Holy Communion for Sunday, 21 June 2020

[The Service comprises two video files. The words of the service, hymns, readings and intercessions are all included in the videos, but not the words of the Sermon by Brother Anthony Purvis; if you wish to read his text while listening, you will need to scroll down to it in the text of the Service, which is below the video recordings here.]

Service Part 1

Service Part Two

Postlude: Intermezzo (andante sostenuto) ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’

Introit: Restore in Us, O God

Restore in us, O God,
the splendour of your love;
renew your image in our hearts,
and all our sins remove.

O Spirit, wake in us
the wonder of your power;
from fruitless fear unfurl our lives
like springtime bud and flower.

Bring us, O Christ, to share
the fullness of your joy;
baptise us in the risen life
that death cannot destroy.

Three-personed God, fulfil
the promise of your grace,
that we, when all our searching ends
may see you face to face.

Carl P. Daw Jr (b. 1944)


Welcome in the name of Christ.
God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you.

Good morning and welcome to our Holy Communion Service
today on the Second Sunday of Trinity.

We begin with the Prayer of the Week.

Let us pray.

Prayer of the Week

Eternal God, in Christ you have sought us with a shepherd’s heart,
and we have rejoiced to be found and restored.

Multiply in all the world the wonders of your saving grace,
and gather your scattered people until heaven resounds in jubilation
at humanity made whole and creation restored.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.


Hymn: I come with joy to meet my Lord

I come with joy to meet my Lord,
forgiven, loved and free,
in awe and wonder to recall
his life laid down for me.

I come with Christians far and near
to find, as all are fed,
the new community of love
in Christ’s communion bread.

As Christ breaks bread, and bids us share,
each proud division ends.
The love that made us, makes us one,
and strangers now are friends.

And thus with joy we meet our Lord.
His presence, always near,
is in such friendship better known;
we see and praise him here.

Together met, together bound,
we’ll go our different ways,
and as his people in the world
we’ll live and speak his praise.

Brian A. Wren (b. 1936)

Gathering Prayer

Jesus said: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

Welcome to the house of God.
We have come from all the corners of the earth.

Welcome to the hospitality of God.
We come as we are; we bring our life, our stories, our journey.

Welcome, brothers and sisters.
We are the rainbow people of God.

Welcome, chosen people.
May God our companion bind us in his love.


The Confession

Forgive us for the things we have done and have not done.
Forgive us for the things we have said and have not said.
Forgive us for the life we have lived and not lived.
Beloved God, help us to reflect the image
of the one we profess to follow
in thought, word and deed,
and in discovering our true self
draw other into that light.


The Word of the Lord

Jeremiah 20: 7–10

Read by Nerys Steeds

You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;
    you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
    everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
    indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
    “Terror on every side!
    Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends
    are waiting for me to slip, saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail over him
    and take our revenge on him.”


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

Hymn: Christ is the One who calls

Christ is the One who calls,
the One who loved and came,
to whom by right it falls
to bear the highest name:
and still today
our hearts are stirred
to hear His word
and walk His way.

Christ is the One who seeks,
to whom our souls are known.
The word of love He speaks
can wake a heart of stone;
for at that sound
the blind can see,
the slave is free,
the lost are found.

Christ is the One who died,
forsaken and betrayed;
who, mocked and crucified,
the price of pardon paid.
Our dying Lord,
what grief and loss,
what bitter cross
our souls restored!

Christ is the One who rose,
in glory from the grave,
to share His life with those,
whom once He died to save.
He drew death’s sting
and broke its chains,
who lives and reigns
our risen King.

Christ is the One who sends,
His story to declare;
who calls His servants friends
and gives them news to share.
His truth proclaim
in all the earth,
His matchless worth
and saving name.

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926)

Matthew 10: 24–39

Read By Peter Steeds

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.


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


By Brother Anthony Purvis SSM

Good morning, everyone. It’s good to be with you and to share time in prayer and worship and thanksgiving for our lives, and in prayer and thanksgiving for the many who have suffered in the recent weeks and months. We continue to pray for and discern the way forward as we stand with each other, always in the hope of a better future. It’s the better future imagined by Jeremiah and the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel that I offer some reflections this morning.

