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, 31 December 2021

Christmas Verse

O Little One

O LITTLE ONE, how weak Thou art

In Mary’s undefended arms,

Nor horse, nor chariot, nor sword

To guard Thy life through earth’s alarms!

And yet how passing strong Thou art,

How stern must Thy endurance prove

To carry in Thy infant heart

The burden of eternal love!

Catherine Baird

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Christmas Verse

The Seers

ONLY the lowly and the wise

Hear victory songs in infant cries!

Proud eyes may swiftly turn away

From Jesus’ manger bed of hay,

Yet do the pure, with perfect sight,

See chariots of holy light

And heavenly horsemen, clad in power

Invading time each day and hour.

In silent prayer they venture far

Beyond this world’s most distant star,

Encounter God in every place

Where saint and sinner need His grace.

Catherine Baird

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Christmas Verse

New-Born Every Day

NOTHING new under the sun, they say,

Yet Jesus is new-born every day!

Ye who receive Him, march along

To a new song, clear song. 0 be strong

In the Word that redeems each passing hour,

Fresher than earth’s best new-born flower,

Sweeter than waters rushing down

From the mountain spring to the dusty town;

Mighty to silence our earthly strife,

Healing our wounds and restoring life;

Yes, Jesus is new-born every day!

                                                        Catherine Baird

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Christmas Verse

More Than A Story 

Love came, 
held safely within a gentle womb 
All the truth, majesty, 
and creativity of a living God 
Poured into a tiny heart 
Making a quiet entrance 
in a dark and uninviting shack 
Just one star shone anew 
as a handful of people were brought 
Led by angelic voices, and open hearts 
A young mother 
A faith-filled father 
Men of wisdom who searched for truth 
And a group of humble herdsmen 
They came to bow before a new life 
And acknowledge that the rescuer had arrived 
That the Word of God had come alive 
And that the extraordinary transformation 
of heaven and earth had begun.

Julie Palmer

Monday, 27 December 2021

Christmas Verse

The Christ Child

In every youthful face I see

The Christ Child smiling down on me ;

For once, upon a night of joy,

And clothed in a little Boy,

God, in sweet majesty came near;

His voice was young and passing clear,

Awakening the heart in me

And calling: ‘ I have need of thee! ’

Catherine Baird

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Life

Jesus says:

“I am the voice of life —- a life that will not die; the life that conquered death, and the life that still lives on in all who are called to bear my name. I am the life from before creation, the life that brings restoration, turning chaos and darkness into order and a light. I AM.

“I told everyone my story from beginning to end — from birth to death to rebirth. I told them what would happen, and how; that I would be arrested, tried, lashed and crucified, then buried in a borrowed tomb. Then on the third day, I would rise again, defeating sin and death.

“ All this was planned. Before I was born, the scheme was set in place and foretold, even while God’s people chose to walk their own path.


“I was there when God spoke. I witnessed how he breathed life into creation, including humanity. I was there when a relationship formed, when God chose and claimed his people as his own. Then as they chose the darkness over light, death over life, our ultimate plan came into its own.

“‘I will go,’ I said, ‘and leave all this behind me. I will willingly trade the majesty of heaven for the chaos of the earth.’

“A young woman was chosen to bring my human form to birth. The man to whom she was engaged would become my human father and raise me to be a physical man.

“Then the time came for me — the Life — to be born and live among my people — yet without sinning. I would feel all there was to feel. I would know happiness and sorrow, hope and suffering. I would form friend-ships, and know betrayal and denial, loneliness and pain. Worst of all,I would experience separation from my heavenly father.

“In the shadow of the cross I was born, and my mother laid me in the food trough of a stable, wrapping me in‘ an old blanket, because nobody could offer a room for my parents to stay in when they needed it. My birth was announced by angels, and those who came to visit were from all corners of the earth and from all walks of life.

“Shepherds came, demonstrating that I had come to all and not just those who could afford me. Wise men travelled from the East, representing the non-Jewish contingent; showing that my reign of life, hope, joy and peace would be open to all, regardless of race, creed or colour; establishing that God is accessible to all.

‘“I. am the voice of life,’ I told those I encountered on earth. Now I offer life in all its fullness to anyone who wishes to receive me.”


God of life,

help me to receive your gift that is freely given in Christ.

