On-Line Worship during the Pandemic

Services planned for Benefice Website

Sun, 22nd March Mothering Sunday 1 Sam 1: 20-end Jn 19: 25b-27
Sun, 29th March Lent 5 Passiontide Romans 8: 6-11 Jn 11: 1-45
Sun, 5th April Palm Sunday Mt 21: 1-11 Is 50: 4-9a Mt 26:14-27: end
Thurs, 9th April Maundy Thursday Ex 12: 1-4 1Cor11: 23-26 Jn 13: 1-17, 31b-35
Fri, 10th April Good Friday Way of the Cross
Sun, 12th April Easter Day Bringing in the Easter Light and Easter Liturgy
Acts 10: 34-43; Mt 28: 1-10
Sun, 19th April Easter 2 Acts 2: 14a, 22-32 Jn 20: 19-end
Sun, 26th April Easter 3 Acts 2: 14a, 36-41 Lk 24: 13-35




It is hoped that this will be developed to include vision in due time.

The service is set out below, including the hymns, to allow you to join in or just listen.

Mothering Sunday


194    King of glory, King of peace
422    Tell out, my soul
163    Angel-voices ever singing
202    Let all the world in every corner sing

1 Samuel 1: 20-end and John 19: 25b-27

Family Service on Mothering Sunday

Introductory words – listen here:

Vestry Prayer

O God, who hast given us minds to know thee,
hearts to love thee,
and voices to show forth thy praise:

Give us grace, we beseech thee,
to dedicate ourselves freely to thy service,
that we may reverently fulfil the worship of thy sanctuary,
and beautify the praises of thy house;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


A Liturgy for Mothering Sunday

Preparation and Liturgy of the Word- Listen here:



In the name of the Father
and the Son
and the Holy Spirit

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Praise God who loves us.
Praise God who cares.

Praising and Thanking God

HYMN: 194    King of glory, King of peace

King of glory, King of peace,
I will love thee;
and, that love may never cease,
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast,
thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart

I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
thou didst clear me,
and alone, when they replied,
thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.

Small it is, in this poor sort
to enrol thee:
e’en eternity’s too short
to extol thee.

George Herbert (1593-1633)
Composer: Joseph David Jones (1827-1870)



Today, the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare or Refreshment Sunday) is traditionally allowed as a day of relief from the rigour of Lent.  As on the Feast of the Annunciation, which almost always falls in Lent; we are permitted to take a break from austerity of Lent.  The Feast of the Annunciation, 9 months before Christmas, is when the Angel visited Mary to tell her that she had been chosen by God to be bear His son, Jesus.

In mediaeval times members of religious orders returned to their Mother House and diocesan clergy to the cathedral – the Mother Church.

Later, on their one day off in the year, young girls (and some boys) ‘in service’ were allowed to return home to visit family and friends and they often gathered flowers to take home for their mothers.

So Laetare Sunday provides the background to the modern observance of Mothering Sunday and that is what we celebrate today.


Let us call to mind our sin, our failure to value the love of others
and our failure to love as Christ has loved us.

Silence for reflection

Your love gives us life from the moment of conception.
Yet, we fail to live as your children.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

You call us to do good.
Yet we seek our own good.

Christ, have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

You hear us when we cry for help.
Yet we ignore the cries of others.

Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

The Father of all mercies
cleanse you from your sins,
and restore you in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Collect

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Praise God who loves us.

Praise God who cares.

The president says the Collect for Mothering sunday.

God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
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.


The Ash Wednesday Collect

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made

and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
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.



A reading from the First Book of Samuel

In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son.

She named him Samuel, for she said,
‘I have asked him of the Lord.’

The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord
the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.

But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband,
‘As soon as the child is weaned,
I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord,
and remain there for ever;
I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.’

Her husband Elkanah said to her,
‘Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him;
only—may the Lord establish his word.’

So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.

When she had weaned him,
she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine.

She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh;
and the child was young.

Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.

And she said,
‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman
who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed;
and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to the Lord;
as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.’

She left him there for the Lord.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

1 Samuel 1: 20-end

Gradual Hymn

HYMN: 422    Tell out, my soul

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his Word;
in God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name, the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his Word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and forevermore!

Timothy Dudley-Smith (1961)
Copyright: © 1962, renewal 1990 Hope Publishing Co.

Please do not print out copies of these words.

Gospel Reading

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.
The Lord is a great God, O that today you would listen to his voice.
Harden not your hearts.

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

The Lord be with you
and also with you

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ 27Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

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

John 19: 25b-27


The Bible’s stories of mothering are never twee or sentimental.

How would we describe Samuel’s mother, Hannah?
Perhaps, passionate, generous, sacrificial, brave, joyful, trusting and faithful; certainly not saccharine as she gave up her first-born to life in the Temple.

