Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Friday, 30 April 2021

How to let go and Let God

Let Go and Let God Prayer Journal

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) tells us to “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

Sometimes we struggle with certain areas of our lives and the only solution is to just let go and let God take the wheel; but how?

I read of someone who created a “Let Go and Let God Prayer Journal” to help identify the things we need to relinquish control of, meditate on them, and ask God (in writing) to take the wheel.

This journal came with verses of scripture to pray over specific areas of your life as well as journaling prompts to help mediate over the issues as we ask God to take them from us.

John Wesley, who kept a journal for well over 50 years wrote, “In using all means, seek God alone. In and through every outward thing, look only to the power of His Spirit, and the merits of His Son. Beware you do not get stuck in the work itself; if you do, it is all lost labor. Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul. Therefore, fix on Him in all, through all, and above all...Remember also to use all means as means-as ordained, not for their own sake...” 

How are we giving our concerns to God in our daily lives?

In Matthew 6 we read, “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 'So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.” But what does ‘set your heart on his kingdom first’ mean for me? We may ask  “Am I a worrier?” “What do I worry about?” Can I talk to God about my worries? Do I wish I could ‘hand them over’ to him to take care of them and take care of me? What might my life be like if I ceased to worry?

This also gives rise to such thoughts as, “How do I come to a balance between the kind of trust the Gospel invites me to and the need to work and provide for myself and my family?”


Lord, I don’t really know how to “let go”. I don’t really know what to do to give You control of my life, but I am coming to You in humility of heart to admit that I can do nothing in my own strength and to confess my need of You in my life. Lord, I pray that Your grace and mercy would lead and guide me and take control. Amen

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Let Go and Let God Have All of It

Sometimes negatives thoughts have become so much a part of our natural thought processes that we don’t know we can give them to God. However, God needs space to move in our lives. We can clear out all the debris that is clogging up our minds and learn to surrender to Him. Below are a few thought strongholds that seek to steal our minds and hearts from God.

Giving it to God – Control

Control is the hardest thing to give up because without it we feel vulnerable. But we do not need to worry. God is already in control. We need to recognise His authority and move over to let Him lead. He is the Creator of the Universe so we can trust Him with each day. Letting go is scary at first, but the freedom in our mind and hearts will be worth it.

Saskia Lightstar suggests that we “move over to the passenger seat, put on our seat belts, wind down the window, feel the breeze on our faces” and I would say let God do the driving. With Ann Landers adding, “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

Paul in writing to the Romans says,” And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28 ESV) God calls us into cooperation. Just consider the dignity and honour that we are given and ask that we may act in a way that shows our appreciation of God-working-with-us. Whilst, God's purpose is not always evident to us, we can pray for trust and patience and for the ability to persevere. Today take time to think of how God has turned things to our good in the past, giving thanks for blessings, letting go of the plans that we have for ourselves.


Loving Lord, Help me to realise that when you close one door, you open the one you want me to walk through. Help me also to realise that what I desire may not be what is meant for me, or what is best for me. Maybe it will lead me away from what your great plan is for me. Let me accept each day as a gift. Let me follow the path you choose for me. Help me to be thankful for what you give me and not to worry about my needs. I trust you will take care of all my needs. Remind me that my role is to care for those around me and focus on those who need my help.

Help me not to be judgmental, as we are all equal in God's eyes. Help me to see the good in all of your creations. Let me leave the judging to you, dear Jesus. Instead, I will concentrate on living to please you! Help me, dear Jesus, be who and what you want me to be. Give me strength, faith and hope, and most of all, give me guidance each and every day. I let go and give you control.

In Jesus' name,


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

How to let go and let God

How can we unlock ourselves, let go and let God take control. Here are some suggestions I have found.

+ Start each day by giving it to God – Do not take yesterday’s mistakes into the clean slate of today. Mentally shave off every single worry, doubt, fear, mistake, and anxiety from your mind each morning.

