening and said, “Well, that’s too bad, isn’t it?” The farmer said, “Maybe.”

The next day, the conscription officers came round looking for people for the army. They rejected the son because he had a broken leg. All the neighbours came around that evening and said, “Well, isn’t that wonderful?” The farmer said, “Maybe.”


The moral of the story? We should be very careful labelling the things that happen to us as good or bad. The causal chain of the universe is complex and infinite. Real-life stories continue even after a happy ending.


A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a street light and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he has lost his keys and they both look under the street light together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he had lost them in he park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “This is where the light is.”


The moral: Truth and wisdom are found where you least want to look.


A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said, “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable.” So, they sought it out, and when they found it, they groped about it.

The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, “This being is like a thick snake.” For another whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, he said that the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said that the elephant, “is a wall.” Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.


The moral of the story: Each of our perspectives can be true yet incomplete. More things can be true at the same time.


The Bible is made up of stories, used to teach and explain the teachings of God. The Israelites needed stories to illustrate points of teaching.


In the Gospels, Jesus uses stories, parables, to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.


When people in authority challenge Jesus, He often responds with a parable.

If those challenging Him don’t get the first parable, He gives them a second one.

Today’s Gospel reading is just such a second parable. It is addressed to the challenge the chief priests and elders are posing about the source of Jesus’ authority.

The parable begins with a situation that was ‘business as usual’ in Roman-occupied Palestine. A landowner establishes a vineyard complete with a fence, a winepress, and even a watchtower. He then becomes an absentee landowner, returning to his own country, as often happens in the far-flung territories of the Roman Empire. Tenants are put in charge of overseeing the productivity of the vineyard and paying rent to the landowner at harvest time, in the form of a share of the produce.

When the owner’s slaves arrive to collect his share of the produce, the tenants attack them, beating one and killing another. The owner of the vineyard then simply sends another delegation of slaves to collect the rent. Is this sensible?

These slaves are treated even worse than the first. So surely, the owner sends in troops or some form of armed enforcement to ensure he collects what is his by right. No, instead, he sends his son, thinking that the ‘thugs’ who abused his slaves will respect his son and heir.

Really? Equally illogically, the tenants reason that if they kill the son, they will get his inheritance.

Are you still following, because the punch line is almost here?

Jesus asks His audience (the chief priests and elders) what the owner of the vineyard will do to the tenants when he arrives.

Well, the answer is obvious, isn’t it? “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at harvest time.”

Whether the answer is given in a gloating voice or in fear and trembling, rather depends on where those listening see themselves – us – in the story and that is the problem.

The chief priests and elders probably see themselves as the landowner, the one who is treated so unjustly by those employed by him. They see themselves owning land and having others to manage it for them while they busy themselves with their administrative tasks in Jerusalem. They see the tenants as their subordinates and themselves as the real victims of the unscrupulous tenants, and they are ready and even eager to pronounce judgement on them.

But we, who are Christians, tend to read the parable seeing God as the landowner and the temple leaders as the thoroughly evil tenants who are defrauding God of the rightful fruits of God’s covenant with Israel. In this allegory, the groups of servants are the prophets, and Jesus is the son.

We are the ‘other tenants’ to whom the ‘vineyard’ is given after it is taken from those who have not managed it well.


It’s a very simple parable, isn’t it? Or is it?

                                                                                                                                    Parables are not necessarily intended to be simple, or obvious, they’re supposed to make one think, seriously think about what exactly one is hearing and what one should understand by it.

Much of Jewish life revolves around strict rules and regulations created by the Jewish hierarchy, but Jesus regularly challenges these and He does so in the parables.

 This parable doesn’t use the story to set out the surprising nature and qualities of God’s reign, its focus is on the futility of debates and arguments on the institutions of the age. This parable pulls us toward that unknown future in which we will be blessed and judged, and about which we know only that it is anchored in Jesus Christ.


