top of page

Trinity 4 - Church at Home

5th July 2020

Weekly notices and a service for worship at home

(Scroll down for this week's service)

Paul Klee, Burdened Children, Graphite, crayon and ink on paper on board, 1930; Tate Collection



Join us in church this Sunday!

10.30am at St James'

We are very happy to announce that the Benwell & Scotswood Team will restart public worship with Holy Communion from Sunday 5th July.

Find more information here >


Still at home? Watch the service live

You will be able to watch the service live on Facebook (don't worry - you do not need a facebook account to watch it!)

This is the first time we're trying this so please bear with us if there are any glitches. We will still upload the Church at Home service (below) at least for now.

Click here to watch live >


Pub Quiz Round 2!

Thursday 16th July, 8pm

Join us in our newly named online pub 'The Father's Arms'. Pour a drink and join us online to test your general and local knowledge! It will be informal and you can play as individuals or households. Sign up here.



To keep our work going and our buildings open 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 it to your bank.

  • Or if you wish to be posted a form please just call us or email


New ramp and toilets for the Venerable Bede

Read all about it here.

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


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.

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.


Submit prayer requests online!

You can now submit your prayer requests online. This can be done anonymously or by name and the clergy and congregations will pray for you each week. You can do this here.



Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Reflection by The Revd Chris Minchin

Service led by The Revd David Kirkwood

We will worship in church at 10.30am

Watch live here >

Or listen to our pre-recorded service:

The service starts with some quiet music; please use this to clear your mind and acknowledge on the presence of God.

Intro music

Mazurka by Reinhold Glière.

Opening prayer

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.

God be gracious to us and bless us,

and make your face shine upon us:

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

May your ways be known on the earth,

your saving power among the nations:

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

You, Lord, have made known your salvation,

and reveal your justice in the sight of the nations:

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.


Gracious Father,

by the obedience of Jesus

you brought salvation to our wayward world:

draw us into harmony with your will,

that we may find all things restored in him,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.


A reading from Paul's letter to the Romans.

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

(Romans 7.15–25a)

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God


Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Glory to you, O Lord.

‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,

“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we wailed, and you did not mourn.”

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’

At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

(Matthew 11.16–19,25–30)

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you, O Christ!


by The Revd Chris Minchin

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

Paul begins:

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7.15)

Those were my exact thoughts also as I sat at home preparing the risk assessments for returning to public worship in church. As I wrangled with government advice, that was somehow both very strict yet entirely unclear, I felt somewhat like Paul. Toing and froing, splitting hairs, wondering what the right decision is, whether what we say can ever match up to what we do!

Our first reading is a typically confusing snippet of the New Testament, for someone who says he is free from the constraints of religious law and free from sin, Paul is pretty obsessed with it. And Christians have been obsessed with it ever since as well. The church, like the government, is just as guilty of being both very strict yet entirely unclear.

What is the first word that you think of when I say the word ‘Christian’? In our own heads, we Christians will probably think of things like ‘love’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘community’, ‘God’; things associated with the love of God for all people, even the outcast, the guilty, the poor, and suffering.

Sadly, that isn’t what the outside world thinks. I came across a study from 2018 of general public opinions of the church the UK. For all those that say they believe the church is ‘good for the community’, just as many associate it with the words ‘hypocritical’ and ‘judgmental’. Only 19% of non-Christians think the church has a positive impact on the world, 40% think it actually has a negative impact, and possibly most damning of all 41% have no idea whether the church has any impact at all. 20% do not know if they would engage with a campaign or activity organised by the church, and 33% say they would simply never engage with it.

It seems that the church is not trusted. It is no wonder when it has become defined by prudish ideas about sex and all the while hiding abuse scandals. Day to day we Christians wring our hands, debating how to be better. We pretend that our faith makes us lovely people with nice ordinary straight families, and nice houses, with smiles plastered on our faces. But we cover up our messy confusing lives and sins. We don’t declare God’s love, we declare our own hypocrisy. Jesus in fact has something to say to about this:

‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,

“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we wailed, and you did not mourn.” (Matthew 11.16-17)

We like to tell the world how to be good, what they should be doing about sex, who to vote for, and how to get into heaven. We moan and blame everyone except ourselves for the problems of the world, “we’ve been lovely, everyone else getting it wrong” or “well, we tried to tell them, they’re just not interested”. We like to think that we look with love and compassion on everyone, but in reality we always the first to think the worst of others. I think it’s telling when churches display more notices telling people to turn the lights off in the church hall than notices saying ‘welcome’.

I’ve probably successfully persuaded you to give up. Or to never join such a navel gazing, and miserable organisation as this. I probably would give up as well if I didn’t believe there is more to Christianity than this, if there hadn’t been something that grabbed my attention, something I know to be real and true and good, hidden amongst all that rubbish we create. So as churches across the country begin to open again, as we reassess who we are and what we do, I believe that if this organisation claims to act in the name of Jesus Christ, it better start looking like him!

Jesus himself in our second reading is criticised for having fun, drinking and partying with sinners. But he says to them:

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11.28-30)

He speaks directly to those who suffer, who struggle with sin, those who feel judged and guilty already, those who just don’t feel good enough. Come to me all of you. All of you. No exceptions. This is your church. It should not belong to the haters anymore. Christianity is not just about being nice human beings, but it certainly does not excuse us from it.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light - the life lived with Jesus should not be one of exclusion and feeling bad about yourself. Suffering happens, and we do bad things, that should not be forgotten or excused, but God came to us as a real human being, amongst the messiness of life, and is bigger than our failings. The point of God being revealed in Jesus as fully God and fully human, is that God created humanity, loves humanity, he understands what it is to be human, and wants humanity to love him and to love other humans like he does. Knowing God does not begin with being perfect, it begins with accepting that the messed up, imperfect, human being that you are matters to God and is being welcomed into the loving presence of God here and now.


Prayer intentions


Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In these uncertain times we ask for courage.

O Lord we beseech you to deliver us from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; and from fear of death. Help us O Father, by thy grace to love and fear only you, fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

(Akanu Ibaim , Nigeria)

The Church

  • Those called to lead and guide us at a difficult time.

  • Bishop Christine, Bishop Mark preparing to move to a new Ministry in Chester.

  • All those churches beginning worship today or preparing to open soo