+ Give it to God by starting each day with prayer – Speak to God. Yes, the day is full of responsibilities, but first talk to God. Acknowledge Him. Tell Him that you love Him. Tell Him that you are thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice for your life. Invite God’s Spirit to guide you that day. Before you talk to anyone, talk to God. He will set your day on the right path.

+ Give it to God by starting each day with Scripture – Open your Bible and read where you left off from the previous day. The Bible is living and active and like cool water for your thirsty soul.

+ Give it to God by surrounding yourself with encouragement – You will never make it alone. You need to have people who speak truth into your life. Always be on the lookout for people and situations that you can add as spiritual buffers in your life.

+ Give it to God by renewing your mind continually – The world will constantly try to add worries to your day so it is important that you maintain your spiritual health! Continually surrender those worries to God. Trust and believe that God is for you. He loves you and wants only the best for you. When you let go, you can fully rest in His strength. You don’t have to worry. The Creator of the World is on your side.

2 Corinthians 4:16 challenges is by saying, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

Lord, I kneel before You in humble submission and pray that in Your mercy and kindness You would help me to simply let go of all the fears and worries, problems and doubts, guilt and disappointments that seem to be filling my heart and mind so often, during the course of a day. Amen

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

How to Let Go and Let God

Letting go and letting God is a daily, moment-by-moment choice. Like every discipline in life, we must learn to surrender and give it to God. Every new day there are clouds that invade our horizons and dull our minds with worries, doubts, and fears. These fill the space of our souls to the point that there is no room left for God in our lives. Surrendering to God has to be a daily lifestyle of giving it all to Him.

Whenever the ugly negatives thoughts seek to invade our space, we need to hand  cut them to God immediately. Oswald Chambers in his book, My Utmost for His Highest, writes “The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ.” 

He goes on to say, “In our abandonment we give ourselves over to God just as God gave Himself for us, without any calculations. The consequences of abandonment never enter into our outlook because our life is taken up in Him.” 

The secret is not our letting go but much more the realisation that God’s mercies are new every morning, so what happened yesterday, last year or a decade ago is completely gone. Carrying the past around will only take up space for God’s goodness, grace, and favour. Renewing our mind in Christ means letting go of all the burdens He died to take from us.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Lord, I  ask that You would teach me how to submit my life to You. Show me how to abide in You day by day, and instruct me how to live in spirit and truth. Help me Lord, to give control of my life over to You in every way, and to become the person You would have me be. Thank You Lord, that You have not given up on me and I ask You to teach me Your way from this day forward. In Jesus' name I pray,


Monday, 26 April 2021

How to let go and let God!

How do we let go and let God?

Paul says we should “throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12.1 NIV). Each day we have the opportunity, the chance, to review and to renew our mind in Christ. This not merely a careless, “OK God, I’ve messed up, it’s over to you!” But a careful, purposeful realignment of our thoughts and intentions as we learn his ways and purpose.  This allows Him to take all that hinders, all that obstructs and even the impairments of our self wills so that we we can run “the race marked for us.” These blockages can become the very things that trips us up and slows us down. Whilst Giving it to God may seem scary at first, our surrender far from being a further restriction that would trap us actually will bring us freedom.

Athletes know that to run a race  takes perseverance and the will of letting go everything in order take part to the best of their ability. Some will even shave the hair on their entire body because a slick, clean surface makes all the difference. Every day is 24 hours of potential that we can only take advantage of if we choose to let go of what’s behind, so that what we surrender to God is ourselves stripped down and ready for his will to form us into the new creatures he intends. When we let go, we give God a clean slate for Him to do His mighty work in our lives.

