We are Reopening!

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

We will be reopening for prayer first of all, and then Mass from Friday 10th July:

  • Friday 3rd July – 12-1pm private prayer
  • Friday 10th July – 12.30pm Mass
  • Sunday 12th July – 10.30am Mass 5th Sundy after Trinity

Following this we will continue with normal Mass times – Friday 12.30pm, Sunday 10.30am and Holy Days 12.30pm. The toilet and cafe area are still undergoing refurbishment but the toilets are fully functional and availalble! Please use the side door as the tower entrance needs some repairs and is fenced off. We look forward to welcoming back friends old and new.

Come, let us sing unto the Lord: 
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, 
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, 
and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the deep places of the earth:
the strength of the hills is his also. 
The sea is his, and he made it:
and his hands formed the dry land. 
Come, let us worship and bow down:
let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
Psalm 95 extract verses 1-6

An Easter Service for use at Home

Fr Ken has compiled this service you may wish to use on Easter Sunday at home…

Alleluia Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed Alleluia!

Easter Morning Service

On Easter Morning we begin our Service by lighting the Pascal Candle; then we process into Church and after it is placed in the Candlestand  and we sing “The Exsultet”

 Rejoice, Heavenly powers! Sing, Choirs of Angels!
   Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
   Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
   Sound the trumpet of salvation!
   Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour,
   radiant in the brightness of your King!
   Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
   Darkness vanishes for ever!
   Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
   The risen Saviour shines upon you!
   Let this place resound with joy,
   echoing the song of all God’s people!

The Collect for the Day

God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened to us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us .. through Christ our Lord. Amen

READINGS Epistle Colossians 3 v 1 – 4

Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. 4.But when Christ is revealed — and he is your life – you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.

GRADUAL HYMN   NEH 103

  Alleliua! Alleliua! Hearts to Heaven voices raise,
       Sing to God a hymn of gladness,
       Sing to God a hymn of praise;
       He who on the cross a victim
        For the world’s salvation bled,
       Jesus Christ, the King of glory
       Now is risen from the dead.

       Christ is risen, Christ the first-fruits
       Of the holy harvest field,
       Which will all its full abundance,
       At His second coming yield;
       Then the golden ears of harvest
       Will their heads before him wave,
       Ripened by his glorious sunshine,
       From the furrows of the grave.

       Christ is risen, we are risen!
       Shed upon us Heavenly grace,
       Rain and dew, and gleams of glory
       From the brightness of thy face;
       That we, Lord, with hearts in Heaven,
       Here on earth may fruitful be,
       And by Angel-hands be gathered,
       And be ever, Lord, with thee.

        Allelyua! Allelyua!
       Glory be to God on high!
       To the Father, and the Saviour,
       Who has gained the victory;
       Glory to the Holy Spirit,
       Fount of love and sanctity;
       Alleluya ! Alleluya !
       To the blessèd Trinity.

Gospel  St John 20 v 1 – 9   ( Authorised Version )

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.  So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.  Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

HYMN  NEH 120

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Refrain:
     Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
     Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
Refrain:
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Refrain:
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Intercessions:

A time of prayer where you can pray for all those who are affected by the current situation. Pray for the world; for the Church; for our country and Government; for our doctors, nurses and emergency services; for your family, loved ones and friends; for those who are lonely or anxious; for the sick and dying; for the departed; and do not forget to pray for yourself and your own needs and concerns.

A prayer for those in authority

Loving God, in Christ Jesus, the servant of all,
you call us to the service of others.
Grant to those who govern the community
the skill to recognise its urgent needs
and the strength to pursue the common good.
Endow us all with patience and courage,
that we may care for the suffering,
feed the hungry, shelter the homeless,
and sustain the needy.Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God and Father,
by your power we are created
and by your love we are redeemed:
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves to you
in love and service of one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore.                                                                                Amen.

Finish your intercessions by saying

The Lord’s Prayer (Traditional version )

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.Thy will be done in earth,as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that 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.

An act of Spiritual Communion

At this time, when our churches are closed for public worship, we will not be able to receive Holy Communion physically, which will be a painful thing for many of us. The tradition of the Church has been for people to make a Spiritual Communion when they are prevented from receiving Holy Communion.
St Thomas Aquinas says in this we should have “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him”. You can pray this prayer as often as you like, but most specifically at the time when you would normally be present at Mass.
My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
                               (Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament)

  FINAL HYMN  NEH  110

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!  

