Sunday August 30th, 2020

Bare feet and burning bushes

Bush in the desert, Wadi Rum, Jordan


To lead us in to our time of prayer one of my favourite hymns

O God, you search me, and you know me
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze
When I walk or lie down, you are before me
‘Ever the maker and keeper of my days

You know my resting and my rising
You discern my purpose from afar
And with love everlasting, you besiege me
In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord
You have known its meaning through and through
You are with me beyond my understanding
God of my present, my past and future, too

Although your Spirit is upon me
Still I search for shelter from your light
There is nowhere on Earth I can escape you
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight

For you created me and shaped me
Gave me life within my mother’s womb
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new

© 1992, Bernadette Farrell. Published by OCP Publications

Let us pray:

Almighty God,
you search us and know us;
may we rely on you in strength
and rest on you in weakness,
now and in all our days
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A prayer to hear God’s calling

Great God:
Thank you for the constant call we hear from you each day.
The wind whispering around our ears,
the birds singing to us from the trees,
rain pinging on the window,
the good earth inviting our steps.

We hear that call again and again,
through kind hands and warm hearts around us.
Open our ears to your call, 
which is as expansive as the world,
and as particular as a poor man walking a dusty road
to a cross on Calvary.

Like him, help us to love, not just in word, but in deed:
love for our neighbours who are hard to love,
love for newcomers in our community,
love for people who are cast out by others.
Forgive us for the times we have failed to share your love,
choosing to hoard what is freely given, 
fearful that we have limited resources, limited time…we’re too tired.

Thank you that even then, your consoling voice calls us.
Help us to respond with cheerful hearts as we do your work.
Strengthen those among us who face heavy burdens,
who live with pain; physical, emotional, spiritual.
Holy Spirit, bind us together as a community
to sing your chorus of love faithfully, heartily.
Multiply your call in us and through us.
In the name of Jesus we pray,

Taken from leadinginworship.
Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

Prayers of Gratitude and Concern

Maker and Lover of all in the mystery of your kindness you have bound us to each other and called us to serve the earth and its people
Here us wherever we are today.
We pray for the churches to which we belong
that they may be centres of faith, hope, hospitality and imagination,
modelling the future rather than lamenting the past.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer.

Grateful for the life in our bodies,
we pray for those whose lives are diminished
by ill health, grief or rejection,
asking for the healing, the affirmation, the listening
which will encourage and restore them.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer.

Conscious of this space in which we find peace
we pray for those who have no peace
because of war or the fear of war
or the threat of violence
or the grip of hunger
the scourge of injustice
or the loss of hope.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer.

As we think of Moses on the mountain
surrounded by rugged beauty of the desert
and in the place where we live
the beauty of the hills, the green of pasture
and, in the season of approaching autumn, the fruit and produce in our gardens
we pray for the earth,
especially where it is damaged by human carelessness
and threatened by human greed.
In your mercy Lord, help us to care for the earth as you do.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer.

We take a moment for our own prayers, holding before God those especially in our hearts today.

We remember those who have died.
Praying that as their journey in this life is over, they may now rest in God’s love and peace.
We pray for those who mourn their passing that God will grant them comfort and strength.

A Celtic prayer for the ending of this life’s journey looking forward to the life to come.

Lord, when our steps are weary
and the going rough
When our life is dreary
and the journey tough
Open the gate of glory

When the dark clouds thicken
and the storm rides high
When the troubles quicken
and danger is nigh
open the gate of glory

When our work is completed, and life is done
we are not defeated
The victory you have won
open the gate of glory.

From Tides and Seasons.
Modern Prayers in the Celtic tradition. David Adam©1989 SPCK Triangle

The Collect or Prayer for the day

God of constant mercy,
Who sent your Son to save us:
remind us of your goodness,
Increase your grace within us
that our thankfulness may grow,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Closing Prayer

Ever Present God, set your blessing on us,
confirm in us the truth by which we rightly live
confront us with the truth from which we wrongly turn.
We ask not for what we want
but for what you know we need,
as we offer you this day and ourselves
for you and to you.

A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
And may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and upon those you love and pray for today and forevermore.

Opening Prayer and Collect for the day
Common Worship services and prayers for the Church of England
Additional collects ©the Archbishop’s Council 2004
Prayers of Gratitude and Concern
Adapted from The Iona Abbey Worship Book
©Wild Goose Publications 2017

This will be my final blog for Rose’s Cam Vale Ramble.
I will be taking a break for some holiday and refreshment, time to pause and stop and listen before in the future starting something new.

It’s been an interesting journey these past months, learning new skills.
Back in March after lockdown started, the blog, recorded or live streamed services were the only ways of sharing reflections and offering worship.

Now thankfully our churches are open and we can meet and worship face to face.

I wanted to say a big thank you to all who have been following Rose’s Cam Vale Ramble both in the Cam Vale Parishes and further afield.  And a special thank you to those who have offered appreciation, have sent in comments and reflections of their own.
May God bless you and keep you safe as we journey on together.