So, the next time you hear a story – is it a simple story, or is there much more to it?





Affirmation of our faith


Let us declare our faith in God.


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 to 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.



Hymn: 374 How sweet the name of Jesus sounds


Our Intercessions by Daphne Hawkins


In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.


Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son, Jesus Christ, to hear us when we pray in faith.                                                                 We come before you on this early Autumn morning to share our prayer and praise with those who join us in mind and spirit.

We pray for the Church world-wide wherever you see our congregation numbers diminishing, the struggle to keep our churches functioning, and the Christian faith alive in our communities.

Dear Lord, be with our archbishop, our bishops, and all church leaders. Give them strength and vision to spread the good news of  Jesus Christ to so many souls that may have lost their way in this modern society and the shallow distractions that prevail around us.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Almighty Father, we pray you will be with Reverend Diane and Ken as they take a few days rest from the busy life that Reverend Diane leads serving her church, her vast community and those who need her care at Culdrose. We are blessed to have Father David and Liz to be with us to guide and care for us while she is away. Be with them and may they find strength and fulfilment among us here at St Clement.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Bless and guide King Charles and Queen Camilla as they fulfil so many royal duties together with the royal family. Give them strength to carry out their roles as they serve and endless list of commitments.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Dear Lord, we bring to you a world of troubles and strife. We ask that you will hear our plea for all who are suffering.

We are suffering the abuse of our blind disregard for our planet – the heat waves, fires, and flooding. May those victims find aid from around the rest of the richer countries easing the desperate situations.                                   There are also the many victims of war, hatred, and terrorism. People fleeing from their homes, hunger, cruelty, abuse, homelessness, and violence, rendering them without hope for their future for them or their children. The little ones living in fear and poverty.

We pray for each and everyone who exists in these conditions. We can only hope and pray that governments and world leaders strive for the peace and unity that will end the damage to our people and our world.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Dear Lord we pray for those who suffer in body, mind or spirit at this time; those alone, frightened, without a friend or someone who cares. There are those close to us:

Reverend Diane and Ken, May, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Maureen, Pam and David, Brian, Rupert and Linda, Diana, Michael and Patricia, Rob and Alison, Stella, Alison, Callum, Jay and Andy.                                                                          So many of these dear friends were with us each Sunday and are so missed.

Comfort and heal all who need your healing hands on them at this time. May they find you by their side bringing courage and hope in their troubled days.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Lord, we pray that you will welcome all whose earthly journey has recently ended into your eternal kingdom to join those we love but see no more. May they find eternal rest in heaven.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


O God, make the door of this church                                                                             wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship                                                                       narrow enough to shut out envy, pride, and strife.

Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children nor to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempters power.

God, make the door of this house the gateway to thine eternal kingdom.   Thank you.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we commend ourselves and all who stand for peace and love, to your unfailing love.


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 our risen Lord 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.


A Parable by William Jay Smith


Though well acquainted, Mind and Heart

Are visibly a world apart.


Mind goes blind and takes a tin cup,

Heart with tinsel fills it up.


Heart loses heart one blinding day,

Mind unmindful has little to say.


When Heart and Mind go blind together

And turn in dark to one another


Mind leading Heart, Heart leading Mind,

Then Love, being blind, will lead the blind


Through fields of mint and golden grain

Into a ditch at the end of the lane;


And there in the ditch the two will lie

Till holes burn slowly through the sky,


And sight restored, they rise and part;

And Mind is Mind, and Heart is Heart.


Prayer of Peace


Peace from Jesus Christ who is our peace.

Peace from the Holy Spirit who gives us life.

The peace of the triune God be always with you.


Hymn: 427 O praise ye the Lord




Go forth into the world in peace;

be of good courage;

hold fast that which is good;

render to no one evil for evil;

strengthen the faint-hearted;

support the weak;

help the afflicted; honour everyone;

love and serve the Lord,

rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always

















Page last updated: 5th October 2023 8:58 AM