Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Periscope up: nine feet above the veldt
Eyes peeled, scouring the tawny savannah:
Fearing the fatal pounce of the camouflaged cheetah,
Pacey predator of the spotted plains.
But unseen, unheard, lurking silent in the scrubby bush,
A yet more lethal enemy stalks
Rifle cocked, held steady on a forking branch.
Sights centred on the soft, deep plumed belly
Of the unarmed flightless bird,
Ready to kill from far away, with searing force
And deafening retort, the unseen bullet
Brings down one hundred kilos of prime defenceless meat
And regal feathers to crown the archduke’s
Slightly balding head, with borrowed stately majesty.

Those ostrich feathers fluttering on a sundrenched Balkan day:
Unstained by the bomber’s ill-timed bloodied blows .
Six assassins hidden in the undergrowth,
Waiting to pounce with bomb or revolver,
Fail to bring down their royal foes.
But unseen the seventh waits his final turn
As his richly plumed quarry comes into view,
Takes a wrong turning, and has to be pushed back –
Becoming a soft target - point blank range for Princips’ deadly shot,
And once again those showy feathers fall to dust.
So this shot’s loud explosion rends the world
And fear displaces every shred of trust.

Four distant plumes of feathery, windswept smoke;
Famed four-funneled Lusitania’s certain silhouette:
The U-20’s captain’s calculating mind
Grinds through the cogwheels of the hunter’s long rehearsed routine.
Sums done, amidships below the second funnel
Targeted; torpedo launched, but hits the liner early,
In its bows, where surely it could take the blow intact,
And might have done, perhaps, except for one appalling fact,
That stashed within its hold a secret cargo lay
Ready to explode upon the slightest impact
With annihilating force.  So barely eighteen minutes from the initial blow,
The stricken ship was sunk; twelve hundred lives were lost.
Periscope down.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Come to church Sunday

Opening drama:
Person One: What is this place?
Person Two: It’s  a tribute  to  the  human  desire  to  create  places  of  sacred  significance.  (Trying to sound knowledgeable) The architecture is a little ambivalent, but I’d say it’s a blend of post modern and art deco styles.
Person One: (Looking very confused) What on earth are you talking about? What’s going on here?
Person Two: (Now  speaking  as  if  explaining  something  obvious  to  a  child)  Well,  it’s  a  large building with lots of chairs, which are now partly filled with people.
Person One: (A tad frustrated) I can see that. But what is it?
Person Two: (Smugly) It’s a church.
Person One: (Gasps) Where God lives? (In a whisper) Shouldn’t we be kneeling or whispering or something?
Person Two: God doesn’t live here – at least not only here.
Person One: (Looking impressed, but uncertain) What? God has a bunch of houses? Like holiday homes and stuff?
Person Two: (Shaking  head  and trying  to  sound  like  a  preacher)  The  Lord  dwelleth  not  in habitations fashioned by the hands of humans.
Person One: Huh?
Person Two: God doesn’t “live” in buildings. God’s presence fills every part of the universe.
Person One: Then, why do you have a church? And why is it called “the house of the Lord”?

Welcome and introduction

Creator of the world, eternal God,
we have come from many places,
and are made welcome,

Jesus, the liberator, who rescues the world from evil, God-with-us,
we have come as we are,
with all our differences,
seeking common ground.

Spirit of unity, go-between God,
we have come on journeys of our own,
to a place where journeys meet.

So here in this place,
let us take time together.
For when paths cross and people gather,
there is much to share and celebrate.
In your name, three-in-one God,
pattern of community. Amen

Song JPHuber  tune Leone 131 bpw
1 O God of earth and space,
of sea and fire and air,
Your providence surrounds us here
and everywhere.
In fruit and grain and tree,
in shelter from the cold,
In cooling breezes, flowing wells,
now as of old

2 Where faithfulness is shown,
where love and truth abound,
Where beauty graces human life,
there you are found.
Inspirer of all thought!
Creative force of art!
The melody on every tongue,
in every heart!

