Printable services for those unable to attend St C








St Clement Church Community Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday Service



Good morning and welcome to our service.

With love to you all



Let us pray:


Dear Lord, as we rise to meet each day let us be filled with Your Spirit. Wherever we go, let us spread your love, joy, peace, goodness, and faithfulness.                                                                                                                       Let us desire to become more like You and to worship You in all we do. Help us desire these things so much more than the sin that entices us.                            Thank you for always going before us. In Jesus’ name.




We say together:


Lord, we welcome You amongst us today and celebrate the gift of life that you have lavished upon each of us.                                                                                    We ask that You open our ears so that we may hear your voice.                 Open our minds that we may receive Your eternal wisdom.

Open our hearts so that we may be the friend to all that You are to us.



Hymn: 563 Praise to the Holiest in the heights


Prayer of Penitence


We come to God as one from whom no secrets are hidden, to ask forgiveness and peace.


Let us say together


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 thirteenth Sunday after Trinity


Almighty God, who called your Church to bear witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may be drawn to you, through him who was lifted up on a cross, and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.




Jeremiah 15. 15 - 21

Romans 12. 9 - 21


Hymn: 132 Father hear the prayer we offer

Gospel: Matthew 16. 21 - 28

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day raised.

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying,                          ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’

But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.                                         For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.                                                                                                  For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they gain in return for their life?


For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.                                                  Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming into his kingdom.’


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





I don’t know about you, but I remember when I was young (such a long time ago!) that the world was, for me, black and white, right and wrong, truth and untruth. Everything was clear cut, either / or. It was all so straight forward.                                                                                                      But, as I got older, I began to realise that it wasn’t that simple. Maybe my view of truth, right and wrong was somewhat limited and shades of grey crept in – often there was no clear-cut answer and decisions became so much more complex.


Last week we heard Simon, now Peter, called the ‘rock’ on which Christ’s Church would be built. He acknowledged Christ’s divinity, His Lordship, His Messiahship. Peter and the other disciples have witnessed miracles that are more than miracles – they are signs that point to God. But, these signs aren’t aiming in the direction the disciples thought they would. Jesus isn’t turning out to be the kind of Messiah they’d thought He would be.

Here is Jesus, not only telling us that He is going to die, but we also need to give up our lives if we are going to call ourselves His followers. No wonder Peter jumps in to ‘correct’ Jesus. Just a few verses after Jesus asks, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ and Peter answers with the great confession, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ Peter is in trouble again.

Jesus goes from calling Peter the rock on which He will build his Church to calling him, ‘Satan!’ and a stumbling block.                                                              What is it that is getting in Peter’s way? It’s a basic fear that we all have. When Jesus tells Peter he is concerned with ‘human things,’ He isn’t talking about earthly wealth or fame. He isn’t talking about recognition or political power. The very ‘human thing’ that has Peter talking back to Jesus is the fear of death.


Death is the problem we all eventually face and sometimes fear. Whether it’s death from disease, death from age (not only our parents’ generation but, as we get older, our own,) or death of our church through attrition or conflict, we all have to face death at some point. But, we don’t like doing that. Like Peter, we’d rather focus on the bright side and downplay the darkness we associate with dying.

Like Peter, too often we miss the point that Jesus is making here. We have to die, in order to live. Giving up our lives is the only way we can gain the life to which Christ calls us.

Like Peter, we think we have a good idea of what following Jesus should look like, but it’s grounded in the things of this world, not the things of God’s kingdom. Our limited view prevents us from seeing the bigger picture of God’s grace extended to all people, not just the ones of whom we approve. Here’s the problem – we don’t always see how our actions and words, based on that limited view, impact on others. We can’t see the hurt we cause or the doors we close. We can’t see how not bearing our own cross makes another’s cross heavier.


Here are the ‘shades of grey’ again! Our view of, our image of God’s truth is too limited. God often reveals truth to us not as an either / or proposition but as a paradox. Remember your English Literature exams? A paradox is that spot where two ideas that seem to contradict each other are held in tension, balancing one another.

Following Jesus often looks like a paradox. Peter’s discipleship is a perfect example for us. Peter demonstrates honest discipleship by first proclaiming Christ’s ultimate divinity as the Son of God, and then, in the next paragraph getting called ‘Satan’ for thinking of only earthly things.


Stretching between heavenly things and earthly things is exactly what Jesus calls us to do. We have to, have both stories, to see the truth of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Sometimes we get stuck in our earthly way of thinking, and sometimes we get flashes of insight where can see clearly who God is and how Jesus reveals God to us.

Sometimes it feels like we’re bouncing back and forth between extremes. But, once in a while, we find ourselves perfectly balanced at the centre of the paradox. That, is exactly the point where we surrender. Our lives are no longer our own, they’re God’s. Our concern with death evaporates in the joy of eternal life.


There was once a town where the thing everyone feared the most was getting lost at night in the ‘Cave of Fear.’ No one had ever returned from there, and whenever anyone got lost and ended up there, the last thing that was heard was a great cry of terror, followed by a few enormous guffaws. The townsfolk lived in terror that one day the monster would leave the cave. So, they regularly left gifts and food at the mouth of the cave, and these always quickly disappeared.

