Printable services for those unable to attend St C






St Clement Church Second Sunday before Advent Community Service



Good morning and welcome to our service.


What is a talent? Well, it all depends on the context in which that question is asked, doesn’t it?                                                                                                            When you think about it, the obvious answer to any question may not always fit the situation in which it is asked.

Perhaps, we should think more carefully before we ask or answer.                                     There’s a thought! It just might stop a lot of misunderstanding!

With love to you all



Let us pray:


Father God, we gather here today under your care and protection. Thank you for your loving kindness that never fails us. We thank you for those with us, that you will guide our thoughts and actions to bring you glory. Strengthen us and fill us with your peace. May we love and serve each other as Jesus has shown us. Fill us with the Holy Spirit to do your good work on earth.




We say together:


Father God, thank you for this Sunday.

Lord, we come before you first and foremost with hearts of gratitude. You have seen us through another week, and we stand at the threshold of a fresh week, full of new beginnings.

Lord, help us start this bright embarking with You.

Stir in us a deep desire to come into further relationship with You. Remind us that it is not solely by going to Sunday service that we worship and come before You; rather, it is through the daily communion with You through relationship and prayer.


Hymn: 50 Be still for the presence of the Lord is moving in this place


Prayer of Penitence


Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

So, let us turn away from sin and turn to the Lord, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.


Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.                                                              We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;                                                                                                    that we may do justly, love mercy,                                                                                 and walk humbly with you, our God.



Let us pray our Collect for Second Sunday before Advent


Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life: grant that we, having this hope, may purify ourselves even as he is pure; that when he shall appear in power and great glory we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.





Zephaniah 1. 7, 12 - 18

1 Thessalonians 5. 1 - 11


Hymn: 400 Lead us heavenly Father, lead us


Gospel: Matthew 25. 14 - 30

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The kingdom of heaven is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.                                                                           The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.

In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.”

His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.”

His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here have what is yours.”

But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return, I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”’


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




At the age of 9, John O’Leary suffered an horrific accident that resulted in burns over 100% of his body. 87% were third degree burns – the worst kind. These are deep tissue burns, normally requiring skin grafting which can only come from the victim himself.                                                                                 When John’s mother rushed to his side at the hospital, the first thing she said to her frightened son was, “I love you. I love you.” Realising how dire his situation was, she didn’t mince words. She spoke to him candidly, “Do you want to die? Your choice, not mine.”                                                         “Momma, I don’t want to die.”                                                                                                         “Then you fight, like you’ve never fought before.”

John fought. His injuries resulted in five months of treatment in the hospital. He fought. Over the next several months, John sustained multiple surgeries, including amputations to all his fingers.

Today, John O’Leary is the best-selling author of ‘On Fire,’ not only his story, but practical advice for all of us and the choices we can make to ‘ignite a radically inspired life.’ John is a married father of four and a motivational speaker who addresses 50,000 people a year. The little boy who was expected to die is now telling others how to live.


As a child, I struggled with today’s Gospel story. Why? Well, I was told that, in Jesus’ time, a talent was an amount of money, about 6000 denarii. Since one denarius was a labourer’s daily wage, a talent would be roughly equivalent to 20 years’ wages for the average worker. Five talents, the largest amount entrusted to any of the servants, was comparable to one hundred years’ worth of labour, an astronomical amount of money.

So, the story appears to be about money and wise investment. Indeed, at the end, Jesus says, ‘For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have abundance, but from those who have nothing, even such as they have will be taken away.’ This is what I struggled with - this didn’t sound like the loving, caring Jesus that I was being taught about? Surely, all could not be what it seemed.

Oh – here we go again - it’s another parable, isn’t it? So, all may not be what it seems!

Nowadays we understand a ‘talent’ to be an aptitude or skill, don’t we?

So, can we put our understanding of the word in place of money?

Let’s look at the story in parts – does that help?                                                               The master must represent Jesus. He talks about him going on a journey which is clearly an illusion to his impending return to his Father’s side. His return, obviously refers to His second coming. The master asking his servants about what became of the talents, is Jesus telling us that when He comes again, we will all have to account for what we did with what He has given us.

In Jesus’ time, it is not uncommon for masters to entrust their servants with large sums of money. But, as we know, one talent is 20 years’ worth of pay. That amounts to more than a million pounds in today’s money. With this, we can see the trust the master has for his servants, to give each such a huge sum.

On the part of the servants, they could run away with the money, or do what the third servant does to save themselves the hassle of investing the money. But, they don’t. They remain faithful to their master even when he is away and make good use of what he has given them.

