Sunday 29th March

Bookmark and Share

Whitewater Benefice - Lent Service 


Lent - the crossWelcome to worshipping with us in these unusual times.  We are celebrating God’s Grace to us in this season of Lent: as well as reflecting on our lives in the light of his love for us.

You are welcome to join our community of love and care.  Please enjoy reading the words, listening (and singing along) to the hymns; watch the short videos, and hold one another in prayer.

There are also some children's activities available and a link to a zoom meeting for the children to join (starting at 10am for children 3yrs to 8yrs, and 10:30 for the older chidlren)

You may like to have a candle ready to light at the start of the service.


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.

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


Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you


Hark, my soul, it is the Lord  
Link to Hark, my soul, it is the Lord (from YouTube, opens in a new tab)

God’s Commandments

Let us all say the response after each section.

Hear these commandments which God has given to his people, and examine our hearts.

I am the Lord your God: you shall have no other gods but me.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not make for yourself any idol.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not dishonour the name of the Lord your God.
You shall worship him with awe and reverence.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Christ is risen from the dead: set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Honour your father and mother.
Live as servants of God; let us work for the good of all,
especially members of the household of faith.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not commit murder.
Live peaceably with all; overcome evil with good.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not commit adultery.
Know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not steal.
Be honest in all that you do, and care for those in need.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not be a false witness.
Let everyone speak the truth.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.

You shall not covet anything
which belongs to your neighbour.
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Love your neighbour as yourself, for love is the fulfilling of the law.
All     Amen. Lord, have mercy.
         And write all Thy laws in our hearts, we beseech Thee.   

A moment of recollection and then we pray together:

Lord God, we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
we are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us
according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing
and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The almighty and merciful Lord
Grant us pardon and forgiveness of all our sins,
Time for amendment of life,
And the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Collect Prayer

Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The New Testament Reading

The reading is taken from Romans 8:6-11

6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Reading

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.
The Lord is a great God,
O that today you would listen to his voice.
Harden not your hearts.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

The Gospel reading is from John, Chapter 11 verses 1-45

1Now a man named Lazarus was ill. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2(This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay ill, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is ill.’4When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This illness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus./span>6So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was two more days,7and then he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’

8‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?’9Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the day-time will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.10It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.’

11After he had said this, he went on to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.’12His disciples replied, ‘Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.’13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.14So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead,15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’16Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’

17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.18Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,<19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died.22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’23Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’24Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’25Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’27‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’

28After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.31When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.34‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.

35Jesus wept.

36Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’37But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.39‘Take away the stone,’ he said.
‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.’

40 Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 


This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


The Nicene creed - we declare our faith in God

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty.
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

Prayers of Intercession

Link to music on YouTube (opens in a new tab)

Loving Father
We come before you trusting your promise and knowing that you hear all our prayers and respond to all our needs.  In this time of uncertainty and isolation from one another we pray for all our brothers and sisters around the world as each country tries to manage the spread of the coronavirus in different ways:

For our leaders

For Governments and leaders that they would be wise in the timing of decisions and mindful of the impact that each decision will have on the most vulnerable in society.  We pray that all those who have responsibility for planning at every level of government would receive good and timely advice so that the impact of those decisions will be most effective. 

For our needs

For those who are responsible for maintaining our food stocks and basic amenities we pray that they will be able to manage the supply chains so that the necessities are available to everyone. We ask forgiveness for the times that we have previously taken for granted our ability to have what we want whenever we choose.

We thank you for the technology that allows people who are self-isolating to continue shopping from the safety of their homes and pray that those who have most need would be able to access the websites as required.  We pray for all those who are working behind the scenes as they provide technical support to keep the websites functioning and the system structures operating.

For those who are working in warehouses we pray protection as they learn how to operate within safe social-distancing measures.  For charities working to meet people’s needs in this difficult situation we pray that their services can continue to reach the most vulnerable and we especially pray for the work of Food Banks and provision for the homeless.

For our work

For those whose businesses and jobs are under threat at this time we pray that there would be effective support from both governments and financial organisations.  We thank you for the new job opportunities that are being created and pray that those jobs would be taken up by those most in need.  We give thanks for all those who have been able to volunteer in new and creative ways.  We are mindful that there are those who would seek to exploit the vulnerable and needy; we pray that their actions would be exposed and that they would be brought to account.

For Key workers

For those working in key roles at this time whether in the community or in our hospitals we pray that they would continue to have strength for the tasks that each day brings; that they would have courage as they face the challenges that change hour by hour;  that they would have confidence in us as we undertake social distancing and isolation to protect others.  May we be people who are considerate of all the needs of others and accepting of the minor inconveniences that we are having to face in order that the greater good of our nation might be possible.

For the sick and anxious

For those who are ill we pray for healing and strength; for those who are lonely and anxious we pray for peace of mind and knowledge of your love; for those who are weary and burdened we pray that your Holy Spirit will bring energy and hope; for those who are bereaved and mourning for loved ones we pray your comfort in their sorrow and hope in eternity.

Heavenly Father we thank you that you go before us and lighten our load when we come to you in prayer.  Help us in each moment of the day to remember that you are with us and that you will never leave us.  Help us be a witness of your truth and love as we interact with others in whatever ways are possible at this time.   In Jesus’ name we pray.  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
and also with you.

Reflecting on Holy Communion

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.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us
that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters
we do also for you:
give us the will to be the servant of others
as you were the servant of all,
and gave up your life and died for us,
but are alive and reign, now and for ever.  Amen

The Blessing

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness,
to deny yourselves, take up your cross
and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

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

The Dismissal

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

Final hymn

Great is thy faithfulness 
Link to Great is thy faithfulness (from YouTube, opens in a new tab)

Copyright details

This service has been prepared from ‘Common Worship, Services and Prayers for the Church of England’ © The Archbishops’ Council 2000. Church House Publishing. The music settings have been written by Stephen Davies © 2019 and 2020. 

Bible readings are from the New International Version – UK (NIVUK) Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. 

Hymns & Music

Hark, my Soul, it is the Lord by by William Cowper, music St Bees
Kings Chamber Orchestra - String Heaven - Be Still
Great is thy faithfulness by Thomas Chisolm, music by William Marion Runyan

CCLI - St Johns Hook, 7626; Heckfield, Mattingley, Rotherwick 120219

Children's Activities for 29th March
Children's Activities for 29th March 2020
Open Children's Activities for 29th March