Bexley Team Ministry News for Sunday 28th February 2021

Bexley Team News

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood 

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

   St Mary the Virgin, Bexley


28th February 2021 Issue 50                                                                 The Second Sunday of Lent


Team Services and Worship material in Lockdown


Saturday 27th 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 28th 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 are being 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 28th 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. Monday 1st March is St. David’s Day and this week we will be learning more about St. David.

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 17, 1-7, 15-16            Romans 4, 13-25         Mark 8, 31-38 


The Collect:  Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ , who is alive and reigns with you,  in the unity of  the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Additional Collect: Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rev’d Edward  writes-

A few years ago I was taken on a tour of a Madrassah in Blackburn during the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan. In a Q&A with a class of thirteen and fourteen year olds I was asked if Christians observed any periods of fasting.

So I told them about Lent, but with the caveat that simply giving up an indulgence for six weeks (and maybe even taking off Sundays and Saints Days) seemed quite frankly amateurish compared to the intensity of the Islamic Fasting disciplines.

Then I was asked what I’d given up for Lent this year and I said I’d given up Social Media. Jaws dropped.

These boys were in their early teens and abstaining from food and liquid from Sunrise to Sunset through the long hot days of a Summer heat wave –but the notion of going for six weeks without Facebook was something else altogether!

In choosing what to give up for Lent each year we may often choose the more traditional vices: Alcohol, tobacco, chocolate, for example – all addictive substances which, while giving pleasure also have the potential to cause harm if taken to excess over a fine line of responsibility – but where does are relationship with technology, and particularly Social Media fit into this?

To aid my personal discipline this Lent, I’ve been taking up the challenge set by science journalist Catherine Price in her book How To Break Up With Your Phone, beginning with the premise that most smartphone and tablet users have unhealthily intense relationships with our devices, which are detrimental to mental, social and  physical health – If the book was written from a religious perspective, no doubt there’d be a severe spiritual impact as well. The book offers guidance, advice and exercises on moderating and gradually adjusting our behaviours in order to free ourselves from the controlling hold of these rectangular plastic tyrants!

Most of us will hear something like this and respond with horror at the thought of life without these ‘essential’ devices: but if anything, this is a sign of how addicted we are, trying to justify or excuse our dependence.

Imagine how our relationships with our friends would be if we actually remembered their birthdays and sent them a card, rather than waiting for Facebook to remind us to drop them a comment? Or if we focussed our attention at dinner on those who we’re dining with, rather than those people on Instagram whose lives really won’t be improved by a photo of what we’re about to eat? If we could actually fight for a cause, rather than retweeting a few people whose views we happen to agree with?

I recently heard of a family member who’d been given an earful by their boss for not responding to a work-related WhatsApp message whilst they were on leave. How many of us find our smartphones are blurring our work/life balance? We may feel compelled to respond to work emails out of our contracted hours – maybe even in the middle of the night! Simply because the little red notification light tells us they’re there. If our employer isn’t paying for our phone package, why should we use our mobiles for work purposes? If our employer is providing our devices, why should we be using them outside of our allocated working hours?

Sometimes we’ll even go as far as to use our phone-checking behaviour to validate our insecurities: Convincing ourselves that we’re so important that people need to contact us all the time... It’s then through disconnecting from these channels that we realise that maybe this wasn’t the case after all -and that’s where penitence and humility kick in.

I’m of the view that if we’re to give something up for Lent, we shouldn’t give ourselves an easy ride – make it something we’ll struggle to deprive ourselves of: It’s then that we come to shake the grip of one more idol so we may edge that little bit closer to resting our trust in divine, rather than earthly things.


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 have aimed to provide a paper copy of this for those who do not have access to the internet. WE STILL HAVE A FEW OF THESE – CONTACT REN IF YOU WOULD LIKE ONE.


Weekly Lent Course – Women in the Shadows  

Each week covers a different form of exploitation through a short video followed by a guided bible study, reflections and prayers. Please download the course material, watch the video and engage with the material at a time which is convenient to you. We will then all come together on Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm to discuss the issues it raises for us. Zoom login details have been circulated.

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 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.

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


Gent’s Pub Lunch at the Horse and Zoom.  For an invitation to the next of these 12.15 pm on 3rd March please contact Andrew Melling at Some light relief on Budget Day!


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.


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 - 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 To see the last part of David Knight’s funeral service at Eastbourne Crematorium use the following link which will be available for 7 days from 24th February.
Login / Order ID: 79145 Password: pbrknzzg

Thanks go to Vicky Poynton for being our DBS Lead Recruiter for some years. Vicky has now stood down from this role. If this is something you might like to take up please contact Clive for further information.



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 28th   February at 10.00 am.



Take up your cross, the Saviour said,
if you would my disciple be;
take up your cross with willing heart,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up your cross; let not its weight
fill your weak spirit with alarm;
Christ’s strength shall bear your spirit up
and brace your heart and nerve your arm.

Take up your cross, then, in Christ’s strength,
and calmly every danger brave:
it guides you to abundant life
and leads to victory o’er the grave.

We rise again from ashes,
from the good we've failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
to create ourselves anew.
If all our world is ashes,
then must our lives be true,
An offering of ashes,
An offering to You. --> -->

We offer You our failures,
we offer You attempts;
The gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Give our stumblings direction,
give our visions wider view,
An offering of ashes,
An offering to You. --> -->

Then rise again from ashes,
let healing come to pain;
Though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain.
The rain we'll use for growing,
and create the world anew,
From an offering of ashes,
An offering to You. --> -->

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Page last updated: 27th February 2021 2:21 PM