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3rd Sunday of Easter - Church at Home

Sunday 26th April, 2020

Notices and a service for worship at home

Nicholas Mynheer, Resurrection Chapel altar panel, Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield


Do you need some help?

You may have to self-isolate but you don’t have to feel alone! Contact the clergy or our volunteers and we will find the best way to support you and those not currently isolating can bring you supplies. Everyone, please keep social-distancing - stay 2 metres apart, and only go outside to exercise, and go to the shop for essentials.

Congratulations to the Catherine Pickford!

Our former Team Rector the Revd Catherine Pickford (currently Priest in Charge of St Mary's, Stannington, and Continuing Ministerial Development Officer for the Diocese) has been appointed the next Archdeacon of Northolt in London. She will be starting in September and our prayers and best wishes are with her and her family.

Faculty for St James' churchyard

In light of current circumstances, we are ensuring faculties are posted publicly online as well as physically outside the church. This is an application for a rolling faculty for routine maintenance to be carried out in St James' Churchyard. You can read the notice here and objections may be submitted via email to

Children's resources

We will include resources each week from Roots to help you reflect on Bible readings with children at home. You can download and print the resources here:



3rd Sunday of Easter 2020

Reflection by The Revd David Kirkwood, Team Rector

Service led by Abigail Harris

Prayers led by the Revd Anne Marr

We will pray at 10am on Sunday, join us at home at if you can.

Responses are optional. If you are listening online, a pause will be left for you to say responses. Or if there is more than one person, one person can lead and the other respond.

Opening prayer

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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


Christ our passover lamb has been sacrificed for us.

Let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil

and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.

Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life.

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy).

Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins.

Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy).

Lord Jesus, you feed us with the living bread.

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy).

May the God of love and power

forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,

and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.


Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

(Acts 2.14a,36–41)

This is the word of the Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia.

I am the first and the last, says the Lord, and the living one;

I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.


The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

(Luke 24.13–35)

This is the Gospel of the Lord.


by the Revd David Kirkwood

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

At the heart of Easter is the New Life of the Resurrection. On Easter Day we heard Matthew’s telling of the story which brings out the extraordinary, the violent earthquake, the angel descending from heaven, rolling away the stone and sitting on it, the guards collapsing in terror. Today’s gospel reading from St Luke couldn’t be more different. On Easter Day, I used the phrase’ Easter in ordinary.’* The road to Emmaus is indeed Easter in ordinary. What do we have? A walk, a talk, a meal. What could be more ordinary? Everyday events that somehow become Easter. Let’s take a closer look.

A Walk.

Walking is good for us. Perhaps you have one of those apps that count your steps. Even during the lockdown exercise has been recognised as an essential activity. I hope you are able to take the exercise you need although I know for some it will not be possible or easy. It’s not just about our bodies, exercise is good for our minds too. Perhaps you have felt cooped up during the lockdown and have noticed how refreshing it is to get out and walk a bit. A walk is often a good time to mull things over. To have a think, especially if we are facing challenging situations. The disciples are certainly doing that. They are deeply distressed by everything that has happened, now they have heard this extraordinary story about an empty tomb but it has just added to the confusion, they haven’t yet been able to hear it as good news so it hasn’t touched them, it hasn’t lifted the cloud. Maybe this walk will help although maybe in walking away from Jerusalem they are also trying to escape all the pressure they feel.

A Talk

Talking is good for us too. Maybe that is what you are missing most at this time. Of course for some of us there is still the phone or Skype or Zoom or whatever it might be, and it is a blessing that there is. But is it the same? Talking, when we share the same physical space seems different it’s a social activity in which we can talk and listen and sometimes don’t need to say anything at all. We just spend time with one another. Much more difficult in the digital world. ‘Talking therapies’ is a phrase we hear, therapy means healing and talking can certainly be health giving. In the gospel healing and salvation are words that go together and are often used interchangeably. This talk the disciples are having is all about healing and salvation. ‘we thought he was the one to save Israel’ That doesn’t mean it’s all smooth and easy. The Greek phrase used for this talk can mean argument or talking heatedly. Some commentators have interpreted this as meaning they were having a row. Some have gone even further and seen that as evidence that Cleopas and the other disciple are in fact man and wife!

Row or not this is a conversation that Jesus is happy to join in with. He comes to them ‘in ordinary, a stranger on the way who doesn’t observe any social distancing but draws near, their eyes are kept from recognising him but they talk. This is a real conversation. It starts with Jesus asking what it’s all about, Why so sad? and then in an extended reply’ are you the only one…. ‘they express their hurt and confusion. Sometimes that alone can help, just to speak about how we feel, to know someone is listening, and who can listen more attentively than the one who hears them now. But the stranger doesn’t just listen, he replies, he points to the scriptures, how they show the Messiah must suffer. This is not accidental not a mark of failure but a part of God’s will. Sometimes an answer from the Scripture is the last thing we need to hear, just a glib response like that of Job’s comforters it doesn’t really answer anything. But this is different, later they recall how their hearts burned within them as he speaks. He has heard, he has understood, and he has words for them that they begin to hear as good news, they become words of Life. Then the stranger makes to leave but they want to hear more and they press him to stay.