Help me then to take it out and show your love and life

to all people, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Enable me to live a life for you that demonstrates to others

the life you want to give.


Friday, 24 December 2021

Excerpts form Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The voice of the Wise Man

I guess some would say that it was all a bit foolish, with still nothing to show for it. Yet for me, it was all worth it — every mile travelled, every barrier crossed and every star followed. It changed everything. He changed everything. Nothing could ever be the same again. That little bundle cradled in his mother’s arms — no words spoken, but in his silence, he held the world.

I was young, enthusiastic about life and willing to try anything once. I took up star-gazing; it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was all the craze back then, and I didn’t want to be left out of the action.

It was one night in mid-July; we were gathered, waiting, watching the stars as always. I didn’t really know one from the other, but the social life was good and I was rather attracted to the girl with the red hair.

However, on that night the girl paled into insignificance as the sky was lit by an amazing new star.

In time we came to believe that this star was a sign, and a few of Us could stand it no longer. We hired some camels and set out. We had no real idea of where we would end up, nor of what we would find when we got there, but we began.

The journey was long and varied. Many times along the way we felt like giving up and just going home. Yet something drew us on! As we travelled, we continued to discover that stars we studied were telling us a story: the story of God, who created and sustained, and now, in our time, would enter our world.

We wanted to take some gifts, so we consulted the stars. We settled on gold for kingship, frankincense for burial and myrrh for anointing. If we had known we would find a child, we would have taken something else.

Eventually, after a few hiccups, like visiting the wrong king and getting lost a few times, we arrived. The star we followed stopped, not over palace or hall of fame, but over a smelly stable. There was no fanfare or army, just a young woman holding her firstborn son.

However, we were welcomed. We were strangers from a distant land, but we were not ignored or ill-treated. We were accepted and, surprisingly, so were our gifts. I guess they were worth some money, if nothing else. We had come face-to-face with the promised king, the creator of the universe, and he had welcomed us.


God, who guided the wise men to Jesus by a bright star in the sky,

guide me also, that I might follow you.

Help me to give you the gift of myself this Christmas

so that you can use my life for your glory.


Thursday, 23 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Anna

Despite all my sorrow, through this child I have now known joy. I have waited patiently, and I have spoken to all who would listen about the conviction of my heart and the reality of the coming Saviour. Today he has come, and I have seen with my own eyes God’s salvation.

My name is Anna and I am a prophetess from the tribe of Asher. The name my parents gave me means ‘favour’ or ‘grace’, and God had granted me both in a long and varied life.

I married young and spent seven happy years with my husband, but then he died leaving me a widow, and I have remained so all my life. My sorrow was deep, and the pain of loss was etched on my face, ageing me before my years. The hope for children and a life lived in them had been cruelly snatched from me. Yet through it all, I knew that God was good, that he had chosen me and set me apart. I was just waiting for my sorrow to be turned into joy.

After my husband‘s death, I dedicated myself wholly to the Lord. Never leaving the Temple in Jerusalem, I spent my time worshipping, fasting and praying, offering my life back to God’s service. I was offered living accommodation in the Temple due to my status as a prophetess, for which I was very grateful as, without a husband, how else would I

have survived?

I worked hard and kept my head down. It was a difficult environment in which to be a woman — expected to keep silent and not to have an opinion about anything. This somewhat conflicted with my calling, to stand up and speak out about the coming Messiah.

My prayer life was the heartbeat of the Temple. When the priests led the worship, I prayed, bearing the soul of every believer to the throne - room of God. When parents brought their children for dedication, I prayed for health and hope and encouragement.

Then one day, when a certain woman brought her son to the Temple, I knew instantly that this was the one we had waited for; this was the child in whom our liberation rested, and I had been allowed to see him face to face.

I prayed for his mother who, like me, would taste bitter sorrow before the new world came. I prayed for courage, that she could brave the days ahead, as I have done - trusting in the goodness of God, believing in his unfailing promise which her son would deliver.

Over the decades, grief had become my friend. Now, through this infant, I met with joy once again and my heart was full to breaking with the love that he radiated. I am old and my body is decaying but because I have seen him, I can depart in peace; my joy is complete and sadness is banished forever.


God, who accompanies us through of the joys and sorrows Of life,

draw alongside those I know who are grieving today.