3 Wherever freedom reigns,
where sin is overthrown,
Where justice fused with mercy rules,
there you are known.
Give us the courage clear,
to make the earth a home,
For all to live in harmony,
in Christ’s shalom.

Saying Sorry
God our Father,
we come to you in sorrow for our sins.
For turning away from you,
and ignoring your will for our lives;
Father, forgive us:
Save us and help us

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you
by temptations in the world about us;
Father, forgive us:
Save us and help us

For behaving just as we wish,
without thinking of you;
Father, forgive us:
Save us and help us

For failing you by what we do,
and think and say;
Father, forgive us:
Save us and help us

For living as if we were ashamed
to belong to your Son;
Father, forgive us:
Save us and help us

My God, our heavenly Father,
who has promised to forgive
all those who sincerely turn to him:
have mercy on us.
May he deliver us from all our sins,
and strengthen us for his service,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Children’s talk

Childrens song © David MacGregor 1995
1 Children, old folk and in-between
Come, come, come as you are
No matter who you are
No matter where you’ve been
Come, come, come as you are.

Jesus, you’re the one we follow
Jesus, you’re the one who forgives
Come and wrap your love around us
You died so we could live
Come, come, come as you are

2. Friends with Jesus in all kinds of weather
Come, come, come as you are
Jesus, we want to know you better
Come, come, come as you are

3. Jesus, you love us like no other
Come, come, come as you are
Accept us like a sister ... brother
Come, come, come as you are

Reading Luke 19 1-10


song  (based on Lennon McCartney)
1 He’s a most unusual man:                                    
he came to give the blind their sight
and put all evil powers to flight, make darkness light;
He makes the stormy days turn fine
and changes water into wine,
he gives his body as a sign,  he’s Jesus.
Son of Man, Lord Jesus,  died and lives to save us,
he’s the one to follow if  we but dare,

2 He’s a most unusual man:
who makes the crowds all stop and stare,                                   
he teaches people how to care and how to share. 
as rich and poor as they can be,
he came to set the prisoners free,
to give them all their liberty, he’s Jesus.
Son of Man, Lord Jesus,  died and lives to save us,
he’s the one to follow, if we but can,

3 He’s a most unusual man:
Though crucified he rose again;
He calls us all to die to self and live again.
Listen Jesus as we pray:
We will follow in your way,
give our lives to you today, Lord Jesus.
Son of man, Lord Jesus, died and lives to save us,
you’re the one to follow, so now we say:

4 Lord we’ll share your point of view,
leaving all to follow you:
most unusual Lord of all, we love you;
most unusual Lord of all, we love you.

Affirmation of faith

In the patchwork farmland and rolling hills, in the woodlands tinged with red and gold, in tumbling streams and languid meandering rivers,
we see the signs that God is with us.

In our cities of concrete and brick,
In towering architecture and in the homely familiarity of our streets
we see the signs that God is with us.

In the faces of the people we meet,
whom God loves,
The rich and the poor,
the young and the old,
Of every colour and every group
we see the signs that God is with us.

In our brokenness,
there is the hope of wholeness.
In our emptiness, 
there is the hope of fullness.
In our deaths,
 lies the hope of resurrection life.

This is the Word in Christ to us.
The warmth and freshness of the Holy Spirit lives in this place and travels with us. Amen. 

(Adapted/ D McRae-McMahon/eoj)

1 I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s laughing
As she rocks in her rapture
Enjoying her art.
She’s glad of her world
In its risking and growing
‘tis the child she has borne
And holds close to her heart.

2 I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s weeping
As she crouches, weighed
Down by the sorrow she sees.
She cries for the hostile
the cold and no-hoping
For she bears in herself
Our despair and disease.

3 I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s dancing
As she moves like the wind
And the wave and the fire.
A church that can pick up
Its skirts, pirouetting
With the steps that can signal
God’s deepest desire.