Surrendering to God is literally praying with Christ, “Not my will but yours be done.” It is telling God that we are not big enough to deal with our frets, cares or worries, and He must take over. When we finally let go, we give God room to wield His mighty arm in our lives. When our hands are weak and tired, God’s hands are strong and powerful! As the psalmist writes “Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength” Psalm 89.13 NLT

Lord, I don’t really know how to “let go”. I don’t really know what to do to give You control of my life, but I am coming to You in humility of heart to admit that I can do nothing in my own strength and to confess my need of You in my life. Lord, I pray that Your grace and mercy would lead and guide me and take control. Amen

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Friday, 23 April 2021

Facing the new normal

  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

So how do me make the best of the opportunities as we journey into the New Normal? Surely it is  by seeing God in the middle of all circumstances. Whether our journey into the future travels via adversity or euphoria, each is an opportunity to draw you closer to Christ of the human road. 

We can either accept this new normal as a friend to be encountered  and or view it as an enemy; as a nudge toward the Lord, rather than a wedge between ourselves and God. Have you ever noticed that Jesus Christ specialises in doing new things. We read in Isaiah 43:19  “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” In fact He makes a way of hope in our wilderness of worry and streams of faith in our wasteland of fear. 

We can change the paradigm by seeing the new normal as God’s new plan for us and accept the new normal as an opportunity to adopt new ways to know God. Its like entering a period of reeducation as we learn how to lean on the Lord, as we study the  new normal as the next step in following Jesus and through this learning perceive it, believe it, receive it, and embrace it. Making a change means to follow in the footsteps of Christ through discovering what the Holy spirit is calling us to be and to do, rather that what the world has to offers. As we seeks out this new normal, I pray that we are able to apply the lessons of this exceptionally Christian journey to redefine “normal” so that it includes more gratitude, love, appreciation, service to others, mercy and joy. We as the church will be part of the rebuilding of our communities as we continue to participate in serving the community – help the hurting, the vulnerable and marginalised.

Lord, change us to be more like Jesus in this New Normal Everyday way of living.


May we who are merely inconvenienced - remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors - remember those most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home - remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to adapt to the new - remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips - remember those that have no place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market - remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who emerge for the quarantine at home - remember those who have no home.

During this time when we still cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours. We continue to pray for all those who need our prayers.  In Jesus Name we pray Amen

Things to meditate on:

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Faith in times of Crisis

 Psalm 36: 5-10. New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA). Of David, the servant of the Lord.

5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your judgements are like the great deep;
    you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your salvation to the upright of heart!

John 8:31,32 - New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA).

31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ 

Meditation by Dr J P Hunter

With the re-opening of church buildings and also of St Nicholas, this series “Faith in Times of Crisis” comes to an end. Thus, we focus this week on the word continue. David, in his close relationship with God, had personally experienced God’s steadfast love, faithfulness and righteousness, saving humans, summarising this as “For with you is the fountain of life”. With all this precious experience in mind, David asks one thing of God: O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, requesting that God would not take away his life-giving love to those who know him, but continue.

Hundreds of years later, Jesus said to believing Jewish people: ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ Jesus emphasised to believing Jewish people at that time to continue seeking him and live according to his word. Jesus emphasises to you and me in our time to continue to seek his presence on a daily basis by reading his word, by spending time in his presence in quiet prayer, in worship to him in hymn or song. Then we will discover and know the truth about our human lives and this costly truth will set us free. Free from the consequences of sin to become all that God meant us to be. We should continue.


Lord Jesus, as I come to seek your presence, I am grateful for this day, for life, for light and for my family.

I am grateful that church buildings are able to re-open their doors but am aware that some of us are unable to attend in person, but are there with us in spirit.

Lord Jesus, ever present Spirit of Truth, help me to take away all that prevents me from becoming more and more aware of your inward presence in me. Help me to live more and more with you and for you. Teach me how to daily walk close to you in your continued presence. As I choose to continue to live in truth with you. Amen.

Hymn – Hymns & Psalms 294, verse 2.

