PRINTED SERVICE FOR 25 SEPTEMBER 2022 . We thank the person who has prepared this service for us.


Lord, your unfailing Love reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the lofty mountains, your justice like the great deep; Lord who saves man and beast, how precious is your unfailing love!

StF 113 O Worship the King

Prayer of adoration

God of glory

Lord of might

our imaginations

clothe you in light

enfold you in rainbows

envelope you with stars and clouds

and we worship you

We look for you in the world you have made

see your power in thunder and lightning

feel your strength as the sea beats on the shore

marvel at clouds of starlings wheeling in formation as they go to roost

and we praise you

And then we discover

that you clothe us in your mercies

enfold us in your grace

envelope us in love

That we breathe you in like the air

drink you in like water

and we love you

Accept our love, our praise, our worship

in the name of Jesus our friend

who taught us to pray together, saying

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. AMEN.

StF 519 Father, I place into your hands

2 Timothy 1 vv 1-14

From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, sent to proclaim the promised life which we have in union with Christ Jesus—

To Timothy, my dear son:

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

I give thanks to God, whom I serve with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did. I thank him as I remember you always in my prayers night and day. I remember your tears, and I want to see you very much, so that I may be filled with joy. I remember the sincere faith you have, the kind of faith that your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice also had. I am sure that you have it also. For this reason I remind you to keep alive the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.

Do not be ashamed, then, of witnessing for our Lord; neither be ashamed of me, a prisoner for Christ’s sake. Instead, take your part in suffering for the Good News, as God gives you the strength for it. He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but now it has been revealed to us through the coming of our Saviour, Christ Jesus. He has ended the power of death and through the gospel has revealed immortal life.

11 God has appointed me as an apostle and teacher to proclaim the Good News, 12 and it is for this reason that I suffer these things. But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me. 13 Hold firmly to the true words that I taught you, as the example for you to follow, and remain in the faith and love that are ours in union with Christ Jesus. 14 Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, keep the good things that have been entrusted to you.

Luke 12 vv 32-34

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. 34 For your heart will always be where your riches are.

StF 736 In heavenly love abiding


Paul writes to Timothy from prison. “Timothy, my dear son” he writes, for Timothy is a trusted companion, a young man with potential who had joined Paul and Silas in their journeys in Asia Minor. He is there in Acts, part of the team that brought the good news to Thessalonica, Macedonia and Greece. He is there in other letters, carrying them from one new church to another, a messenger and a representative of Paul. “He and I,” we are told in Philippians, “like a son and his father, have worked together for the sake of the Gospel.” And the letters to the Thessalonians are “From Paul, Silas and Timothy.”

Here is a man who played an important part in the life of the young church, and yet we hardly know him. Paul knows him, though. “I remember the sincere faith you have,” he says, and although there is a lot of Paul in the passage we have read, there is quite a lot of Timothy too. Timothy’s inheritance of faith from his mother and his grandmother is as important as Paul’s inheritance from his ancestors. Paul says “we” and “us” almost as often as he says “I” and “you.” “The Spirit that God has given to us does not make us timid.” “He saved us and called us to be his own.” He speaks as father to son, encouraging, proud, reminding him of what he knows already, re-affirming his worth as a witness. “Through the power of the Holy Spirit, keep the good things that have been entrusted to you.” Timothy may be young, may be relatively inexperienced, but he can be trusted to do the work he is called on to do. Paul is not writing to someone who has failed but to someone who has succeeded so far and simply needs encouragement to continue the good work.

And what encouragement it is! The whole thing shot through with praise and thanks to God: God who gave the Holy Spirit; God who gives strength to endure; God who appointed Paul to be an Apostle. And how thrilled Paul is with his appointment, with the opportunities he has had to “proclaim the promised life which we have in union with Christ Jesus.”

But it seems that Timothy is less sure of himself. I wonder if he felt he wasn’t quite up to some task? That he wasn’t ready. Didn’t have the experience or the authority. That he was too young? That he wasn’t the right man for the job? Paul tells him: “The Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love and self-control.”