4 I dream of a church that can
Join in God’s loving
As she bends to embrace
the unlovely and lost.
A church that can free
By its sharing and daring
The imprisoned and poor
And then shoulder the cost

5 God, make us a church that
Joins in with your living
As you cherish and challenge
Rein in and release.
A church that is winsome
Impassioned, inspiring
Lioness of your justice
And lamb of your peace.  Kate Compston/altd sung to the tune spanish ladies



Song copyright Bernadette Farrell
1 Longing for light we wait in darkness,
longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.
Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness,
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

2 Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.
Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness,
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

3 Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.
 Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness,
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

4 Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls of living stone.
Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness,
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

5 Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.
Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness,
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today

God of wonder
 Send us out with hearts full of praise.
God of wilderness
 Send us out with lives full of courage.
God of the rainbow covenant
 Send us out to live at one with all people.
God of the cross and resurrection
 Send us out in joyful service. 

May the everlasting God shield you,
East and West and wherever you go.
And the blessing of God be upon you.
The blessing of the God of life.

The blessing of Christ be upon you,
The blessing of the Christ of love.

The blessing of the Spirit be upon you,
The blessing of the Spirit of Grace.

The blessing of the Trinity be upon you.
Now and for evermore.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Psalm 29 rjg
Give to the Lord, you heavenly hosts,
The glory due his name,
Sing of his awesome holiness,
His majesty acclaim.
Wild waters heed his powerful word
His thunderous voice obey
Great towering cedars crash to earth,
As soft as new-mown hay.

2 Flashes of lightening cleave the skies,
When God his silence breaks,
Proud nations jump like new born calves,
The untamed desert quakes;
Oaks quickstep to their master’s call,
Great forests shrink unclad,
And in the temple one and all
Cry “Glory“, and are glad.

3 Lord God enthroned above the flood
You sit in sovereign power
King of the universe, you reign
All glorious evermore.
Strong in the strength that works for peace
Lord strengthen those, by whom
Your voice is hallowed in their lives
And grant them your shalom.

Psalm  42, 43
Why are you full of sorrow and heaviness    
why so disquieted within
Trust  in your God for he will deliver you
sing songs of praise have faith in him.
I am so thirsty like a deer in the desert
I long for refreshment O life-giving God,
Enemies mock me - denying your presence;
all feasting forgotten - salt tears are my food.
This I remember - the temple so splendid
processions of triumph - those glad hymns of praise
now they are past - all their glory long vanished
like dreams half forgotten, my hopes all betrayed.
Once in the mountains, where cataracts thunder,
your power overcame me like torrents in spate
Drowned in your mercy dark nights shone like morning.
Why have you forgotten - left me to my fate?

God, you're my refuge, don't leave me to perish;
outside your safe keeping - I've nowhere to hide.
Bring me back to you, all banishment ended,
Lord, send forth your light, let your truth be my guide.

hymn psalm 104 rjg
O bless the Lord my soul
enthroned in heaven’s height
bedecked in majesty and awe
your very robes are light.

2 The starry skies above
to you are but a tent
the clouds your car - your messages
on tongues of fire are sent,

3 Beneath the ocean depths
you sculpted all the land
then sent the waters foaming back
and fringed the seas with sand.

4 The silver throated stream,
the plangent sapphire pool,
the tumbling torrent, slake our thirst
with living waters cool.

5 Tall trees give storks their homes
wild crags, the marmots holes;
the jungle heeds the lions= roar
and zebras guard their foals.

6 Our people rise to work
as sun announces day
while beasts seek shadows, deep and soft
to snooze the heat away.

7 From crocodile to flea
blue whale and humming bird
your hand sustains earth’s teeming life
no creature dies unheard.

8 For everything that breathes
inhales its life from you
your spirit  is the breath of life
creating worlds anew.

9 All glory be to God
while I have breath I sing
for he who fills the earth with good
is Lord of everything.

Psalm 118 bicentenary hymn words rjg, tune  © John Barnard
O give thanks to the Lord,
his mercy endures for ever,
O give thanks to the Lord,
his righteousness wins the day.