2. Spirit of truth within me,

    Possess my thought and mind;

    Lighten anew the inward eye

    By Satan rendered blind;

    Shine on the words that wisdom speaks,

    And grant me power to see

    The truth made known to all in Christ,

    And in that truth be free.                                                                             Timothy Dudley-Smith (b.1926)

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Facing the new normal

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”.

We often find within the media at large articles about changes in the way we do things with society. These can range from football to climate change, from High Street to Online retail not to mention the move to home working. Then there are the personal changes in our lives, through circumstances or external forces. But we also find that making changes are sometimes very difficult and we may hear the inner voice that says. - “I am happy and, comfortable the way things are” or, “if it is not broken don’t fix it.” 

The Pandemic has changed our way of thinking and living, whether we are ready for its relentless path or not. As we adapt to these changed circumstance and and anticipate easing back into our communities even the once familiar has changed and this will inevitably test of our trust in the Lord. It calls us to get on our knees in prayer and cry out to our Heavenly Father. They are transitions we go through in life when we move into new seasons: health challenges, getting back out to church, facing the virus epidemic. 

Entering a New Normal is more difficult because it is the first time we have experienced a substantial new reality. Having patience, prayer, and faith, being flexible and trusting in God facilitates adjustment to any new situation. Adapting to change and focusing on God is necessary. With all the talk about how this virus will change lives, as we know it will, one thing we all know that it will not change the fact that we all still need the Christ who said that he was the way, the truth and the life.

When we hold to the past, we are letting ourselves be defined by what happened to us in the past rather than by what we choose to do now and in the future. This is a crucial choice that hugely determines the quality of our lives. Pray for the grace and wisdom to build on the past, yes, but choose to be defined by what God is doing now and promises to do in the future.

Loving God, Help us to focus on what we have not on what is removed or changed. Strengthen us when we feel discouraged or overwhelmed. Embrace us so that us we know your loving presence within us and among us. Walk with us as we bring your love, and carry your light, into our world. Amen.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Facing the New Normal

Are we not in someways at a place akin to the disciples post resurrection dilemma where everything seems to have changed. Yet what did Peter suggest to his colleagues, ‘I’m going fishing!’ - It’s all too difficult, I’m going back to what I know. Yet, even that ‘normal’ became an illusive almost futile exercise, for what do we find, they toiled all night and caught nothing.

But, there is yet another counter-normal element in this narrative. Have you ever noticed the implications of Jesus instruction ‘cast your net on the RIGHT side’. This was against all the Galilean Fisherman’s Manual of Procedures, as you see,  you just didn’t do this. Why? Because the right side of the boat contained the vessels steering mechanism.  Now there’s a thought; that following the Lord’s instruction contains risks. Much akin to what Helen Keller said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” 

  • As we venture forward into a so-called new normal, are we ready to cast our nets on the RIGHT side. 
  • Are we ready to listen to what the call of Christ means for us as the Exeter City Centre Chaplaincy or are we going to fall into the trap of saying, “Lord, I have an idea, please bless it?”

There is a telling paraphrase of Matthew 9:35-38 found in the Eugene Peterson’s The Message that is perhaps a contemporary warning!

“Then Jesus made a ‘circuit’ of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives.”

But then the reading goes on..

When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”

I leave you with another  paraphrase on Romans 12 by JB Phillips and a challenge as we face the future “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.”


Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle; the Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right. 

May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil  and the power of love to overcome hatred.  We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.

Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfil the destiny for which we and all men were created. to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right. Amen

Monday, 19 April 2021

Facing the new Normal

This week we start a new series, looking at the anticipated ‘new normal’. We hear so much about this ‘new normal’ and I have to admit, I wonder whether such a thing is really possible, particularly in the life of the church. What do we mean by normal?

Maya Angelou says, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” 

But why do we crave normality; is it because we fear difference?  Well, possibly yes. 

As Vincent O’Sullivan points out “If you are different from the rest of the flock, they bite you” and that statement can have a nuance all of its own for those who shepherd the flock known as church.

