St Clement Church Community Third Sunday of Lent Service






         St Clement Church Community Third Sunday in Lent Service


Good morning everyone, on this, the Third Sunday in Lent.

Things ARE improving!

Not only are Covid numbers coming down, but the sun has been shining, and I’m sure we all felt the better for it.

It’s hard to believe that next Sunday, Mothering Sunday, was the first Sunday of the first lockdown, last year.

Next Sunday, 14th March, St Clement Church WILL be open for a Mothering Sunday Service, led by the Vicar, Reverend Di, at 10:15a.m.

Services WILL continue to be emailed out to everyone until we know for certain that the danger is finally over.

God Bless

With my love



Let us pray:


Almighty and Everlasting God, You have given the human race Jesus Christ our Saviour as a model of humility. He fulfilled Your will by becoming Man and giving His life on the Cross.

Help us to bear witness to You by following His example of suffering and make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.                                                                                 We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.



Our prayers of Penitence


Forgive us Lord for our apathy, for our lack of courage to speak out.

Forgive us when we walk past and don’t offer help.

Forgive us when we get it wrong.


Lord, have mercy.


We confess that we are afraid – we don’t overcome our hidden doubts and prejudices in order to be alongside those who are different to ourselves.

We ask that You would lead us into action: give us strength to be a voice crying for justice and peace.

Help us to step into another person’s shoes, or if they have no shoes then not to be afraid to take off our own; peel off our preconceptions and assumptions, uncurl and spread out our toes, and tread in their footprints.


Christ, have mercy.


May we be a liberating presence and offer love, compassion and whatever is needed, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with 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:     Exodus 20. 1 - 17

New Testament reading:   1 Corinthians 1. 18 - 25


Let us pray our Collect for today.


Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; 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

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 2. 13 - 22

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord


The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and cattle.                         He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’                                            His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’                                                                                                                                        The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’                                    Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’

The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body.

After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.


(This is the Gospel of the Lord.)

Response: Praise to you, O Christ.





Over the last year, with the ‘never-ending lockdowns,’ it has become increasingly necessary to ‘find things to do,’ or maybe one notices certain things much more.


If you’re like my husband, you will have become more and more infuriated by the bad grammar in the newspaper, the mis-use of words on television, the introduction of more and more Americanisms and a general dumbing – down of the English language.

Having to live with the daily, ‘For goodness sake, listen to this … who writes this rubbish?’ I have been thinking about words – the words we use; what they originally meant; how the meaning has changed and how we use them now.

It has also made me think of the significance of the words people choose to use. Why use that word rather than another – they mean the same … or do they?  While synonyms are supposed to mean the same, if you look carefully there can be a slight difference in innuendo.

Language is a living organism so it grows and changes – not always for the better!

What has this to do with today’s Gospel? Well, if you read John’s Gospel you see that he talks quite a bit about Jesus’ miracles – not quite as much as Mark does, but he covers quite a few of them and he also tells us a lot about important events in Jesus’ life. The interesting thing is that John calls the miracles and the events, ‘signs.’

What is a sign? Very simply, a sign is something that conveys information upon which, we are expected to act.

Think about it … if you see a sign with a red border and STOP on it, it’s not there for you to admire; it’s telling you that you are approaching a part of the road where you need to be careful and stop your car.

If you are heading to St Ives and you see a sign that says, ‘St Ives 25 miles,’ it’s telling you how far it is until you reach your destination.          If you develop a severe pain, it may well be a sign that you need to see a doctor or even go to hospital. (Don’t ignore it!)                                                     Signs convey information upon which we are expected to act. They warn of things; they point to things; they give direction. That’s what the signs of Jesus do … they point us to something – or rather, SOMEONE.

They direct us to the fact that Jesus IS God’s Son.

John, unlike the other Gospel writers, doesn’t write his Gospel chronologically. He focuses on events, not when they happened. So, the cleansing of the temple – John puts it at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He tends to use stories about Jesus as metaphors and symbols (other words for signs.) Did it happen more than once? Debatable! The other Gospels state it occurs at the end of Jesus’ ministry, in the week of the crucifixion. So, we tend to think it happened during the crucifixion week, our Holy Week, and was yet another trigger for what was to come.


It’s Passover when the Jewish people remember and celebrate God delivering them from Egypt. It is supposed to be a memorial feast but it is much more a money-making con.

The way it works is that every adult male Jew is required to pay an annual temple tax, equivalent to two-days’ pay. The trouble is, everyone has Roman money. It has the image of the emperor on it, so the priests say, ‘It is unclean; so, it can’t be accepted as payment at the temple.’ There are money changers at the temple who change Roman money for temple money, but they work for the priests.

There’s a problem with this – firstly, ‘temple money’ can only be spent in the temple and secondly, there is an exchange fee … equivalent to one day’s pay. So, in order to pay the annual ‘Temple Tax,’ it costs you about three days’ pay not two. It is a con – dishonest and downright wicked.