Let all of the peoples on earth proclaim,
his mercy endures for ever,
though princes and presidents shame his name:
his faithfulness never fails.

When swarming like bees with their deadly sting,
the powers of evil muster,
we trust in the Lord and defiantly sing,
his faithfulness never fails.

The stone that was dumped at the back of the yard
now has the place of honour
Christ comes to save in the name of the Lord:
his faithfulness never fails.

With shouts of salvation and waving of palms
we celebrate his triumph;
death’s evil dominions have been disarmed:
his faithfulness never fails.

For this is the day that the Lord has made
we celebrate its splendours:
God’s justice - the answer for all that we’ve prayed,
has proved that it never fails.

From the latin of St Thomas Aquinas
O hidden God, I worship and adore you
Concealed beneath these earthly shades of truth
To you I give, in faith, my life, my being
My hopes, my will, my mind and attitude.

Sight, touch and taste will surely fail to find you,
Yet faith can open ears to hear your word,
that word expressed in God’s own Son, so truly,
its truth and beauty shone though all we heard.

Upon the cross your deity lay hidden
But here humanity seems absent too,
Yet I believe, bear witness to your presence,
And like the dying thief beg hope of you.

Not privileged with sights of wounds like Thomas,
Yet would I make his testimony mine
That ever, Lord my God, my faith increasing
May grow in me fresh hope and love divine.

O rich memorials of the death of Jesus
The living bread with breath my life restore
Grant me this life, that I may live to please him
And your rich sweetness savour evermore.

Lord Jesus, fabled pelican of mercy
So wash me wholly with your cleansing blood
Of which one precious drop can bring salvation
Can change the whole wide world from bad to good.

Jesus, thus veiled, yet now by faith appearing
I pray you grant my ardent suppliant cry
That when at last I may behold your glory
Complete, before you I may stand in joy.
Translated rjg

Easter hymn
This is a day of joy:
a day to spend in glorious celebration;
for Christ has risen on high,
the living guarantee of our salvation.
Let Easter bells peal out -
repeat earth's greatest story;
cast off all anxious doubt;
Christ Jesus shines in glory,
in glory, in glory, in glory.

2 This is a day of life:
death's icy fingers melt in Easter sunlight;
the Lord has healed our strife,
his resurrection life dispels hell's midnight.
God's love casts out all fears
transfigures all our sadness;
he wipes away all tears
and turns despair to gladness,
to gladness, to gladness, to gladness.

3 This is a day of hope:
Now God in love brings forth his new creation;
When human strength can't cope
His spirit drives us on in expectation;
for Christ has burst through death
destroying hell's bleak prison;
so sing with all your breath
"Lord Jesus Christ is risen, is risen, is risen is risen!"  RJG

rewriting of Jesu lover of my soul
Lord in whom all love is found
Cuddle me in your embrace
While the raging  waters pound,
Wave on wave in frenzied race.
Hide me, loving Saviour, hide,
till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Then receive me home at last.

Other refuge have I none,
All my hope in you I place
Never leave me lost alone
Still support me in your grace.
All my trust on you is laid,
all my help from you I bring;
Cover my defenceless head
with the shadow of your wing.

Will you not regard my call?
Will you not accept my prayer?
See,  I sink, I faint, I fall—
Going  under in despair
Reach me out your gracious hand!
your great strength let me receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
in the midst of death to live.

You O Christ, are all I want,
more than all in you I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is your Name;
I am fraught with weaknesses
frail of faith and steeped in shame;
You are full of truth and grace

Grace abundant, rich and free,
grace to cover all my sin;
Let its streams pour into me
make and keep me pure within.
Source of life, creative Word,
fill me freely with your love;
Rise again within me Lord;
till I reign with you above

commissioned by Baptist Peace Fellowship
Great God of justice, mercy, peace
Who rules the world in matchless grace
How could it be your sovereign will
That evil men should take and nail
Your son upon a cross of wood
Shatter his body, drain his blood
Release a terrorist instead
Happy to see your Jesus dead?