A Meal

So he stays, sharing their simple evening meal, breaking bread with them. This basic act of fellowship, the shared table, is the turning point. ‘They recognised him in the breaking of the bread’. This act, that must have been so every-day for Jesus and his friends, but which just a few days earlier was transformed so completely at the Last Supper is the act that opens their eyes. They recognise him but even as they do, he has gone. Jesus in the garden tells Mary ‘Do not hold on to me’ and it seems here too that the moment of recognition can only be a moment. But it is a moment that changes everything. No longer distressed and confused, there and then they turn around and begin the journey back to Jerusalem. There they will be reunited with the others, they will share their story and together they will begin the extraordinary work of proclaiming the good news that will change the world. That good news continues to change the world. The way of Emmaus should continue to inspire us. Even when our walks and talks and meals are constrained in unexpected ways even if they are filled with confusion or fear even if they are rows, they can still be places where the Stranger/Saviour makes himself known, the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

To finish some words from Edouard Schweizer,

‘so the reader is asked where he or she stands along this road: among the perplexed, with whom Jesus nevertheless journeys; among those who reflect and listen to questions, who have heard what others have to say, who allow their hearts to be moved by Scripture, who cannot escape and refuse simply to put an end to their disquiet; or even among those whose eyes have been opened in table fellowship with the risen Lord, so that they can find the road to others.’ (E Schweizer The Gospel According to Luke p373)


*( A phrase first used not by George Herbert but by the theologian Nicholas Lash adapting Herbert’s phrase ‘Heaven in ordinary’)


led by the Revd Anne Marr


  • Lesley Towers

  • Thomas Foggin

  • Brenda McCutcheon (following a fall)

  • The Deceased: Ann Larkin, Ellen Chambers

  • all victims of Covid19


I wonder; perhaps you too wonder : Where is Jesus?

We are told that the disciples ‘did not recognise him’… Such a common experience! The disciples didn’t expect to see Jesus, so they didn’t see him. We also often fail to recognise Jesus’ presence amongst us – walking beside us, guiding our thoughts. Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger? Christ above us – such a vast universe… Christ beneath us – we walk on holy ground – the earth God has made, where saints have trod!

We are told ‘Their eyes were opened’ –as they stopped and sat for a meal… in the simple act of breaking bread. Sometimes the penny drops, often when we least expect. We glimpse the joy of something beyond our understanding – a spiritual moment, a mountain top experience, or simply a realisation that someone somewhere just happened to be in the right place at the right time and saying or doing the right things for the moment. And that person might just be you!

As we walk through these current unclear times and into new unknown territory, we have more time to look, to listen, to wonder…. and to recognise Jesus’ touch in our own lives and in the lives of others, and to see his waymarks for our journey.

Mindful that Jesus is closer to us than we often recognise,

let us pray in joy and in hope

Lord hear us. (Lord graciously hear us).

Lord Jesus Christ,

You promised you would never leave us or forsake us:

Help us to recognise your presence especially in difficult times.

Be in the hands of those who tend the sick and the vulnerable…

Be in the feet of those who support and supply carers…

Lord hear us. (Lord graciously hear us).

You connected with us patiently, kindly and with understanding

Be in the eyes and skills of those who keep us connected with each other…

Be in the ears of those who support the fearful…

Lord hear us. (Lord graciously hear us).

You taught us wisely to see the bigger picture

Be in the minds of those who lead and invent…

Be in the imagination of those who wonder…

Be in the hearts of those who pray…

Lord hear us. (Lord graciously hear us).

You healed the sick and broke the chains of death in your risen life

Be in the breath of those who are sick…

Be the arms that enfold the dying…

Lord hear us. (Lord graciously hear us).

You wept for Jerusalem and befriended the lost and lonely

Be in the pain of those who grieve…

Be in the mouths of those who console...

Lord hear us. (Lord graciously hear us).

Lord Jesus, our Saviour, friend and brother

Be present in the silences and the turmoil

Be in our breathing

and lead us gently in our journey. Amen

Lord's Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,

as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.


One more step along the world I go, One more step along the world I go; From the old things to the new, Keep me travelling along with you: And it's from the old I travel to the new; Keep me travelling along with you.

Round the corners of the world I turn, More and more about the world I learn; All the new things that I see You'll be looking at along with me. And it's from the old I travel to the new; Keep me travelling along with you.

As I travel through the bad and good, Keep me travelling the way I should.

Where I see no way to go, You'll be telling me the way, I know. And it's from the old I travel to the new; Keep me travelling along with you.

Give me courage when the world is rough, Keep me loving though the world is tough;

Leap and sing in all I do, Keep me travelling along with you: And it's from the old I travel to the new; Keep me travelling along with you.

You are older than the world can be, You are younger than the life in me;

Ever old and ever new, Keep me travelling along with you: And it's from the old I travel to the new; Keep me travelling along with you.


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

And the love of God

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Be with us all, evermore. Amen.

He is not here. He is risen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia.

In the name of Christ. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia.


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