The Temple is the very core of Jewish life. Jesus respects the holy place, and the time, by going up to the Temple at the Passover. Jesus is not against the Temple but IS against what it has become - a dishonest market place rather than a place of worship. For Jesus, the Temple is the place to worship the Father. The Father who loves everybody equally and whose love cannot be bought. It represents the location and the presence of God.

John’s Gospel frequently plays on the double – meaning of words. Here, in the dialogue between Jesus and the Jews, there is a breakdown in communication.  The people are blind to who Jesus is, and deaf to His message. The Jews understand ‘temple’ to apply only to the building in which they are standing. Jesus declares that a new Temple will be found in His own resurrected body. THIS is to be the sign about which they have been asking. Instead of God’s presence being confined to a single geographical site, God is everywhere, making all things and all time potentially sacred.

 Jesus knows that true faith cannot ever be expressed through empty rituals but that the rituals we undertake must be an expression of the real worship of our lives: Justice, Kindness, Humility, Non-oppression, Care for the Unimportant and Powerless, Faithfulness and Righteousness.

If our worship doesn’t engage with these attitudes and actions, it’s not true worship.

God is not primarily interested in beautiful worship. He is interested in PURE worship.

So, back to the ‘Signs’ and those particularly in our lives. May we be aware of ALL the ‘signs’ around us – the signs of God’s creation and the need to protect it; the signs of ‘danger’ as we step away from God’s path; the signs of God’s love and forgiveness; the signs of God’s faithfulness to us.

May we be true followers and know that Jesus Christ IS the Son of God the Father, and our Saviour.



Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.


We believe in God the Father, maker of all things.

We believe in his Son Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour of the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, giver of life and light.

We belong to the Church, God’s family everywhere.





Our Intercessions this week are by Helen Dunbar


Let us pray to our God in faith, knowing that he understands what is best for us.


Heavenly Father, increase our faith, that everyone in your Church may be more than ready to trust you and move forward with you wherever you lead us.

Lord, be with us on our journey through Lent; please help us to spring-clean our lives. Sweep through the closed doors of our hearts where the dust of resentment and the cobwebs of self-pity have gathered. Clear out the excess that keeps us from simplicity, and the rubbish that accumulates in the attic of our mind. Give us a pure focus on you, on your grace, mercy and peace.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Lord, we give thanks that we live in such a beautiful part of the world and through the Covid lock-down we have been able to enjoy walks in the countryside and parks. We pray for all council workers who maintain flower beds and strive to win awards. We pray for a sense of communal pride in making the most of our local environment.

We pray for the world in all its beauty and richness; give us the desire to share our planet’s food and resources, to care for its people and wellbeing, and to foster peace and justice for all.


Lord, in your mercy                                                                                                      Hear our prayer.

We pray for our family and friends and ask God’s blessing on all children and students returning to school and colleges next week. We remember the kindness shown by neighbours and others, who have been such a help and strength in the difficult times many have experienced during the past year.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


 Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen and all members of the royal family.

We pray for our Church across the world, for Archbishop Justin, Bishop Philip and Suffragan Bishop Hugh. We give thanks for our own hard working Reverend Diane, as she continues with her busy work schedule.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We think of the difficult journeys in life encountered by so many people in this world and we pray that in their time of need, they may find the strength through faith to see their way ahead and to overcome the problems they face.                                                                                                                             Heavenly Father, we pray for those who seek to make peace in this divided world; for all leaders of nations that they may have the wisdom and courage to do what is right for all, that their hearts may be turned to you in the search for righteousness and truth; for those working to improve international relationships, that they may find the true way of reconciliation, for those who suffer as a result of war; the mentally depressed, the refugees, the homeless and the hungry.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our pray.


Dear Lord, please comfort all who suffer in body, mind or spirit, give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.                                                                                                                                                 We remember those known to us: Sue, Kate, Martin and Liz, Derek and Brian.                                                                                                                                                          We also pray for Prince Philip who is receiving treatment in St Bartholomew’s Hospital for a heart condition.

We remember the recently departed and we pray for Ken Brand whose funeral Reverend Di will take this coming week; may he rest in peace, and we also remember his beloved wife Carole and his family in our prayers.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and all your saints, we commend ourselves and all Christian people to your unfailing love.


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 Fast Life – Thoughts for Lent


Fast from judging others;

Feast on Christ dwelling in them.

Fast from fear of illness;

Feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute;

Feast on speech that purifies.                                                                                    Fast from discontent;

Feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger;

Feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism;

Feast on hope.

Fast from negatives;

Feast on encouragement.

Fast from bitterness;

Feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern;

Feast on compassion.

Fast from suspicion;

Feast on truth.

Fast from gossip;

Feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from problems that overwhelm;

Feast on prayer that sustains.

Fast from anxiety;

Feast on faith.


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.    Amen

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.








February ‘100 Club’ drawn by a totally independent person


1st Prize     no 19    Brian Fensome

2nd Prize    no 47    Martin Davies

3rd Prize    no 23     May Kincaid


New members very welcome. £5 per month per number




Page last updated: 5th March 2021 1:34 PM