Is this the way you punish sin
Condemn to death earth’s greatest man?
Leave him, rejected with the poor
Naked, unloved, alone, unsure
Forsaken by his Father God
To die in darkness like a dog?
Surely our sins were multiplied
As yet another good man died.

Or was it you we killed that day,
Your blood we coldly poured away?
Slaying in hate like Cain of old
Our brother sent to love and hold;
Holding the world in terror’s thrall
By bomb and bullet, loveless law,
Condemning millions to your fate
Seeking to strangle love with spite.

Was it not nails but love that tore
Open your body, like a door
Through which, by faith, we see your way?
To turn earth’s hells to heavenly day
Renouncing violence, hate and war
To walk more humbly, finding power
In patience, kindness, loving care
Till justice makes this sad world fair.

Hymn for Good Friday vigil
How long O Father must your Jesus suffer?
How long must violence keep the upper hand?
The rich grow fat while millions die of hunger
and cynical Pontius Pilates rule our lands?
Why do you wait? Come quickly to his rescue
You promised that your love would never cease.
Don't let him die in pain, betrayed, forsaken,
Come down and save your son, our prince of peace.
So where on earth's salvation, God of heaven?
Where can we find your justice, Lord of Lords?
Our deep-held hopes expire on cruel crosses.
When will your saving actions match your words?
The weary world still waits in lonely anguish
for the deliverance,  Lord God you vowed.
Is death the only end of all our loving,
our wounded bodies crushed, our spirits cowed?  RJG

RJG (on a prayer by Stepen Brown))
The tale is told, the deed was done,
the Christ was killed, but rose again.
And now we know the words to say,
Christ is the truth, the life, the way.

2 Eternal God, we crave that life,
living in hunger for that truth
in all we think, or do, or say
to follow you, you are the way.

3 Cross-shadow, resurrection-light,
the pain, the purpose, cost and gift,
our love, our hope, for this we pray
Christ be the truth, the life, the way

4 Our faith embracing all you send
grace upon grace, life without end
we follow on, trust and obey
for you’re the life, the truth, the way.

Elizabeth Clephane. altd RJG
Beneath the cross of Jesus
is where I take my stand
the shadow of a mighty rock
within a weary land!
a home within the wilderness
a rest beside the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat
and the burden of the day.

3  There lies beneath its shadow
but on the other side,
the darkness of the vale of death
that yawns both deep and wide
and there between us stands the cross
two arms outstretched to save
like a watchman set to guard the way
from that eternal grave.
Oasis cool and sweet!
The place of peace where God’s
great grace
and God’s pure justice meet!
As to young Jacob, guilty, lost,
that wondrous dream was given,
so seems my Saviour’s cross to me
a ladder up to heaven.

4  Upon that cross of Jesus,
my eyes, at times, can see
the very dying form of him
who suffered there for me.
And from my heavy heart with tears
two wonders I confess:
the wonder of his glorious love
and my own sinfulness.

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I make my dwelling place,
I ask no other sunshine than
the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by
to know no gain nor loss;
my selfishness my only shame
my glory – all the cross.

Cool living water (words RJG music A Wilson Dickson)
       Cool living waters flow over my head,
       cleansing, refreshing me, washing me through;
       as Jesus was raised to new life from the dead,
       come, living spirit, my nature renew.
       As cloth that is normal becomes something royal
       washed in my purple so precious and rare,
       seep into my being, transforming my soul
       indelibly dyed in your beauty so fair.
       Make me like Jesus, compassionate, strong,
       his faithful servant, a child of his grace,
       my Lord's humble daughter, to him I belong,
       living his gospel, revealing his face.

tune St Botolph 557 bhb
       Though being in the form of God
       he did not seize the throne
       but stripped himself of all but love
       to take our flesh and bone;
       A normal man in all respects

       as man he lived and died;
       and as a slave he humbly bore
       our cross - was crucified.
       So God has raised him up on high
       and given him such a name
       that far outshines the stars of heaven
       and sets our hearts aflame;
       For Jesus reigns as Christ the Lord,
       to him all knees shall bow
       and every power in heaven and hell
       tells forth his glory now. RJG Church in Wales

To tune 650 (bpw)
O Lord who made this world in grace
and launched it on its way:
whose love commands through earth and space
and over all holds sway:
deliver us, lest we should choose
to please ourselves, your world misuse.

