St Clement Church Community Next Before Lent Service






         St Clement Church Community Next Before Lent Service


Good morning everyone, on this, the last Sunday before the beginning of Lent.

Next Wednesday will be Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

This year, more than any other, Lent will have a new significance as we look back at what has been a difficult and traumatic year and look forward to Christ’s great sacrifice for us and then His joyful resurrection at Easter.

Whether we will be able to worship in our own church or will still need to continue to worship at home, may this Lent be a time of reflection and grateful thanks for the unfailing love of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

After a lot of careful consideration, the suspension of Sunday worship in our church building will remain in place and will be reviewed at the end of February.

 God Bless

With my love



Let us pray:


Generous God, your love embraces and welcomes all people. In our lives and our worship:

Help us to share your hospitality.


Generous God, your salvation is a gift, not a reward for labour. In our lives and worship:

Help us to show your generosity.


Generous God, your son taught that your kingdom is open to all. In our lives and worship:

Help us to teach your message.


Generous God, your Spirit is at work in the world today. In our lives and worship:

Help us to live as your disciples.



Our prayers of Penitence



Lord, you were sent by the Father to bring good news to the poor:


Lord, have mercy.


Christ, you came to save us from sin:


Christ, have mercy, have mercy.


Lord, you were sent to proclaim the grace and mercy of God


Lord, have mercy.


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



Old Testament reading:     Kings 2. 1 - 12

New Testament reading:   2 Corinthians 4. 3 - 6


Let us pray our Collect for today.


Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory: who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.




(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark [9. 2 – 90])

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord


Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.

And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.

And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’

Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.


As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.


(This is the Gospel of the Lord.)

Response: Praise to you, O Christ.





I suspect many, if not all of us, have been very grateful over the last eleven months, when the weather has been fine, and we have been able to go out and enjoy a walk. To be able to leave the four walls of our homes – which have seemed, at times, almost prison like - has been such a relief and it has been a joy to breathe in fresh air and look at everything around us, particularly the wonders of nature.


In our Gospel today, we read that Jesus invites three of His disciples to take a walk with Him. Going for a walk with Jesus is not unusual for the disciples. Sometimes He takes all of them, all twelve, and sometimes just a few go. So, no one thinks much of it when Jesus asks Peter, James, and John if they’d like to climb a mountain with Him. The physical challenge will do them good, give their minds a break, and get them away from the pressures of every-day life for a few hours. So, they don’t think twice, they just follow.

If we think about it, in places they are probably able to walk side by side, at others, they need to walk in single file as the path becomes steeper and more rugged.

I suspect that they don’t talk much. It’s just good to be together with trusted friends taking time for some much-needed relaxation. By the time they reach the peak, it’s perhaps already afternoon, and the shadows are getting longer. But, they’re tired, so they agree to take a short break before heading back down again.


That’s when …


‘The Transfiguration’ has long been regarded as one of the most important events in Jesus’ life. Jesus appears here with two figures: Moses and Elijah, two of the greatest Old Testament characters. Moses is important because he is the figure believed to have given the Jews their basic laws and to have written the five books of the Torah – the basis of Judaism itself. Connecting Jesus to Moses connects Jesus to the very origins of Judaism, establishing a divinely authorized continuity between the ancient laws and Jesus’ teachings.

Elijah is an Israelite prophet commonly associated with Jesus because of the former’s reputation for rebuking both leaders and society for falling away from what God wanted.

Both Moses and Elijah are historical signposts pointing forward to someone greater, to a better Word from God. Malachi (4. 5 – 6) prophecies that someone like Elijah will one day appear, at the end of time, to restore all things. Now, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Elijah stands side-by-side with Jesus in fulfillment of Malachi’s words.

The radiance of the scene proves too much for the disciples. They are overcome by the outward glory of Christ’s Transfiguration. Inevitably, it is Peter who is desperate to keep Jesus, Moses, and Elijah there, on the mountain. But, for Peter to try to contain Jesus on the mountain is to forget that Jesus has not yet finished His mission, which He will accomplish through suffering and death.

I often think that Peter speaks, not only for the rest of the disciples but for us all. Peter reveals our irrepressible natural human desire for glory NOW, on our terms: no suffering; no death; just comfort and bliss – a life that goes from glory to glory! Peter, like all of us sinners, is anxious to find the fulfillment of promised glory, today! He wanted the ‘mountain top experience’ to continue indefinitely.

It is God that restores perspective for the disciples. Suddenly, the focus shifts from the visual, the sensory and the emotional back to the objective and authoritative Word of God.

At Mount Sinai in the Old Testament God spoke out of a cloud to give authority to the prophetic words of Moses. Here, on a new Mount Sinai, which is the Mount of Transfiguration, another cloud appears and overshadows the disciples. And this time God speaks to give authority to the Words of His Son: calling the disciples, and us, to ‘listen to him. For Jesus is God’s royal Son. He is the true revelation of God: one greater than Moses and Elijah and John the Baptist. All the prophets and their prophecies found in the Old Testament are now engulfed in the glorious inferno of God’s final Word in Jesus.