Sunday August 23rd 2020


Reading Matthew chapter 16 verses 13-20

Upon this rock, Statue of Christ, TAS Salvatur Hill, overlookig Marsalforn, Gozo.


The Prayers

The Collect or prayer for the day.

God of glory,
the end of our searching
help us to lay aside
all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,
and to give all that we have
to gain the pearl beyond all price,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ.

To lead us into our prayers the poem ‘Credo’ by John Oxenham (1852-1941)

Not what, but WHOM, I do believe,
That, in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed
To mortal man may give;–
Not what, but WHOM!
For Christ is more than all the creeds,
And His full life of gentle deeds
Shall all the creeds outlive.
Not what I do believe, but WHOM!
WHO walks beside me in the gloom?
WHO shares the burden wearisome?
WHO all the dim way doth illume,
And bids me look beyond the tomb
The larger life to live?–
Not what I do believe,
Not what,

Let us pray:

Gracious God, the source of all wisdom
we pray for your Church and for all Christian people.
We hold before you in our prayers all Christian leaders
and especially our Bishop, Peter, praying for successful treatment and good recovery
we pray also for Bishop Ruth and our Archdeacons: Anne, Simon and Adrian.
We pray for Katharine our Priest in Charge and for the members of our ministry team.
Bless all who teach the faith.
May the word of Christ may dwell richly in our hearts and knit us together in the bond of your love.

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the leaders of the nations,
and for those in authority under them.
Give then the gift of your wisdom
and a right discernment in all things.

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the communities in which we live
for all who live and work here,
and those who are visitors.
Speak your word of peace in our midst,
and help us to serve one another as Christ has served us.

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who struggle with faith
and yet who long to know you, the very Word of life.
Open their ears to hear your voice
and open their hearts to the knowledge of your love.

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all bowed down with grief, fear or sickness,
we pray for all who struggle to sleep and find rest.
May your living word bring comfort and healing to all in need.

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for all who have died in the faith of Christ
and we rejoice with all of your saints
trusting in your promise of life eternal

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

We listen to How sweet the name of Jesus sounds performed by the choir of York Minster.

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary rest.

Dear Name! the Rock on which I build;
My shield and hiding-place;
My never-failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace.

Jesus, My Shepherd, brother, Friend,
my Prophet, Priest, and King;
my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.

Till then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath;
and may the beauty of Thy name
refresh my soul in death.

Lyrics:  John Newton (1725-1807)
Music: J. C. Lowry


Go into your week
knowing you are
loved perfectly,
saved eternally,
and empowered
as a disciple of Jesus
to share God’s love
with everyone you meet.

May the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
be among you and remain with you
and with all that you love and pray for today and for evermore.

Jesus and Peter share breakfast on the beach

Prayers adapted from New Patterns for Worship
The Archbishop’s Council 2016 Church House Publishing
Common Worship services and prayers for the Church of England. Additional collects
©The Archbishop’s Council 2004

Sunday August 16th 2020

The Woman who taught Jesus a lesson

Reading Matthew chapter 15 verses 10-28



To lead us into our prayers we reflect on the words of the hymn All the wonder words by John Bell of the Iona Community (John L Bell © 2002, Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community, Glasgow)

1 All the wonder that surrounds us
 springs from God’s care:
all that marvels or confounds us,
raw, rich or rare;
touch and texture,
sights and voices,
nature’s countless forms and choices:
all for which the heart rejoices
springs from God’s care.

 2 Every creature, every human
 lives by God’s grace:
every family, man and woman,
culture and race;
those whom fortune seems to favour,
those exploited for their labour,
those who need to know a neighbour
live by God’s grace.

 3 How can we revere God’s goodness
meant for all time?
How ensure that each uniqueness
keeps in its prime?
How shall we revere with pleasure
all God gives for life and leisure,
how preserve that earthly treasure
meant for all time?

 4 God has willed that peace and justice
walk hand in hand.
These, with love, shall build foundations
on which we’ll stand:
love for lover, friend and stranger,
love defying death and danger
love as first born in a manger –
heaven close at hand.

The hymn goes to the setting Ar Hyd Y Nos

Let us pray

A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation

Heavenly Father,
you have called us in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ
to continue his work of reconciliation
and reveal you to the world.
Forgive us the sins which tear us apart;
give us the courage to overcome our fears
and to seek that unity which is your gift and your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Holy God who, in Jesus, touched the earth
admiring its beauty and blessing its people
we honour you for the gift of life
and all the gifts that life brings to us
food, shelter, company
the experiences that make us think
the people that bring out the best in us.

Hear our prayers for the places in this world
where beauty has turned to ugliness
food had been replaced by famine

Lord in your kindness
Bring healing, bring peace.