O Lord, revealed in flesh and blood
who taught us what is love
and died in pain to make us good
now glorified above:
deliver us lest we should live
as unforgiv’n and not forgive.

O Lord whose spirit breathing life
into all living things;
who heals our wounded world of strife
and through all nature sings:
deliver us that we may dare
to work for peace by deed and prayer.
Amen (organ)   RJG

To tune 429 bpw
Lord Jesus Christ you're waiting now
with outstretched arms and open heart;
I want to come but don't know how;
my doubts and fears keep us apart.

Lord Jesus is it really you
who thrills my soul and calls my name?
Can I resist a love so true?
Will my life ever be the same?

Lord Jesus Christ, I need your love;
I've lived too long for self alone.
Fill me with goodness from above:
release in me the love you've won.

Lord Jesus, Yes, I know it's you.
Embrace me with your nail-pierced hands;
cleanse me from sin, my life renew;
fulfil in me your kingdom's plans.
O Lord, what joys too deep to sing!
What peace too fathomless to plumb!
My Lord, my Life, my Saviour, King -
you're mine, I'm yours till kingdom come. RJG

the O antiphons for advent
Coming God,
coming in our Lord Jesus,                                                                                         
coming for outcasts,
coming to confound the proud,
coming to surprise with joy the sad.
Come amongst us now in the creative power and presence of your Spirit,
as we come into your presence in praise.
O come now wisdom from on high 
whose word called forth both earth and sky
creating man from earthen clay
to us reveal salvation’s way.
 Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.   

O Lord of Lords, and ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to
Moses in the fire of the burning bush, and gave him the law on Sinai:
come with your outstretched arm and ransom us.
                        O come, O come  O Lord most high
                        who in your glorious majesty
                        from Sinai's mountain clothed in awe
                      gave to your people, love's pure law.

O shoot springing from the root of Jesse, sign of God’s love for all people, the one before whom all the earth’s leaders will fall silent, and all peoples bow, let nothing delay your coming to save us.
                  O come green shoot of Jesse’s tree
                  those gripped in wrong’s iron fist set free
               from hell’s grim stranglehold release
                  and lead us forth to paths of peace    

O key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and none
can shut; you shut and none can open; come and free the captives from
prison and break down the walls of death.
                        O come, the key of David, come
                        fling open wide our heavenly home,
                        safeguard for us the heaven-ward road
                        and bar the way to death's abode.
O morning star, splendour of the light eternal and bright sun of
righteousness: come and bring light to those who dwell in darkness and
walk in the shadow of death.
                       O come, O come Lord, dayspring bright
                        bathe all who wait in healing light
                        disperse the long nights lingering gloom
                        dispel depression's shades of doom.

O king of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires;
cornerstone, binding us all together; come and save the creature you
have fashioned from the dust of the earth.
                   O come, desire of nations! show
                        your kingly reign on earth below.
                        one cornerstone, uniting all
                      restore the ruin of our fall

O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, hope of the nations and their
saviour; come and save us O Lord God.
      O come O come Emmanuel!
      Redeem your captive Israel
      That mourns in exile, lost and lone,
      far from the face of God's dear Son!
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel
( verses from O antiphons, trans. from latin by R.J. Gardiner.)

litany for pentecost
Lord we are in need  of your reviving power:
we have become stale and unimaginative:
sometimes we are afraid of your
creativity and cower in the darkness because we fear the revolution of your kingdom.
Visit us in the deepest parts of our being:
renew us with the sweetness of your grace,
you who are the source of all that lives.
Come Holy Spirit:

Come Holy Spirit from heaven's pure height;
scatter our darkness with your glorious light.
Come, father  of poor folk,  great giver of all,
light of our being, the fire of our soul.