Help them to find comfort in those around them and in you.

Help me to come alongside those in pain

and offer a helping hand when it is needed.

Teach me to pray as Anna prayed

so that I might know your heart

and share it with others.


Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Simeon

Every day I painfully dragged myself to the Temple, wondering if this would be the da y, wondering if the child in front of me was the one who was promised in scripture, the one who would bring salvation to his people.

My name is Simeon, and like many before me and many that will come after me, I am a servant of the God of Israel. I have been all my life and will be until the day I die, which I hope will be soon. I am old, my body is wracked with pain; even breathing is becoming a struggle these days. Yet God, in his goodness, made me a promise years ago that I would not die until I had seen with my own eyes his holy one, the Lord’s anointed, the Messiah.

So, day after day I went to inspect the parents and their children as they brought them to the Temple for God’s blessing, and I waited for a sign that this was the one I waited for. I wasn’t sure what kind of sign I was seeking — a lightning bolt, a choir of angels — but I guessed that  somewhere in the very pit of my stomach I would know.

Then one day it happened. A young mother arrived with her older husband, cradling her baby boy. I knew instinctively without a shadow of doubt that this was the one who had been spoken of for generations, the one whom God himself had chosen.

I took the child in my arms and felt a deep sense of awe; I was holding the realisation of God’s promise. I smiled at his parents but spoke to God‘ “Now, let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation.”

To the child’s mother I offered some advice and hard truths. Sadly there was not much comfort to be found in my words. “Your son will see the rise and fall of many in Jerusalem. He will bring hope to his people and joy to those who are willing to receive him. However, your heart will be broken, as his body will be broken. Your dancing will turn to mourning for the good of all humanity.”

At my words, her bright eyes clouded over. She began to cry, as the enormity of the task which lay before her began to sink in. She would be raising the only son of God. l sing

I blessed the boy, although it was he who should have been blessing me. I blessed his earthly parents, encouraging them in all that was to come. Then I handed him back, knowing in that moment that it would not be long before I would meet God face to face. Heaven was calling me home, as my work on earth had now been completed.


God of promise,

help us to believe that you work in and through all things.

Remind us in times when we are experiencing pain —

mentally, physically or spiritually —

that you are with us, holding us up and helping us through.

Help us to share our daily blessings with those around us,

so that all might be blessed by you.


Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Dan, Resident of Bethlehem.

Was it just another game of Chinese whispers, a message passed from person to person — or a tall tale told at a bar, fuelled by alcohol and drugs? Or was there more to it than that?

I had been told the story by a friend... who said he had heard it from a workmate... who had got it from his landlady... who had received it from a shepherd... who apparently had witnessed it first-hand.

It was a saga revolving around a child — born in a stable and laid in an animals‘ feeding trough. He was a child who somehow commanded respect and offered dignity to all who encountered him, a child whose authority was transcendent without a word being uttered.

The talk was that this child was the one that had been promised, the holy one of God, the Messiah.

This was the story I had been told. So, what was I to do? I needed to see for myself. I felt compelled to take a trip to the stable to see if it was real, to meet the child face to face.

I arrived and found everything just as I had been told. There was his mother cradling him in her arms, his father keeping a vigilant watch — and the boy himself, helpless, vulnerable and yet powerful in innocence. I knew I was in the presence of greatness; every hair on my body seemed to dance. I felt known and loved and valued just by being there.

The young woman smiled at me. “Would you like to hold him?” she asked.

Hold him? Me, a poor and unimportant peasant? Hold Him! “I’d love to.”

I held out my arms and slowly the baby was placed into them. I was overcome with emotion. Tears fell uncontrollably from my eyes. I don’t normally show my feelings, but at that moment in time I had no choice. I knew he was no ordinary baby and that I would never be the same again.

Eventually, I pulled myself away, wished the family well and left. Now the ball was in my court. It was my move. What was I going to do — pass on the ‘Chinese whisper‘ or keep it to myself?

My experience had been life-changing. I had arrived on the edge of society, low down in the social rankings; an outcast, unloved and undervalued. Yet I had been welcomed just as I was. I had been handed the saviour of the world, trusted with him, and through that I have been I touched by God himself.

