Service Sheet 10th Jan 2021

Service Sheet 10th Jan 2021


Sunday 10th January 2021

1st Sunday of Epiphany- Baptism of Christ

A very warm welcome to all those joining us in our virtual worship today.

If possible, please start at either 10am (Holy Trinity service time) or 10.30am (St Peter’s service time) so we continue to worship together in our church fellowships. Also try saying the parts in bold aloud.

Opening Prayers

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord is here. His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and

everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

You celebrated your new gift of baptism in signs and wonders at the


Your voice was heard from heaven to awaken faith in the presence among

Us of your Word made flesh.

Your Spirit was seen as a dove, revealing Jesus as your servant, and

anointing him with the oil of gladness to preach the good news to the poor.

Therefore, as we celebrate the union of earth and heaven, we rejoice to

echo the song of the angels in heaven for ever praising you.  Amen


Because God was merciful, he saved us through the water of rebirth and the

renewing power of the Holy Spirit.

But through sin we have fallen away from our baptism.

Let us return to the Lord and renew our faith in his promises by confessing our sins

in penitence.                                                                                      Titus 3.5

Let us begin by reflecting on the week that has just passed:

Consider the things which we have done, or not done, and our thoughts which we now wish to say sorry to God for:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone.

We are heartily sorry and repent of all our sins.

For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name.



May the Father of all mercies cleanse usfrom our sins, and restore us in his image

to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son,
anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Readings for today

Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails, deepen our faithfulness to you and to your living Word, who is Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Alleluia, alleluia.

This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.

Alleluia.                                                                                    Matthew 3.17

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark chapter 1 verses 4 to 11:

Glory to you O Lord

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the River Jordan. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 

And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptise you withwater, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

The baptism and testing of Jesus

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’

New International Version – UK

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you O Christ.



Lord I pray that the words I speak will deliver your message.  Amen

I am sure we all know the story of John the Baptist very well. It was taught in Sunday School and is a very well-read Gospel reading. Let us look at this bible reading in more depth and understand the impact it had then, and how it still resonates today.

John was living a hermit’s life and was dedicated to God. Some bible scholars believe he was part of a group called Essenes. The Essenes were a Jewish sect who lived a life of poverty and chastity and ritually immersed themselves in water before praying as an act of purification. Although the Jews do not use the term baptism, they have a ritual Called “The tvilah “Which is the act of immersion in natural sourced water, called a “mikva “. The ritual is used in certain circumstances where a person had been in contact with a corpse before temple and for anyone who converts to Judaism as it represents a change in status in regards to purification. This practice would have been recognised by the early Jews.

This fits in with the description of John. He lived a frugal existence in the desert and preached to people by the river Jordan where he carried out his baptisms.  Looking at verse 6 “John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.” 

Imagine how John felt when Jesus came to him asking to be baptised. John would have known this day was coming he had already mentioned it in the reading verses 7 and 8.       

“After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

By baptising Jesus, he was fulfilling the prophecy of

 Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Baptism, by some, is seen a symbolic act of purification and a release from Sin through God’s forgiveness, so why would Jesus the son of God who was in essence sinless need baptism? Firstly, this was to this was underwrite John’s teachings about the coming of the Messiah and John’s recognition of him to all. Secondly this was a ‘handover’ from John to Jesus to encourage people who were now baptised to follow Jesus and as he said Jesus will baptise you with the Holy Spirit. This was also a time to show the followers that one possible step into Christianity is baptism and afterwards Jesus will lead the way. It was an example that if the Son of God can be baptised why not all others. No matter what Sins they have or what creed or race they are from. This is echoed in;

1 Corinthians 12:13

“13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

John had his belief in the messiah reinforced after his act of baptism when he actually met the Trinity!  Let us refer to the reading

10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

So, what an immense experience for John and all around. God the Father spoke, God the son in the river Jordan with him and the Holy spirit descending on Jesus!

Today Christians engage with Baptism because of the act of John and Jesus accepting baptism. It can be seen as a symbol or gift of forgiveness and a reminder of the promise that God will be with us for all our lives. It is a critical sacrament and a celebration of the link between Jesus’s baptism and his death on the cross – which was the ultimate act of love that releases all who accept Jesus from sin and as part of that is granted eternal life.

Returning to our reading we can see God the Father’s response to Jesus’s baptism when he says “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

We can see how Gods words were not just for Jesus they were said for us. We are all God’s children and therefore becoming baptised binds our relationship to him and he rejoices that we are part of his faith.

St Peter states this in Acts 2:38 

 “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This scripture encourages us that when we are baptised, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit and he becomes part of us.

We need to understand that Baptism in itself does not give you entrance into Heaven it is through our Christian Journey walking with Jesus and faith that opens the way forward. It is not an easy Journey and we need to recognise that when we sin, and pray to the father for his forgiveness, it is only given through his grace. Jesus was Crucified and died for our sins and then was resurrected as so part of our faith we need to constantly remind ourselves of this. 