In today’s Gospel, Mary we find Mary present even in her sorrow, faithful, grieving, caring and cared-for, showing a love that is stronger than death itself.

Mothering is all those things and more.

Without someone to do those things for us; without someone to look out for our interests, to defend us, to protect us; without someone to enable us to learn our purpose in life, without someone to model trust, faith and joy; without someone who will love us enough to let us go our own way; without someone to take the risk of loving us, even knowing that that love may bring them pain; without someone to stand with us in our times of greatest suffering; without someone to do those things for us – we are missing something crucial.

Mothers do these things for children day in, day out and have done so so through the centuries, in Exton and in Idlib and beyond.

Many others like social services and charities such as the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, a CofE organisation, and locally the Women’s Refuge Organisation and Roberts Centre in Portsmouth seek to do these things for children who would otherwise never experience this kind of mothering: protecting children in danger, being an advocate for children in trouble with the law, enabling children who are struggling to reach their God-given potential, taking a risk and they invest in the future of children in the knowledge that they must have their own integrity and yet at the same time walking with them on their journey of self-discovery, and affirming that all children are, in the words of Moses’ mother in Exodus “beautiful before God”.

In these times of pandemic and many other world-wide situations of extreme suffering, tragedy and crisis, they find new and life-giving ways of creating family and community, just as Jesus did from the cross when he asked his mother and his best friend, John, to care for each other when he had gone.

Think about your own lives – your experiences of mothering or of being mothered, remembering with thanksgiving the people who have done those things for us.

Perhaps also remember the times when, sadly, we have been failed by those who were supposed to care for us, or those times when we ourselves have failed.

If mothering were only done by mothers, it would be very hard indeed to ensure that everyone received the nurturing, protection, love, sacrifice, guidance that we need to become the people we are meant to be.

As a church community, we are called into a role of mothering that sometimes might need to be just as desperate, fierce, loyal, grieving as the mothers in today’s readings. If we, as a church, truly love the community in which we are situated, just as God loves it and if we are to be God’s holy people for God’s needy world, then we will feel the pain of the world’s suffering, and we will be willing to sacrifice something of ourselves in order to bring to birth God’s purposes for the world.

In the pandemic, many are seeking to comfort and offer practical care for those sick, isolated and afraid. We might consider the commandment ‘Honour your mother and thy father’ and realise that it requires us all to look out for, and care for the elderly. Or the other commandment that Jesus himself quotes ‘Love your neighbour as yourself and realise that it requires us all to look out for, and care for those around us who may be in any sort of need.

How are your neighbours? How do you Know? Is someone near self-isolating and unsupported or just unable to go out? Can you help?  – Without risking your own health or that of others of course. Let’s not just assume all is well around us. Let’s watch out for single people especially, and for the elderly who may be cut off from their families. Do they have enough food, medicines such as painkillers, fluids? Whilst not being either complacent or reckless, let’s all try to resist fear and selfishness and undertake safe but meaningful acts of kindness.

On the cross, God’s love is nailed firmly to the world so as never to let it go.  Is our love for the world as firmly fixed as this? Are we this passionate about nurturing the world into becoming the place that God created it to be? A truly parental love is one that would give anything and everything for the child. This is the love of God that we see on the cross, but this is also the love that we are called to have for one another, and which the Church is called to have for the world. When we love like that, we make our Mothering-God visible in the world. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

The President says:

Let us declare our faith in God.

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

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

cf Ephesians 3

Prayers for Mothers

Praise God who loves us.
Praise God who cares.

For the care of mothers;
Thanks be to God.

For their patience when tested;
Thanks be to God.

For their love when tired;
Thanks be to God.

For their hope when despairing;
Thanks be to God.

For their service without limit;
Thanks be to God.

Thank you God for the love of our mothers:
thank you God for their care and concern;
thank you God for the joys they have shared with us;
thank you God for the pains they have borne for us;
thank you God for all that they give us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


As children of a loving God who always listens to our cries,
let us pray to our Father in heaven.

For the health and well-being of our nation, that all who are fearful and anxious
may be at peace and free from worry:

God of love,
hear our prayer.

For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs,
and care for them in their vulnerability:

God of love,
hear our prayer.

For our homes and families, our schools and young people,
and all in any kind of need or distress:

God of love,
hear our prayer.

For a blessing on our local community,

that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for:

God of love,
hear our prayer.

Loving God, you have given us the right to be called children of God. Help us to show your love in our homes that they may be places of love, security and truth.

God of love,
hear our prayer.

Loving God, Jesus, your Son, was born into the family of Mary and Joseph; bless all parents and all who care for children; strengthen those families living under stress and may your love be known where no human love is found.

