14th June 2020
Weekly notices and a service for worship at home
Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich, The Worker's Maypole, Installation view at Grey's Monument Newcastle, 2018, Commissioned by BALTIC
Do you need some help?
You may have to self-isolate but you don’t have to feel alone! The council have set up a helpline for those who need help during the next few months. Call CityLife line: 0191 277 8000
You can also contact the clergy or our volunteers and we will find the best way to support you. Everyone, please keep social-distancing - stay 2 metres apart, and only go outside to exercise, and go to the shop for essentials.
Contact us here
Giving during lockdown
One of the unforeseen pressures of lockdown is that many of our members give money physically on Sundays and this is no longer possible. To keep our work going (and make sure our buildings are still standing when we return to them!) we are asking that, if you can, please give by standing order. Regular donations help us to have a better estimate of our income and ensure we can keep our activities running.
You can set this up with your bank online using the details here.
Or download and print a standing order form here and send to your bank.
If you wish to be posted a form please call us or email email@example.com
Our churches are opening for private prayer
We wanted to pre-warn you that, following new guidelines from the Government and the House of Bishops, from this week St James will be open for private prayer on Wednesdays 10am - 1pm, and the Venerable Bede on Sunday mornings (timings to be confirmed).
We can't hold services yet, but these two church buildings will be open for anyone to enjoy some peace and private contemplation.
More details will follow as we are currently doing risk assessments and we will only open if we can ensure safety.
'The Father's Arms' is now open!
Thank you to the Garratt family who suggested the name 'The Father's Arms' for our new online 'pub'. And congratulations to Abigail's family who joined our online pub quiz and won! We will look into opening for another quiz sometime soon. For now you can enjoy the screenshot of us all. If you couldn't attend you can still have a go at our picture round here! (clue: think about our parish).
New ramp and toilets for the Venerable Bede
In light of current circumstances, we are ensuring faculties are posted publicly online as well as physically outside the church. You can read the faculty notice on that page and and objections may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Church of England have also begun developing resources to help families develop and grow in faith at home (and not just for lockdown use!) You can find the videos here.
First Sunday after Trinity
Reflection by The Revd Chris Minchin
Service led by The Revd Dominic Coad
We will pray at 10am on Sunday, join us at home at if you can.
The service starts with some quiet music; please use this to clear your mind and acknowledge on the presence of God.
Song of Solveig by Edvard Grieg.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God the Father forgives us in Christ and heals us by the Holy Spirit.
Let us therefore put away all anger and bitterness, all slander and malice,
and confess our sins to God our redeemer.
We have not always worshipped God, our creator.
Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)
We have not always followed Christ, our Saviour.
Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy.)
We have not always trusted in the Spirit, our guide.
Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)
May the Father forgive us
by the death of his Son
and strengthen us
to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days. Amen.
God of truth,
help us to keep your law of love
and to walk in ways of wisdom,
that we may find true life
in Jesus Christ your Son.
A reading from Paul's letter to the Romans
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
You have the words of eternal life.
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
(Matthew 9.35 – 10.8)
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ!
by The Revd Chris Minchin
It is usually the heart which we describe as the site of our emotions- we feel something in the ‘depths of our hearts’, or we are ‘led by the heart’, and in our worship we even ask for God to ‘cleanse the thoughts of our heart’. But for ancient Hebrews the site of our deepest emotions was not necessarily the heart. As we see in our Gospel passage, Jesus looks at the crowds harassed and helpless and he feels ‘compassion’ the Greek word for which comes from the wonderful root word ‘splagchnon’ – meaning bowels, or inward parts, gut-level compassion, and affection. For the ancient Hebrews the site of our strongest emotions was the bowels.
Hence we get passages such as Colossians 3.12, which my translation renders: “clothe yourselves with compassion…” but the King James Version translates as “Put on therefore… bowels of mercies…”
I am not sure I want to ‘put on’ any kind of bowels – merciful or otherwise. But if you think about it, how often do you feel something just in your heart? It does skip and race sometimes, but the strongest emotions, don’t you feel them in the pit of your stomach? The initial moments of falling in love, or when you see evil actions and it makes you feel sick. The strongest feelings of love, horror, excitement, disgust are much more visceral and felt deep inside.
This helps me understand the kind of feeling Jesus has when he sees the crowds of people, when he feels compassion he feels their pain in the pit of his stomach, a truly human response. This is not a distant divine being who just appears like a human, he is fully human and his emotions are bodily, like ours, with racing hormones, adrenaline, pumping blood and feeling sick.
This sense of compassion being bodily, I think is helpful. Compassion is when we recognise our own humanity in someone else. The same thing that makes me ‘me’ is in ‘them’. Compassion, empathy, by its very nature means recognising our common humanity despite difference. Recognising another human’s suffering when we do not suffer ourselves.