One day, back in 1964, a man called John Howard Griffin is on the side of a road in Mississippi with a flat tyre. He’s a journalist and a writer from Texas. He sees a group of men approaching him and he’s thinking they are on their way to give him some help. In fact, they grab him by his arms, drag him and beat him, and use chains to inflict serious injuries over his whole body. John is five months in recovery from the serious attack he sustained.

This was no random attack. In fact, at the heart of this brutality and violence are words. John Howard Griffin was being punished for being a writer, for having written a book, for having used words, for being creative in how words might be used. The book is called Black Like Me and it had been published in November 1961, three years before the attack. When the book was published, its words generated quite a storm, so that Griffin found himself hated as much as venerated.

At the end of the 1950s and into 1960, Griffin had gone to a dermatologist and skin specialist. He is given a medication that causes white spots and pigmentation to disappear from the skin, and he spends considerable time under a sun lamp. His hair is then shaved, and he stains his skin and head to generate brown–black colouration. He then travelled six weeks across the viciously segregated southern states of America. Throughout, he keeps a detailed journal which becomes the book.

He had first known these cities as a white man. Now he is revisiting them as a ‘black man’. The opening page asks the central question which informed his journey:

‘What is it like to experience discrimination based on skin colour, something over which one has no control?’ No white man could, he reasoned, truly understand what it was like to be black, because black people would never tell the truth to outsiders. ‘The only way I could see to bridge the gap between us was to become a Negro,’ Griffin writes. ‘I decided I would do this.’

It is such a moving account of one man’s journey to try and understand the land of his birth, but through the eyes of the oppressed. His story is bigger than one based in skin colour. His is a story about what we do with our eyes and ears, what we do with our words, and the fact that we never really fully see the truth.

Really his story is concerned with grounds of love and hate, with peace and violence, with words that wound, and with words that bring love, with words of vengeance, and with words that bring life. Like the Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, so he looks at the divisions which separate, which bring hurt and the desire for revenge. Jeremiah and Jesus use words to challenge our blindness, and so John Howard Griffin uses words to invite new hopes and healings.

The book could and does speak for many European states at this time. It’s not simply or solely about the United States. Nor is it a simple attack. It’s a bit deeper and a bit bigger. It’s not simply about skin colour. It is an account which speaks of resentment and anger in all of us, of family against family on a bigger field, of communities in conflict, of a nation seduced by racial and colour discrimination.

Griffin describes the shock of seeing his new self in the mirror for the first time. ‘In the flood of light against white tile, the face and shoulders of a stranger,’ he writes, ‘I had expected to see myself disguised, but this was something else. I was imprisoned in the flesh of an utter stranger, an unsympathetic one with whom I had no kinship … I looked into the mirror and saw reflected nothing of the white John Griffin’s past. No, the reflections led back to Africa, back to the shanty and the ghetto, back to the fruitless struggles against the mark of blackness.’

But for Griffin the question is not solely about skin colour. It’s about how we use words to talk about each other, about the fact we don’t always see each other in terms of need and compassion, of mercy and forgiveness. Words help us see things differently or they keep us trapped. What will we choose? Will we choose to think and see differently – imagine other words for each other and ourselves?

Jeremiah is startled by how he does not see himself. He had forgotten that, in order to bring about peace and justice, he can’t ignore the bitterness and resentment which lies in his heart. How can Jeremiah expect others to see differently if he himself has forgotten how to use his eyes and ears in the search of the conversion of his heart? Jeremiah cries because he had forgotten to look and listen. Then in a beautiful line he says: ‘Lord, you have persuaded me. Lord I have been seduced.’ In some translation, the word is ‘seduced’: Lord, you have seduced me. The division between the inner and outer, between my will and God’s will, has been erased. Jeremiah, albeit briefly, understands that God sees not division but oneness and communion, God sees not the surface but the deeper reality which is in creation itself.

Something of this desire for a new field of vision is present in John Howard Griffin’s story. He is shocked by how little of himself he recognises. But he also doesn’t recognise ‘his’ America. The coffee bar he usually visits is now closed to him; the diner where he takes food isn’t open to non-whites; and he has to work out how, on long journeys, he can use the bathroom or drink from water fountains.

Griffin describes ‘the hate stare’. ‘Nothing can describe the withering horror of this,’ he writes, ‘you feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light. You see a kind of insanity, something so obscene the very obscenity of it terrifies you. I felt like saying, “What in God’s name are you doing to yourself?”’ Being exposed to the hate stare, witnessing racism from the other side, leaves Griffin sad and angry; he grieves at how ‘my own [white] people could give the hate stare, could shrivel men’s souls, could deprive humans of rights they unhesitatingly accord their livestock.’

