All Age Service – Live streamed – Sunday, 22 May 2022

Led by Revd George Mwaura
With Guest Speakers Andrew and Jane Betts
from Advantage Africa

Gathering Music

Opening Responses

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Where compassion is nurtured,
Christ is risen!

Where generosity overflows,
Christ is risen!

Where trust takes root,
Christ is risen!

Where friendship grows,
Christ is risen!

Where hope blossoms,
Christ is risen!

Amen, Amen!

Greetings and Welcome

Hymn: Be thou my vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me save that thou art;
thou my best thought in the day and the night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true Word;
I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my armour, and be thou my might’
thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tower,
raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
thou mine inheritance through all my days;
thou, and thou only, the first in my heart,
high King of heaven, my treasure thou art!

High King of heaven, when battle is done,
grant heaven’s joy to me, O bright heaven’s sun;
Christ of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Irish (8th century)
tr. Mary Byrne (1880–1931)
versified Eleanor Hull (1860–1935) and others

Thanksgiving and Confession Prayers

Loving God, thank you for the hope and healing you bring about in our life and our world.
Thank you for guiding and using us to bring your light to others.
One day there will be no more darkness, no more pain or disappointment
and nations will be healed and renewed.
We thank you, Lord, for your promise that all will be well.

But even though, Loving God, you give us life,
there are times we don’t live life the way you wish us to.
When pain has us in its grip, we may give in to the gloom of pessimism.

Forgive us when we see only the gloomy downside of situations.
Forgive us when circumstances take over and moaning is easier than fighting.
Forgive us when darkness saps our strength and courage and blinds us to your light.
Renew our strength to fight our way into your healing light.

Forgive us and rekindle the light of hope in these times, Lord, that all shall be well.




Prayer of the Week

God our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son.
Grant that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence with us he may raise us to eternal joy
and empower us to continue his healing work through our actions in this world.


Bible Readings

Acts 16: 9–15

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we travelled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.


This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn: Longing for light

Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.

Christ be our light! ….

Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.

Christ be our light! ….

Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.

Christ be our light! ….

Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
helping your kingdom come.

Christ be our light! ….

Bernadette Farrell (b. 1957)

John 5: 1–9a

The Healing at the Pool

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie – the blind, the lame, the paralysed. 4 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’

7 ‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no-one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’

8 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.


This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.


By Jane & Andrew Betts


Musical meditations

Prayers of Intercession

Led by Jane Betts

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


Sharing Peace

Friends, God makes peace within us through the Spirit, and so:

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be always with you!
And also with you!

Let us greet another as a sign of God’s peace and reconciliation using the agreed protocols.

Notices and Offertory Prayers

Flowers in the Worship Area

The Flowers in church this Sunday are to celebrate Heather Hughes’s Birthday on Thursday (26 May 2022). We wish Heather a very happy birthday on Thursday.

Advantage Africa

This Sunday (22 May 2022) we welcome Jane & Andrew Betts of Advantage Africa. If you would like to support the important work of Advantage Africa and their partners in Uganda and Kenya, please visit the Advantage Africa website at

You can also nominate Advantage Africa for a Movement for Good award. During June 2022 (next month) 250 charities will each be awarded a £1000 grant. More awards will be made in September and December. Follow this link to nominate Advantage Africa: Movement for good – Nominate a charity to receive £1000.

Pentecost and Platinum Jubilee celebration

Sunday, 5 June 2022 – 10.00 am Pentecost service followed by Jubilee celebration

On Sunday, 5 June 2022, there is a special service for Pentecost, with Revd Canon Helen Cameron, Chair of the Northampton District of the Methodist Church.

After the service, please stay and join us to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with special cake and coffee. Sparkly drinks will also be available so we can raise a glass to Her Majesty!

Covid-19 Safety at Services – Questionnaire

Infection rates are falling and so we may start to relax some of our covid safety procedures.

We would value your opinions about this and there will be a questionnaire at the 10.00 am Service on Sunday (22 May 2022).

Many thanks for your help with this.

Hymn: I, the Lord of sea and sky

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them,
they turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them,
my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide,
till their hearts be satisfied,
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Dan Schutte (b. 1947)


Gracious God, you shine your light into the dark places of our lives and of our world.
You touch us with your healing love and make us whole.
We ask you to be with us and shine through us this week,
and use us to bring hope and healing to others in Jesus’ name.


The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ.



May God’s blessing surround you today,
as you trust Him and walk in His way.
May His presence within guard and keep you from sin,
go in peace, go in joy, go in love.

© 1982 Cliff Barrows