Compassion is at the heart of the Christian message: we are told we are made in the image of God, and the spirit of that God lives in you and me. Jesus declares God’s love and power in the most human way - in the death of a broken, abject, and utterly human body that becomes a symbol of hope of the resurrection. God makes Godself known in humanity itself.
Right now our sense of compassion is being tested more than ever before. As lockdown begins to ease we now have to constantly question how our ordinary daily actions impact others. Going to the shops can make a difference between life and death. At the same time we are finally beginning to wake up to the implicit ways minorities are treated differently in our society.
As Black Lives Matter protests grow some may feel reluctant: “I have always been respectful to other races”; “I have always been peaceful and law abiding, why should I condone such disruption and destruction”; “Surely white lives matter as well?”
Well yes, but that’s not the point. We wouldn’t walk by a paramedic helping someone with a broken leg and shout at them “my legs matter too”. It’s a given, you just don’t need the help right now. Both mine and your humanity, whatever your ethnicity, is affirmed and strengthened by Black Lives Matter. It is an assent to all humanity, that the image of God is in us all and is of worth, that we will not stand by and let that image be marred or defaced anymore.
I am full of pride for Newcastle for organising a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest this weekend, I am proud of our city for celebrating diversity, for our local politicians taking the knee next to the statue of Martin Luther King who was awarded an honorary degree by Newcastle University. I am ashamed, disgusted to the pit of my stomach to have seen people in my own city claiming to gather round Grey's Monument to protect it. I don’t think a statue to Earl Grey is in any danger. Not least of all because it is on top of a column forty foot in the air, but also because he was the prime minister born in our region under whose government slavery was finally abolished in the Empire. If you think you are protecting history, then you must bother to learn about it. Pretending to protect a statue that was not under threat and which commemorates a figure you don’t know about, only serves to spread an entirely false idea that somehow all sculptures and all British culture is threatened by ethnic minorities.
There is the argument circulating that removing statues is erasing history. This is not true. As a trained sculptor I am very aware that our public art is never static, our society is constantly changing and understanding itself, artworks are erected and taken down, moved and re-interpreted all the time. Each monument has its own merits and its own context and some statues should be removed and some should not. For example I think Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol actually obscured the history of the tens of thousands of slaves that were stolen from their homeland, branded as his property, and who suffered and died away from their homes because of his greed. However, I believe other statues to controversial figures, such as Churchill, should stay because they draw attention to the complexity of history. You may reach different conclusions to me on individual sculptures, but I believe that having compassion and trying to see the human stories behind every statue and every protest is the Christian way to do things.
Jesus when he looked with compassion on the crowds sent out his disciples with no money, no spare clothes, nothing, to go to their nearest neighbours with the good news “The kingdom of heaven has come near.”
That means, forget waiting for the right opportunity, go look for it. Forget financial stability – compassion costs nothing. Forget waiting for an answer to your prayers, because, more often than not, you are the answer to your own prayers.
Find the ways to build relationships with those who are different to you. if you don’t ‘feel’ like a very compassionate person, learn compassion by listening to the stories of others and listening to their experiences. Recognise their humanity and recognise your own story also.
Compassion starts here and now, with your willingness to follow Christ and love your nearest neighbour. The kingdom of God is not something that we wait for and do nothing about. We are the kingdom of God, it is beginning now.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
Those in government, and those faced with hard decisions. Those working for social justice and inclusion. Medical staff and health professionals,
Places whose health services are most vulnerable and undeveloped.
An end to inequality.
A more sustainable use and equitable allocation of the world’s resources.
Those called to lead and guide at a difficult time. Church Leaders throughout the world especially in the United States. Bishop Christine.
Those moving to new ministries; Bishop Mark preparing to move to a new Ministry in Chester, Archdeacon Peter moving to Derby and Catherine Pickford and her family moving to London.
All who feel cut off from God, prayer, or the sacramental life of the Church.
The sick and suffering:
All victims of violence, racism and discrimination.
All who have asked for our prayers
All affected by Covid19
All victims of Covid-19
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.
All my hope on God is founded; he doth still my trust renew. Me through change and chance he guideth, only good and only true. God unknown, he alone calls my heart to be his own.
Human pride and earthly glory, sword and crown betray his trust; what with care and toil he buildeth, tower and temple, fall to dust. But God's power, hour by hour, is my temple and my tower.
God's great goodness aye endureth, deep his wisdom, passing thought: splendour, light, and life attend him, beauty springeth out of naught. Evermore from his store new-born worlds rise and adore.
Daily doth th' Almighty giver bounteous gifts on us bestow; his desire our soul delighteth, pleasure leads us where we go. Love doth stand at his hand; joy doth wait on his command.
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
Pfänderspiel by Béla Bartók