Bexley Team Ministry News for Sunday 14th February 2021

Bexley Team News

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

   St Mary the Virgin, Bexley


14th February 2021 Issue 48                                                            The Sunday Next  before Lent




God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only

Son into the world so that we might live through him 1 John 4 v9


                                      Team Services and Worship material in Lockdown


Saturday 13th February at 5.30 pm                                                  Saturday NightWatch Zoom Service

In Jewish understanding, the Sabbath begins as night falls on the Eve of the Sabbath, and for Christians it is an opportunity to put aside the cares and concerns of the Monday to Saturday week of tasks and activity and to prepare ourselves to keep Sunday as ‘a Day of Holy Rest’.  This short, informal service will include material to help us to reflect on the week that has past and will be suitable for all ages. Do have a candle ready to light.

Sunday 14th February at 10.00 am                                                                                     Sunday Zoom Service

A Service of bible reading and prayer. See the final sheet of the BTNews for the songs and some liturgy.

Invitations to the above Zoom services have been emailed. If you haven’t received the link, or are having problems, please contact any member of the Team Clergy. Dial in option is available.

Sunday 14th February at 10.00 am                                                            Livestreamed Holy Communion

A live streamed service of Holy Communion from St John's. This will be available to view at 10am on St John's Facebook Page: It is possible to view the stream without having a Facebook profile. The video will remain accessible after the event.

Sunday 14th February                                                                                                  Bexley Team Children’s Church


Here is the link for this week's special Valentine’s Day Children's Church- The Diocese of Rochester are producing

material for children during lockdown. All of the Ministry@Home sheets

can be found on the main Diocese website under (under 18s) or click here

 Diocese of Rochester | Family Worship in the Home (


Bible Readings           2 Kings 2, 1-12  2 Corinthians 4, 3-6  Mark  9, 2-9 


The Collect: Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you,  in the unity of  the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Additional Collect:  Holy God, you know the disorder of our sinful lives: set straight our crooked hearts, and bend our wills to love your goodness and your glory in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev’d Ren writes-

The book called The Cloud of Unknowing written (appropriately enough!) by an anonymous author in the Fourteenth Century in England, is a remarkable piece of work, written during a remarkable time.

All of Europe had been decimated by the Black Death, the Hundred Years War was causing division, there was widespread social unrest. Yet amazingly within this upheaval, or maybe because of it, there was a great stirring of spiritual interest across Europe with the writings of Thomas a Kempis, Meister Eckhart and John of Ruysbroek among others. In England, Mother Julian of Norwich, Walter Hilton, Richard Rolle and Margery Kempe had a marked influence.  Amongst these so-called Fourteenth Century English Mystics was the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing.  

Each of these writers, in different ways, explored how the human soul might draw closer to God. For the author of The Cloud of Unknowing there is a deep acceptance of the fact that, within our limited human intellectual capacities, God will remain ultimately concealed from us in his power and majesty. 

Such an understanding clearly reflects what is happening in our gospel reading today. The Christian belief is that Jesus is both fully Man and fully God, and in this Transfiguration story the three disciples are given a glimpse of him clothed in all the glory of heaven. The voice which clearly states that Jesus is the beloved Son of God comes out of the cloud, symbolising both the presence and the hiddeness of God.

The disciple Peter tries to make sense of what he is experiencing and as Peter always does, he wants to act immediately. Yet the invitation is to listen! And that ‘listening’ is prayer at its simplest and its most profound. The author of The Cloud of Unknowing gives us encouragement: - “Only to our intellect is he incomprehensible; not to our love.” This is the key, I think.

Prayer doesn’t have to wait until Sunday, or until we’ve read all the books about how to pray.  Prayer is a quiet waiting, a loving openness and a patient receptivity. St Teresa of Avila taught that “All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent”.

God may remain hidden within the ‘cloud of unknowing’ but he is present, and that is enough.

Lent for the Bexley Team

The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 17 February.  

We will have a livestreamed communion at 10am

and an Ash Wednesday Nightwatch on Zoom at 7.30pm. Link will be emailed or contact a member of clergy

During Lent, for those of you who value a daily resource, we encourage you to access the Church of England Live Lent material.  You can sign up to this very simply by following this link #LiveLent: God's Story, Our Story - our Lent reflections | The Church of England  or alternatively you can  use this link which takes you to the same place.

We will also aim to provide a paper copy of this for those who do not have access to the internet.


Weekly Lent Course – Women in the Shadows This year the Bexley Team has decided to study the online Lent course “Women in the Shadows” produced by the Clewer Initiative and recommended by the Diocese. It will focus on the different forms of modern day slavery which are experienced by women and girls in the UK today. Each week will cover a different form of exploitation through a short video followed by a guided bible study, reflections and prayers.

It is proposed that each person downloads the course material onto the electronic device of their choice, watches the video and engages with the material at a time which is convenient to the individual. We will then all come together on Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm to discuss the issues it raises for us.

How to download the material Go onto  Click onto the course – women in the shadows Scroll down until you reach the “download for the complete course” click onto this and save the course onto your device. There is material for 5 weeks which we will cover in the following programme


Week 1. 25th Feb 7.30pm - Beginnings

Week 2. 4th March 7.30pm - Sexual Exploitation

Week 3 11th March 7.30pm – Labour Exploitation                      

Week 4. 18th March 7.30pm – County Line

Week 5. 25th March 7.30pm – Beyond Survival

Please can you indicate to a member of the clergy if you intend to engage with this Lent course.

Zoom login details will follow at a later date. The material and in particular the videos will contain some hard hitting and upsetting material so please contact a member of the clergy if you wish to privately discuss any issues it raises for you.