Hear our prayers for people who cannot pray
because of pain, loss or worry.
For those who are unwell either at home or in hospital
For those whose life is drawing to a close
and those who watch and wait with them.
For those who will not love themselves
and so cannot love their neighbour.

Lord in your kindness
Bring healing, bring peace.

Hear our prayers for ourselves-
our private yearnings
our secret hopes
and any doubt, jealousy or anger
to which we hold too tightly.

Lord in your kindness
Bring healing, bring peace.

Today we commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan in 1945 which marked the ending of the 2nd World War

And so, we offer two prayers the first a prayer of gratitude for the sacrifice of those who suffered in conflict.

God our Father,
in the dying and rising of your Son Jesus Christ,
you have brought life and salvation out of cruelty and death.
We mark Victory in Japan
in gratitude for the courage of the Allied forces
who suffered for freedom in the Far East campaign
and in sorrow for all that hinders the coming of your kingdom of peace.
Give us wisdom to learn from the bitter memories of war,
and hearts that long for the unity of all nations.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus,
in whom there is no east or west, no north or south,
but one fellowship of love across the whole earth.

Lord in your kindness
Bring healing, bring peace.

The 2nd prayer is a commitment to work for peace.

Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind, in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always.

Lord in your kindness
Bring healing, bring peace.

The Collect or prayer for the day

Lord of heaven and earth
as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer
give us patience and courage never to lose hope,
But always to bring our prayers before you:
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We conclude our prayers with the words our Saviour 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.

A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand
And may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and those you love and pray for, this day and forevermore.
 Amen .

Prayers taken and adapted from:
The Iona Abbey Worship Book©Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow 2017
Worship Resources for VE/VJ Day. /The Church of Prayer and worship online.
Additional Collects. Services and Prayers for the Church of England Common Worship
© Archbishops Council 2004

Sunday August 9th 2020

Saved by doubt

Reading Matthew chapter 14 verses 22-33 read by Alan Hoskins



Dear God, be good to me.
The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.

          —Breton fisherman’s’ prayer

To lead us into our prayers we listen to ‘Calm me Lord, as you calm the storm’ by Margaret Rizza.

Let us pray;

Gracious God,
You call us to let go if the things we cling to
and step out in faith,
trusting in your love and provision.
Give us courage to step out boldly,
and sufficient faith to follow without fear.
Take our lives and our gifts.
Use them to accomplish more than we could possibly imagine,
so that, through us, Your kingdom may come
and Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Litany of Reassurance

When the wind is strong and the waves are high
remember the words of Jesus:
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

When our dreams come to nothing
and we wonder what lies ahead,
remember the words of Jesus:
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

When those we love disappoint us,
or hurt us deeply
remember the words of Jesus:
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

When we begin to question God’s call,
or doubt God’s love
remember the words of Jesus:
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

When we’ve lost all hope,
and do not know where to turn,
remember the words of Jesus:
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

When our faith is stretched to breaking point,
remember the words of Jesus:
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

Take heart, it is I do not be afraid,
for I have redeemer you,
I have called you by name: you are Mine.

When you go through deep waters
I will be with you.

When you pass through rivers of difficulty,
you will not be overwhelmed.

When you walk through the fire,
you shall not be burned
and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord, your God
The Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

And so, we take a moment to hold in our prayers, all in need of God’s strength, support and healing and blessing today.

We remember especially our Bishop, Peter Hancock, as he begins treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia.

We pray also for those who are unwell in our parishes either at home or in hospital.
And for those who mourn the loss of loved ones especially the family and friends of Gerarda Solomon.

We pray for those suffering with Covid 19 and for those whose lives, livelihoods and futures are affected by it.

We pray also for those in the city of Beirut for those who have lost loved ones, for those who have been injured, for those who have lost homes.

Lord, you call us to step out in faith, to place our lives in your hands.
At times, we know that can be difficult to do.
It’s not always easy to follow where you are leading us.
Like Peter, we cry out to you, help us to hear your gentle voice,
“It is I, do not be afraid.”
Continue to give us strength and courage, as we walk through the storms of fear and doubt
knowing you are right there with us 

Lord in your kindness,
Hear our prayer.

The Prayer or Collect for the day

Gracious Father,
revive your Church in our day
and make her holy, strong and faithful
for your glory’s sake
In Jesus Christ our Lord.

Closing Blessing

God calls us to step out in faith
to follow where He leads
even if what He calls us to do seems impossible.

So, let’s go with courage
trusting in God’s presence and power
and eager to do God’s will.

And may the blessing of God Almighty
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be among you and within you
and those you love and pray for
wherever you find yourselves this week.

Reflection thoughts inspired in part by the Seeds of heaven Preaching the Gospel of Matthew
© Barbara Brown Taylor Canterbury Press 2016
Prayers and blessing adapted from prayers by Christine Longhurst at
The Centre from the Mennonite Brethren studies website
Collect for the day Services and Prayers for the Church of England
additional collects The Archbishop’s Council 2004

Sunday July 26th, 2020

Of seeds and pearls

Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel is read by Alan Hoskins, please click the arrow to play.



