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Penhill Benefice - Services

Penhill Benefice

Living and Sharing the Love of Jesus Christ in the Community

How to share in worship wherever you are


Our churches can only be opened under strict condition in accordance with guidance from the government and the Diocese of Leeds. For details about what can be done regarding funerals, emergency baptisms etc scroll down to March 21 on the News/Events page.  See that page also for information about when there are services at our churches, which ones are open each week for times of prayer, and some excerpts from the latest Penhill Beacon and how to receive a full copy. 

Sunday September 13

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

From todays psalm:-

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.

Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Psalm 103:vv 1 and 22


[opening sentences from the blue booklet: ‘Prayers during the coronavirus outbreak’, available from Christine Gard or Tom]

Opening Prayer

Eternal God, source of all blessing,
help us to worship you
with all our heart and mind and strength;
for you alone are God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.

Hymn (music)

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in His justice
which is more than liberty.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heav’n;
There is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment giv’n.

But we make His love too narrow
by false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness
with a zeal He will not own.

There is plentiful redemption
in the blood that has been shed,
There is joy for all the members
in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader
than the scope of human mind
And the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.

If our love were but more simple
we should take Him at His word
And our hearts would find assurance
in the promise of the Lord.

Frederick William Faber (1814-1863 alt.)

Invitation to Confession

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He does not deal with us according to our sins
Nor repay us according to our iniquities.
So let us with boldness approach the throne of grace,
confessing our sins in penitence and faith.
Cf. Ps.103 vv8 and 10


Come, let us throw ourselves on the mercy of God, and say:

We have followed plans of our own making, not Yours;
Lord have mercy.
Our thoughts, words and actions have marred Your image in us;
Christ have mercy.
We have offered You too little of our lives;
Lord have mercy.
Restore our joy in salvation, sustain our spirits and deliver us,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. Cf. Psalm 51


May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Exodus 14:19-31 Crossing the Red Sea

19 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24 At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25 He clogged[a] their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Matthew 18:21-35 The parable of the unforgiving servant

21 Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church[g] sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven[h] times.
23 ‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents[i] was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii;[j] and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” 29 Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister[k] from your heart.’

Sermon – Ian Ferguson

May I speak in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

How often have we heard the phrase, ‘that is unforgiveable, I cannot forgive him or her for that’. Perhaps we have said this in haste or anger or just on the rebound. I know I have. But this cuts across the whole of Christian teaching. It comes up every time we say the Lord’s Prayer. ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’. It is, if you like, a red line from God. God forgives us, so we must forgive others (and ourselves).

The essence of the message is summed up in the Matthew passage. The King eventually had pity on the slave after much pleading, forgave him’ and sent him on his way. Clearly no lesson was learnt, because the slave met a fellow slave, who owed him a very small amount by comparison and the result was severe punishment. Forgiveness must be central to the situation and this must come from the heart, not a quick, ‘Sorry’, as a throwaway line.

This teaching is very different from the world’s view. How often do we need to forgive? Once? Twice? Three times? Seven times? No! Seventy times seven, as Jesus says, which means that forgiveness must be unlimited.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but it does affect how we take those memories into the future, preventing them consuming us with hatred and vindictiveness.

Does forgiveness always brings reconciliation? Well, ideally, Yes, but sadly that is not always the case. There might be a real problem in bad or abusive relationships.

In forgiveness we cannot just sweep away our hurt. We need to confront the sin and be honest over the pain. I suggest that as God asks us to forgive, God isn’t asking us to overlook the seriousness of sin, but he is asking us to leave any retribution to him.

Forgiveness is an act of will, a choice about how we behave. God is concerned with our willingness to try and, above all, he is there to help us.

For Jesus, forgiveness and our part in it are fundamental signs of the Kingdom of God. By practising forgiveness we show just how much God has loved us and continues to do so and we can have the joy of passing on the Grace of God we have experienced to others.

Martin Luther King said, ‘Hate is a boomerang that circles around and hurts you. Forgiveness is important not just for the perpetrator but for the victims helping them to break away from anger and bitterness which could freeze them in the past and destroy their hope for the future’.

I am sure we have all had times when we know we should forgive- it is difficult but we know it is what God wants and Jesus lived it. ‘Father, forgive they do not know what they are doing’. I am sure also we have seen or known examples of forgiveness and reconciliation. I well remember a few years ago Margaret and I were in Dresden where there had been tremendous destruction and loss of life towards the end of World War 2. It was a lovely evening and we were having supper in the open air in the shadow of Dresden Cathedral. We were served by a charming young man who was from Homs in Syria. ‘I cannot go home’, he said ‘because there is war’.

Above us was the rebuilt Cathedral with many of the original blackened stones that had been reused, standing out against the fresh colour of the new ones. There on top of the spire was the golden cross which was a gift from the people of Coventry a city, like Dresden, had been so badly destroyed by enemy bombs, earlier in the war. The cross had been made by a goldsmith from Coventry whose father had been a navigator on one of the Lancaster bombers that had devastated the city.

Forgiveness and reconciliation. Yes I think so for there was the cross on which Jesus had suffered and died for our sins. Our redeemer, our friend, our master. Gazing up at the cross, from the marketplace, glinting in the sunlight, I thought, ‘That speaks of Christian forgiveness and reconciliation in action.


Confession of Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?

All We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?

All We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?

All We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

All This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Prayers of Intercession

also see ‘Prayers for use during the coronavirus outbreak’
Remember the free C of E phone line “Daily Hope” ...0800 804 8044.

Collect for the 14th Sunday after Trinity

Almighty God,
Whose only Son has opened for us
a new and living way into Your presence:
Give us pure hearts and steadfast wills
To worship you in spirit and in truth
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

The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn (music

1 There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One.
Thank you, O my Father
for giving us Your Son
and leaving Your Spirit
till the work on earth is done

2 Jesus, my Redeemer,
name above all names,
precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
O for sinners slain.
Thank you, O my Father
for giving us Your Son
and leaving Your Spirit
till the work on earth is done

3 When I stand in Glory,
I will see His face,
and then I’ll praise my King for ever
in that holy place.
Thank you, O my Father
for giving us Your Son,
and leaving Your Spirit
till the work on earth is done.

Melody Green © Birdwing music/ BMG Songs Inc/ Alliance Media Ltd/ CopyCare Ltd
Used with permission: Copyright Licence No: 2326066.



The God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus,
establish, strengthen and settle you in the faith;
and the blessing …