But John Griffin knows that while there has to be social and political change, he also follows the words of Jesus. In Matthew, Jesus highlights just how far the problem of injustice lies in the heart of each and every person. It is not simply social, not simply racial, not simply the problem of someone else. The capacity for pride, anger, aggressivity and hatred is not hidden in someone else, but lies at the heart of each one of us.

Griffin sees this. He allows himself to be seduced by a desire to understand what lies at the heart of all our fears. Like Jeremiah, he seeks to learn the truth of the human heart and in so doing, make for a better world, no matter how small. His outrage at social and racial injustice is firmly rooted in his own life. At the start of World War Two he was studying in France and very soon joined the French resistance. He risked his own life when he helped Jewish children escape to Britain. He saw too the consequences of ‘racism’ against religious groups, and was not slow in seeing the links with suffering on a bigger scale. Then something happens. Griffin is blinded after being blasted with shrapnel during the war. The blindness lasted over two years.

In moving from blindness to insight, from darkness to daylight, so he embarks on the journey he described in Black Like Me. ‘The blind,’ he would later write, ‘can only see the heart and intelligence of a man, and nothing in these things indicates in the slightest whether a [person] is white or black.’

Jeremiah invites us to open our hearts and minds and to think of how we might see what is happening around us, to see what lies at the heart and not on the surface. He invites us to surrender, to change heart, to be seduced by the God of love. So too Jesus. Of course this does not mean the end of our problems. Jeremiah and Jesus are insulted by words, mocked, vilified, persecuted. Griffin, too, and his family go into exile in Mexico.

John Howard Griffin’s work has stood the test of time. It is not without some further questions. It is of its time. It invites further criticism. But without Griffin’s record, and without the words of Jeremiah or Jesus in today’s readings, so our choice of words is diminished. We become less than who we really are. We learn to limit the words we use to talk about ourselves. Yet it is with words, from the past and present, that we shape new words, new horizons. With their words, so we see more clearly, and realise more dearly, our individual and collective hopes. What are these hopes? Surely for a better future, where in the words of Jeremiah, it is God who persuades us. Of what are we persuaded? Of this (Matthew: 10: 39): ‘Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.’

May God bless us all – our families, friends and loved ones, and the bigger world in which we all live.


Further references:






Musical Response: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

The Lord is my shepherd;, there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives repose.
The Lord is my shepherd;, there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives repose.

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

By restful waters he leads me, revives my drooping soul,
guides me on the right path, true to his name.
By restful waters he leads me, revives my drooping soul,
guides me on the right path, true to his name.

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

My head you have anointed, my cup overflows
and goodness and kindness shall follow my days.
My head you have anointed, my cup overflows
and goodness and kindness shall follow my days.

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

An Affirmation of Faith

We believe in the Creator:
the maker of all things

We believe in the Son:
the redeemer of our broken world

We believe in the Spirit:
The sacred wind that binds all things together in the family of God.

Creator Father, beloved Son and living Spirit.



By Katherine Wheldon

Heavenly Father we thank you for walking beside us for another week.
Thank you too for giving us the opportunity Lockdown offers to find moments of peace and quiet
so that we can more easily feel your presence and know that we walk together.

Thank you for your unlimited patience.
You could be disappointed by the words and actions of your children
but you continue to love us dearly just as we are,
offering nudges to set us on a better path.
Sometimes we notice.
Your forgiveness is unending,
each morning you give us a fresh sheet on which to write our day.
Help us to create a beautiful page.
When we review our day before we sleep
help us to have done or said nothing for us to regret.

Bless our ministers and all those who have worked so hard this week
to help others and support us as we try to do the same.
Help us to be satisfied with what we can do –
we can all pray and if that is what fits into our day
we will have made a difference.

Help us to mend difficult situations.

Help us to have the grace to listen consciously
to the other person without planning what we want to say next.
You accept that it is OK to have a silence
so that any response is measured.
Help us to follow your lead.

Bless all those who are sick in any way,
those who mourn,
those who struggle with daily life,
those who care,
those in government,
those who work behind the scenes
so that we can live free.
We remember those known to us.

We cannot change the past.
Help us to learn lessons and start afresh each day
knowing that our present will be the past future generations look back on.