The Lord says, I shall make you a light to the nations so
that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of earth.

Lord, we need the refreshment you alone can bring:
sick, we need healing, tired we need energy,
bereaved we need comfort:
sometimes we cry in desperation with Jeremiah, why is there no progress in the cure of our people?
Come Holy Spirit

Of all who bring comfort, Lord,  you are the best,
to those admitting you, life's welcome guest;
in toil our refreshment, deliciously sweet,
solace in sorrow, cool shade in the heat.

The Lord says: I have seen their ways, but I will heal them, I will repay them with comfort.

Lord we need peace:
In the words of your prophet Isaiah,
we are searching for peace in this world like those without eyes,
feeling our way along the walls, stumbling as though noon were twilight,
waiting for judgment that never comes,
for salvation that seems far away.
Come Holy Spirit.

Bereft of your presence, most blessed pure light,
bound in the darkness, we languish in night;
come, visit your faithful, our hearts fill with peace;
from sin's grim prison grant saving release.
The Lord says: Look I am going to send peace flowing like a
river, and like a stream in spate the glory of the nations.

Lord we need cleansing: we try to do better week by week but
we fail: we need you to forgive us; bend our stubborn wills
to your gentle purpose, melt our ice bound hearts with the
fire of your passion: Come Holy Spirit:

Cleanse all that is dirty, what's arid, refresh:.
heal wounds that fester with healthy new flesh:
make brittle minds supple, make frozen hearts warm:
guide the lost wanderers safely back home.

The Lord says: I shall pour clean water over you and you
shall be cleansed. I shall give you a new heart and put a
new spirit in you: I shall remove your heart of stone and
give you a heart of flesh instead.

Lord we need your life within us: we become discouraged so
easily; we wilt before the powers of evil in the world, we
willingly retreat into the obscurity of religion instead of
carrying your light to all people:
Come holy spirit

Please give to the faithful who serve in this place
your sev'nfold blessing, the gifts of your grace;
give goodness its prize,  give safe journeys at last,
life that is endless, a joy unsurpassed.

The Lord says I have loved you with an everlasting love and
so I still maintain my love for you. I shall build you up
once more, yes you will be rebuilt.           RJG verses trans from Stephen Langton

Singing in the rain
In the rain staccato rhythms on the window panes
In the west winds’ howls and whines;
In the gentle breeze’s whisper through the cornfield plains
And the lofty forest pines;
When the sun’s bright radiance tans the sandy shore
And the sparkling sea is blue,
God sings to me and you.

In the grey-stained concrete deserts of the tower blocks
Where man’s vandalism reigns;
In the multi-storey car parks and redundant docks
Framed by giant rusted cranes;
In the springtime meadows decked with fragrant flowers
And the clear, crisp mountain air,
We appreciate God’s care.

In the depths of desperation when our life looks black
And we hide our heads in shame;
When we try to bear the whole world’s sorrow on our back
And wallow in the blame,
Jesus stoops to lift us with his radiant smile,
For he’s known depression’s hour -
It’s well within his power.

On a cross of unplaned timber in the noontide heat,
Stripped bare and hung n high,
With three six-inch rivets hammered through his hands and feet
Left to thirst, to bleed, to die,
There Christ Jesus suffered every human pain,
Took all a man can know,
God’s love for man to show.

In the rain staccato rhythms on our window panes
We will praise our Saviour’s love;
In the tower blocks, the car parks and commuter trains
We will sing to God above;
And when life’s wild party swings our days along
In happiness - we’ll sing
To God, our praise to bring!

