Sunday 12th July

Whitewater Benefice


Welcome to our online worship for Sunday 12th July - Trinity 5 - The theme is Freedom.

There will also be a live worship service using zoom, which will be open from 9.45 a.m. for technical sound checks, we will begin our worship at 10.00 a.m:  Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID:  852 1762 0782

Junior Church
11am to 11:30am for 3 to 8yrs and 11:30am to noon for 9-14yrs each Sunday (except the first Sunday in the month). Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 945 8193 7074

If you are unable to join the zoom using the link, you can phone in on 0203 051 2874 or 0203 481 5237 or 0203 481 5240 or 0131 460 1196
and use the appropriate meeting ID

For any children joining either service, there are activity sheets



You may like to light a candle as a reminder that the love of God is like a light in our darkness.

Music: Come, now is the time to worship is played by Nikki

Welcome To Worship

Welcome to our worship as we are gathered in heart and spirit if not in physical proximity with one another.  It is a reminder that the church is not the building but rather it is the people of God who are the church.

Opening Prayer

The theme of today’s service is Freedom. It is based on the freedom that we are offered in Jesus, freedom from guilt and shame. Freedom from condemnation. Freedom from the fear that we are not good enough. Freedom to be unselfish and live to follow Jesus, using his life and energy to love others. Let us begin with a famous prayer from St Augustine:

Eternal God,
the light of the minds that know you,
the joy of the hearts that love you,
and the strength of the wills that serve you:
grant us so to know you,
that we may truly love you,
so to love you that we may truly serve you,
whose service is perfect freedom;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

[after Augustine of Hippo (430 AD)]


Be thou my vision
Link to Be thou my vision (from YouTube, opens in a new tab)

Collect for today

Almighty God, send down upon your Church the riches of your Spirit,
and kindle in all who minister the gospel your countless gifts of grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Story 1 - a true story from ‘Bible in One Year’ by Nicky Gumbel

At the age of eighteen, Billy Nolan ran away from the merchant navy. He was an alcoholic for thirty-five years. For twenty years he sat outside Holy Trinity Brompton drinking alcohol and begging for money. On 13 May 1990, he looked in the mirror and said, ‘You’re not the Billy Nolan I once knew.’ To use his own expression, he asked the Lord Jesus Christ ­into his life and made a covenant with him that he would never drink alcohol again. He has not touched a drop since. His life is transformed. He radiates the love and joy of Christ. I once said to him, ‘Billy, you look happy.’ He replied, ‘I am happy because I am free. Life is like a maze and at last I have found a way out through Jesus Christ.’

St Augustine wrote that God was the master ‘whom to serve is perfect freedom.’ This is a great paradox. Many people think that if they serve God they will lose their freedom. In fact, it is the very opposite. Living for ourselves is, in fact, a form of slavery. Serving God ‘in the new way of the Spirit’ (Romans 7:6) is the way to find perfect freedom.


Dear Lord,
we are sorry for the times we have opportunities to learn and don’t try or listen.  
Lord, give us your freedom, help us to live for you.

We are sorry that when we know what we should do,
we are afraid of what our friends or colleagues might say and don’t do it.
Lord, give us your freedom, help us to live for you.

We are sorry when we think that living for you is just too demanding,
and don’t live the way that honours you.
Lord, give us your freedom, help us to live for you.

We are sorry that so often we are distracted by all the good things that we have,
our homes, our gardens, our work, our hobbies, work, having fun, socialising, and these become more important to us than living for you.
Lord, give us your freedom, help us to live for you.

We thank you that you go on loving us despite our failures and faults.
Please forgive us.
Help us to make a fresh start today and begin a new way of living that lasts.
Lord, give us your freedom, help us to live for you.


May Almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins and failures,
grant us freedom
and keep us in eternal life.

Story 2 – a local Story of Bobby Buddies in Lockdown

Some of you may remember the time when Ann Taylor in Hook spoke in ‘This Time Tomorrow’ and introduced us to Bobby Buddies. These are teddies to knit and give to the Emergency Services to help vulnerable children in times of great trauma and crisis.

Bobby Buddies in PPESome of our church family members have been knitting for this project, and in lockdown there is a new development. Caroline F heard Ann speak about this, and spoke to colleagues at her work. When they presented a huge box full of the bears to the Andover Police she told the story of how Ann had spoken at church and it gave her a great opportunity to talk to people about how God can make good things happen and how we can help in the community. During lockdown, Caroline’s colleagues in children’s and family services for community dentistry find the kids are scared of the PPE and have begun knitting bears with PPE to help the children.

Our church family knitters are getting behind this project.  See our Bobby Buddies Page for details including a knitting pattern. If you would like to more details please get in touch through the church office:


Speak O Lord, as we come to you by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Link to Speak O Lord, as we come to you (from YouTube, opens in a new tab)

Gospel Reading (Matthew 13:1-9 & 18-23)

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed.4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.’