Jesus said to his followers: Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17 v 20)

So, let us pray in faith

Lord God, through your grace we are your people;
Through your Son you have redeemed us,
In your Spirit you have made us your own.
May our hearts respond to your love.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer

We pray for our churches here in Cam Vale and for all people of faith,
For Katharine our new Rector, for the members of the ministry team and all in positions of leadership.
We look forward to our welcome service for Katharine next week
And we also look forward and pray with those who will be coming to our churches over the coming weeks for special ‘life events’
Susannah Odgers and Michael Fox being married at Corton Denham next Saturday
And Louis Alexander Birch being baptised at Queen Camel on Sunday August 9th
May they know God’s blessing upon them in this new step on their life’s journey

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer

We pray for the nations of the world and their leaders.
We remember especially in our prayers people and places who are still severally affected by the rising infection rate and growing numbers of deaths from Coronavirus.

We pray also for those who are sometimes forgotten in the news, people suffering because of conflict or famine. We remember especially at this time the peoples of Yemen and Lebanon.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer

We pray for our local community.
For schools at the beginning of the summer holidays.
For those away on holiday
For those who are unable to go on holiday.

We pray that whatever the individual situation that people will be able to find the rest and refreshment they need in body, mind and spirit.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer

We pray for all who are unwell this time either at home or in hospital.
For those who are anxious about the future.
For those just coming out of shielding, negotiating the challenges of a very different world around them.

We pray for healing, strength and peace.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer

We give thanks for those who have died in the faith of Christ,
Remembering especially from Corton Denham Gerarda Solomon.
As we give thanks for her life so we pray for her family as they prepare for her thanksgiving service.

Lord, in your kindness
Hear our prayer

The prayer or collect for the day

Generous God, you give us gifts and make them grow:
Though our faith is small as mustard seed,
Make it grow to your glory
And the flourishing of your kingdom
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

To end our prayers we listen to the hymn Take this moment.

(words below)

1. Take this moment, sign and space;
Take my friends around;
Here among us make the place
Where your love is found.

2. Take the time to call my name,
Take the time to mend
Who I am and what I’ve been,
All I’ve failed to tend.

3. Take the tiredness of my days,
Take my past regret,
Letting your forgiveness touch
All I can’t forget

4. Take the little child in me
Scared of growing old;
Help me here to find my worth
Made in God’s own mould.

5. Take my talents, take my skills,
Take what’s yet to be;
Let my life be yours, and yet
Let it still be me.

Words by John L Bell and Graham Maule
Music by John L Bell
©WGRG Iona Community

The blessing

Go in this moment in faith
And may the Holy God prepare a holy ground for you,
May Christ Jesus take you hand on the way
And may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and with those you love and pray for, today and forever.

Blessing adapted from Liturgies for the Journey of Life
Dorothy McRae-McMahon©SPCK 2000

Sunday July 12th, 2020

On seeds and weeds

Matthew: 13 1-9 and 18-23

Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

 “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”


Alan and Rose’s garden makeover before!
Our resident pheasant and ‘garden overseer’

Reflective Prayers outdoors
(if the weather is nice!)

Praying the parable of the sower

Take some time to walk in your garden, a park or a field.
Feel the path beneath your feet,
pick up a stone,
look for a thorn,
touch the earth.

Read the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-9.

Reflect on which types of ground you most identify with at the moment.
Let this inspire your praying.

Here’s a prayer you can use to accompany this exercise:

Jesus the sower
whatever I am today, whatever the mix
of path, rock, thorns or soil
help me to become good ground
for you, for your word and for your presence.

Prayer taken from

Remembering that picture of God as the generous extravagant sower, who flings his seeds everywhere with’ holy abandon’, so we offer a prayer of confession for the times when we have been less than generous in sharing our love, our compassion and our faith.

Wise and generous God, as we remember your love for us, we remember with gratitude those who generously sowed the seeds of faith in our lives, through their actions, their words and their prayers.

Pause for a time of reflection

Above all, we recognize how you have blessed our lives
with the gift of the Holy Spirit
so that our faith has miraculously and mysteriously grown.

We confess the times we fail to involve ourselves
in planting any seeds of faith in the lives of others;
the times when our personal agendas become more important than yours;
the times when we have denied others the opportunity to expand their faith
through our lack of interest or involvement;
the times when our lives become so entangled with the values of the world
that we forget what you have said and done and promised.

Lord Jesus Christ, we know that when we become disconnected from you,
our lives becomes parched and unfruitful and our faith becomes stunted and dry.
Bless and renew our lives, we pray,
so that we remain connected to you at all times and in all places,
strengthening our faith to expand and, growing strongly and vigorously,
to bear the fruit of your mercy, your love, your undying life.

Prayer of confession adapted from a prayer written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on
 Liturgies Online.

We take a moment to hold in our prayers all who are especially in our thoughts today.

