Mothering Sunday

MOTHERING SUNDAY Hymns 185, 188, 161, 286

FIRST READING 1Samuel 1.20-28. Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the LORD.’

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

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

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

So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.

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

Responsorial Psalm 127.1–4 R It is the Lord who builds the house.

Unless the Lord builds the house,their labour is in vain who build it.

Unless the Lord watches over the city, in vain the guard keeps vigil. R

It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late;

vain, too, to eat the bread of toil, for he gives to his belovèd sleep. R

Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a gift. R

SECOND READING Colossians 3. 12-17 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

GOSPEL John 19.25b-27 Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’

And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.


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.

Today is Mothering Sunday – also known as Refreshment Sunday. A good day to think with thanksgiving, not only of our mothers, but of all those (teachers, godparents, grandparents, other family members, clergy, older friends...) who have nurtured us in our individual Christian lives. We also give thanks for the dedication and love of Blessed Mary and for her continuing intercession for us all, and also for our mother the Church, who guides and nourishes us, her children, with Word and Sacraments.

Much activity was visible in Tonbridge Road last week. No, not more roadworks! - Fr John was moving into the vicarage. We hope that he and his rescue dog Rosa will find it a very happy home, and we look forward to welcoming Fr John as our new parish priest, at his Licensing on Thursday, 21st March, at 7 pm.

Everyone connected with St Michael's is of course invited, and acceptances have been coming in from well-wishers in the community, deanery and diocese, as well as from Fr John's previous parish in Maidenhead. We expect to have well over 100 guests at the reception afterwards in the Parish Hall. Alison P and Sue M will be happy to receive ideas and offers of help.

You will find a list at the back of church – please sign up for what you would like to contribute.

Most important of all: please be there to take part, and show St Michael's at its most welcoming!

A warm thank you from Fr John for his card and welcome-basket, which were duly delivered on the day of his arrival.

Lilies and Posies: For our Easter flower arrangements, St Michael's people often like to contribute a lily in memory of a loved one. This year the expected cost of a lily will be about £5 and you are invited to sign the list at the back of church. Please give your flower money to Margaret G.

And a huge Thank you to Sue, who has created today's Mothering Sunday posies.

Bishop Norman has been an immensely supportive friend and pastor to St Michael's. If you would like to make a contribution for a gift to mark his approaching retirement, Eleanor will be glad to receive it. We hope to make the presentation on the evening of Fr John's Licensing, at which Bishop Norman will be the preacher. He will be celebrating his final Chrism Mass in this diocese at Canterbury Cathedral on Tuesday in Holy Week at 12 noon. If you didn't manage to sign up for the sandwich lunch that day, you will still be most welcome at the service itself; it is always a most inspiring occasion, and this time it will be Bishop Norman's last engagement in Canterbury. Do allow plenty of time for parking; it may be advisable to use Park and Ride.

From our Tower: Kent County Association - Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 3 March 2024 in 42m (6–1–24 in C)

1260 Stedman Triples

  1. Stuart Cox
  2. Philip Jarvis
  3. Jacqueline Barlow
  4. Paul Barton
  5. Phillip Barnes
  6. Elizabeth Barnes
  7. Neil Jones (C)
  8. Mark Elvers

Remembering Bob Powell-Williams, whose funeral was on 27/2/2024, and Chris Cozens (1/3/2024), R.I.P.

On Good Friday a half-muffled peal will be rung, from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm approximately.

Our Annual Parochial Meeting will be held on 28th April. It isn't too soon to start thinking of using our talents and experience to help our church family, via the Parochial Church Council or in some other way. Something for us all to pray about: as we look forward to a new chapter in the life of St Michael's, new openings will become obvious and there will be new chances to help.

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

Among the Departed, we remember Gladys Shrubsole and Ken Landi.

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