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  • Elizabeth Bryson’s Good Shepherd Sermon

    Acts 9: 36-end, Psalm 23; Revelation 7: 9-end; John 10: 22-30

    Jesus said: ‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27)

    One hot day in August 1978, while we were travelling on a coach between Jericho and Jerusalem; we saw a Bedouin Shepherd leading his sheep up the steep, dry, rocky hillside to find a ‘green pasture’. The sheep were walking in a line following the shepherd. We were thrilled to see this amazing sight and it brought alive for us the words of Jesus saying ‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27)

    In Psalm 23 David rejoices that ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ who ‘makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.’ (Psalm 23:1-2)‘Sheep won’t drink of running water’, and so as well as leading the sheep to grass to eat; the Shepherd had to find still water for them to drink. We sang in our Opening Hymn The king of love my shepherd is who leads us to verdant pastures. On my walks I sometimes walk by fields of sheep and I have noticed that in a field the sheep feed most of the time.  

    The Bible is described as spiritual food (Hebrews 5: 13-14) because through reading the Bible we can come to believe in Jesus and grow in a relationship with the Lord. Jesus said: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6) On the Alpha Course we hear that the actor David Suchet came to faith in Jesus through reading a Gideon Bible in a hotel room. The Bible equips us to serve God and people better as reading the Scriptures will build us up in the faith so, as St Paul says we will ‘be complete and proficient, well-fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ (2 Timothy 3:17) We will feel more confident to share our faith with others, talk about Jesus and how the Lord has helped us. Just as the sheep keep on chewing the grass; so we should read the Bible every day and spend time thinking and reflecting on the passage, so we can learn from what we read and grow closer to Jesus.

     ‘All Scripture is inspired by God,’ (2 Timothy 3:16) so it is helpful to read all of the Bible and not just the well-known passages. In the Bible, the Old Testament contains books of law, history, prophecy and poetry. We read about the Patriarchs and the Prophets. The New Testament has the four Gospels telling us about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus then the history of the Early Church in Acts, letters and prophecy. It is good to read the Bible every day so we let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. (Colossians 3:16)

    The reading from Acts today is the amazing miracle of the raising to life of Dorcas called Tabitha. I wonder whether Peter remembered when he had been with Jesus in the room of Jairus’ daughter who had died and Jesus raised her to life with the words ‘My child, get up’ (Luke 8: 51-55). Peter said ‘Tabitha, get up’ (v.40). How wonderful that Tabitha was restored to life and when people heard about this miracle ‘many believed in the Lord’ (v.42). Peter served and cared for people and later he wrote to other Church leaders exhorting them to ‘Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers… when the Chief Shepherd appears you will receive the crown of glory.’ (1 Peter 5: 2, 4) This can encourage us to serve, help others and pray for the sick.

    The reading from Revelation is a vision of heaven showing those who have witnessed and given testimony about their faith in Jesus and martyrs who have died for their faith in Jesus are honoured in heaven. Jesus the Good Shepherd is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John tells us: ‘I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no-one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…… They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb….For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes”’ (Revelation 7: 9-17).

    In this book Customs and Costumes in Bible Days we are told: ‘In a flock with a good, shepherd it is a strange fact that every sheep seems to feel the need every day of a few minutes’ contact and fellowship with the shepherd. First one and then another will come out from the flock and stand beside the shepherd, sometimes rubbing its head against his knee while the shepherd fondles him. And this is repeated by every sheep in the flock. If sheep feel this need of fellowship with their master, how much more should we feel the need of daily contact with our Good Shepherd, who longs to pour out His love to us.’ Reading the Bible and praying are good ways to spend time with Jesus our Good Shepherd. Sometimes a phrase or event stands out as being really amazing and that is a way that God can speak to us through the Bible.

    I recommend Maidstone Bible Week in the evenings this week at The Life Church when there will be excellent Bible Study Talks which will be inspirational with the theme ‘Lord, we don’t know what to do….’  This is about looking to God in times of struggle.

    Jesus said: ‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27)Jesus knows each of us by name! Just as on Easter Sunday morning we heard that Jesus said ‘Mary’ (v. 16) to Mary Magdalene; so Jesus knows and calls us all by name. 

    At Confirmation Services the Bishop says the names of each candidate ‘……… God has called you by name and made you his own….’ Like the sheep spending time with the shepherd; let us all spend time with Jesus the Good Shepherd who knows us all by name, loves us and wants to draw us closer.

    How wonderful that today God calls Riley-Dean by name and Riley becomes a member of Jesus’s family and a sheep in Jesus’s fold through baptism. It is very special today that Dylan, Charlotte, Leyla, Roman and Riley are admitted to Communion so they can be spiritually fed through sacramentally receiving Jesus at Communion. Let us all come to Church every week to receive the spiritual food of the body of Christ at Communion and be sheep that grow closer to Jesus through receiving this food that He gives us to spiritually nourish and sustain us. At Communion at this Mass we can receive the spiritual food of the body of Christ ‘that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.’We feed on and receive Jesus sacramentally at Communion. 

