Trinity 7

7th SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY Hymns 456, 457, 376, 368

FIRST READING Genesis 28, 10-19 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the [Lord]{.smallcaps} stood beside him and said, ‘I am the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’ Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the [Lord]{.smallcaps} is in this place—and I did not know it!’ And he was afraid, and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 139 Response: I thank you for the wonder of my being.

O Lord, you search me and you know me, you know my resting and my rising,

you discern my purpose form afar. You mark when I walk or lie down, all my ways lie open to you. R.

For it was you who created my being,knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation. R.

Already you knew my soul, my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret and moulded in the depths of the earth. R.

SECOND READING Romans 8.12-25 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

GOSPEL Matthew 13.24-30,36-43 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

On Saturday 29th July, from 11 am to 1pm, we shall be welcoming Fr Michael and the Romanian Orthodox congregation to our church for a Baptism. After Mass, can we all please leave things clear for the visitors by tidying books and kneelers away as far as possible?

An opportunity for this autumn? Canterbury Diocese is running an eight-session “Deepening Discipleship” course which will take place on Wednesday evenings via Zoom, beginning on 27th September – thus participants will not be faced with cold and tiring journeys in the evenings. This course encourages participants to reflect on, and develop, their Christian life, and it also provides a starting-point for anyone who is exploring the possibility of undertaking lay ministry. Applications close on September 13th. Visit Deepening Discipleship - Diocese of Canterbury ( for further information and an application form. (Could God be calling you to serve St Michael's as a lay minister?)

Looking ahead: Saturday, September 9th, 10 am – 4 pm, is a Heritage Open Day. As our church is a listed building and one of the few local places of worship that take part, we want our community – and visitors from further afield – to be able to enjoy our lovely Angel Windows, and, God willing, to get a sense of the beauty of holiness as St Michael's tries to show it. We shall need volunteers to bake cakes/biscuits, make tea and coffee, welcome visitors and act as stewards, answer questions, and sign in the Ride and Stride participants – including Catherine - who will be doing their sponsored walk or cycle-ride on the same day in aid of the Friends of Kent Churches. This is an important opportunity to build up our community links and to encourage people to explore our building and what it stands for. Please put it in your diary and see how you could help.

The PCC is eager to improve the state of our Halls. By way of a first step, surfaces in the Vestry Hall will be washed down and made good in preparation for re-painting, beginning at 9 am on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July. If you could give some help on either or both of those days (even just for an hour or two), please speak to Martyn or Paul. The actual painting will begin in mid-August; for details and to offer help, please also speak to Martyn or Paul.

Richborough Festival at St Albans. Join this annual day of fellowship and celebration on Saturday 5th August 2023, with Mass in the Cathedral at noon and then bring your own picnic for lunch in Bishop Norman's garden. This is a lovely opportunity to get together with people from other parishes in the Richborough family for inspiring liturgy and a convivial picnic, and also to mark our appreciation of the help and support of Bishop Norman over a number of years. If going to St Albans by car, could you offer anyone a lift?

We look forward to welcoming Archdeacon Andrew, who will be preaching at Mass on Sunday, August 13th. It is good to be seeing him at St Michael's again – please try to be present to greet him. Archdeacon Andrew was recently the bearer of the good news that we now have diocesan permission to re-advertise our vacancy.

Have you missed out on the August pilgrimage to Walsingham? There's another opportunity in September, when Bishop Norman will be leading a weekend pilgrimage for members of Richborough family parishes, from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September. To book, please contact the Shrine accommodation office on 01328 820239, indicating when you book that this is for the Richborough Family Pilgrimage. This may be easier for many people to manage than a midweek pilgrimage, and will also of course be less expensive. If you have never been to Walsingham and are inclined to be hesitant, this might be for you. Bishop Norman's connection with Walsingham goes back many years (he was once vicar of that parish), and a Walsingham pilgrimage under his leadership should prove to be a spiritual shot in the arm!

And another pilgrimage! Bishop Norman, who will by then have retired, is leading a pilgrimage to Ávila from 21st-28th May 2024 - “a journey to the heart of Carmelite spirituality”. The cost will be £999 – no single supplement and almost everything is included. A chance to see many places associated with St Teresa and St John of the Cross – not only Ávila but the Escorial,

Salamanca, Segovia…. Eleanor can print a brochure next month for anyone interested.

Could you pass on this sheet to someone else who might like to see it?