18th April 2020

Dear all

First, a big thank you for all the kind comments about the services. I’m afraid I couldn’t write back to all of them this week because there were so many and I was on holiday. But I did read them and am very grateful.

Linda has provided this week’s service – another first for us. It’s available as usual in the Online Services section as a Morning Worship service. Or you can download it as usual here.

I look forward to being back with you next week.

Matt

Easter services

The Easter services are now available to download from the Online Services section.

May you all have a blessed and hope-ful Easter.

Matt

A Reflection for Easter Day

At Easter in 2005 whilst I was at Easter School in Salisbury as part of my Ordination training, 
I was privileged to hear the first airing of a new Oratorio entitled 'The Resurrection' 
by Simon McEnery; Words by Jeremy Davies. 
This is part of that work; the words I find deeply meaningful each Easter as I read them again.

Easter Morning

Alone in the garden of Eden, God spent himself crafting a race
Yearning for some selfless creature, to show in reflection, his grace.
Where justice and peace flowed like rivers, compassion like fruit on the trees
He made his companions just like him,Like lovers he wanted to please.

But right at the heart of creation God purposely fashioned a flaw
Deliberately giving free choices to creatures demanding yet more. 
The outcome of such trusting goodness might have drawn love in return
But pride lit the tinder of evil and God watched his universe burn.

But God who is love does not waver, he will not abandon his own
He follows them to the far country, though lonely, they’re never alone.
His love like a mantle enfolds them, he brings them home time and again.
He died on a cross on a Friday, enduring humanity’s pain.

And then in a garden on Sunday when the world again started to turn
God walks in the cool of the morning and waits for his children’s return.
He wonders if they will recall him, remember him after this time;
His hands, feet and side deeply wounded, his face still disfigured with grime

And then like the dawn of creation a loved one returns to the scene;
She seeks for the grave of her Master to weep where his body has been.
He murmurs her name like the dew drops, she turns to him, falls at his feet
Her love is the one thing he’s longed for, it heralds the cycle complete.

Though the garden of Eden’s grown over with tumbleweed, bramble and briar 
The gardener returns as he promised, the phoenix is raised from the fire.
The embers return to cold ashes; a new fire now bursts into flame 
 A new Alleluia is sounded. For Jesus, old Adam’s new name

Good Friday meditation

I’m sorry that I won’t be able to sort out a service for tonight to remember the Last Supper. There are plenty of services around which I hope you feel able to make use of.

However, Linda has put together a meditation (download here) which you could use tomorrow either on a walk or in your home, to help us think about the love of God which took Jesus to the cross. It would be great if you could join us in this.

The cross will be up on Cherhill Down between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Please use it to help you reflect, but it is not intended as a gathering point. If it is on or near a walk you would normally make, please do pause and think, but only briefly and by yourselves. Please do not make a special trip to visit it – it does not count as an essential trip. I hope that many of you can see it from near where you are, and that it helps you to know it is there.

With love

Matt (and Linda)

Palm Sunday service

A reminder that services are now available via the “Online Services” page. However, if you prefer to download the video to watch offline, please use the links on this page.

This week there is just one service, but there is a pause partway through, so if you don’t want to stay for communion, please feel free to stop there.

If you would like the full service of Holy Communion, please click here. There is also an order of service to download and print available here, but everything you need is also on the screen.

If you struggle to hear my sermon, you can find a similar text here.

I hope you find something you can use.

With love, Matt

Palm Sunday – make a cross

This Sunday coming – 5th April – is Palm Sunday.

Usually on Palm Sunday as you enter the church you would be given a palm cross to wave. That’s not really possible this year, so instead, I’m going to ask you to be creative. If you want to join in, please follow the instructions on this page. You will need a suitably-coloured sheet of paper or card. I’ll also go through the instructions for you on Sunday in case anyone cannot work out what to do.

Then be ready to wave it joyfully on Sunday.

Looking forward to “seeing” you then.

Matt

29th March services

Services are now available via the “Online Services” page. However, if you prefer to download the video to watch offline, please use the links on this page.

This week I have two service options for you.

If you would like the full service of Holy Communion, please click here. There is also an order of service to download and print available here, but everything you need is also on the screen.

If you would like a shorter service with more modern songs, please click here.

If you struggle to hear my sermon, you can find a similar text here.

I hope you find something you can use.

With love, Matt

Online services

My intention is to upload a service for you to watch each week. There will always be a service of Holy Communion, but I hope to add some less formal or shorter services as well. Do come back to this site each week to download the latest service(s).

Because most of the services have copyrighted music and words in them, I have had to buy licences which permit the use of this material on a website. The copyright holders have been very generous, but their intention is to enable people who would or might otherwise attend our churches in person to do so online. Please respect these limits. If you wish to share the videos more widely, please use the version without the songs which are not subject to copyright.

Message from Matt

Dear Friends

As you are aware, we have now had to close our church buildings completely for the foreseeable future. These are sad times for all of us, not just those who attend church regularly.

But there are things we can do. So let me draw your attention to three of them:

1 Please stay at home as much as possible. This saves lives. It is the single most useful thing each of us can do.

2 Be proactive in offering or asking for help. There are some who will slip through the official system. If that is you, please ask for help. And if we keep in touch with our neighbours, they shouldn’t slip through the net either.

3 Join us in prayer and worship. We can no longer gather physically, but we are hoping to make a number of services available for you to read, listen to or watch. Keep coming back to this site for more information.

I am praying for you every day, as are many others around you. If there is anything specific for which we can pray, do please let me know.

With every blessing

Matt

Welcome to our new blog

Please keep an eye on the news page – I will be sharing updates on the current situation and what we are doing to support the church and wider community at this challenging time for the nation and world.