“Maranatha” – “Our Lord, come

(1 Corinthians 16.22)


Almighty God,

give us grace to cast away the works of darkness

and to put on the armour of light,

now in the time of this mortal life,

in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;

that on the last day,

when he shall come again in his glorious majesty

to judge the living and the dead,

we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


Monday, 30th November

The Advent wind begins to stir
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver-pale.
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound –
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out ‘Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.’

from Advent (1955), by John Betjeman

Tuesday, 1st December

During Advent we become one with those who waited in darkness for the revealing of God’s light – and who dared to hope that god’s salvation could come in the birth of a child …

Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a Christian is not empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for!

Christians wait in Advent for the birth of Jesus. We wait after Easter for the coming of the Holy Spirit. We wait after the Ascension of Jesus for his coming again in glory – that Second Coming – which is a particular focus for us in Advent.

from In Joyful Hope, by Henri Nouwen


Holy Communion for the The First Sunday of Advent, 2020, celebrated at St Mary’s, Steeple Ashton

Prayers of Intercession for Advent

… and some favourite hymns for this day …

Awake, awake: fling off the night

Come, thou long-expected Jesus

Hark! A herald voice is calling

Hills of the north, rejoice

Lo, he comes with clouds descending

O come, O come, Emmanuel

Sunday, 29th November – THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Monday, 30th November – ANDREW THE APOSTLE

The Crucifixion of St Andrew, Caravaggio, 1607

Tuesday, 1st December – Charles de Foucauld, Hermit in the Sahara, 1916

Wednesday, 2nd December – Feria

Thursday, 3rd December – Francis Xavier, Missionary, Apostle of the Indies, 1552

Friday, 4th December – John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher, c.749; Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of Little Gidding, 1637

Saturday, 5th December – Feria

*** is an excellent online resource containing short biographies of the saints, as well as prayers and readings for their day.

Your financial support to the Benefice is vital … and greatly appreciated … please see Supporting the Church

Our services for the month of November are as follows:
on Sunday, 1st November, ALL SAINTS’ DAY
9.15am Said Holy Communion, with sermon (Common Worship, Order One – modern language) at St Nicholas’, North Bradley (incense will be used at this service)
11am Said Holy Communion, with sermon (Common Worship, Order Two – “BCP”) at St Mary’s, Steeple Ashton

on Monday, 2nd November, ALL SOULS’ DAY    
7pm Benefice Said Holy Communion with sermon (Common Worship, Order One – modern language),  St Nicholas’, North Bradley (see below*)
(incense will be used at this service)

On account of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) special provisions are in place for our services, including those for the administration of Holy Communion.
Please note that the wearing of face coverings in church by all who attend worship and, in general, by all those who attend church when there may be others present is mandatory.

Further to the imposition of new national restrictions in respect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), worship in the churches of the Benefice has been suspended until 2nd December.

On Sunday, 8th November, THE THIRD SUNDAY BEFORE ADVENT (Remembrance Sunday) we shall be holding a:
10.45am Remembrance Sunday service outside St Nicholas’, North Bradley; and a
10.45am Remembrance Sunday service outside St Mary’s, Steeple Ashton.

Individual Prayer in our churches
The Stafford Chapel at St Nicholas’, North Bradley, is open for individual prayer every Tuesday and Friday between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

St Thomas’, Southwick, is open for individual prayer every Wednesday between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

The Lady Chapel at St Mary’s, Steeple Ashton, is open for individual prayer every Saturday and Sunday between 2 and 4pm.

Morning Prayer will be said remotely, on Zoom, on Monday – Thursday this week. If you would like to join in here are the links:

for Monday, 30th November:
Meeting ID: 817 8054 9523   Passcode: 955091

for Tuesday, 1st December:
Meeting ID: 821 1559 5291   Passcode: 844797

for Wednesday, 2nd December:
Meeting ID: 849 9284 6725    Passcode: 640047

for Thursday, 3rd December:
Meeting ID: 829 5537 5827    Passcode: 703051

“We lift up in prayer the people of our Benefice each morning; please let us know if you would like us to include in our prayers any particular person or cause.”

Worship at home
An excellent range of resources can be found at:
From our own Diocese, you can find at daily reflections
and much streamed material, including, on Sundays, a Service of Words and Music
(often on the Cathedral YouTube channel).
Also do look at Bishop Andrew’s vlog (by searching for Andrew Rumsey on YouTube), and the reflections available at

Daily HOPE
The Church of England has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while our church buildings are closed.  …
Dial in to listen to daily services of prayers and reflections.
The service is available 24 hours a day.
Daily Hope is just a phone call away

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child

Pack a Shoebox!

Send Good News And Great Joy Around The World

Collect your Shoebox label between 10.30am and 12.30pm on any Tuesday or Friday at St Nicholas’, or on any Wednesday at St Thomas’, or from Fr Oliver Learmont at; on 07464 795590.

Please bring your gift-filled Shoebox to St Nicholas’ or St Thomas’ at any of the above times, or c/o Fr Oliver.

Shoeboxes will be blessed at 9.15am at Holy Communion at St Nicholas’ on Sunday, 6th December, and at 11am at Holy Communion at St Thomas’ on Sunday, 13th December.

Do visit for further details, and for alternative ways of giving if you are unable to give a gift-filled shoebox.