Mr Bell was an ordinary man, a working man, a tinsmith. He had a strong sense that he had work to do for his “master Jesus Christ.” So he sang in the kitchens of the lodging houses of Simnel Street, he went on board the ships in the docks to preach, and stood at the dock gates to “point men to their Saviour.” Not a timid man. Not a man who was ashamed of his faith. In his memoirs, written longhand with his own erratic spelling and punctuation, he told a tale against himself. he wrote that people used to come to his workshop to “ask advice and help in regard to the doubts of Jesus that were upon them,” and one evening two young men turned up asking help, not for themselves, but for a friend in trouble. It was Mrs Bell who spoke to them, and Mrs Bell who gave him the name and address of the friend. And for once in his life Mr Bell was hesitant. For once in his life he was timid. For the man in question was “a gentleman of independent means, and educated, and living in the lap of luxury.” Everything Mr Bell was not. “I cannot go,” he said. He made excuses. He walked past the door every evening on the way to speak to the soldier lads on the common. (this was during the Great War) “Each evening,” he says in his memoirs, “Mrs B would ask if I had been, how ashamed I felt.” Finally he plucked up courage to knock on the door of the big house in the Avenue. And inside he found a man in despair: a man who needed what he had to offer, his prayers and his witness. “I knelt, not on hard board, but on a lovely carpet. The gentleman rose to his feet & knelt with me.” I wonder what Mrs Bell said when he got home? “There, I told you not to be so silly: of course you had to go”?

Of course you have to go. Of course you have to do this. And you will be given the strength to do it. Jesus said: “Have no fear, little flock.” Don’t be afraid. Your Father has chosen to give you the kingdom. And Paul reminds Timothy of the resources he has at his command: “the power that comes from God;” “the gift of God;” “the treasure put into our charge.” Jesus tells us that we can have “purses that do not wear out, and never-failing treasure in heaven.” Paul knew where his heart lay: no thief could get near his treasure; no prison warder could rob him of his confidence. “I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me.”

We have been entrusted with something very precious. A treasure has been put into our charge: a gift from God, a job to do. Just like Paul. Just like Timothy. And just like Timothy we may hesitate, afraid of what might happen to us and of our own ability to cope, until we are told “The Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love and self-control” Just like Mr Bell we may doubt ourselves, needing to be reminded that “It is he who has called us … to a dedicated life, not for any merit of ours but for his own purpose and of his own grace.” Like Mrs Bell we may entrusted with the task of encouraging someone we love: reminding them of what they know already in their heart of hearts, “the faith and love which are ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The amazing thing is, not that we can trust God with all that is precious to us: not that we can “store up for ourselves treasure in heaven, where no thief can get near it, no moth destroy,” but that he trusts us. He has given us the kingdom. Let us keep safe the treasure put into our charge, with the help of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. For we know whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that he is able to keep that which we have committed to him against that day.

StF 566 Take my life and let it be

Intercessions and confession

Lord of our lives

we make such lavish promises

to give everything to you

everything we have

everything we are

it feels so right when we sing it

when we pray it

and then we go out and try to do it

and find we’re holding back

clinging to what makes us feel safe

afraid of what might happen

if we really let go

take what we offer you, dear Lord

forgive us that it isn’t all we have

or all we are

show your glory in our weakness

and make us your own

Lord of our world

we see the suffering faces

on the television screen

and looking out at us

from the front pages of newspapers

our concern and our love

for their comfort

and to strengthen and encourage

all who go to their aid

show your glory in our weakness

and make us your own

Lord of our calling

of our work day by day

we remember those

who are without work

whose jobs are changing

and leaving them behind

who have been made redundant

or whose work has expanded

to fill vacancies

As we go about our business

guide us as you guided

the young church

to choose rightly

to be ready to fill the gaps

in the lives of the people we meet

show your glory in our weakness

and make us your own

Lord of our homes

we bring our friends and neighbours to you

as the crowds came to you in Galilee

so we turn to you

when our hands are empty

when we feel helpless

We open our book

and read their names

the ones we pray for week after week

the ones that are new today

Their names are written

in your book of life

written on the palms of your hands

written on our hearts

as we pray for one another

show your glory in our weakness

and make us your own

We offer these prayers

we offer ourselves

that our work should be your work

O Lord of Life


StF 564 O thou who camest from above

Blessing and dismissal

May God give to us and to all those we love

his comfort and his peace,

his light and his joy,

in this world and the next;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be upon us and remain with us always.