Easter 4

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER Hymns NEH 101, 351, 118, 113

FIRST READING Acts 4.5-12 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.” There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 23 Response: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters. R

3 He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.

4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil; for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R

5 You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.

6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. R

SECOND READING 1 John 3.16-24 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

GOSPEL John 10.11-18 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’


Priest-in-Charge Fr John Ainslie (revjohnainslie@gmail.com; 01628 629827)

A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us for refreshments in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Our Services: Thursday (St Mark's Day) Mass at 10.30am, and next Sunday Mass at 10.30am.

Next Sunday, April 28th, is the date of our Annual Meeting. This falls into two parts – the Annual Meeting for the Election of Churchwardens and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting – and will take place in church immediately after Mass. Elections at the Parochial Church Meeting include those of Deanery Synod members and PCC members. Are you willing to serve, or can you encourage someone else? Nomination forms will be found at the back of the church; please hand completed forms to Jonathan or Eleanor. This is a time to take stock of the past year and to think about our visions and hopes for the future of St Michael's. Many of the reports for this meeting are being made available in advance – but do think of any questions, comments or corrections you may want to offer at the meeting itself.

A piece of history! When he saw last week's photograph of Fr John and Fr Paul with the Archbishop of Canterbury, St Michael's historian David Cleggett was pleased to note the embroidered Tudor roses appliquéd on the chasuble worn by Fr John. These, he tells us, came from the original red altar frontal of 1877, and it was David and his wife Mavis who, when the frontal had to be replaced about 60 years ago, salvaged the roses and incorporated them into that chasuble, giving them a new lease of life and preserving a link with the first days of St Michael's. In the 1870s, even coloured altar frontals were widely viewed with suspicion, and coloured vestments did not appear at St Michael's until the 1920s. The beauty of holiness in our worship is something we can all too easily take for granted, and it's good to acknowledge the generosity, the craftsmanship, the political acumen and the sheer determination (sometimes very costly) that gained for Catholic worship within the Church of England the freedom and recognition that it enjoys today.

Forward in Faith Festival, at St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, Saturday 11th May, 12 noon-4 pm.

There are still some spaces available; please contact admin.assistant@forwardinfaith.com, and donate £10 for lunch (always worth it!) before 26th April. The Festival is always an interesting and enjoyable occasion with inspiring worship and music – and a chance to learn more about what is happening among parishes like our own. As a parish we are affiliated to Forward in Faith, but if you have never got around to joining as an individual member, do think about it; the website (https://www.forwardinfaith.com/index.php) provides all the information.

The Canterbury Cathedral “What's On” guide (April-June) can be downloaded from the Cathedral website (canterbury-cathedral.org/whats-on/). It's full of possibilities – special acts of worship, concerts, recitals, activities for families…. Visit the site also for details of the new version of the Cathedral Pass.

From our Tower:

Kent County Association Maidstone, Kent - St Michael and All Angels

Friday, 19 April 2024 in 36m (6–1–24 in C)

1320 Primrose Surprise Minor

  1. Janice Byrne
  2. Jacqueline Barlow
  3. Philip Jarvis
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Pam Thomas
  6. Stephen Coaker (C)

Remembering Steve Davis 17/4/2020 and Margaret Jones 12/4/2023. R.I.P.

We shall be welcoming a team of visiting ringers on 31st July between 3.15 and 4.15 pm.

Among the sick, we remember particularly: Paul, Margaret, Ellie, Pauline, Rue, Fr Leon, Antony, Fran, Ellie, Tom, Joseph, Peter, Joan, Margaret, Lindsay, Glynis, Ethan, Sarah, Yvonne, Jessica, HM The King and Catherine, Princess of Wales.

And among the departed: Marjory Huxley, May Pilbeam, Constance Rickerby, Harry Mills,

Mary Taylor.

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