So, like a true contextual theologian, I turned to scripture looking for references as to whether I could find something that spoke to this ‘normative concept.’

To my surprise, I discovered 14 Old Testament references dealing with normality. Some of these addressed the normal procedural activities such as periods required for embalming (now there’s a thought of to how to deal with some church issues - but I won’t go there this morning!) Some references spoke of legal judgement protocols, whilst others were concerned medical procedures.

However, I discovered that there are scriptural reference to occasions where something extraordinary had occurred followed by a return to a more regular pattern. For example in Joshua 4:18 “As soon as the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD had come up from the middle of the Jordan River, and the soles of the priests' feet came up to dry ground, the water of the Jordan River returned to normal, covering its banks as it had done so before.”

I wonder, following such a momentous occasion, whilst everything seemed to return to normal, how much this event impacted upon the minds of the priests and changed their thinking.

Then I found a verse in Jeremiah, that spoke deeply into my soul; Jer 8:7 “Even the stork knows when it is time to move on. The turtledove, swallow, and crane recognise the normal times for their migration. But my people pay no attention to what I, the Lord, require of them.”

In the Hebrew, this sense of normality is rooted in the notion of something that has been previously appointed. But if I am to take Jeremiah’s prophesy to heart, the normality of the birds of creation is movement, change and pressing on to new destinations. And then there is a sting in the tail for Humankind, “ But my people pay no attention to what I, the Lord, require of them.”

So here we are at pivotal point, in the pre-pandemic - pandemic - post-pandemic trajectory; the quandary of ‘what now’? Do we see this New Normal as a threat or an opportunity?

Prayer:  Gracious God, thank you for the gift of our minds.  We praise you for the blessings you give: in how we can grow in what we know, be wise to live in your ways, and come to understand the depth of your Kingdom’ purpose in us. For your transforming truth that would refresh and renew our minds in you today and always, we bless you, through Jesus Christ our Light of Truth and Life.  Amen

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Sunday Online Worship

Online Worship for St Nicholas, Topsham & Exminster Methodist Churches 18/04/21Link

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Easter: Quote - Unquote

 “Christ is not gloriously transported from earth into heaven. He must instead go to the cross. And precisely there, where the cross stands, the resurrection is near. Precisely here, where all lose faith in God, where all despair about the power of God, God is fully there, and Christ is alive and near.” 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter

Resurrection by way of the cross

We are invited to follow in his footsteps. Like him, we are to be ready to take up our cross, whatever it may be, and carry it behind him. Notice, Jesus tells the disciples to take up their own cross, not his. The cross will be different for each person; it takes the form of some difficult thing. Something not chosen but clear. However, what is clear is that Christ makes our cross his own and shares the burden.

Only by uniting our suffering in life to that of Jesus can we carry our crosses. We may well ask, “Is there something in my life today or everyday that I am struggling under the weight of?”Ask for the grace you need from God in this time of prayer.

We have to die so that we can live. We have to root out what is bad in order that the good within us can flourish.

To share the glory of Christ we have to share his suffering; this makes no sense except through faith in Christ. Jesus said to his disciples: Luke 9:22-25 "The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?”

The gospel is unambiguous - suffering and self-displacement are the hallmarks of a disciple. Jesus goes the way of the cross. He does not hoard his life, even though living must have had a special quality for him. I am called not to hoard my life, but to live generously


Lord, what you call me to is radical and counter- cultural. Without your grace I will be a mean person. I will be self-seeking, always looking out for my own benefit. Help me to let go of that sort of life. May I learn to accept life in a loving spirit as you did. Only so will I be a source of good to others. Amen

Friday, 16 April 2021

Easter Quote - Unquote

Through the "lens" of the story of Jesus we are able to see ourselves truthfully and call things by their proper names. Only through the story of the cross of Christ do we see the utter depth and seriousness of our sin. Only through this story that combines cross and resurrection do we see the utter resourcefulness and love of a God who is determined to save sinners (Romans 3:21-25).”