Regina Caeli

During Eastertide instead of the Angelus
Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven, Alleluia.
He whom thou wast meet to bear, Alleluia.
As he promised, hath arisen, Alleluia.
Pour for us to him thy prayer, Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.
For the Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia.
O God, by the Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, you have brought joy to the whole world: grant that, by the help of his mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life; through Christ the Lord. Amen

Some Evening Prayers

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.  
                                   ( St Augustine of Hippo  354–430 AD)

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by the great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen  ( Evening Prayer – Book of Common Prayer 1662  )

ANOTHER EASTER HYMN  NEH  112

        1 Jesus lives! thy terrors now
Can, O Death, no more appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
Thou, O Grave, canst not enthrall us.   Alleluya!

        2 Jesus lives! henceforth is death
But the gate of Life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.   Alleluya!

        3 Jesus lives! for us He died;
Then alone to Jesus living,
Pure in heart may we abide,
Glory to our Saviour giving.   Alleluya!

        4 Jesus lives! our hearts know well
Naught from us His love shall sever;
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell
Tear us from His keeping ever.    Alleluya!

        5 Jesus lives! to Him the Throne
  Over all the world is given;
  May we go where he is gone, rest and reign with Him in heaven.   Alleluya!

Happy Easter!
Vintage card from OberholsterVenita & Pixabay
Lego model of  2 ladies looking into an empty tomb - a round lego stone is moved aside with an Angel sat atop.
Behold the empty tomb !
Thanks to Legobible and Pixabay

Palm Sunday & Holy Week

Radio and TV broadcasts during Holy Week and Easter

With no Church Services for the foreseeable future, here are some of the Services that are being broadcast on Radio and TV during Holy Week and Easter…

A yew branch with light green new growth sprouting from th eends
Yew was used as an alternative to palms in this cooler climate

There is an interesting series on BBC Radio 4 during Holy Week  9.45am each morning (15mins)
          The Passion in Plants 5 Episodes commencing Monday 6th April
   Monday   Pussy Willows and the Yew  – Palm Sunday  1/5
          Bob Gilbert traces the associations of British wild plants with the Easter Story beginning with Palm Sunday. No palms here, instead people carried fronds of goat willow and yew.
    Tuesday   The Last Supper and the Betrayal – Bitter Herbs and the Elder 2/5
          The Last Supper was the Feast of the Passover, when Jewish people eat the bitter herbs.
           And the Elder from which Judas, full of remorse following his betrayal, hanged himself
     Wednesday   The Road to the Cross – Hawthorn and Speedwell 3/5
           British wild plants and the Passion of Christ; the hawthorn crown, the road to the cross
           and the humble speedwell.
     Maundy Thursday   The Crucifixion – the Orchid and the Aspen 4/5
          The Passion of Christ through the folklore of wildflowers. The tree the cross was made from, and the plants that grew at its foot.
     Good Friday     The Resurrection – Pearlwort, Touch-me-not and the Alleluia Flower 5/5
          The plants that by tradition tell of the Resurrection: the pearlwort that cushioned Christ’s feet, the touch-me-not balsam and the alleluia flower.

Palm Sunday

BBC Radio 4  8.10am Sunday Worship “Walking alongside Jesus in suffering “
          Fr Dominic Robinson and Dr Theodora Hawksley reflect on the way Jesus accompanies   Christians spiritually when facing times of trial, suffering and bereavement.
TV BBC 1  10.45am  SUNDAY WORSHIP Hereford Cathedral
TV BBC 1    1.15pm  Songs of Praise – Glasgow Cathedral
BBC Radio  3.30pm   Choral Evensong – Magdalen College Oxford

Wednesday 8th April

BBC Radio 3 3.30pm  Choral Evensong  Church of the Incarnation, Dallas, Texas

Good Friday 10th April

  BBC Radio 3  2.00pm  Bach’s St John’s Passion

Easter Sunday

BBC Radio 4  6.05am  Dr Rowan Williams – retired Archbishop of Canterbury
– Reflections on the meaning of Easter
BBC Radio 4  6.35am Sunrise Service celebrating Easter morning
                      –  with Gospel Group Volney Morgan and New-Ye !
BBC Radio 4  8.10am Sunday Worship “Christ is Risen”
                                                    – with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
TV BBC 1  11.25am  SUNDAY WORSHIP Bangor Cathedral
TV BBC 1  1.15pm  Songs of Praise Katherine Jenkins celebrates Easter at a new church,
       –  St Luke’s ( C of E ) Gas Street in Birmingham
Radio 3  3.00pm Festal Evensong ( Norwich Cathedral )

See the prayer resources page for links to Chester Cathedral and other streamed Services including the National Virtual Service for Palm Sunday led by the Bishop of Manchester (on Facebook only).

From the Diocese Coronavirus Briefing No 4:

Sunday Prayer Candle

A white taper lights a white church candle

If you can join with others again at 7.00pm this Sunday night, lighting a candle in the window, please do, and as suggested by Bishop Keith, pray this psalm:

“I lift my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth"
Psalm 121

April edition of the Chester Diocesan News

For now, the CDN will only be produced as a digital download. You can get your free copy here.

