Online services and readings for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity

from Westminster Abbey

Reflections from our bishops.

Wells Cathedral – streamed services

Weekly online services from the Church of England


O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Psalm 45 V 10 – 17

10Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear;
forget your own people and your father’s house.

11So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty;
he is your lord, so do him honour.

12The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts;
the richest of the people shall seek your favour.

13The king’s daughter is all glorious within;
her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.

14She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework;
after her the virgins that are her companions.

15With joy and gladness shall they be brought
and enter into the palace of the king.

16‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons
whom you shall make princes over all the land.

17‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations;
therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’

Romans 7 15 – 25a

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!


Matthew 11 16 – 19 25 – 28

At that time Jesus said, ‘To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,
“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;  we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.

I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’


Intercessions led by Beth Davies


Let us bring our prayers to God trusting in his steadfast love and in his will.

We pray for our Queen and especially at this unsettled time of  pandemic, all leaders in politics, science, doctors and nurses, business, education and social services  who are having to work in very changed circumstances and are making so many  decisions for our wellbeing,  may they lead with honesty, integrity and compassion for the well being of the people they are responsible for.

Lord in your mercy  Hear our Prayer


Dear Lord, we also pray for Carol and Shirley, Fr Tony and Fr Jim and all those who are making arrangements for us to be able to worship back in our own church next Sunday. Help us to be understanding and thoughtful for each other because  of the changes that need to be made to make this possible.

Lord in your mercy    Hear our prayer


As we approach what we hope will be the final interview stage of our interregnum, give guidance to  those involved in making the appointment  and also to the short-listed candidate, that they all may  hear your voice in the decisions they make on our behalf.

Lord in your mercy Hear our Prayer


Lord, we pray for our local community and especially this week for the residents of Withies Lane, Millfield, Steam Mills and Amberes Court, we pray that they may feel your presence.

Lord in your mercy Hear our Prayer


Let us pray for the elderly, the frail, the lonely and  those in our homes, hospices or hospitals who care for them and for those still isolating in their homes, may they be given patience and understanding at these especially demanding times.


We especially pray for those of our family or friends who have asked for our prayers and who are encouraged by knowing we as a church family are supporting them in prayer.

We think of Rachael Macfarlane, Judy Flook, Miranda Cooper, Rose Stenner, Paul & Margaret Knott, Irene Leet,  Faye McDermott,  Anne Hatton, Rob & Glyn Gilliland,  Gerrard Monks, Trevor & Elizabeth Bell,  Fr Roy Boots, Nicholas Hambleton, Mary Hickmott, Helen Plummer & Daniel Plummer, Betty Chiplin, Ethan Horwood,  John Lewis, Patricia Flagg, John Denning.

Lord in your mercy  Hear our Prayer


We pray for the life of Jonathon Cook, a teacher at our school, who has recently died and for his family and friends who mourn his loss.

Lord in your mercy    Hear our Prayer


We also pray for those whose Years Mind occurs this week:-(S) Sarah Stenner (M) Brian White, Alfred Tyler, Trevor Bridges (T) Ernest Newth, Mildred Denning (F) Sarah Abbott (S) George Hughes.

Lord we pray for all those whom we have loved who are now departed this life. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. By your grace, may they and we be one in you in life everlasting

Lord in your mercy    Hear our prayer


Open our eyes Lord that we may see the wonderful world that you have entrusted to us.
Open our arms Lord that we may embrace the world with all its opportunities and all its challenges.
Open our minds Lord that we may know what you would have us do.

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

Thought for Trinity 4 by Father Tony

Many people who were brought up when the Authorised Version of the Bible (the King James Version) was in use throughout the Church of England have some phrases or verses from the Bible that always come to mind in those words.  This is true for me: often they are more poetic than newer translations, frequently more succinct – though sometimes more difficult to understand.  One such verse for me occurs in today’s first reading, from the Letter to the Romans chapter 7, verse 19. “The good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do”.  It brings home the frustration which many a Christian comes up against from time to time when we struggle to put our faith into action; it gives us comfort to know that one of the great heroes of the Faith, St  Paul, struggled as we do; and it points us to the reason why this happens – to the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged.

Paul describes his frustration as a battle between the will and the flesh (verse 18).  There is a danger for us in the use of these words, to imagine that the mind is always good, the body always bad  But think of the seven deadly sins, as they emerged in early Christian experience and teaching:  pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth.  Lust and gluttony we might identify with ‘the flesh’ but pride and envy certainly emanate from the mind.  For Paul, the flesh is the whole human personality when it unaffected by, divrced from, the Spirit of God.  The will is the inner desire to welcome God’s Spirit into that wayward human personality.  What Paul found – what many a Christian finds along life’s way – is that the will is not strong enough to lift them (their whole human personality) from its addiction to self and to sin up to the better way which they can see but cannot reach. So Paul’s anguished cry might be echoed by others: “Wretched man that I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?”  The answer to that question will be found in the next section of his letter, which will be our reading next week. For now he just interposes a sentence that shows the answer is coming (or perhaps a scribe copying his letter dropped this phrase in): “Thanks    be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

We wait for the continuation next week.  In the meantime we have a reassuring message in the today’s Gospel reading.  The problem that causes us much difficulty in our spiritual journey may often be that of over-complicating matters.  Jesus faced this.  I sometimes think of it as the ‘Yes, but…’ syndrome.  John Baptist preached in the desert: people said, “Yes, but this is all too stern and difficult…”  Jesus preached in the towns and villages his message of love and forgiveness: people said, “Yes, but this is all too easy on people who don’t deserve it”.  The essence of the answer is simple: place a child-like trust in him who is gentle and humble in heart, and in following him you will find rest for your souls.

In the complicated world in which we live this is surely good news indeed.


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