    Earlier in John Chapter 10, before the passage in our Gospel today, Jesus said: ‘I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice.’ (John 10:16) Let us all pray for those known to us who do not yet know that Jesus the Good Shepherd loves them; praying that they will hear the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd calling and caring for them.  Let us invite them to Church and be ready for Jesus to show us what to say and how to help these people come to know the love of Jesus. 

    We rejoice today that 77 years ago it was VE Day in 1945 with Victory in Europe ending the Second World War in Europe. We give thanks for the many years of peace in Europe while we continue to pray fervently for peace to come to Europe once more with the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine so that peace can be restored to Ukraine. 

    Let us be sheep who hear the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd and keep following. Let us be ready to hear God’s call to ways we can serve, help others and be active members of this Church family.

     May we all grow into closer relationship with the Jesus the Good Shepherd by praying, reading the Bible and receiving Holy Communion. Amen

  • Easter 3

    Our Church is open on Sunday at 10:30 for Mass. Everyone is welcome to attend.

    For those who would like to attend virtually the live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/rD9rbIC0VzY

    https://youtu.be/rD9rbIC0VzY

  • Readings for Easter 3

    Acts 9:1-6

    The Conversion of Saul

    Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’

    Psalm 30

    Thanksgiving for Recovery from Grave Illness

    A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the temple. Of David.

    I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
        and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
    O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
        and you have healed me.
    O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
        restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

    Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
        and give thanks to his holy name.
    For his anger is but for a moment;
        his favour is for a lifetime.
    Weeping may linger for the night,
        but joy comes with the morning.

    As for me, I said in my prosperity,
        ‘I shall never be moved.’
    By your favour, O Lord,
        you had established me as a strong mountain;
    you hid your face;
        I was dismayed.

    To you, O Lord, I cried,
        and to the Lord I made supplication:
    ‘What profit is there in my death,
        if I go down to the Pit?
    Will the dust praise you?
        Will it tell of your faithfulness?
    10 Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
        O Lord, be my helper!’

    11 You have turned my mourning into dancing;
        you have taken off my sackcloth
        and clothed me with joy,
    12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
        O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.

    Revelation 5:11-14

    11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 singing with full voice,

    ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
    and honour and glory and blessing!’

    13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,

    ‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
    be blessing and honour and glory and might
    for ever and ever!’

    14 And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshipped.

    John 21:1-19

    Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

    21 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

    Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

    When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

    Jesus and Peter

    15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ 16 A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ 17 He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

  • Easter 2

    Our Church is open on Sunday at 10:30 for Mass. Everyone is welcome to attend.

    For those who would like to attend virtually the live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/z7UApCcPuQ8

    https://youtu.be/z7UApCcPuQ8

  • Readings for Easter 2

    Acts 5:27-32

    27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’ 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’

    Psalm 118:14-29

    14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
        he has become my salvation.

    15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
    ‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
    16     the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
        the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’
    17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
        and recount the deeds of the Lord.
    18 The Lord has punished me severely,
        but he did not give me over to death.

    19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
        that I may enter through them
        and give thanks to the Lord.

    20 This is the gate of the Lord;
        the righteous shall enter through it.

    21 I thank you that you have answered me
        and have become my salvation.
    22 The stone that the builders rejected
        has become the chief cornerstone.
    23 This is the Lord’s doing;
        it is marvellous in our eyes.
    24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
        let us rejoice and be glad in it.
    25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
        O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

    26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
        We bless you from the house of the Lord.
    27 The Lord is God,
        and he has given us light.
    Bind the festal procession with branches,
        up to the horns of the altar.

    28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
        you are my God, I will extol you.

    29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
        for his steadfast love endures for ever.

    Revelation 1:4-8

    John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

    To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    Look! He is coming with the clouds;
        every eye will see him,
    even those who pierced him;
        and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

    So it is to be. Amen.

    ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

    John 20:19-31

    Jesus Appears to the Disciples

    19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

    Jesus and Thomas

    24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

    26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28 Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29 Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

    The Purpose of This Book

    30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

  • Readings for Easter Thursday

    Acts 3:11-26

    You killed the prince of life: God, however, raised him from the dead

    Everyone came running towards Peter and John in great excitement, to the Portico of Solomon, as it is called, where the man was still clinging to Peter and John. When Peter saw the people he addressed them, ‘Why are you so surprised at this? Why are you staring at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or holiness? You are Israelites, and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, who has glorified his servant Jesus, the same Jesus you handed over and then disowned in the presence of Pilate after Pilate had decided to release him. It was you who accused the Holy One, the Just One, you who demanded the reprieve of a murderer while you killed the prince of life. God, however, raised him from the dead, and to that fact we are the witnesses; and it is the name of Jesus which, through our faith in it, has brought back the strength of this man whom you see here and who is well known to you. It is faith in that name that has restored this man to health, as you can all see.

    ‘Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing; this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer. Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, and so that the Lord may send the time of comfort. Then he will send you the Christ he has predestined, that is Jesus, whom heaven must keep till the universal restoration comes which God proclaimed, speaking through his holy prophets. Moses, for example, said: The Lord God will raise up a prophet like myself for you, from among your own brothers; you must listen to whatever he tells you. The man who does not listen to that prophet is to be cut off from the people. In fact, all the prophets that have ever spoken, from Samuel onwards, have predicted these days.

    ‘You are the heirs of the prophets, the heirs of the covenant God made with our ancestors when he told Abraham: in your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed. It was for you in the first place that God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.’

    Psalm 8:2,5-9

    How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

    How great is your name, O Lord our God,
      through all the earth!
    What is man that you should keep him in mind,
      mortal man that you care for him?

    How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

    Yet you have made him little less than a god;
      with glory and honour you crowned him,
    gave him power over the works of your hand,
      put all things under his feet.

    How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

    All of them, sheep and cattle,
      yes, even the savage beasts,
    birds of the air, and fish
      that make their way through the waters.

    How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

    Luke 24:35-48

    It is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead

    The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.

    They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.

    Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’

  • Elizabeth G. Bryson’s Sermon for Easter Sunday Morning 2022 

    Acts 10: 34 – 43, 1 Corinthians 15: 19-26, John 20: 1-18 

    Today we rejoice that Christ is risen, Alleluia! We give thanks that he is risen indeed!  We hear and sing: 

    Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!  (NEH 110)

    Today you are invited to hearbelieve and meet with Jesus and then go to tell others. We hear about the resurrection of Jesus in the Bible readings and hymns for this joyful Easter Day; so we can believe. In the Gospel reading the Angels speak to Mary and we can see them in the Easter stained glass window near the piano above the bright and colourful Easter garden.

    When John, the other disciple with Peter, saw the empty tomb ‘he saw and believed’. Brother Ramon’s commentary on this is helpful: ‘The sight that met them is made clear by the evangelist. The grave-clothes were not missing, were not dishevelled or even folded, but still in their original folds – the Greek says that. What did it mean? John saw, understood and believed. The body had dematerialised in its transformation from mortal to an immortal, spiritual body. So there was continuity in that the crucified body had been taken up into the body of glory…’ John believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. The linen grave clothes still lying there as evidence that the body had not been stolen. Jesus must have removed the cloth from his head and rolled it up and put it ‘in a place by itself’. 

    Later Mary Magdalene met Jesus and then she knew that Jesus is alive! How wonderful that Mary Magdalene’s sorrow was turned to joy when she heard Jesus say her name: ‘Mary’ (v. 16). Jesus told her to ‘go and tell’ his friends and she went to announce to the disciples the most amazing news: ‘I have seen the Lord’ (V.18).   We hear that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene on Easter morning. 

    The Acts reading tells us: ‘God raised him from the dead on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead (v. 40-41)’. These verses help us believe that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning.

    The Epistle reading clearly states: ‘in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.’ (1 Corinthians 15:20)   We hear the fact of the resurrection that Jesus is risen; Jesus is alive!

    Mary Magdalene met with Jesus. We are all invited to meet with Jesus at this Mass, especially when we receive our Easter Communion or come for a blessing. At Communion we are given ‘the body of Christ’ and sacramentally receive Jesus. In the Easter hymn Thine be the glory (NEH 120) which we ended the Easter Vigil yesterday evening singing, we sing:

     ‘Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
    lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom.’

    Let us all meet with Jesus this morning!

    The Paschal Candle over there is a sign of the risen Christ, Jesus the light of the world. Last night Fr Neil carried that candle, lit from new fire, into the dark Church, singing: ‘The light of Christ’. The Paschal Candle is a symbol of Jesus’s resurrection and through the year all the baptism candles are lit from the Paschal candle and given to the newly baptised, passing on the light of Christ, with the words: Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father. How do you shine as a light?

    Let us all meet with Jesus this morning! Then like Mary Magdalene on the first Easter morning we need to go and tell others the good news that Jesus is risen! Jesus rose from the dead on the first Easter Day and Jesus is alive! We can grow into a closer living relationship with Jesus by living each day in his presence, talking to Jesus and growing in faith by reading the Bible. The Chorus of an Easter hymn I serve a risen Saviour expresses what our experience can be:

    He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
    He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
    He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
    You ask me how I know he lives?  He lives within my heart. 

    You can meet with Jesus asking Jesus to come into your heart today praying these hymn words: O come to my heart Lord Jesus; there is room in my heart for thee. (NEH 465)

    Children and adults I wonder if you are looking forward to eating Easter Eggs today? I am looking forward to eating this Easter egg that I have been given. The Easter egg helps us to remember the true meaning of Easter. Chicken’s eggs look rather like a cave – they are the shape of the tomb where Jesus was buried.

    In the Spring time there is new life when the chicks hatch. This symbolises for us about the new life and the resurrection of Jesus on that first Easter Sunday morning! 

    When we give and share Easter eggs let us be ready to tell our family and friends that the chocolate eggs remind us about the new life of Jesus,  that Jesus is risen, Jesus is alive and Jesus loves us. They can hearbelieve and meet with Him too! 

    Today let us all meet with Jesus and then go to tell others! Amen

  • Easter Day

    Christ is risen, Alleluia!

    Our Church is open today at 10:30 for Easter Day Mass. Everyone is welcome to attend.

    For those who would like to attend virtually the live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/2we3vGOCIUI

    https://youtu.be/2we3vGOCIUI

  • Readings for Easter Day

    Isaiah 65:17-25

    The Glorious New Creation

    17 For I am about to create new heavens
        and a new earth;
    the former things shall not be remembered
        or come to mind.
    18 But be glad and rejoice for ever
        in what I am creating;
    for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
        and its people as a delight.
    19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
        and delight in my people;
    no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
        or the cry of distress.
    20 No more shall there be in it
        an infant that lives but a few days,
        or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
    for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
        and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
    21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
        they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
    22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
        they shall not plant and another eat;
    for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
        and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
    23 They shall not labour in vain,
        or bear children for calamity;
    for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
        and their descendants as well.
    24 Before they call I will answer,
        while they are yet speaking I will hear.
    25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
        the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
        but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
    They shall not hurt or destroy
        on all my holy mountain,
    says the Lord.

    Acts 10:34-43

    Gentiles Hear the Good News

    34 Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

    1 Corinthians 15:19-26

    19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

    20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

    John 20:1-18

    The Resurrection of Jesus

    20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

    Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

    11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14 When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’ 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

  • Easter Services
    Holy Saturday16th April @ 8pmEaster Vigil and First Mass of Easter
    Easter Day17th April @ 10:30amSung Mass

Home

Welcome to the Church of St Michael & All Angels, Maidstone!  You’ll find us on the Tonbridge Road (A26) just over half a mile from the town centre.  We are the parish church for a population of over 6,000.  We have a growing congregation, some of whom have been attending the church for most of their lives, whilst others are newcomers.  The age range is from 0 to retired.

Our aim is that we should all have an encounter with Jesus Christ in our services.  To that end, our main services are Eucharistic: we gather around Jesus, who is sacramentally present in the consecrated bread and wine.  With the very first Christians, we believe “Jesus is the only one who can save people.  His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save anyone. We must be saved through Him!” 1Acts 4:12 ERV  The quotation from the Bible emphasises our faith in its divine inspiration from cover to cover.

Following all our services there is tea and filter coffee to wash down freshly-baked snacks.  We are finding that people are staying to chat and enjoy being together for longer.

You’ll hear our wing of the Church of England sometimes described as Anglo-Catholic (or simply catholic).  But what does “catholic” mean?  It’s not what you may think: it simply means that it’s for everyone, which therefore includes you.  Yes, there is incense at Sunday Mass, there is holy water at all the entrances; there are candles; the choir, ministers and servers wear robes and the priest wears colourful vestments:  all of these emphasise the greater significance of what we are doing: our goal is to meet Jesus in our worship and to give Him the highest honour and glory.

Do come and experience Christian worship in this lovely church, meet us and, more importantly, meet our Lord!

Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Officer: Jessica O’Sullivan, 07369 227313 or 01622 583611

Diocese of Canterbury Safeguarding Details

https://www.canterburydiocese.org/safeguarding/

Parish of St Michael and all Angels, Maidstone Safeguarding Statement

This Parochial Church Council has adopted the safeguarding polices and procedures of the Church of England. In particular we are committed to:

  • The safeguarding of all children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • Carefully selecting and training paid and voluntary staff who might come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, using the Disclosure and Barring Service amongst other tools, to check their suitability;
  • Responding without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed;
  • Cooperating fully with the police, local authority and any other appropriate statutory body in any investigation;
  • Ministering appropriately to anyone, child or adult, who has experienced abuse;
  • Extending pastoral care to those known to have offended against children or vulnerable adults whilst ensuring that children and vulnerable are protected from them.

Any child wishing to talk about a problem can contact Childline 0800 1111

Any parent or carer wishing to talk about parenting problems can contact Family Lives on 0808 800 2222

Policy Statements