A prayer for women in the shadows- Holy God, who called Elizabeth and Mary to be bearers of new life, and key partners in the unveiling of your coming kingdom, we pray for women and girls who are receiving false promises and facing degrading exploitation. Inspire your church to discover how best to bring healing, help and hope wherever women and girls are demeaned, so that your call to fulfilment may be heard and your desire for human flourishing may be more fully pursued. Give us insight, wisdom, courage and grace – to be bearers of your new life amidst so much suffering and despair. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Saviour. Amen (from


Mothers’ Union News Our Mothers’ Union Branch meetings have sadly been on hold due to Covid-19 since last February. We are required to hold an AGM to approve the Branch accounts. In order to fulfil this requirement we are planning to hold a Zoom MU AGM on Thursday 25th February at 2.30pm. We realise this is not ideal as it will mean that some members will not be able to access it, but we will do our best to ensure they are kept informed and updated after the meeting. We hope as many members as possible will ‘Zoom’ in. The Zoom Link will be sent out nearer the time.




Gent’s Pub Lunch at the Horse and Zoom.  For an invitation to the next of these on 3rd March please contact

Andrew Melling at


Clive will be leading a holiday to Austria and Oberammergau including the Passion Play 22-29 June 2022. If you would like a hard or e-copy of the holiday/pilgrimage  brochure please let Clive know.



It’s never easy or a good time to ask people to reassess their giving, especially with churches currently being closed for worship. However, the bills still need to be paid and the buildings kept in good repair. So, we are asking… If you give by standing order have you increased your giving over the last few years? If you give using the envelope scheme are you handing in your envelopes or, are they still sitting at home? If your giving is usually via the collection bag or open plate have you considered changing to a regular contribution by standing order?

For St. Barnabas        Any contributions can be dropped off at the Treasurers house (during your daily walk) or at the Vicarage. Or you can give by BACS transfer. In all cases, if you are a taxpayer please “Gift Aid” your giving.  If you have any questions regarding this please contact, David Peters on 01322 529796 or by email to

For St. James, North Cray     Contributions can be dropped off at 91 The Grove, or made by BACS transfer, contact Suzy Higgs on 07799072548

For St John's   You can give to the continuing upkeep and ministry of St John's via our Just Giving page:

For St Mary’s  If you ordinarily make your financial contributions in church but, in the present circumstances, wish to contribute by cheque then please make your cheque payable to St Mary’s Bexley PCC and send it c/o C. Lee 11 Holmesdale Road, Bexleyheath, DA7 4TJ. Your continued support is very much appreciated.

St Barnabas has received a letter from the Homestart (North West Kent) charity thanking us for our continued generosity and particularly our financial contribution of £753 towards their work with families under pressure.


Prayer Ministry

St Barnabas has a ‘Prayer Chain’. Prayer requests from the congregation and the parish are made to Liz Montague who monitors them and sends out requests on email to a group of ‘Pray-ers’ who have committed to pray regularly for those requesting prayer. The group meet from time to time for mutual support in their work. This scheme has operated for ten years and is a real source of spiritual comfort to many.

Enquiries, contact Liz Montague on 01322 310846

St James North Cray has just set up a similar scheme. (see below)

St James North Cray. David Stevens, after some helpful discussions with Liz at St Barnabas has initiated the Prayer Wheel Scheme, which operates in a similar way to the Prayer Chain. David has also designed some prayer request cards, which will be placed in the church as soon as we are allowed back into the building. Contact David Stevens on 0208 300 0867


Each week the musicians at St James North Cray offer links to a selection of songs and music for us to enjoy. These can be found on our website


St John’s Sermons are posted each Sunday at  Social Media - engage with us via Facebook (/stjohnsbexley), Twitter (@stjohnsbexley) and Instagram (@stjohnsbexley)

St Mary’s We have had a letter of thanks from Christian Aid following a donation of £182.

David Knight’s  funeral is on Wednesday 24th February at 2.30 p.m. at St. Peter's Church in Bexhill, followed by committal at Eastbourne Crematorium. Please remember Joyce and family in your prayers at this time.

The latest 200 Club winners are. January - Janet Maskell, Norman Pearson, Joan Avery. February-  Margaret Chandler, Geraldine Tilley, Christine Lee. 200 Club is looking for new members/ renewal of membership Contact Ann Whatson 01322 526869 

Clive and Chris will be hosting a Zoom afternoon tea at 3.00 pm on Saturday 20th February. If you would like ot join this for a chat and cuppa please let Chris know contact  



Team Rector: Rev’d Ren Harding              01322 528923     07836 644782

Associate Priest: Rev’d Sue Twynam 01322 559501     07952 468127

Team Vicar: Rev’d Edward Barlow       01322 521786    

Team Vicar: Rev’d Clive Wood                   01322 270942     07982 392809

Team Curate: Rev’d Matt Hodder                                            07889 873125


              Songs for Zoom Worship – Sunday 14th February at 10.00 am.




King of kings, Majesty
God of Heaven living in me
Gentle Saviour, closest friend
Strong Deliverer, beginning and end
All within me falls at Your throne

Your Majesty, I can but bow
I lay my all before You now
In royal robes I don't deserve
I live to serve Your Majesty

Earth and Heaven worship You
Love eternal, Faithful and True
Who bought the nations, ransomed souls
Brought this sinner near to Your throne
All within me cries out in praise.


Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence
From the shadows into your radiance
By the blood I may enter your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me, shine on me


As we gaze on your kingly brightness,

so our faces display your likeness,

ever changing from glory to glory;

mirrored here may our lives tell your story.

Shine on me. Shine on me.



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Page last updated: 12th February 2021 11:16 PM