One day, a young man came to town, and as he heard about the situation with the cave, he thought that it was unfair. So, he decided to enter the cave and confront the monster. The young man asked for some help, but everyone was so afraid that not a single person would approach the mouth of the cave with him. He went inside, finding his way with a torch, and calling out to the monster, wanting to talk with it and discuss the situation. At first, the monster had a good long laugh, and the young man followed the sound of the monster’s voice. But then, the monster went quiet, and the young man had to carry on, not knowing in which direction to go.

Finally, he arrived at a huge cavern. At the bottom of the cavern, he thought he could make out the figure of the monster, and he approached it. He felt something hit him hard on the back. This pushed him forward towards a hole in the rock. He couldn’t avoid it, and fell through. Believing that he was about to die, he let out one last cry. Then he heard the guffaws.

‘Darn it, I think the monster has swallowed me,’ he said whilst falling.

However, as he fell, he heard music and voices. They got clearer, and when he made a soft landing at the bottom, he heard a group of people shout, ‘Surprise!’

Hardly believing it, he found himself right in the middle of a big party.                The partygoers were all those people who had never returned to the town. They explained to him that this place had been the idea of an old mayor of the town. The mayor had attempted to achieve great things, but was always held back by the fears of the people around him. So, the mayor invented the story of the monster to demonstrate to people how such an attitude was so limiting. So, the young man stayed there, enjoying the party and the company of all those who had dared to approach the cave.

And what about the town? In the town they still believe that to enter the Cave of Fear is the worst of all punishments.


So, if we are willing to lay down our own assumptions and expectations, if we can set aside our own preferences and dependence on earthly understanding, and our fear, we might just find Christ in the middle of the paradox, pulling together our disparate views, whilst stretching us to become more than we had any idea we could become. Jesus invites us into the paradox of giving up our lives so we can gain Christ’s life.


This is our turning point now. This is our moment to decide. Will we take up our cross and follow Him?




Affirmation of our faith


Let us declare our faith in God.


We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and 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. Amen


Hymn: 41 At the name of Jesus


Our Intercessions by Daphne Hawkins


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


Merciful Father, as we gather here in our beloved St Clement Church joined in spirit with so many dear friends, we pray you will be with us to hear our prayers.

Lord, we thank you for all the many gifts we are so freely given – gifts we so often abuse. May we open our eyes to the reality of what is happening to our environment and all do our best to improve the impact each one of us contributes to the damage to our fragile planet.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Lord, we pray for the world-wide Church, Archbishop Justin, our bishops, all priests, and all church leaders. Give them strength and vision as they strive to maintain the Christian faith in this modern world that is losing its Christian values.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Dear Lord, please be with our diocese here, and all who work to take us forward to maintain and strengthen our church.                                                               We pray for Reverend Diane and her family at this painful time as she bears the needs of the church and the community together with her own personal pain. Give her strength to face each day, and may she know the love of this church is with her always.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Lord, we bring to you the ongoing evil our world is going through. Every day brings news of more violence and destruction in so many parts of the countries – war, terrorism, hatred, and the desire to kill and maim is prevalent in all nations. The atrocities bring fear, hunger, homelessness, sickness, and suffering to so many souls. The burden of trying to help and bring aid to so many is a task that cannot be met, so many people live a life with no future or hope.                                                                                             Lord, please be with all those who are striving to bring aid to those in need.                                           

Above all, please instil the desire to end these conflicts. May violence be turned into peace and hatred into love.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Dear Lord, please be with our King and Queen and the royal family. May they continue to serve our country and the Commonwealth and may they find pleasure and fulfilment in their many duties.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Lord, please be with those around us who are sick in body, mind, or spirit.

This morning, we pray for May, a much-loved friend and our dear Reverend Diane’s mother; a lady who has served her communities wherever she has been all her life, and above all a devoted Christian serving her church and supporting her family and friends with love and kindness. Lord, please be with her and keep her at peace, free from pain and in good spirits with you by her side always to give her comfort.                               We pray for Reverend Diane and Ken as they care for dear 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. Lord, please be with them and anyone who is alone, afraid,

 or who has no one to care.

Dear Lord, may your gentle, healing, comforting hands rest on all who are in need at this time. May your presence bring peace and hope always.


We pray for all who have come to the end of their earthly journey. Welcome them, Lord, to be with you and to join those we love but see no more.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Father, in this place of peace, beauty and tranquillity, it is sometimes unbelievable to know that there are some suffering pain, heartache, fear and despair, but they are. May we always hold out the hand of friendship and love to anyone who wants to hold it. Amen


Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we commend ourselves and all faiths and creeds 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.


Life and Death by Sri Aurobindo


Life, death – death, life; the words have led for ages

Our thought and consciousness and firmly seemed

Two opposites; but now long-hidden pages

Are opened, liberating truths undreamed.

Life only is, or death is life disguised, -

Life a short death until by Life we are surprised.


Prayer of Peace


God will speak peace to his people, to those who turn to him in their heart.


The peace of the Lord be always with you


Let us greet one another as a sign of God’s peace.


Hymn: 449 Love divine, all loves excelling




Lord God, we rejoice in your greatness and power, your gentleness and love, your mercy and justice.

Enable us by your Spirit to honour you in our thoughts, and words and actions, and to serve you in every aspect of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
















Page last updated: Thursday 31st August 2023 8:48 AM
Powered by Church Edit