On this second Sunday in July traditionally we celebrate Sea Sunday remembering in our prayers all seafarers.

This year, we are asked to remember their vital role in the fight against COVID-19.
Not just keeping our supermarket shelves stocked through the crisis, but also transporting PPE and vital medical equipment to keep the world safe.

It is hoped that Sea Sunday will still be remembered this year in December either on Sunday 13 or Sunday 20 December.

Lord God, Creator of land and sea,
bless those who work at sea.
Be with them in fair weather and foul,
in danger or distress.
Strengthen them when weary,
lift them up when down
and comfort them when far from their loved ones.
In this life, bring them safely to shore
and, in the life to come,
welcome them to your kingdom.
For Jesus Christ’s sake,

Prayer from the Mission to Seafarers

We also hold in a moment of silence all who are unwell at this time, either at home or in hospital.
Those for whom life is drawing to a close.
All who are seeking to support near and dear ones in times of anxiety or sorrow.

Lift them, Lord
from sadness to laughter
from sickness to health
from shadow to light

Lift them Lord,
From fear to hope
From frailty to strength
from despair to joy
from chaos to peace.

Lord in your kindness
Hear our prayer

A prayer for ourselves

Lord, we would grow with you
New shoots reaching out
Hands stretched upward
Like leaves newly formed
Soaking up your light and warmth
Lord, we would grow with you

Lord, we would grow with you
In sunshine and rain
In darkness and light
In cold days and summer days
From springtime to winter
Lord, we would grow with you

Lord, we would grow with you
And bring forth fruit
That is pleasing to you
Fed by your living water.

 contemporary Welsh prayer posted on A Place for Prayer.

The Collect or prayer for today

Almighty God,
send down upon your Church
the riches of your Spirit,
and kindle in those who minister the gospel
your countless gifts of grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Common Worship services and prayers for the Church of England
additional collects ©Archbishops Council 2004.

A traditional Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon you fields
and, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Sunday July 5th, 2020

The easy yoke

Matthew Chapter 11 verses 16-19 and 25-30.

At that time Jesus said, ‘to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.”

 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

‘I thankyou, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’


To lead us into our prayers the song ‘Come to me’ performed by Lou Hayles from the album ‘Don’t hide away’ Myrrh records 1977

Let us pray

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
so lead us by your Spirit
that in this life we may live to your glory
and in the life to come enjoy you for ever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

                                                  adapted from the prayer of St Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Lord Jesus Christ,
You offer rest to the weary, strength to the weak and healing to the broken hearted
We bring before you those who are in our thoughts today.

We pray for countries across the world where the infection rate and death-toll continue to rise.

For those in our own country who will be opening businesses for the first time this weekend after weeks of lockdown.

Those who are struggling financially as a result of Covid 19.

For those who are unable to open, remembering especially at this time the people of Leicester, their businesses and communities.

Lord, in your kindness,
Hear our prayer

We pray for churches and places of worship, in this weekend as restrictions are lifted
on gathering for public worship, we pray for all who have to make decisions about when is the right time to open our doors, balancing our desire to move forward with the need to keep communities safe.

We pray for our communities, for our neighbourhoods, our schools and local businesses, our health centres, our places of work. Give us sensitivity and insight into the needs and vulnerabilities of others so that we may learn truly to love our neighbours as ourselves. 

Help us to be responsible and sensible in all our interaction with those around us so that we do not increase the chance of infecting, or being infected by, those we meet.

Lord, in your kindness,
Hear our prayer

We take a moment to hold before God those who are ill, anxious or bereaved and for those who are weary and carrying heavy burdens.

Praying that God will lead them, and us, in peace towards healing and wholeness, of body, mind and spirit.

Lord, in your kindness,
Hear our prayer

A Collect or prayer for the day.

Almighty God, you search us and know us:
may we rely on you in strength and rest on you in weakness,
now and in all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

            Common worship additional collects.
Published by the General Synod of the Church of England


May God bless you, wherever you are,
and God bless those you love, wherever they are.
And may God give you today good hope, and good light and good love.


Finally, my friend and colleague Stephen sent this through today.
It seems to put things into proportion in all our detailed discussions over the re-opening of our churches for public worship.

We haven’t cancelled worship, by Thom M Shuman

We haven’t cancelled worship;
we’ve cancelled a religious service
at a specific time, in a specific place,
on a specific day, but folk will still
worship God when they are caring
for the grand-kids and walking their dogs;
worship as they serve beside Jesus at foodbanks
and pick up groceries for a neighbour;
worship when they share the Spirit’s peace
by singing songs over the phone to a parent;
worship when they work from home;
worship when they endure extra shifts
in nursing homes and group homes;
worship when they e-mail someone far away
and wave to a stranger across the street;
worship when they take toilet paper
to a homeless shelter
and volunteer at a polling place.
We haven’t cancelled worship,
just the ‘official’ part
that may be the smallest part
of it all.