Share a Prayer, Pray a Prayer

The Acting Bishop of Chester, Keith Sinclair, is inviting you to, “share a prayer and pray a prayer” as part of a diocesan-wide effort to support one another through the coronavirus crisis. 

Bishop Keith says: “We are all coming to terms with the new realities of the coronavirus pandemic. For us all this means staying at home, but even from our armchairs we can serve our communities in prayer.

“I want to encourage everyone, whatever your experience of prayer may be – seasoned regular or just dipping your toe – to try walking with God in prayer today.

“There is an abundance of prayer that can be said for our communities, NHS, police, schools, business leaders, and government, as well as for individuals and their personal circumstances.”

Prayer sheets made up of prayers requested for a wide range of situations are available at the Prayer Hub for people to download and pray in their own time. 

In addition, a discreet group of 12 volunteers is also praying day and night for sensitive situations that people may not wish to share with the wider diocese.


Are you in need of prayer?

Text or WhatsApp your prayer to 07513170210 and it will be shared with people in the diocese to pray. Or you can email your prayer to foxhill@chester.anglican.org. Prayers received will be distributed across the diocese to volunteers to pray in their own time as part of a daily rhythm of prayer.


Bishop Keith says: “To anyone who is in need of prayer, I want to say this: share it with others so that we can pray together for you and your loved ones. We all have personal concerns and anxieties, and prayer has always been a real comfort to me in a time of need.”

The team at Foxhill is helping to serve the diocese by coordinating this prayer effort after closing its doors in March. If you would like to request prayer for you and your personal circumstances, contact the team at Foxhill. Your prayer will be distributed around the diocese for volunteers to pray as part of their daily rhythm of prayer.

A man kneels in prayer silhouetted in the sunset infront of three crosses on a hill

Keeping well – Church of england update

The latest Coronavirus Briefing from Bishop Keith, and some tips to keep positive particularly during self-isolation.

From Bishop Keith
Dear Friends,

I don’t know how the rhythm of this new way of living is working out for you.

For some the frantic nature of the tasks they are being asked to do will seem never ending, especially those in the NHS and supporting services. For others the opposite, though I expect that anyone with school age children at home may be feeling they’ve exchanged one kind of frantic for another.

All of us, old or young, whatever our home situation, are coming to terms with the new realities of the coronavirus pandemic.

I hope the updates here from the archbishops and bishops and other parts of the Church are helpful. It is very important that those who need to read them do so, so we are all as far as we can be, keeping in step with one another, and hopefully following government advice to, “stay at home, support the NHS, and save lives.”

I’m so hoping whatever our experience of praying at home has been that the new government restrictions on our movement will actually help us become stronger on one area of our walk with God, Prayer.

There are many ways we can pray and there are wonderful resources out there. Here is one suggestion from me if anyone would like any help,

Take one hand and look at:Your thumb – pray for your church community and family;Your first finger – pray for the NHS and those medical researchers looking for a vaccine;Your second finger – pray for the Government and all those making tough decisions;Your third finger – pray for those in care homes and working with the most vulnerable in our communities; andLittle finger – pray for individuals known to you and yourself.Each prayer focus for each thumb and finger could itself open up into prayer personally, locally, nationally, and globally.

Take the other hand and read out loud:

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12) and let your thumb and each finger represent one of these “clothes” we are to put on:Thumb – compassionFirst finger – kindnessSecond finger – humilityThird finger – meeknessLittle finger – patienceWhen you pray, put your hands together, and let the “clothing” of one hand touch the people and places in the other, and see what God does.

Maybe prayer like this could become part of our daily rhythm in this strange new time for us all. However we pray, it is the Lord who meets with us in listening and speaking.

With love in Christ,

+Keith

Top tips to tackle loneliness/isolation

Find simple ways to deal with loneliness and isolation – from the Church of England website.

  1. Pray. Light a candle, if safe, and pray for hope, faith and strength to keep loving and caring for each other during this time of struggle.
  2. Talk about how you feel. This may be difficult if you are self-isolating, but do use the telephone, internet, and social media. If you need to contact a counsellor this can be arranged by your GP, or via local agencies, or privately. The Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, every day, and it’s free to call them on 116 123.
  3. Focus on the things that you can change, not on the things you can’t.
  4. Look after yourself – physically, emotionally, spiritually. Plan in things that you enjoy at regular intervals during the day – a TV programme, a phone call, a book, a favourite dish, a game.
  5. Look after others. Even if only in small ways, but do what you can: a smile, a kind word, writing a letter or an email.

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THESE TOP TIPS A 2-page PDF designed to be printed is available

A white taper lights a white church candle
Pray. Light a candle, if safe, and pray for hope, faith and strength to keep loving and caring for each other during this time of struggle.