Bexley Team Ministry News for Sunday 21st February 2021

Bexley Team News

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

   St Mary the Virgin, Bexley


21st February 2021 Issue 49                                                                    The First Sunday of Lent


                                      Team Services and Worship material in Lockdown


Saturday 20th 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 21st 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 any 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.

There will be no livestreamed communion from St John’s this week, but from 11am on Sunday 21st  February you can access a Eucharist from Rochester Cathedral on


Sunday 21st February                                                                                                  Bexley Team Children’s Church


Throughout Lent we're going to be thinking a bit about some of the different

 parts of God's character. This week we're learning all about the promises that

 God makes. This is fun for the young and the young at heart, so sit back and

 enjoy! Here is the link for this week's  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  Genesis 9, 8-17  1 Peter 3, 18-22  Mark 1, 9-15 


The Collect: Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are, yet without sin: give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit; and, as you know our weakness, so may we know your power to save; 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 Additional Collect: Heavenly Father, your son battled with the powers of darkness, and grew closer to you in the desert: help us to use these days to grow in wisdom and prayer that we may witness to your saving love in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev’d Clive writes-

One has to love the brevity and punchiness of the Gospel of Mark. He just gets on with it! In the reading set for today, in just 7 verses, Mark covers the start of Jesus’ ministry, his baptism by John in the Jordan, his forty days in the wilderness and the start of the preaching ministry in Galilee as he ‘proclaimed the good news of God’ (v14b). The other gospel readings set in the lectionary cycle, by contrast, give more detail about Jesus’ desert sojourn but omit what happened before and after.

And the wider context beyond our current circumstances is important! If we just stare into the abyss of current difficulties, we can so easily forget that we have a past and have a future and there may well be a texture to life which at least tells us that things aren’t perpetually hard. ‘Remember’ is such an important word in the Christian life. Remember what God had done in the past, remember that you are loved by him, his precious child, remember that with him you have a future and a hope.

In the desert, Jesus would have had time to reflect on the words spoken over him by the Father ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased (Mark 1 v11b) How they must have strengthened him as he hungered and was tempted by the devil. And the desert experience is the springboard into his ministry in Galilee and beyond. An experience that was regularly refreshed as he found time to be alone with his heavenly Father. The desert experience is not there simply to be endured, as though it has nothing to teach us. Nor is it hopefully a perpetual fact (if it seems to be, do speak to someone about that). Mark can help us think about happier experiences before the desert and of good things arising from it. 


Lent for the Bexley Team

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

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. If you wish to join this via a Zoom link here are the details- Topic: Funeral for Canon David Knight Time: Feb 24, 2021 14:30 London Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 814 5093 5306 Passcode: 059908. Please remember Joyce and family in your prayers at this time.





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 21st  February at 10.00 am.



As the deer pants for the water,
so my soul longs after you.
You alone are my heart's desire,
and I long to worship you.

You alone are my strength, my shield,
to you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart's desire,
and I long to worship you.


I want you more than gold or silver,
only you can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy giver,
and the apple of my eye.

You're my friend and you are my brother,
even though you are a king.
I want you more than any other,
so much more than anything.



After his talk today David Stevens will sing…

I love you Lord and I lift my voice

To worship you O my soul rejoice

Take joy my King in what you hear.

May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.


This can also be viewed on





Forty days and forty nights
you were fasting in the wild;
forty days and forty nights,
tempted still, yet unbeguiled.

Sunbeams scorching all the day,

chilly dew-drops nightly shed,

prowling beasts about your way,

stones your pillow, earth your bed.


Let us your endurance share,
and from earthly greed abstain,
with you vigilant in prayer,
with you strong  to suffer pain.

Then if evil on us press,

flesh or spirit to assail,

Victor in the wilderness

Help us not to swerve or fail.

So shall peace divine be ours:
holy gladness pure and true;

come to us angelic powers,
such as ministered to you.

Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
ever constant by your side,
that with you we may appear
at th’eternal Eastertide.

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Page last updated: 18th February 2021 8:51 PM