 I think Romans 10:9-10 shows us:  

Romans 10:9-10 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

We can see now the importance of this reading and how baptism is a holy sacrament that helps us in our relationship with God. It reinforces his love for us all and supports us through our Christian life as we can be forgiven and are blessed with God’s grace. Finally, I would like us to go back to the time of our baptism by us saying a prayer that is said after baptisms.

Please Join me.

God of grace and life,

in your love you have given us

a place among your people;

keep us faithful to our baptism,

and prepare us for that glorious day

when the whole creation will be made perfect

in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.

In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.

Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you,

and also with you.

Statement of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God:

We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts through faith and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

A prayer of thanks for our giving to God

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour, and the majesty; for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.  All things come from you, and of your own do we give you.

Prayers of Intercession

Dear Lord, thank You that You died for us and that we are saved by Your grace. Thank You that we are able to proclaim our spiritual birth by going through the waters of baptism and for the way in which you have changed our hearts so that it is a joy to love and care for others and for your world.  May we always turn to you and trust in You. Thank You that our old sinful nature is chained to the Cross and we have received newness of life. Keep us pure in Your sight, and may our lives be lived in glorify to You and in peace and harmony with one another.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We pray for the church throughout the world, be with all who profess your name and uphold all clergy and lay people in bringing many to faith and in helping those in need. 

We especially pray for our Bishops Christopher and John as they lead our diocese through the ever-changing rules and restrictions presented by COVID.  Be with and support Heather in her ministry here at Galley Common and in Hartshill and we also pray for Sharon as she undertakes her new role in UHCW Hospital and the Rugby Deanery.  Strengthen and uphold our Church Wardens and lay readers at Hartshill and  at St Peters and all who serve or lead in anyway at this time.  Help us to reach those in the community who are feeling low or depressed by the ongoing isolation and restrictions.  Help us to be church in new and inspiring ways so that we can reach those who do not yet know of you.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We pray for this and every nation as this time when the pandemic seems at is very worst.  Bless and guide us all in the best way to progress.  We pray for all the staff in the NHS and ask that they are given strength and courage to face each day.  We pray Lord that the NHS will not be overwhelmed and that no one will have to be turned away.  Be with all front-line workers who put themselves at risk every day so that others may benefit from their services. 

We pray for wisdom for our Government and for all who are having to adapt to changes brought about by leaving the European Union.

We remember the leaders of all nations especially those where there are troubles, be in through war or natural disaster and we pray for peace between each, and every nation.

How thankful we are for the COVID vaccines and we pray that you will bless the use of them in the most sensible way.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We thank you for the gift of family and friends and ask you to bless us all with good relationships.  How marvellous it is that we are loved and that we are able to love others.  We remember those who suffer domestic abuse or who live in poverty and pray that they will all be able to receive help according to their needs. 

As children are unable to attend school we pray for their wellbeing and that different ways of receiving education may be found.

Be with those who are away from their families and for anyone who is affected by the loneliness of isolation.  Be with families and businesses who are suffering through lack of work. 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Comfort and heal all those who suffer from illness today

We take a moment to bring to you those we know personally who are in need of your healing touch…….

Lord, place your healing hands upon all those we have brought to you, hold their hearts close to yours and renew them in mind body and spirit. Give them strength to face today and hope that soon things will feel better

We remember all who are carers and ask you to guide and strengthen them as they undertake their caring responsibilities.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ.

Be with those who are broken-hearted because of the loss of a relative or friend.  Bring them peace in their sorrow and walk through each day with them, help them to remember without pain and cherish the love that continues beyond this physical life but goes on into the eternal life where at some point we will be reunited in heaven where there is no more suffering or pain.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Thank you, Lord that in this time of disappointment at yet again having restrictions placed upon us we have the hope of your eternal love and promises to keep us from falling into despair.  Be with us all as we try to go out into the world.  Grant us new ways of being and doing church so that your love and goodness and the hope we have in you may be shared with as many as possible.  Thank you, that we can still be with you whatever restrictions are placed upon us.

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

The Diocesan Prayer

Father pour out your spirit upon us.

Grant us a new vision of Your glory,

A new experience of Your power,

A new faithfulness to Your word, and

A new consecration to Your service,

That Your love may grow among us and Your kingdom come, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us so we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy 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 thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

Closing Prayers

Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son: by the power of your Spirit complete the heavenly work of our rebirth through the waters of the new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

And now we give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord, whose willing

submission to the way of righteousness is the pattern of our calling to be

his people and live in his way.

A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well

pleased.’                                                                                    Matthew 3.17

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

The Blessing

May God, who in Christ gives us a spring of water welling up to eternal life,

perfect in you the image of his glory; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father,

the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

The Commission

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord 

In the name of Christ. Amen.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2006

 Very Important Notices- Please read

In response to the national lockdown announced on Monday evening and the worsening coronavirus infection rates across the Country both the Churches of Holy Trinity and St Peters have considered the situation regarding services continuing in the Church Buildings and called a specially convened PCC (Parochial Church Council) meeting to make a decision.