So how could I keep quiet? How could I keep the story to myself? For this was a story of transformation, mine and the world's. I knew that I had changed. Now others needed the chance to respond. I no longer wanted to whisper. It was now vital to shout from the rooftops, bellow from the depths of the earth: “The Messiah is here! I have seen him, held him and been made new in him! Hear my story and pass it on!”


God of the poor and the outcast,

who welcomed the strangers and the unloved,

help me to welcome others in your name.

When I am touched with your love,

give me the courage to share my story with those around me,

and to tell my friends and neighbours

how you have transformed the world.


Monday, 20 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Peace

Jesus says:

“I am the voice of peace — a peace that knows no bounds and goes beyond all understanding. I am the peace that sets people free and binds up broken hearts. I am the voice of peace, given freely to all who wish to receive.

“The prophets of old spoke of my coming and the kingdom I would usher in: a realm where tools of war would be laid down and turned into instruments for peace; a land where peace would have dominion, where wild animals would sleep alongside livestock, and a child would be able to play safely even in the nest of a poisonous snake.

“My birth was far from peaceful: a noisy stable, the . shepherds and a muffled heavenly choir that no one could explain as I grew, peace descended upon me, until the time when in the shadow of the cross on which I would be crucified, I offered my peace to my friends and to the world.

Don’t let your hearts be troubled,’ I said. ‘Don’t worry or be afraid Put your trust in me and in my father and we will guide you by the hand‘ I will not always be with you, but I will send you a helper who will walk with you every step of the way. This advocate will strengthen you and be the go-between, straddling heaven and earth.

“When you go into your room, fall to your knees and pray earnestly to God. When you call on my name, your prayers will be answered according to my will. Seek my father’s kingdom first and all things will be given to you. Let me show you the way to heaven, and then everyone who loves me will have a place in paradise. I will go before you and make

it ready, so that when I come for you in death, you will be with me forever.’

“Sadly, my friends did not understand; they did not comprehend that I was preparing them for the death that was approaching me — the death that I would face for their good and the good of the world, in order to demonstrate the Father’s love. They didn’t understand that because of my love for them, I was willing to lay down my life.

“I needed them to know that they would not be left alone and that offered them my peace and the peace of God. ‘I am the voice of peace,’ I told them. ‘My peace is not the same as the world gives. Mine is everlasting, constant and life-changing. Therefore, do not be afraid and do not worry about anything, for I am with you always - till the end of time.


God of peace,

help me to become more aware of your presence

in the stillness of my heart.

I give you my cares and worries and choose to trust you with them;

now, please fill me again with your love and peace.

I pray for nations currently experiencing war and political turmoil,

that your peace would fill the hearts of the people in those lands

and their leaders.


Saturday, 18 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Martha, a Midwife

It was just another birth — or so I thought. I had delivered so many, I could almost do it with my eyes shut, yet there was something about this one that was so very different. With this child, I followed his life with interest, and I have never done that before, or since. I was there with him as he drew his final breath, just as I was when he drew his first. I was there hiding in the shadows, masked by anonymity. Yet in his dying moments, I vividly remembered his birth...

The town was packed to overflowing. The governor that year had ordered a count of the people — just to make life difficult for everyone, we all secretly thought, although no one dared to voice that at the time. All the inns and taverns were full, and when a tired, heavily pregnant young woman arrived, she quickly become the talk of the town.

The man she was with pleaded for someone to take pity and find her somewhere, anywhere, to lay her weary head. Eventually word came through that a place had been found: a draughty stable out the back of some inn. Not ideal, but better than nothing. The woman was just glad to have somewhere to rest.

Bethlehem was not a quiet, peaceful place in the dead of night. It was still partying; there was still heavy drinking, with more than a few disagreements that got out of hand. The stable wasn’t quiet either. But the child inside that young mother—to-be was ready to greet the world, and greet it he did!

I was deep in sleep, not expecting to be woken, when suddenly, someone in panic was pounding on my door. As I rose, my eyes were still sleepy, but that would soon change. I was ushered to the stable and there I helped a mother give birth to her firstborn son. It was with great joy that I handed the tiny bundle to this exhausted, overwhelmed girl. This

moment after the birth was always special, but this time it seemed like even the angels in heaven were celebrating. The young mother had tears in her eyes as I handed her the baby boy. Little did any of us know, though, how many more of her tears would be shed as time went on.