Thom Shuman is a member of the Iona Community

Sunday June 28th

A cup of cool water


Genesis 22 verses 1-14

The Sacrifice of Isaac

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So, Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So, Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Matthew 10 verses 40-42

Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me. And anyone who welcomes me also welcomes the one who sent me. Anyone who welcomes a prophet, just because that person is a prophet, will be given the same reward as a prophet. Anyone who welcomes a good person, just because that person is good, will be given the same reward as a good person. And anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will surely be rewarded.

The Offering of Isaac


Let us pray

Let us remember that God is with us now.
There is no place where God is not
Wherever we go, there God is
Now and always he enfolds us
looks upon us with his mercy
and is ready to hear us when we call.

And so let us say a prayer for all who need to be remembered today

For those who have been in the news because of that they have done or said…

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

For those who have been brought to our attention through a meeting or a conversation…

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

For our churches here in Cam Vale, for Katharine our Priest in Charge, for the members of our ministry team, Our Lay Worship Assistants and churchwardens. We pray especially at this time when we are beginning to look to opening our churches once again for worship for wisdom and guidance in the various decisions we have to make.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

We pray for those who would have been ordained this weekend praying that God will be with them at this time blessing and affirming the calling that they already have, and we pray for others who are exploring God’s calling in their lives.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

For those struggling with faith and doubt. Those who feel that at this time God is far from them and they are far from God.

For those who need to forget the God they do not believe in and meet the God who believes in them.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

For those whose lives or situations lack any sense of hope for the future.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

For those who are unwell either at home or in hospital

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

We give thanks for those who through small acts of kindness, whether knowingly or unknowingly, have made others aware of God’s love for them.

The Collect or prayer for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity

God our saviour,
 look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

A prayer for ourselves

Lord increase
Our zest for living
Our vision of glory
Our hearing of your call
Our grasp on reality
Our response to your love
Our sensitivity to others
Our gentleness to creation
Our taste for wonder
Our love for you.

A blessing

In the full tide of the day and in its ebbing,
In the rising of the sun and its setting,
The mighty God be with you
The loving God protect you
The holy God guide you

May the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you
and with those you love and pray for, today and forevermore.

Prayers taken and adapted from
Common worship Services and prayers for the Church of England
Additional collects©Archbishop’s Council 2004
The Open Gate David Adam©1994 SPCK/Triangle
The book of a thousand Prayers Angela Ashwin©2002 Zondervan Publishing
The Iona Abbey Worship Book© 2001The Iona Community


Sunday June 21st

Ordinary time, extraordinary lives

Genesis 21 verses 1-2 and 8-21

The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. The child grew and was weaned. On the day that Isaac was weaned Abraham made a great feast. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing so she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.”And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “do not be displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” So, Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Today I am experimenting with a different way of sharing my reflection with you. Confession time, I am very new at this but hopefully it will work. Do let me know what you think (as long as it’s not too rude!!). Please excuse the ‘pings’ from the phone at the end.


Hagar and Ishmael by Frederick Goodall (1822-1904)

Let us pray

Prayer for the Second Sunday after Trinity

Faithful Creator,
whose mercy never fails;
deepen our faithfulness to you
and to your living Word
Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer of commitment from the Iona service
for Justice and peace.

God of new beginnings,
you long for us to live in love and justice
with our neighbours, with friends and strangers,
with people everywhere.

You call us to be just and loving
in our working
in our shopping
in our caring
and through our prayers

Jesus, you were a storyteller
you talked about money, wages and taxes
you told stories about integrity and forgiveness,
you helped people who were in trouble,
you listened to people who were sad.

You call us to live as you did
to listen to each other,
to be forgiving,
and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.

Holy Spirit, we are discovering what you ask of us.
You are wild and wise and you speak the truth.
You challenge and comfort us,
you breathe life into us,
you shout in the streets and you whisper in our ears,

You remind us what Jesus taught and practised
you take us to task,
you tell us to turn around;
you call us to walk in Love’s way.

Holy Trinity,
God’s love in community
Every day in our living
help us to say yes to you

In our prayers today we remember those who are particularly in our thoughts, especially

The Revd Katharine Hawksley licensed this week as our new Priest in Charge/ Rector, we pray for Katharine she moves house this coming week.
We pray that as we welcome her, we may be a blessing to her as she will surely be a blessing to us.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We take a moment to pray also for those who are unwell either at home or in hospital.
For those who are anxious about the future.
For those who are vulnerable.
For all who seek to offer care or support to others.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

In a week when our churches have finally been able to open for private prayer for the first time in a while, two prayers from the liturgy for the re-opening of our churches.

Almighty God,
we praise you for the many blessings you have given to those who worship you in this house of prayer:
and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you,
and, being filled with the Holy Spirit,
may become a living temple acceptable to you;
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.