Tune Magnificat RJG
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
God's creative genius has changed my life completely
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
Though I'm but a servant girl he's blessed me beyond telling
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For the Holy Lord of all has come to us in mercy
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
His strong arm has put to rout the devil's proud battalions
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
He has raised to heaven's throne the lowly and the humble
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour      

Those who thought they owned the world he's sent away with nothing
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
God has filled the hungry with his choicest food from heaven
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
God's great promise is fulfilled - He saves the world in Jesus
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour

Solo: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour           Amen   
Te Deum Laudamus
We praise you 0 God, we worship you our Lord,
the everlasting Father, King by all the earth adored.
to you the shining hosts on high sing songs of endless praise,
they glorify your perfect love, and your majestic holiness;

We praise you 0 God, to you our hymns ascend, 
with all the glorious saints in heaven our voices now we blend,
with martyrs brave and prophets bold, who triumphed in the fight,
your holy church throughout the world acknowledges your sovereign might.

We praise you 0 Christ, the Son of God, our king,
you shared our flesh, were born like us, God’s saving grace to bring,
endured the sufferings of the cross, and tasted death’s sharp pain,
defeated hell’s enslaving power, now raised to glorious life you reign.

We praise you 0 Christ, the righteous judge, our Lord,
we yearn to see your kingdom come, your sinful world restored,
so help us in our daily strife, may we your servants know
assurance of eternal life, heaven’s fellowship begun below.

We beg you 0 Lord, we call upon your name,
revive your people’s flagging hearts as we your grace proclaim.
Please send your holy spirit’s power to make us pure within,
to save us in temptation’s hour, and stop us giving in to sin.

Have mercy 0 Lord, in you alone we trust;
your mercy is our only hope, 0 God for ever just.

to tune Ack saliga stunder (based on some ideas from Richard Bruxvoort)
O great story teller inventively writing
your poems of love in the depths of our hearts
creatively finding  new themes for our living
unravelling a mystery, each day a new start,
we welcome the call to be born of your giving
O author of faith still at work in our story!

2 O Great music maker, be strength in our weakness
renew weary lives with the chords of your song
transforming our tired routines with the sweetness
of joy’s richest melodies, breathed all day long.
we welcome the call to be part of your greatness
O Great music maker sing through us your glory!

3 O worker of tapestries, constantly weaving
the threads of our prayers into beautiful cloth
reveal to those tangled in dark disbelieving
your glorious kingdom obscured by the knots.
We welcome the call to be part of your living
so take us and weave us great God in your fabric.

4 O mover and shaker of everything living
the start and the end of humanity’s race
in Jesus you set out ahead pioneering
a path in the darkness, a light for our faith
We trust in your journey, step out persevering,
So Jesus our Way lead us forward to heaven.


(RJG rough trans. Il est ne le divin enfant - trad)

He is born, God’s baby son
sound the pipes to praise his greatness
he is born, God’s baby son
Join the party, all have fun.

For four thousand years or more          
prophets have foretold his coming
patiently they knelt to pray                   
now has come this joyful day!
2 O what beauty in his face        
human form in full perfection                 
O what beauty in his face,
God’s own son, his gift of grace.

3 Jesus, king of all the earth,
tiny child - yet Lord eternal,
Jesus king of all the earth!
All acclaim your glorious birth.  

based on Martin Luther, von Himmel hoch da Komm ich her, suggested tune Maryton
Take note, pay heed, lift up your eyes,
What child within that manger cries?
Why should the angels stop and stare?
The Lord of heaven’s lying there!

O Christ, Creator of all things
for whom the heavenly host now sings,
why have you made yourself so small
- a baby in a cattle stall?

Were earth a thousand times more fair
bedecked with gold and jewels rare,
yet would it be a tiny bed                 
for heaven’s Lord to rest his head.

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Lord,
who rules the heavens with a word,
make soft your bed within my heart
for you for ever set apart.

 And then my heart with joy shall leap
my lips no more their silence keep                 
I too must sing with joyful tongue
that sweetest ancient cradle song:

Glory to God in highest heaven,
who to the world his Son has given
the Saviour of the world to be
our peace through all eternity.