Bexley Team Ministry News for Sunday 31st January 2021

Bexley Team News

St Barnabas, Joydens Wood

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

   St Mary the Virgin, Bexley


    31st January 2021 Issue 46 The Presentation of Christ in the Temple /The Fourth Sunday of Epiphany


                                                    Team Services and Worship material in Lockdown

Saturday 30th January 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 31st January 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 31st January at 10.00 am                                                              Livestreamed Holy Communion

A livestreamed 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 31st  January                         Bexley Team Children’s Church

Here's the link for this week's Children's Church. We hope you enjoy it. 


A Daily Bible Passage and reflection is sent out to those who request in on email, or via a dedicated WhatsApp Group.  Please let Rev Ren know if you wish to be included in this.


Bible Readings           Malachi 3, 1-5 Hebrews 2, 14-18        Luke 2, 22-40


The Collect: Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Alternative Collect:  Lord Jesus Christ, light of the nations and glory of Israel make your home among us,

and present us pure and holy to your heavenly Father, your God, and our God.


Rev’d Matt writes-

I’m not very good at waiting!

I wouldn’t say that I was particularly impatient, but there’s something about waiting which seems so unproductive. It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? The wait for a parcel or a letter can be frustrating. The final five minutes of a football match when your team is winning are pretty unbearable. And then there’s the queue outside Tesco as we wait for others to finish their shopping before we’re allowed in. And now we’re all in this enormous figurative queue for our long awaited Covid vaccinations. Waiting is a part of everyday life, and I suspect rather than seeing it as annoying, I should be thinking about it in a different way. 

Today’s reading features somebody who had been waiting for a very long time. Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas.  Candlemas (or the Presentation of Christ in the Temple) marks the end of the season of Epiphany and the moment in the bible where Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for the Jewish purification rites. It’s a rare moment in scripture when we get to hear about a story that involves a young Jesus.  This was a perfectly normal thing to do for a 1st century Jewish family, much like registering a birth is commonplace nowadays. But something extraordinary happened whilst they were at the temple that day.

We meet Simeon, an elderly man who had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he met the Lord’s Messiah. Simeon felt the Holy Spirit prompting him to visit the temple that day. We can imagine him pacing the courts, watching carefully at each one who came and went, looking for the one that he had been waiting for so long to see.

I wonder if Simeon knew exactly what he was looking for? Perhaps he was expecting a baby or a young child? Maybe he thought the Messiah would come with a trumpet fanfare and much pomp. Whatever he expected, something about that young couple with their bouncing six week old baby must have caught his eye.

At last he sees Him. Simeon rushes over, grasps the child Jesus from their arms and proclaims: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’  (Luke 2:29-32)

His waiting was finally over. No more wishing and hoping. No more praying and pleading. Simeon had seen The One that would bring salvation to all people. He was now allowed to go in peace, for Simeon had been the first to recognise Jesus as the Messiah that He was.

So, what’s that got to do with queuing outside Tesco? Perhaps for Simeon, his long period of waiting was a way of bringing him closer to God. Each time he pondered the Messiah that he knew he was going to see, maybe it reminded him of God; of how God loved him and how He wouldn’t break His promises.

So the next time I’m queuing up outside the supermarket for a loaf of bread and a family size box of Chocolate Fingers, I’m going to remember dear Simeon and the promise that was made to him. I’m going to remember his delight at finally declaring ‘my eyes have seen your salvation’, and how waiting so very, very long had brought him closer to God each and every day of his life.


St. Mary’s Bexley- Revd David Knight

We were sorry to hear that Reverend David Knight died suddenly at home in Bexhill last Sunday. David was Vicar of St. Mary's from 1971- 1999, was instrumental in establishing St Barnabas, Joydens Wood, and is fondly remembered by our congregations and friends at other Bexley churches. Please remember Joyce and family in your prayers at this sad time. A card has been sent to Joyce on behalf of us all. The date and place of David's funeral will be announced when we have these. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.  


Lent for the Bexley Team

The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 17 February.  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 .  We will also aim to provide a paper copy of this for those who do not have access to the internet. The Clergy Team are currently looking at suitable material for a weekly group session online – and we will give you information about this shortly.


Deanery Confirmations will be on Sunday 18 April 2021 at 6.30pm at Holy Redeemer, Lamorbey with Bishop James. Please speak with any of the Team clergy if you are interested in being confirmed.


St John’s: Giving to St John's: You can give financially to the continuing upkeep and ministry of St John's via our Just Giving page: Sermons are posted each Sunday at  Social Media - engage with us via Facebook (/stjohnsbexley), Twitter (@stjohnsbexley) and Instagram (@stjohnsbexley )

St James, North Cray: 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




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 31st January at 10am.



Purify my heart


Purify my heart,
let me be as gold and precious silver.
Purify my heart,
let me be as gold, pure gold.

Refiner’s fire,
my heart’s one desire
is to be holy;
set apart for you, Lord.
I choose to be holy;
set apart for you, my master,
ready to do your will.

Purify my heart,
cleanse me from within and make me holy.
Purify my heart,
cleanse me from my sin, deep within.


Come, thou long expected Jesus


Come, thou long expected Jesus
Born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in thee


Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart


Born thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever
Now thy gracious kingdom bring


By thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne

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Page last updated: 28th January 2021 10:25 PM