Loving God, thank you for this house of prayer where we praise and thank you for all you have given us.
Help us to go out into the world,
refreshed by your Spirit,
to do all that you have called us to do in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayers taken from the Church of England website
Liturgy for the re-opening of churches.

The Blessing

The light of God to lead us
The power of God to hold us
the joy of God to heal us
The grace of God to caress us
The love of God to bless us.

Reference in Rose’s talk Creating a sense of injury Mary Austin

Collect taken from Common worship services and prayers for the Church of England
additional collects. Archbishop’s Council, Church House publishing 2004.
Prayer of Commitment and blessing taken from The Iona Abbey Worship Book
The Iona Community 2016

Trinity Sunday

Magic, madness, or mystery

Matthew Chapter 28 verses 16-20

 Then the eleven disciples went away to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


“The Trinity is a mystery, not a puzzle.
Love is a mystery; a crossword is a puzzle.
You try to solve a puzzle; you stand in awe before a mystery.”

Justo L. González

Of all the festivals in the church’s year Trinity Sunday is the one that many preachers DREAD. I once had a friend and colleague who, when Trinity Sunday came around, regularly managed to be away on a conference or for an important family commitment in order to avoid being home. Thus, leaving either his Reader or his curate to pick up the pieces and struggle with the sermon slot.  

Over the years I have to confess that Trinity Sunday has often left me feeling a bit like the clown trying to juggle three balls in the air. Sometimes they’ve fallen flat on the ground but on the occasions when they’ve flown, at least a little, by the end of the service I’ve still found myself wondering whether I’ve said something meaningful or if people will go away wondering what on earth I was on about. Sometimes preachers dig holes for themselves by trying to explain or even simplify the Trinity: triangles, shamrocks, the ability of water to become liquid, ice and steam have all been utilized. One illustration I came across recently involved 3 blind men in a room with an elephant (no, please don’t ask!).  For me Barbara Brown Taylor expresses it well when she describes the Trinity as a ‘logic-buster’.   

Martin Luther wrote “to deny the Trinity is to risk our salvation; to try and explain it is to risk our sanity”. Luther of course had far more at stake, literally at stake, than modern day preachers. For centuries the punishment for deviating from the orthodox teaching of the Church involved burning at the stake. The doctrine of the Trinity became part of this teaching and over the centuries became the cause of several wars. Thousands of Christians were killed because they came down on the losing side of arguments over their interpretation.

However, as far as scripture is concerned the Trinity is never mentioned. The closest we get is today’s gospel reading where, just before the ascension, Jesus commissions his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Also, the reference at the end of 2 Corinthians where we read a farewell prayer and blessing attributed to St Paul which is often used in our worship, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

(2 Corinthians 13 v13)

That’s it! The only references to the Trinity in the Bible. However, what we do get in other places are instances of God being referred to by three names and inhabiting three forms, which is more than a little confusing. How can God be both three and one all at the same time?

The Bible often compounds this problem by making it sound as if all three operate independently of each other. ‘Now I am going to him who sent me,” says Jesus in John chapter 16. “ Nevertheless”, he adds a little later on “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go I will send him to you”. Finally, he says “All that the Father has is mine. For this reason, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you”.

So, who are all these people? How can God the Father be his own son? And if Jesus is God, then who is he talking to? And where does the Holy Spirit fit in to all this? Is this Holy Spirit the spirit of God, the spirit of Jesus, or somebody else altogether? If they are all one, then why do they come and go at different times, and how can one of them send another of them?

There are orthodox answers to all of these questions yet somehow, they can never seem to do justice to the mystery of the nature of God. How do you begin to describe something beyond words? It might be better not to start. As a musician I get really frustrated when I tune in to a concert on TV and even before the first note is played a commentator is trying to describe the piece and explain what the composer ‘meant’ when he wrote it. All the while there’s a little voice in my head saying, “Just shut up, let’s hear the music, let it speak for itself!” In one of his books theologian Robert Farrar Capon says that ”human beings trying to describe God is bit like a bunch of oysters trying to describe a ballerina”. We simply don’t have the equipment or vocabulary to capture something which is so utterly beyond us, but that has never stopped us from trying.

The prophet Isaiah tried: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.”

(Isaiah 6 vv1-2)

Writing in the book of Revelation John tried: ”At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald.

(Revelation 4 vv 2-3)

Throughout the centuries believers have tried to describe God but very few have been satisfied with their descriptions. You can’t paint a true portrait of God, any more than you can convey in words the experience of listening to a piece of music. The best any of us have been able to do is to describe what the experience of God is like, how it sounds, how it feels, what it reminds us of. Whether that experience comes from the pages of scripture or from events of our own lives, that’s about the closest we are ever going to get, (at least this side of heaven). A description of what it feels like when we’re in the presence of God.