Then, after God speaks from the concealment of a cloud, having pointed the disciples to the Words of Jesus – suddenly – the Transfiguration of Jesus is over.

As they descend from the mountain with Jesus, God’s glory is once again hidden under the veil of human flesh. Moses and Elijah have departed, for their role as witnesses is over. The cloud has gone. It is no longer needed. For Jesus Himself is endowed with the very authority and power of God. He is the final living and breathing revelation of God.

Then, Jesus tells the disciples to ‘Tell no one.’ He is concerned to guard against the worldly ideas of who He is and how he is going to bring salvation to His people.


Like the disciples, we would like to see the glory of the Lord around us in this life. We would like to avoid suffering in this life. Don’t we often get impatient and want heaven now, and Christ’s kingdom on our terms?


Jesus suffered and obeyed in a way that we never could. He endured God’s wrath for our sins and kept the law perfectly in our place. Jesus took all our sin and gave us His life in return.


Like Peter, James and John who heard God’s voice from the cloud, we too must obey God’s command.

‘This is my Son, my Beloved; listen to Him!’






Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.


We believe and trust in God the Father                                                                from whom every family                                                                                                           in heaven and on earth is named.


We believe and trust 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 and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.



Our Intercessions this week are by Alison Hill


Let us pray to our God and Father in faith,

Knowing that he loves us and sees our need.


Lord our God, Lord our Father, we come together in worship on this day of rest. Though we are not in your consecrated Church of St Clement, though we are separate from others of our congregation, help us to be aware of all your servants who join us spiritually at this time, near and far, united in turning to you.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Father of us all, as we face yet more weeks of isolation, fear and frustration, sustain us we pray with your love, bless us with patience and strength as we wait for a resolution to the Covid pandemic, and of your grace keep us and our loved ones safe. We bring before you all those who have lost family or friends to this virus; those still suffering the after-effects of the illness, not knowing whether they will ever return to full health again; those whose mental health has been badly disturbed by the strains of this time. And we pray especially for all those whose health has been affected by the need to divert hospital services to the battle against Covid: for those whose treatments have been delayed, sometimes even fatally, and for those who struggle daily with pain and fear as they await tests, operations, or treatments. We give thanks for the dedication and expertise of those working in all aspects of the health services and we ask your blessing on them as they face long hours, difficult decisions and heart-rending situations.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We pray for all those in authority and roles of leadership at this time: for our Queen and her family, and for governments throughout the world, that they may work always for justice and the good of their people and the wider world. We pray for all spiritual leaders as they try to bring strength and solace to those in their care. So many are working quietly to support all in their communities, whether in practical initiatives for those in special need, or by outreach to ensure better understanding of the importance of safety precautions and vaccination, or by supporting mental health through their faith and loving kindness. Be with them in all their efforts and grant them your strength, enlightenment and understanding in all they do. Especially we pray for your Church: for Archbishop Justin, for our Bishops Philip and Hugh, and for our own vicar Di as she shares this journey with us.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Father of us all, it is so easy for us to forget, as we struggle through this pandemic, the many people throughout this world whose lives are always a struggle. Let us spend a moment in prayer for those facing every day the challenges and hardships of hunger and thirst, sickness and life-changing disability, conflict and war; for those who must watch helplessly as their children die, their livelihood is threatened by the greed of others, or their peaceable life is shattered by the violence of strangers to them.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Remembering those who have passed away we especially pray for Steve Colwill who will be greatly missed by the community he has served in many ways in Malpas.

We bring before you all those who are troubled in body, mind or spirit, especially remembering Sue, Kate, Hilary, and praying also for Justine and Richard, for Steven’s widow Marion and all his family, and for Martin and Liz during Martin’s treatment.

Father, in our prayers we stand alongside all who are too weak, too confused, or too sad to pray. May all who are suffering sense your love and comfort, and be given strength to persevere, and peace of mind and spirit.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our pray.


Lord, even in this continuing lockdown, and these cold winter days, we are beginning to see light ahead. We thank you for the vaccinations that we may hope will lead to control of the pandemic and an easing of restrictions. And even as the weather reminds us that we are still in Winter, we look around us and see the signs of Spring: snowdrops and primroses, and pickers in the fields of daffodils; lengthening days and a sun that sometimes warms. As many of us continue to take our allotted exercise near our homes, help us as we look around ourselves, to find within ourselves a heightened sense of hardships and the beauty and greatness of your creation, which continues to show itself to us and which we must learn to protect for the generations to come.

Lord, your gifts to us are many. Help us not to lose sight of them.


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


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. Amen.



The Peace


God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

May the peace of God be with us always.




Holy Lord, everything we need is found in You. For those of us who come feeling broken, bring restoration. For those of us who come feeling weak, bring strength. For those who come weeping, bring joy. For those of us who come with doubts, bring faith. For those who come feeling shame, bring freedom. For those of us who come feeling burdened, bring rest. For those of us who come feeling anxious, bring peace. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.







Now may the Lord of peace himself give us peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with us all.



















Page last updated: 12th February 2021 2:40 PM