18‘Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’

Talk - Freedom in Christ

Marion's talk today also includes the following reading

New Testament reading: Romans 8.1-2, 5-6

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

A Prayer of Declaration

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith,
and fills us with his love.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us
with power from on high.
We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen



Music: The Spirit lives to set us free (Walk in the light) by Damian Lundy. CCLI no. 4806051. Recorded by singers from St Martin’s in the Fields. Copyright information at the end of the service.

As children of our heavenly Father, let us quieten ourselves and pray:

A Prayer for Freedom

Heavenly Father,

We pray for grace and strength to live as those accountable before God,
saying: Lord, in your mercy,
grant us freedom to serve you with joy.

We pray for our world
for our busy, rushed and anxious world,
for people swamped with responsibilities,
weighed down and overwhelmed,
in whichever context they are set:
at home, in hospitals, in business, in government.
We pray that in need and humility,
people will look beyond themselves for help,
and turn to you Lord, for guidance, for strength, for love in their hearts,
to help them to find life in abundance.

Lord in your mercy,
grant us freedom to serve you with joy.

We pray for your Church
as we who have received the good seed of the Gospel of Jesus,
and begun to enjoy the freedom you offer.
Help us to bravely challenge society’s false promises
and live unentangled lives.
With your help to shake off unhelpful habits,
to reject a shallow life consumed with materialism
or bound up in doubt and fear.
Help us to proclaim your hope, to live as children of God,
who are deeply loved, accepted and given power to serve unconditionally.

Lord in your mercy,
grant us freedom to serve you with joy.

We pray for the sick and the sorrowing
and all who need your healing touch.
We pray for those known to us,
those in the Whitewater community,
friends and family…
take a quiet moment to name people before the Lord now
We pray too for the ministry of the Bobby Buddies,
those who knit them, those who give them,
and the children who will receive them.
Bring them comfort and love in their times of trouble.

Lord in your mercy,
grant us freedom to serve you with joy.

Father, we bless you
for all who have gone before us in the faith of Christ,
and especially we remember those who have recently died,
Judy Crockford, Gillian Hill, Gordon Black, John Mandry, Sheila Benwell, Rodney Huxham, and their families.

Finally, for ourselves, Lord God of truth,
help us to keep your law of love and to walk freely
in ways of wisdom and generosity,
that we may find true life in Jesus Christ your Son
and share your life with others.

Merciful Father
Accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

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.

The Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
The peace of the Lord be always with you. Amen.


Let us consider all that God has done for us,
especially as we see this in Jesus.
‘Count our blessings’
and respond with appropriate generosity from our material wealth.

Giving to our Churches

See our giving page for more information about how you can give to our churches

Please select your chosen Parish for details:

Donate to Hook Donate to HMR

Reflecting on Holy Communion

Holy communion is available on Sunday night at 6pm in St John's Church, Hook.

At this time when we cannot gather to share Holy Communion with one another we take some time to reflect on what it means to each of us that Jesus gave his own life that we might live life in freedom.


1 Corinthians 11: 23 - 26

23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Consider all that God has done for you, especially as you see this in Jesus. ‘Count your blessings’ and respond with appropriate generosity from your material wealth.



God the Father,
by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.      Amen

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


You Shall go out with Joy

Recorded by Jonathan Veira. Written by Steffi Geiser Rubin and Stuart Dauerman.
© 1975 Lillenas Publishing Company. Administered by Music Services, Inc. CCLI no. 20546.

You shall go out with joy
and be led forth with peace
and the mountains and the hills
shall break forth before you.
There’ll be shouts of joy
and the trees of the field
will clap, will clap their hands.

And the trees of the fields
shall clap their hands
and you’ll go out with joy.   (repeated)



Copyright details

Services and Prayers for the Church of England. Common Worship. Church House Publishing. The Archbishops’ Council. 2000. Daily Prayer, 2005.

‘Come, Now is the time to worship’ by Brian Doerksen © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) CCLI Number: 2430948
‘The Spirit lives to set us free (walk in the light)’ by Damian Lundy ©  1978 Kevin Mayhew Ltd. CCLI no. 4806051. Audio recording from the Church of England ‘A Church Near You Resource Hub’. Recorded by singers from St Martin’s in the Fields. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
‘Be thou my vision’. Irish traditional melody, Slane, words 8th century, translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1860-1935), versified by Eleanor Henrietta Hull (1880-1931), CCLI no. 30639.
‘Speak O Lord as we come to you’. by Keith Getty, Stuart Townend. © 2005 Thank you Music. Administrated by Integrity music. CCLI no. 4615235.
‘You shall go out with joy’. Steffi Geiser Rubin and Stuart Dauerman. © 1975 Lillenas Publishing Company. Administered by Music Services, Inc. CCLI no. 20546
Hymns from YouTube under appropriate licensing
CCLI - St Johns Hook, 827213

Children's Activities for Sunday 12th July
Children's Activities for Sunday 12th July
Open Children's Activities for Sunday 12th July