The third servant – the one who is given one talent … likely to be a small bag of silver coins … gets so caught up in comparing what he is given, with what the other servants are given, that he hides his talent in the ground and simply returns it to his master upon his return. He does nothing with what he is given – is too afraid to take risks.  Jesus makes it clear that this is not what is expected of us. Take what you are given, be grateful and build on it. We can’t attain success without taking risks.

The faithfulness of the two servants despite their master’s absence is a testament to their commitment to glorify their master. Even if he isn’t physically present, they use his given talents to do what he would want them to do. The same goes for us. In everything that we do, we must seek to glorify God. We must use what he has given us according to his purpose.

Just as each servant receives a different amount of talent, we too are given diverse skills and abilities. We may not be a born singer or artist but we all have something we’re good at. Being good at listening or reading other people’s emotions is a talent. Having neat handwriting or being good with numbers is a talent. It’s up to us how we make use of that God-given talent to suit his purpose.

In the parable, the master rewards the two servants but punishes the last one. The same is true for us too. We get rewarded for the good things that we do and punished for every bad action. That’s why, when we do good to other people and use God’s given talent/talents to make life better for others, we receive more blessings.

When I think of the Parable of the Talents now, I think about so many people who, due to no fault of their own, come to this country or other countries with literally nothing. People like John O’Leary who have had to face horrendous and what seem insurmountable situations. You could say that these people aren’t even given a full talent – may be just one coin. Yet they take that coin, give thanks to God, and use it to make good, benefitting themselves and so many others.                                              We’ve all been ‘burned’ by something or other in our life – whether it be a health issue, divorce or other relationship strife, job loss or other financial shock.                                                                                                             But what is important is that we take what we’re given, use it and build on it, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all those we meet. Why? Because that is what the Master expects of us.



Affirmation of our faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.


Do you believe and trust in his Son, Jesus Christ?


I believe and trust 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 into heaven,                                                                                                    he is seated at the right hand of the Father,                                                                      and he will come to judge the living and the dead.


Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit?


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: 456 Make me a channel of your peace


Our Intercessions


Loving God, we offer our prayers now for all people and their situations; for lives that are going through upheaval or distress; for circumstances that only you can change.


Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us


We pray for the Church throughout the world, remembering those Christians in countries where their beliefs make them vulnerable and in danger. Uphold and strengthen all who are persecuted for their faith. We pray for hostages and their families and loved ones from whom they are separated.

We give thanks for this church. May we point the way to God’s kingdom in our community and welcome all who are seeking through our doors.


Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us


Creator God, we pray for peace in the world, for understanding between nations, religions, and factions and for an end to old scores which remain unsettled. We especially pray for the peoples of the Middle East as the conflict continues and for Christian, Muslim, and Jew, that they may live alongside one another in mutual respect and harmony. We pray too for fair shares and fair trade and that the talents of the workers of the world are fairly rewarded.


Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us


Father God, we thank you for the gifts, talents and abilities you have given each one of us, praying that a deeper understanding of those talents can be used and shared within our church and the community.  Set us free from the fear that makes us inward looking. Give us renewed generosity with our time, our talents, and our treasure. Give us a renewed concern for those who are struggling in our congregations and our communities. Give us a renewed vision of what it is for us to be your Church, in this place, at this time.


Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us


Forgiving God, send your healing forgiveness to all who are suffering feelings of guilt, shame, or regret. Help to mend broken relationships. Be with all who feel that, through advancing years or failing health, that they cannot enjoy life as it used to be. May those who are learning to live a new pattern of life feel that you are walking beside them. We especially pray for those we know, and those we don’t, who are sick and suffering, and give thanks for those who are on the road to recovery.

We especially bring before 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, Julie, Andy, those known to each of us and those who have no one to pray for them.


Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us


Merciful God, we remember those who have died and for all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. May the light of Christ which eternally shines bring hope to their dark places.


Gracious God forgive us when we only turn to you when things trouble us and when we forget to thank you for your blessings and bounty. Help us to recognise all the wonderful things in your world for which we should be grateful, and send us out into the coming week ready to show our gratitude in all that we do and say.


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 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.


Uniquely You


Time flies on wings of lightning

When you love the things you do.

So, when you give to others,

Give what is uniquely ‘YOU.’


Your tasks will flow more sweetly

When you’re working from your heart;

When following your passions

And you’re eager just to start.


Each day do what is needed,

But, try to spend more time

Each day on using talents,

And your wealth will start to climb.


Increase your skills and learning,

Every day learn something new,

And let your path be guided

By what is uniquely ‘YOU.’


Prayer of Peace


God has called us to live in peace.


The Peace of the Lord be always with you.


Hymn: 327 Immortal, invisible, God only wise




Go forth into the world in peace;

be of good courage;

hold fast to that which is good;

render to no one evil for evil;

strengthen the fainthearted;

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 us and remain with us always.
















Page last updated: 17th November 2023 7:35 AM