William H. Willimon, United Methodists Bishop (The Best of William H. Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)

There is something about the resurrection that we celebrate each year through Eastertide that is more than looking back and commemorating a historical event as it contains the proclamation, “He IS risen.” The resurrection is an ever present shared reality and it is in that sharing that we find the essence of our discipleship.

Remember it was Jesus, himself who said, “I am resurrection and the life,” (John 11:25)and it was the likes of Peter who declared, “our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

The resurrection teaching of Jesus, implicitly raises the a question that seems to ask, “Do you believe that I am the resurrection and the life?” In the long run nothing is more important than my answer to this. “I cannot grasp your words in my imagination, Lord, but I believe. Help my unbelief.”

As you are entering into the mysteries of the Resurrection this Easter season, we can know that God is present at all times in our lives. Invite the Lord in your home, invite him in your Zoom conferences, invite him on your brave trip to the grocery store. He wants to share his life with you, and all you need to do is respond to his call.

We may not always recognise his presence; we may even feel alone. But we can be confident that he is here. ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? … If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me’ (Psalm 139:7-10).

Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of "practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end." He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence.


Dear Lord, show us how to live in a place where we are aware of our constant communion with You. As Your children we humbly come before You. Thank You that we get to rest under the shelter of Your wings, here in the secret place of Your presence. We praise You, and we worship You. Amen

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Faith in Times of Crisis

 Psalm 136 selected verses - New International Version (NIV)

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Meditation by Dr J P Hunter

This Psalm of great thanksgiving may have been a responsive reading with the congregation saying these words in unison after each sentence. Hopefully, soon we will be able to do likewise again with our congregation as the end of church building closure comes nearer. Repeated throughout this anonymous Psalm is the phrase: “His love endures forever”. The repetition made this important lesson sink in. The first verse makes clear why we should thank God: for He is good. With the events of Easter fresh in our minds, we are surely able to repeat these words. Then our Heavenly Father is described as God of gods and Lord of lords, meaning sovereign over all powers in heaven and on earth, alone able to do great wonders, creating the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon and stars. Showing individual care and love to us as he leads his people through the wilderness and remembering us in our low estate. Yes, his faithfulness, kindness, mercy and love endure forever. To each of you and to me.


Lord God, Heavenly Father, I come today to seek your presence, in wonder aware how great you are. 

I want to thank you for our world, for the sun by day and the moon by night. For leading us through wilderness, and remembering us in our vulnerable times. I want to thank you for my family, my life, for being your child, for your love which does not come to an end but endures forever, also to me. Amen.

Hymn Singing the Faith 82, verse 1, 4, refrain

1.O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder       

   Consider all the works thy hand hath made,             

   I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,                 

   thy power throughout the universe displayed:         

4. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

and take me home-what joy shall fill my heart;

then shall I bow in humble adoration.

and there proclaim: my God, how great thou art:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee:

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee:

How great thou art, how great thou art!                         

Stuart K. Hine (1899-1989)

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Easter - Quote, Unquote

 “The resurrection of Jesus is the ground of the Church’s being. It is the ground of every Christian’s hope. The present is not everything: there is a future, and the message of the Gospels and of Jesus is that in that future we will be safe. But the future is not everything either ... The resurrection people are not just those who align themselves to what the “dramatis personae” (character) in the Gospel traditions saw, they actually participate in the risen Christ, and in the new era, the future made present, which he embodies.” DAVID CATCHPOLE - Emeritus Professor of Theology, Exeter University  RESURRECTION PEOPLE

“God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. How changed are my ambitions! Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his sufferings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11  

To “know Christ” is not just to know his Person but to be fully identified with the Way, the Vision of Christ, to think as he does.  For Paul, nothing could be more precious or worth having.  And to “gain Christ” is to become totally filled with Jesus’ way of seeing and doing things.