Yet, again, like listening to a piece of music, this experience is rarely the same twice in a row. In the same way that I can listen to a favourite piece and on one day it can move me to tears and on another it can raise my spirits so high I’m singing it all round the house (you can pity my husband on this), so God comes to us at different times and in different ways.  Sometimes God comes to us as judge in white gloves, walking through our lives and exposing all the messes we’ve made. Other days God comes as a shepherd, fending off our enemies, gently setting us right when we’ve strayed, making sure we’re watered and fed.  Sometimes God comes as a whirlwind blowing our certainties away, sometimes as a monarch enthroned in heavenly splendour, sometimes as a mother hen gathering us close. Other times as a still small voice or, even more scarily, as the sound of sheer silence. If we were to name all the ways God comes to us the list would go on for ever.

God is plural which is one of the mysteries of the Trinity. In our creeds and statements of faith we affirm that God comes to us in many ways, as different from one another as they can be. The other mystery is that God is one. There can’t be a fierce God and a loving one, a God of the Old Testament and a God of the New.  When we experience God in contradictory ways, that’s our problem, not God’s. We can’t solve it by driving wedges into the divine self, picking the bits we like and leaving those we don’t. All we can do is to decide whether or not to open ourselves up to a God whose freedom and imagination simply blow our minds.

When it comes to the Trinity, we have to settle for the fact that God is and will always remain way beyond our comprehension, description or explanation. Some find this reassuring, some find it frustrating, some even find it irrelevant.  And yet, having juggled the balls for a while, here’s the thing…

First, at its heart the Trinity is about community, three in one and one in three, a living active relationship.  As we’ve discovered these past weeks relationships come alive through activity, when individuals work together especially in times of crisis. You can write all the eloquent words in the world but making a call to check someone’s OK, helping out with a vital shop, taking a trip to pick up a prescription speaks volumes. That’s where the power is, that’s where the meaning is and right now that’s where God’s heartbeat is.

Finally, to return to our gospel reading, and Jesus instruction to his disciples about how to baptize. Those words, you know, are precious and powerful words and not just at a baptism. Way back in the early centuries Celtic Christians knew this. They had prayers for God’s protection at every age and stage of life and in every situation.  In raw, remote and rugged places dangers came in all shapes and forms both physical and spiritual. Thinking about all that surrounds us right now it may just be one of the reasons why many of these prayers strike a chord with people. The advent of coronavirus has forced us to think more deeply about many things, including our own vulnerability and situations where there seem to be no immediate answers, explanations or solutions.

May the arm of God be about you
The way of Christ guide you
The strength of the Spirit support you.
God be with you on the smooth paths
Christ be with you in the storms
the Spirit be with you at all times

The Holy God encircle you and keep you safe;
The mighty God defend you from all dangers
The loving God give you his peace. 1

These words are as fresh and powerful today as they were when they were first written. Invoking God’s blessing and protection, the power of the Holy Three, before us, beside us, above us to guide us.  Not a dry dusty formula, or a puzzle to be solved, or even a series of balls to be juggled but a living source of love and life.  

1 Blessing taken from Carmina Gadelica as found in The Open Gate.
David Adam ©SPCK Triangle 1994
Other thoughts inspired by Home by Another Way. Barbara Brown Taylor ©SPCK 2011


To lead us into our time of prayer I’m including a piece called “The deer’s cry” traditionally attributed to St Patrick it is also known as “St Patrick’s breastplate” and
”Lorica”. It’s a beautiful prayer celebrating a God who lives with his children, guiding them, sheltering them, strengthening them. A God who is with us and in us through his Creation.

In 1994 Irish composer Shaun Davey put a section of the prayer to music in his CD “The Pilgrim”. It is wonderfully sung by Rita Connolly.

Let us pray

We light a candle in the name of the Creator who birthed the world and breathed life into us.

We light a candle in the name of the Saviour who entered the world and stretched out his hand for us.

We light a candle in the name of the Spirit who pervades the world and fills us.

We will light three lights for the Trinity of love;
God above us,
God beside us
God beneath us.

Holy God, faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God now and for ever.

Some simple prayers adapted from the Iona Community;
we pause to reflect after each sentence.

Let us bring to God this day those who are close to us and for whom we wish to pray.

Let us bring to God someone who is hurting this day and needs our prayer.

Let us bring to God a troubled situation in our world.

Let us bring to God someone we find hard to trust or forgive.

Let us bring ourselves to God
that we might grow in generosity of spirit
clarity of mind
and warmth of affection.

The Blessing

May the Father of many resting places grant you rest,
The Christ who stilled the storm grant you calm
The Sprit who fills all things grant you peace.
God’s light be your light
God’s love be your love
God’s way be your way
And may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and among you,
and those you love and pray for,
this day and for ever more.

Prayers taken and adapted from Liturgies from Lindisfarne ©Kevin Mayhew publishing 2010
The Iona Abbey Worship Book ©Wild Goose Publications 2001
Blessing taken from The Open Gate. David Adam ©SPCK Triangle 1994

I will be taking a break from my blog next Sunday, back again on Sunday June 21st.
In the meantime, keep safe and keep well

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