Baptism Of The Lord

SECOND SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY Hymns 56, 55, 276, 57

FIRST READING 1 Samuel 3.1-10 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 139 Response: Search me out, O Lord, and know my heart.

O LORD, you search me and you know me.

You yourself know my resting and my rising; you discern my thoughts from afar. R

You mark when I walk or lie down; you know all my ways through and through.

Before ever a word is on my tongue, you know it, O LORD, through and through. R

Behind and before, you besiege me, your hand ever laid upon me.

Too wonderful for me, this knowledge; too high, beyond my reach. R

O where can I go from your spirit, or where can I flee from your face?

If I climb the heavens, you are there. If I lie in the grave, you are there. R

If I take the wings of the dawn or dwell at the seaʼs furthest end,

even there your hand would lead me; your right hand would hold me fast. R

SECOND READING Revelation 5.1-10 Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.’

GOSPEL John 1.43-51 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’


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 Matthias, 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.

Candle-light, music, meditative readings, an atmosphere of prayer in a decorated church – followed by joyous conviviality… Warmest thanks to all the people who contributed to last Sunday evening's special Epiphany service, including Fr Paul who led our worship; all the musicians (visiting and local); the readers; Martyn who set up the Crib in its Epiphany guise; and the many friends who produced and served the wonderful seasonal refreshments. Thank you, too, to Margaret and her helpers who un-decorated on Saturday morning.

Coming to the Altar for Communion: Because we had to change our arrangements during the pandemic, many communicants are at present a bit uncertain about how to approach the altar for Communion. The sidesperson on duty will now be in the aisle to reassure you and help avoid congestion – please follow his or her directions.

Safeguarding: We are deeply grateful to Katja for all the time and energy she invested during her time as our Safeguarding Officer. She has now been succeeded by William Danes-Volkov. From now on, if you have any safeguarding concerns, or want to update your safeguarding certificates, please have a word with William. We are all most grateful to him for taking on this task.

From our Tower:

Kent County Association, Maidstone, Kent

St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 7 January 2024 in 41m (6–1–24 in C)

1272 Norwich Surprise Minor

  1. Jacqueline Barlow
  2. Paul Barton
  3. Emma Jarvis
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Philip Jarvis
  6. Neil Jones (C)

1st in m: 3. Remembering Joyce Neal, 5/1/1999 R.I.P.

Lent already?! Not quite – but it begins very early this year (on February 14th) and we need to plan for it. One date for your diary: after Mass on February 25th, there will be a Frugal Lunch (home-made soup, bread, cheese and fruit) - free, but with donations invited in aid of an appropriate charity. Please come, think of inviting a visitor, and offer any help you can. This is the sort of thing St Michael's does well – we don't fast with a sad countenance, and it should be a good occasion!

Cllr Stuart Jeffrey is chairing a new charity, The Friends of Oaken Wood, to help promote and protect the wood and to prevent its being turned into a quarry. The charity will be launched at St Andrew's Hall on Tuesday, 6th February, 7-9 pm. No booking required; further details on The Friends of Oaken Wood welcomes anyone who would like to join; membership is free.

What has the C of E to do with the Post Office? Unfortunately, quite a lot. Giles Fraser points out in a recent article (on that the Revd Paula Vennells (CEO of the Post Office from 2012 to 2019) was credited by the Archbishop of Canterbury with having “shaped much of [his] thinking over the years”. The “thinking” relates, in particular, to the attempt to centralise church life around well-resourced “minsters” at the expense of local parish churches and their immediate communities, which was embodied in a report that Vennells (who has never been an incumbent) was asked to produce in 2019. Bishops whose views differed from those of her report should, she wrote, be brought into line with a contract based on “shared leadership values and behaviours”. Her disregard of the local and individual in favour of the corporate juggernaut, her faith in technical and managerial systems to the detriment of people on the ground, resonates disturbingly with the way in which she had been running the Post Office for the previous 7 years. But all too much “thinking” in the C of E is still being shaped by it.

Among the sick, we pray for Paul, Margaret, Ellie, Pauline, Rue, Fr Leon, Antony, Fran, Ellie, Tom, Joseph, Peter, Joan, Margaret, Lindsay, Glynis, Ethan, Sarah, and Yvonne.

Among the departed, we remember Valerie Stickland, recently departed, and Joyce Fermor, Dorothy Pearce, Annie Frazer, Andrew Ward, Sheelagh Ann Rust, Bertha Ward, Dorothy Tester, Lilian Agnes Rootes, Leslie Lott, Joyce Barber, Joyce Payne, Louise Wollen.

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