A prayer by Alison Webster written at the time of Brexit but pertinent now.

God of redemption,
your challenge is peace.
Given not as the world gives it – with limits, conditions and reversibility,
but unconditionally – with infinite love.
We pray today for those of us who find ourselves
in places we do not want to inhabit –
a home or community where we no longer feel welcome;
an identity that feels cut off at its roots.
We pray for those of us with feelings we do not know what to do with –
loss and grief,
fear and anxiety,
aggression and vengeance,
exclusion and banishment,
uncertainty about our future.
Bless us now, whatever we feel and whoever we are.
Dwell in our souls deeply.
Give us the courage to tell our stories honestly and openly;
the compassion to hear the stories of others with an open heart;
the discipline to share what we have;
the discernment to advocate for those more vulnerable than we are,
and the means to be agents of care and connection,
justice and hope –
to seek out and celebrate the life and joy in our communities,
setting a tone in harmony with you.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus and those who came after him,
who lived in times of bitter conflict,
who were perplexed but not driven to despair,
afflicted in every way, but not crushed,
persecuted, but not forsaken.
all the time, proclaiming you.


Hymn: God has spoken by his prophets

God has spoken – by his prophets,
spoken his unchanging word;
each from age to age proclaiming
God, the one, the righteous Lord.
’Mid the world’s despair and turmoil
one firm anchor holds us fast:
God eternal reigns for ever,
God the first, and God the last.

God has spoken – by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,

brightness of the Father’s glory,
with the Father ever one;
spoken by the Word incarnate,
God from God ere time was born;
Light from Light, to earth descending,
Christ, revealing God to all.

God is speaking – by the Spirit,
speaking to our hearts again,

in the age-long word expounding
God’s own message, now as then.
Through the rise and fall of nations
one sure faith is standing fast;
God still speaks, the Word unchanging,
God the first, and God the last.

George Wallace Briggs (1875–1959)

The Peace

Jesus says,

‘Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

The Offering

Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9: 6–7

Thank you

To everyone who is continuing to pay us regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme.
To everyone who is continuing to pay us regularly by bankers’ order.
To people in the envelope scheme who are putting their money aside every week ready to bring in when we re-open.
To members of the envelope scheme who have already sent cheques and on-line donations.

Thank you

Holy Communion

The Thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become our spiritual drink.

Blessed be God for ever.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Eucharistic Prayer

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;
in your love you made us for yourself.
When we turned away
you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life
that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened his arms of love upon the cross
and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,
at supper with his friends
he took bread, and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to them, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,
he gave you thanks, and said:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;
do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,
send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine
may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts
make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world
we offer you this sacrifice of praise
and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Take this bread:

Share this wine.

In these Christ comes to us with love from God.
The gifts of God for the people of God.


Hymn: Follow me, follow me

Follow me, follow me,
leave your home and family,
leave your fishing nets and boats upon the shore.
Leave the seed that you have sown,
leave the crops that you’ve grown,
leave the people you have known and follow me.

The foxes have their holes
and the swallows have their nests,
but the Son of man has no place to lay down.
I do not offer comfort, I do not offer wealth,
but in me will all happiness be found.

Follow me, follow me,
leave your home and family,
leave your fishing nets and boats upon the shore.
Leave the seed that you have sown,
leave the crops that you’ve grown,
leave the people you have known and follow me.

If you would follow me,
you must leave old ways behind.
You must take my cross and follow on my path.
You may be far from loved ones,
you may be far from home
but my Father will welcome you at last.

Follow me, follow me,
leave your home and family,
leave your fishing nets and boats upon the shore.
Leave the seed that you have sown,
leave the crops that you’ve grown,
leave the people you have known and follow me.

Although I go away
you will never be alone,
for the Spirit will be there to comfort you.
Though all of you may scatter,
each follow his own path,
still the Spirit of love will lead you home.

Follow me, follow me,
leave your home and family,
leave your fishing nets and boats upon the shore.
Leave the seed that you have sown,
leave the crops that you’ve grown,
leave the people you have known and follow me.

Michael Cockett (b. 1938)

Blessing and Closing

Thank you for joining us this morning.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace.

And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father,
the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be among you
and remain with you
today and always.


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


[Video recordings of all the music in this Service can be seen by following this link: http://www.cornerstonemk.co.uk/music-videos-for-sunday-21-june-2020/.]