Both churches voted to temporarily suspend all services and activities in our church buildings until at least the end of January. However, please note the “church” (ie the people and services) will continue – with services still being sent out by email (if you want to be added to the list let us know), posted on social media or can be posted out in our monthly postal packs.

 Although legally we were able to stay open the decision to close was made in part because of the rise of the virus in the community, the pressure on the NHS, the presence of a more virulent strain but most importantly out of a duty of care for you all. It was not an easy decision but please note it was done with the support of the local Bishop and Diocese of Coventry and in line with national Church of England legislation. 

With great regret this means that the church buildings cannot be used for any form of service including funerals and weddings during the rest of January. Before the end of the month the situation will be reviewed in the light of any further advice from the Government and Diocese of Coventry.

We do hope church members and residents of the villages of Hartshill and Galley Common will appreciate that given the instruction to stay at home except for specified and emergency purposes the safety of people coming to church, and those leading services, has to be the overriding consideration in deciding whether services can continue within our church buildings. We feel in the present circumstances that safety cannot be guaranteed.

The Churches’ Premises are therefore closed to everyone and entry can only take place with the agreement of Heather or in her absence the Churchwardens – please do not attempt to access them with any keys that you may have.

We would ask for your prayers during what is going to be a difficult situation for our Churches.

Church Worship

As mentioned above….although the buildings are closed that does not mean that the church is closed. We will ensure that resources are available to anyone who would like them to enable worship to take place at home.

We will continue to email out our virtual services each Sunday for those online and a postal pack each month for those not online. If you know anyone who would like to receive our services, then please let Heather know. Our virtual service will be posted on the Churches Facebook pages as well.

We would love to hear of anyone who needs prayer or contact during these difficult and worrying times. We will be really pleased to arrange regular phone calls to support people at this time.

Dave Hodson

Following the very sad announcement of Dave’s death, arrangements are starting to be made regarding his funeral. The following notice was put out in the public domain yesterday:

Dear Hartshill Community

First of all – thank you for all the lovely and kind messages and memories that you have shared on this forum about Dave – it has been humbling to read them and how much everyone thought of him. Can we also take this opportunity (in response to some questions raised) to confirm that Poppy (Dave’s dog) is safe and is being very well looked after.

We are still in the early stages of arranging his funeral and please be patient with us as we will issue more details in the coming weeks but we can at least confirm the following – which has been agreed with the person at church that Dave had appointed several years ago to organise this…

  1. The night before his funeral (Thursday 28th Jan 6pm)– we will be lighting candles in his honour & we will put pictures up on facebook if you want to do the same (please only light candles if safe to do so – otherwise a light or torch in a window may be a safer option)
  2. Dave will be doing a ‘final journey’ through the village on the morning of Friday 29th January driving past his house, the school, his crossing point and the church. As you know we are all required (by law) to stay at home unless it is for specific exemptions. So sadly we cannot encourage people to line the street or gather in an illegal way. However if you do live on the route then it may be possible to stand in front of your front door if you are still within the curtilage of your house to pay your respects subject to being able to properly socially distance. We know that Dave would not want anyone to put themselves at risk. If you are not on the route then please do join us in one or all of the options set out in points 1, 4 and 5.
  3. The most covid secure building we can use for the service which will also enable the safest gathering possible will be the Heart of England crematorium. This has been the hardest decision as Dave was such a valued and respected member of the Church family. As I hope you appreciate numbers are still strictly and legally limited and so it will be done by ‘invitation only’ (which will be arranged through the person Dave had already appointed to organise his service.). Please do not attempt to come or gather if you have not been specifically invited to be at the crematorium in order to keep mourners and staff on site as safe as possible.
  4. I know this will be disappointing for many and so we have agreed to upload the full order of service on facebook before the service – so for those who wish to – you can join in the service at home by reading the words and tributes that will be shared in the service.
  5. Lastly, we have also agreed that when restrictions are lifted and it is deemed safe to gather in larger numbers again – we will organise a memorial service that will enable others to celebrate his life who are unable to attend the service later this month.

Please know that many of these decisions have been really difficult to make – knowing how well loved he was in the village, what would be a fitting tribute to him and Dave’s own wishes ….which then all has to be balanced with needing to work within the rules and ultimately do what is both safe and responsible.  We too are grieving the loss of not only our verger, but our friend and member of the church family here at Holy Trinity.

Please be patient with us as we begin now to finalise the plans in more detail. We will keep you posted and updated with more information as it is confirmed over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions please do let me know 

Rev Heather Barnes (Vicar of Holy Trinity, Hartshill)

Daily Hope

Daily Hope is a free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers launched by the Church of England.  It has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.  So, if you know someone in this situation, please phone them and tell them about free-phone 0800 804 8044, and why not try it for yourselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *