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St Clement Church Second Sunday of Easter Community Service


Good morning

Today is the second Sunday of Easter when we meet Thomas, known to us all as Doubting Thomas.

How easily names stick after a one-off occasion.

How often do we give anyone the chance to change that name when circumstances are different?

Were you given a name, maybe many years ago, and has that stuck, even unfairly?

With love to you all



Let us pray


Heavenly Father, we gather in your presence today with open hearts and minds, ready to worship and praise your holy name. We ask that you bless this time of worship so that we may be uplifted and inspired by your presence. Fill us with your love and grace, and help us to honour you in all that we do.



We say together


This is your day

And we shall praise you!

This is your day

And we shall declare your name!

This is your day

And we shall worship

A risen Saviour and our King!




Prayer of Penitence


Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us. Let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.


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 of darkness

to walk as children of light. Amen


Collect for Second Sunday of Easter Sunday


Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive a d reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.




Acts 4. 32 - 45

1 John 1. 1 – 2. 2




Gospel: John 20. 19 - 31


(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord’)


It was evening on the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews.                                       Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’

After he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.’

When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’


But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

 So, the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’

But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them.                                                           

Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’

Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’

Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’


Now Jesus did many signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


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




It’s one week since Easter, one week since the chaos and excitement, one week since the empty tomb, one week since our first ‘Alleluia, Christ is risen.’ It’s one week after the Resurrection and the disciples are still in the same place they were, Easter night. They are in the same room behind the same locked doors.

So, if the Resurrection is so important, such a life-changing event, why are they still stuck in the same place?

What difference has the empty tomb made?

How has it changed them?

Has it made them see themselves and the world differently?

Has it done anything for them?

Well, let’s be honest, it doesn’t look as if it’s made any difference to them at all.

They’re in the same room, behind the same locked doors as a week ago.

So, what’s changed?


I wonder, one week after Easter, what has Christ’s Resurrection done for us? What has changed? Is our life different?                                                              Do we see and engage with the world in new ways?

What difference has the empty tomb made in our lives over the last week?

If I’m honest, my life looks just as it did last Sunday, the week before, and the week before that.

When I look at the world, it looks pretty much the same as before.


I have to admit, when I used to hear today’s Gospel, I was very critical of the disciples. They’re stuck in the same place. They should be changed in some way. After all, death has been defeated. ‘Christ is Risen. Alleluia.’                     So, why aren’t their lives different?


Why isn’t mine?

Why isn’t my life different after Easter?

Why am I stuck in the same place?

I should be doing better than that.

I should be living the Resurrection better, more powerfully, more fully, than I am. After all, ‘The Lord is Risen. Alleluia.’


But, in recent times, I’ve begun to read Bible passages rather differently than I used to – a story is not necessarily just a story; something Jesus says, - think about it – what is He really saying? I’ve begun to realise that maybe I was rather too literal, too accepting or maybe critical of what appear to be, simple facts.


So, what about today’s Gospel reading? How differently can I read it?

What is it telling us?

  • Christ’s Resurrection IS a huge event.
  • The empty tomb IS a life changing event.
  • The Resurrection DOES make a difference in our lives: and


Resurrection takes time. It’s not a one-time event. It’s something we grow into. It’s a process. It’s a way of being and a life to be lived. By the grace of God, we evolve into resurrected people through our relationships and the circumstances of our lives. God wastes nothing. Every day we’re stepping into a resurrected life. It’s not always easy and, let’s be honest, some days it’s just plain hard.


I wonder if we come to Easter Sunday and the empty tomb expecting to wake up on the Monday to a whole new life and world.                                             I’m guessing, that like me, you awoke on Monday to the same life and world that you had on Good Friday. I did. It’s not because the Resurrection failed or because Jesus didn’t do ‘the Jesus thing’ in our lives. It’s because the Jesus thing takes time.


I wonder – maybe we need to let go of the fact of the empty tomb and start claiming the story of the Resurrection. There’s a difference between facts and story. Facts are one dimensional, stories are multidimensional. Facts inform the mind. Stories touch the heart.

Facts transmit information, stories transform lives.                                                                 Think about it – a fact is static, like a snapshot of a particular moment in time. A story is dynamic, like a movie that takes us across time.

The empty tomb is a fact. Resurrection is a story.

Maybe we need to begin to understand resurrection as the movie of our life rather than a snapshot of Christ’s life. The facts of Jesus’ life are not the story of Jesus’ life.

The facts of your life and my life are not the story of our life.

The facts are just the starting point for the story. The fact of the empty tomb is just the starting point of the Resurrection story.                                            Whatever facts you woke up to on Monday are simply the starting point for your story of resurrection.                                                                                Too often, we take the facts as the entire story. Isn’t that what we tend to do with St Thomas.

What do you think of when you hear his name? He was a ‘doubter.’ We call him Doubting Thomas.

What if that fact is just the starting point for his resurrection? What if that is not the whole story. What if where we start is less important than where we go, where we end?

Do you know where Thomas died? He died in India. He was the apostle to the people of India. He brought the Gospel of Christ to India. He died a martyr after he was run through with five spears by five soldiers. That doesn’t sound much like a doubter, does it? It sounds like someone for whom the Resurrection of Christ was real, someone for whom the empty tomb made a difference. It just took a little time, as it does for most, maybe all of us.

We know Doubting Thomas but let’s not forget Confessing Thomas; he’s in our Gospel reading today, too. “My Lord and my God!” With those words Thomas has recognised and named a new relationship, a new world view, a new way of being. Somewhere between Doubting Thomas and Confessing Thomas is the story of resurrection in Thomas’ life.


All that ‘Doubting’ Thomas, the fact of his disbelief, is just Thomas’ starting place, nothing more and nothing less. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s a starting place; and we all have our starting places.


What’s our starting place? What are the facts of our life today? The starting place for the story of our resurrection is whatever it is; whatever our life is today. So, if we’re dealing with deep loneliness, sorrow, and loss, that’s our starting point. That’s the room Christ enters.

If we’re locked in a house of fear, confusion, or darkness, that’s our starting point and the place in which Jesus stands.  

If illness, old age, disability, or uncertainty are the facts of our life, that’s our starting point and the place in which Jesus shows up.

If we feel lost, betrayed, disappointed, overwhelmed, that’s our starting point and the house Jesus enters.

If joy, gratitude, and celebration are the facts of our life today, that’s the starting point for our story of resurrection.                             

Whatever our circumstances are, that’s the starting point for our story of resurrection.

Christ steps into the midst of our house, He enters through locked doors and breathes peace and hope into us. He breathes peace and courage into us. He breathes peace and strength into us and that breath of peace is the key that unlocks the door.

So, take a deep breath, take it all in, let it fill and enliven us. Let it give us hope, courage and strength to unlock and open the doors to the story of our resurrection and then, get out of the house.



We say together in faith


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 into 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.





Intercessions by Daphne Hawkins


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


We pray that you will be among us on this second Sunday of Easter in our beloved St Clement Church joined in spirit with those bound in love and friendship to this special place.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Dear Lord, we pray for not just our church but the Church world-wide and especially those churches in our diocese as we all face challenge and change.

We pray for Archbishop   Justin and all bishops and priests who work so hard to promote Christianity to a modern world that often prefers not to follow the Christian faith. May their eyes be opened to the good news of Jesus Christ.

We especially pray for our own priest Reverend Diane; for her work and devotion to our church, our service personnel, and our community. Please give her the health and strength that she needs to fulfil that ever demanding role.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


We pray for our dear Royal family at this time of illness – our King and the Princess of Wales undergoing treatment for malignancy. We pray for their return to health.

We also pray for the family who are carrying out so many royal duties when they are worried and concerned for their loved ones. Being royal does not exclude them from pain and anguish.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Merciful Father, we continue to pray for all the innocent people caught up in the countries at war; so many little children in these mindless conflicts. We pray that you will show mercy to those suffering so much at this time. Please protect and support all those nursing, caring and providing aid to these people in desperate need.                                                                W can only hope and pray that world leaders will come together to find a solution to end these atrocities.                                                                                          We pray fore peace to be restored.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


Dear Lord, we bring to you all who are sick in body, mind, and spirit, and those alone without family or friends to share their troubles.

We pray for: Ken and Reverend Diane, May, Susan, Lauren, Lynda, Barrie and Sandra, Pam and David, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Maureen, Alison and Rob, Jan, Anita and Stephen, Michael and Patricia, Jeremy, Stella, Alison, Linda, William, Callum and Elaine, Jay, Andy and anyone unknown to us who needs a prayer at this time.

Please lay your healing hands on all who are sick and to those in despair please bring light and hope.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


We pray for all whose earthly journey has now come to an end; may they be reunited with all who have gone ahead and all our loved ones that we see no more but love forever. May there be peace and joy in your eternal kingdom.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer


May we all leave our little church mindful of those around us in need.

May we hold out the hand of friendship, a smile, a kind word, a small deed and we pray it will lighten someone’s heavy load.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Clement and St Andrew and all the Blessed Virgin Mary we commend ourselves and all Christians to your unfailing love.


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


Gathering our prayers and praise into one, let us pray with confidence as our risen Lord has 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



My Resurrected Lord by Angela Ciero


So special, He is my Saviour, my King,

 Ruler, creator, his praises I sing.

The wondrous amazement of all that he’s done,

My heavenly Father sent down his own Son.

How blessed we are to have such a chance,

No longer condemned to one circumstance.

But Jesus came down, his life he did give,

That all whom believed through him now may live.

Though his death there alone did not pay our way,

For he is alive and the stone rolled away.

Thank you, dear Jesus, for saving my soul,

Through your birth, death, and resurrection, I am made whole!


The Peace


The Risen Christ came and stood among His disciples and said,                                  ’Peace be with you,’

Then they were glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.


The Peace of the Lord be always with you.






For your goodness and generosity in giving us all we need,

Help us to praise you O God.

In every circumstance of life, in good times and bad,

help us to trust you, O God.

In love and faithfulness, with all that we have and all that we are,

help us to serve you, O God.

As we speak or write or listen to those nearby or far away,

Help us to share your love, O God.

In our plans and work for ourselves and for others,

Help us to glorify you, O god.

In every thought and word and deed, by the power of your Holy Spirit,

This week, may we live for you, O God.




















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