I was just about to leave and go back to my bed when the adopted peace was shattered again — not by the child or his mother but by the arrival of some shepherds from the local hillside. “We have come to see the child,” they announced. “Some angels told us about him and we have come to worship him.”

Everyone looked at them in horror. Why had they come? No one wanted shepherds around; they were smelly and unkempt, they were the untouchables. But the baby didn’t seem to think so, at least; he welcomed their appearance with a giggle.

I know now that I was in the presence of the Messiah, the holy one of God. Aside from the stable and the Visitors, the birth itself had seemed routine — I gave the usual words of encouragement, the mother pushed and shoved, screaming in pain. It was the same at every birth. But through this birth, silently and unseen at that time, everything had changed

It was only years later as I stood near the foot of his cross that I understood what had occurred. Somehow God had become man that night, in the stable, and I had been playing my part, taking my place in the story that would shape history.


God who came to us in the body of a baby,

thank you that you are still with me today.

Fill me again with your hope and peace.

Lord, I pray for those who work in the local hospitals,

who seek to save lives and comfort the dying.

Grant them skill in the work they do,

and your grace to fulfil their part in your unfolding plan.

Help me to show gratitude to those I encounter

in the healing and caring professions

for the work they do.


Friday, 17 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of the Innkeeper’s Wife

Of course, we had all heard the prophecy, but we, like everyone else, never believed that anything important could ever come out of Bethlehem — nothing of any worth, certainly nothing that would impact the whole world.

How wrong we were. ..

What a weekend it has been! We have been rushed off our feet; hardly had time to draw breath. You see, recently the Emperor in his wisdom (or lack of it) sent everyone back to their home town to be counted. Stupid idea, if you ask me, but I guess no-one is asking me...

Our small, poor, unimportant village has suddenly been overrun with people. Every inn and tavern, including ours, is packed to the rafters. We aren’t complaining; it is good for business. We are not going to turn the extra cash down, are we? But it has been manic.

At one point, my husband instructed me to get a sign to tell people we are full. But before I got around to that, there came a knock at the door that changed everything.

Before me stood a young woman — heavily pregnant, with a look of exhaustion etched all over her face. She was aided by an older man and they had a small, weary-looking donkey in tow. They wanted — no, they needed — a room, somewhere, anywhere, so that the woman could rest her head. Looking at her, it was clear that it wouldn’t be long before her

child would be greeting the world.

As a woman a of faith, my heart was touched. What could I do to help, to offer some respite from her immediate plight? I explained how sorry I was, that all our rooms were full, but that if she wanted, we had a stable round the back that she could use. It was not five—star by any stretch of the imagination, it wasn’t even very clean, but at least it had a

roof that didn’t leak.

She smiled and silently nodded her approval and her gratitude, and I led the way. We didn’t make pleasant small talk; she had bigger things to concentrate on, like going into labour.

I settled her down with some clean hay on which she could rest her head, then told her I would be back with a midwife, some towels and some hot water. “Sit tight!” I instructed them both.

I ran, panic-stricken really. After all, it’s not every day that someone is giving birth in your barn! I sent a kitchen hand to call the midwife, then I raided the airing cupboard for towels and fetched the water.

By the time I returned, labour was in full swing. I assisted where I could, wiping the young mother’s forehead and offering words of encouragement. Then, after what seemed like an age, although it probably wasn’t, I began to see a tiny head followed by the body of a healthy-looking baby boy.

The midwife did what was needed, wrapped the child in a towel and gave him to his mother.

There, in that moment, I somehow knew that I was in the company of someone special. Since then I have strangely sensed that all the prophecies we have heard are beginning to be fulfilled.


God of welcome,

you prepared a welcome for your son.

Help me to offer a welcome to all people,

 so that they can experience your unconditional love.


Thursday, 16 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

The Voice of Elizabeth

I watched as they played together as children — laughing, joking and enjoying life. Yet, I was told time and time again that our joy would not last forever; one day both Jesus’ mother and I would know true sorrow, if I lived long enough to see it.

I am old now, but I was already old when all this begun - ageing, apparently unable to have children and almost at the stage of giving up on life altogether. Yet God had other ideas; he had a plan, and Zechariah and I were part of it.