God of love,
hear our prayer.

Loving God, we thank you for the family of the Church. We pray that all may find in her their true home; that the lonely, the marginalized, the rejected may be welcomed and loved in the name of Jesus.

God of love,
hear our prayer.

Loving God, as we see the brokenness of our world we pray for healing among the nations; for food where there is hunger; for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain; that your love may bring peace to all your children.

God of love,
hear our prayer.

Our prayers end with either these words:

Merciful Father,

Loving God, accept the cries of our heart
as we offer you prayers;
through them transform us and all creation
until you are in all and through all.

We ask these and all our prayers in the name of Jesus.


Liturgy of the Sacrament

Liturgy of the Sacrament – Listen here:

The Peace

The President says:

Since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has given us access to his grace. (cf Romans 5.1,2)

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

HYMN: 163  Angel-voices ever singing

Angel-voices ever singing
round thy throne of light,
angel-harps for ever ringing,
rest not day nor night;
thousands only live to bless thee
and confess thee
Lord of might.

Thou who art beyond the farthest
mortal eye can scan,
can it be that thou regardest
songs of sinful man?
Can we know that thou art near us,
and wilt hear us?
Yea, we can.

Yea, we know that thou rejoicest
o’er each work of thine;
thou didst ears and hands and voices
for thy praise design;
craftsman’s art and music’s measure
for thy pleasure
all combine.

In thy house, great God, we offer
of thine own to thee;
and for thine acceptance proffer
all unworthily
hearts and minds and hands and voices
in our choicest

Honour, glory, might, and merit
thine shall ever be,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
blessèd Trinity.
Of the best that thou hast given
earth and heaven
render thee.

Francis Pott (1832-1909)
Composer: Edwin George Monk (1819-1900)

Liturgy of the Sacrament for Mothering Sunday

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

The gifts of the people, bread and wine, may be gathered and presented.

The table is prepared and bread and wine are placed upon it.

God of our journey,
as we walk with you on your path of obedience,
sustain us on our way and lead us to your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The president takes the bread and wine.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Holy, Holy, Holy

It is always right to give you thanks,
God our Creator,
loving and faithful,
holy and strong.

You made us
and the whole universe,
and filled your world with life.

Holy, Holy, Holy

You sent your Son to live among us,
Jesus our Saviour, Mary’s child.

He suffered on the cross;
he died to save us from our sins;
he rose in glory from the dead.

Holy, Holy, Holy

You send your Spirit
to bring new life to the world,
and clothe us with power from on high.

And so we join the angels
to celebrate and sing:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Father, on the night before he died,
Jesus shared a meal with his friends.

He took the bread, and thanked you.
He broke it, and gave it to them, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this to remember me.

After the meal, Jesus took the cup of wine.
He thanked you, and gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you.
This is my blood,
the new promise of God’s unfailing love.
Do this to remember me.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Bring this bread and wine,
and remember his death and resurrection,
send your Holy Spirit,
that we who share these gifts
may be fed by Christ’s body and his blood.

Amen, Amen, Amen

Pour your Spirit on us
that we may love one another,
work for the healing of the earth,
and share the good news of Jesus,
as we wait for his coming in glory.

Amen, Amen, Amen

For honour and praise belong to you, Father,
with Jesus your Son, and the Holy Spirit:
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen, Amen, Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Please be seated or kneel.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour 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.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

The president says one of the invitations to communion

Jesus is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

Prayer of Humble Access

We do not presume
to come to this your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.
But you are the same Lord
whose nature is always to have mercy.
Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ
and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

Loving God,
as a mother feeds her children at the breast
you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life:
help us who have tasted your goodness
to grow in grace within the household of faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Post Communion Prayer is followed by:          

Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory. Amen.

The Dismissal

The ministers and people depart.


Christ give you grace to grow in holiness,
to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.


Closing Hymn
HYMN: 202    Let all the world in every corner sing

Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.
The heavens are not too high,
his praise may thither fly:
the earth is not too low,
his praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.
The church with psalms must shout,
no door can keep them out;
but above all the heart
must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in every corner sing,
my God and King.

George Herbert (1593-1633)
Composer: Basil Harwood (1859-1949)

Vestry Prayer

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God.

Go before us, O Lord,

in all we do with your most gracious favour,
and guide us with your continual help;
that in all our works, begun,
continued and ended in you,
we may glorify your holy Name,
and finally by thy mercy,
receive everlasting life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all evermore.


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):

Some material included in this service is copyright:

© 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

© The Archbishops’ Council 2000

© The Archbishops’ Council 2002

© Michael Perham

© Northumbria Community

CCL: 182525

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