We so often sing 

May the mind of Christ my Saviour

Live in me from day to day

By his love and pow'r controlling 

All I do and say.

But the hymn also speaks of the indwelling of the word of God, God’s rule of peace, being filled with the gracious presence of Christ as we fix our gaze on Jesus. St Augustine put is succinctly when speaking of the resurrection he said “And he departed from our sight and we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here.“


Risen Lord, thank You for Your resurrection power that You impart to us. This is beyond comprehension. Please cause the scales to fall from our eyes so that we might see Truth — this Truth — that the same power that raised You from the dead dwells in us because of the life giving Holy Spirit. You have made a way for us to rise from the ruins. Within us is Your power is at work transforming us from glory to glory into Your likeness. As we experience the resurrection power of forgiveness that breaks the chains keeping us bound help us to reflect your presence in us to others. Amen

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Easter: Quote - Unquote

Tough Love

“The resurrection is in part about the sheer toughness and persistence of God’s love. When we have done our worst, God remains God — and remains committed to being our God. God was God even while God in human flesh was dying in anguish on the cross; God is God now in the new life of Jesus raised from death.” - ROWAN WILLIAMS ON THE RESURRECTION

John 21:15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." 

‘Do you love me?’ Peter is asked this question; I am asked this question too. Do I see the goodness in me that Jesus sees?

As Peter stands before Jesus it is reasonable to presume that he is all too aware of his failure to stand by and with his beloved master during the Passion. Yet Jesus focuses on his capacity to love, not on his failure. He does not admonish him for his betrayals. Because he loves, Peter is reinstated, and given a great responsibility to care for the early Christian community.

Is this an issue for me, focusing on my failures and unwilling or unable to accept that the Lord loves me as I am?

Do you ever wonder, do you really love the Lord? Did Peter? In the end he had no proof – he just knew the Lord knew. Jesus sees into the heart and knows love, and he also knows our efforts to love. We are called to feed his people in many ways, not because we are perfect, but because we do our best to share the best of our lives with others. When we wonder do we love God, we are better not answering, but just to offer the love of our hearts, imperfect as it is, and then we can say, ‘Lord you know I love you’. Leave the answer to him!


Lord, I see here your unbounded mercy and forgiving love for me. You remind me that everything in the world is redeemable because of your rising from the dead. From your acceptance of me may I learn how to accept others who fail me. Amen

Monday, 12 April 2021

Easter; Quote - Unquote

Truly Alive

“Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonise earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about.” 

N.T. Wright, former Bishop of Durham and Professor of New Testament Theology (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)

Have you ever thought this way when you pray, “Your kingdom come”? So often through Jesus teaching we hear him describing the essence of his coming kingdom, in earthly terms. The kingdom of heaven is like - a man sowing, buried treasure, a mustard seed and so we could go on listing tangible descriptions mentioned by Jesus. In many ways  we need to listen to God’s messengers who asked on that first Easter Morning, ‘Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” Luke 24:5-7

We can picture the women moving through the garden with heavy hearts, unresponsive to that dawning spring morning. They are oblivious, above all, to the glorious presence of the risen Christ. We might well pray, Lord, help me to realise that when I am weighed down with sorrow, anxiety or hopelessness, you are no further from me than you were to the women in that dawn garden.

Women are the first witnesses to the resurrection. They reveal the qualities of good disciples in their capacity to believe. Perhaps we should pray not to treat the resurrection as an idle tale, but as the message that transforms our world and gives hope to everyone.

Why do we look for the living among the dead? 

May we be able to say, You are not in any tomb, Lord. The tomb is empty. You are not a dead hero to be studied in retrospect. You are alive, and meeting us, at our side, in our hearts, feeding us through your life giving presence. The report brought by the good women, dismissed by the apostles as an idle tale, is the creed by which we must live.  Amen

Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.