An angel came and explained to my husband that my infertile womb would soon ‘bear fruit’ and we would have a son. (Not that he was able to tell me any of this at the time, as he had been struck dumb by God due to his unbelief.) The child would be a herald of God and we were to give him the name John.

About six months into my pregnancy, we had a visit from a cousin of mine. We had a surprising amount in common: she too had become pregnant and she too had been spoken to by an angel; she too was going to have a son — one who would redeem the nation in his later life.

We had been told that John, our son, would be full of the Holy Spirit even before his birth. It wasn’t till Mary arrived, however, that I began to understand the meaning of this prophecy. As she walked slowly up our path, the child inside me began to leap and dance, as he and I somehow realised that we were in the presence of greatness.

In our country the custom is for young people to respect their elders and seek to serve where it is appropriate. On this occasion, however, I bowed low and offered myself to Mary’s service, despite my age and my grey hair. She was a girl who was willing to come under public scrutiny, to have people talking about her behind her back, to be spat on in the street and subjected to the cruel laws that awaited unmarried mothers. Indeed, she was willing to put her life on hold in order to give birth to God’s son and to undergo everything that would come with that.

She had to weigh up what her “yes” would mean — to her and to her family — just as I had to. Our son would be the forerunner, the one who would set out all that was to come; who would dig up the ground in people’s hearts, make paths straight and prepare the way for the coming Messiah.

While Mary stayed with us, our unborn children bonded. Their mothers sewed and conversed, creating more than mere clothes and blankets, as we prepared for the future and the roles we and our offspring Would play. Together we began to realise that our lives would not be easy- We placed our hands in one another’s, understanding what a terrible burden it was to be chosen by God. Tears flowed freely, God’s Spirit was with us and our hearts gradually began to beat in time with the divine.


God of new birth,

I pray for those I know who are expecting children.

Protect these unborn infants and bring them to a place of

knowing Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

I pray for those I know who have lost children.

Comfort them this Christmas;

may they become aware of your presence and love this season.

Help me to be family-focused,

and to centre my life around your church family

so that together we can show love to our community.


Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Excerpts from Becky Lovatt’s Book - Beyond the Chocolate Window

Voice of Joseph

My name is Joseph, and I discovered first-hand that the best-laid plans of man or beast do not always sit well with the plans of God.

I was a respectable carpenter. I had a good business, and I was not short of money either. I came from good stock, and I was engaged to Mary, a good and decent woman, young and beautiful; she would make me a good wife and bear me a son to carry on the family name. My life was all mapped out — or so I thought...

She stood in the doorway, her eyes filled with tears. What was wrong? What secret was she hiding? Was she ill? Had someone died? What was it?

Then she spoke, and as she unburdened herself, my concern turned to violent anger. “Joseph,” she said, “I’m going to have a baby.”

In rage, I throw my cup against the wall. I wanted to strike her, but my honour would not allow me. Instead, I ushered her towards the door. What did she mean, she was going to have a baby?

I loved her and respected her, but this was just too much. She had brought shame upon me and my family, and so she would have to go. I did not want to embarrass her or leave her with nothing, so despite my anger, I prayed that God would show me a kind way to call off the wedding.

I sank into a corner of my workshop, tears rolling down my face. How had it come to this? What a way for it all to end!

Then suddenly, through my tears, I saw a bright light and I was no longer alone. “Joseph,” came a voice, “do not be afraid.”

It was a bit late for that, wasn’t it? I was terrified!

“I am Gabriel, and God has sent me to you. Mary, your fiancĂ©e, is pregnant and is going to bear God’s son. Take her to yourself, marry her and call her your own. The God of your ancestors has spoken.”

Sweat ran down my forehead like a river. Mary had told me the truth.

The angel disappeared as quickly as he had come, leaving me alone again. My anger had gone, I was strangely content, and I knew exactly what I had to do.

I went, took Mary as my wife, and raised God’s son as my own. I taught him the skills of a carpenter. In that, at least, he was truly ‘a chip off the old block’.


God of Joseph,

Who asked him to be a human father to your divine son,

draw me closer to you today and fill me with your Spirit.

Help me to walk alongside those who have been betrayed

or who are treated unfairly.

In the name of Christ, I pray.


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.