10th March 2019

10th March 2019

Welcome to the United Benefice of St. Helen,

St. Mary and St. John the Baptist

It’s great to gather together as the Body of Christ in this beautiful part of Derbyshire. Though we have differences, we have one Lord, one Faith and one Passion for the Gospel. May we spend time today praying together and sharing fellowship.

All are welcome to take part fully in our services. If this is a Service of Holy Communion, you are very welcome to receive Holy Communion at the appropriate time.

(Gluten-free wafers are available; just ask anyone leading the communion.)


Our Worship Today, Sun.10th March, Lent One

11 a.m.         A United Benefice Service at St. Helen’s         with Bishop Jan


Regular Midweek Services

Tuesday  –   Morning Prayer at St. Helen’s,  9.30 a.m.

Thursday –  Morning Prayer at St. John’s,  9.30 a.m.

 Prayer Group

Thurs. 14th   Prayer Meeting, 14 Park Avenue, 9.30 a.m.    New people are always very welcome.


 Our United Benefice Service Today, with Jan, Bishop of Repton

Today is a very special day for our Benefice. It’s great for us to begin Lent – the season when we repent and turn back to God – as one, united congregation. Maybe a simple question for us all to consider would be this – ‘What is it that is blocking or limiting my relationship with God’?

Today we celebrate together, today we are aware that Christ is with us, in the Word and in the Sacrament. Jesus calls us to wholeness and newness of life.  So, a welcome to one and all. And – on this special occasion – a warm welcome to Bishop Jan.


Our United Benefice Service for Next Sun.17th March

  9 a.m.       Holy Communion at St. John’s

11 a.m.       Holy Communion at St. Helen’s


Family Service, St. Mary’s, Next Sun. 17th March,      10 a.m.

Since today we are celebrating our Joint Service with Bishop Jan, St. Mary’s will do a special Family Service next Sunday, on the theme of ‘Everyone is very welcome’.                                                  Other services will be as normal for the third Sunday of the month.

For our Prayers:

Robert & Margaret Pearse & family, the Hopper family, the Parnell family, Tony & Marie Thrower, Stan Codd, Andrew Brown, Steven Gill, Ruth Smith, Werner Weber, Janet Monk, Janet Brindley, Pam Creasey, Donna Watson, Katie Reade, Stephen Monk, Audrey and Geoff Foster, John and Marian Booth, Lindsey Wilson.

Let us pray for anyone in our United Benefice who has health concerns at this time, whether physical or mental.

(Please let Pauline know if you would like someone’s name on the list, also if one can be removed. For St. Mary’s, please pass names to David Gadsby , for St. John’s to Marion Bowler.

Weekly Lenten Groups

In Lent the church invites us to pray more, to give to the poor, to turn back to God. In other words, as the liturgy says, ‘Repent and believe the Good News’. We’ll be running a collection during Lent to help support Christians who suffer persecution.

During this time there will be weekly groups to pray and reflect together. These are as follows:

Every Monday at Dale Road Methodist Church, 7.30 p.m.

Every Tuesday at St. Helen’s, 10.15 a.m.

Every Friday at St. Mary’s, 10 a.m. (Parish Room)


The Importance of our Prayer

A great act of love within our local churches is to pray for people in need. These are the groups I ask you to keep in your prayers during the coming weeks:

Those preparing to be baptised in our churches.

Those preparing to get married

Those preparing to say their final goodbye to a loved one who has died.

Those who are chronically, terminally or acutely ill at this time.

Please remember also:

The Deanery Chapter (which meets tomorrow)

Our Lenten Course with the Methodists and the Wesleyans.


Churchtown School Prayer Meeting, Tomorrow, 3.30 p.m.   

Everyone is most welcome to this Prayer Meeting at Churchtown School on Monday, 11th March. Please do support if you can.

Monday Munchers, Tomorrow

Salt Group meets tomorrow, Mon. 11th March. Terrace Tea Rooms, 11.45 for 12 noon.                      (Pepper Group meets on 18th)


A.P.C.M. St. Mary’s and St. Helen’s, Sun. 7th April, South Darley Village Hall, 11.15 a.m.

If there are any motions,or agenda items you would like to put before this Joint Annual Parochial Church Meeting, please give to Penny Dakin, no later than Friday 22nd March. This is also the deadline for nomination forms.

Everyone is welcome to attend the A.P.C.M. but please remember that only those on the Church Electoral Roll are allowed to speak and to vote.*

Nomination forms for Churchwardens / Coordinators, Deanery Synod Representatives and P.C.C. members are at the back of both churches.

The Rector, Churchwardens, Coordinators and Deanery Synod members are automatically members of the P.C.C. Up to 5 other P.C.C. members (Deanery Synod representatives are included within this 5) need to be elected for each church. This gives us a total of 15, with each church having 7 representatives.

(*The Electoral Roll of the church is a list of church members.    To be on the roll you must be over 16 years of age, a baptised member of the Church of England and either resident in the parish or have been a regular worshipper at the church for 6 months prior to enrolment.)


 A Thought

It  can seem old fashioned to use words like Fasting or Lenten Devotions. The English word ‘Fast’, which means voluntary forgoing food, is an interesting one. In the old Germanic, the root word means to ‘Hold Fast’. This can mean getting a grip on ourselves or exercising self-control.

Self-control is important though we all tend to have problems with it. Jesus has shown us how important it is to have self-discipline. He taught us that we do not live ‘by bread alone’ but by faith, by love, and by obedience to God’s commandments. Though of course we also need to live occasionally by ‘bread’!

Let’s celebrate the grace and the forgiveness of God. Let’s share with one another fellowship and love.

As we ‘hold fast’ we should remember that it is Jesus who holds us when we can no longer stand. Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He walks with us and invites us into a life-giving relationship. He calls us to invite other people to know the Lord.

This Lent, may we turn back to God. May we trust in His love and His peace. I wish you a Happy Lent and want you to know that you are loved by God.

Stephen Monk

A Living Parable

Do you ever notice that people often describe themselves? For example, ‘I’m English, not British.’ ‘I’m Anglican, so I’m not Methodist.’ ‘I’m conservative, so I’m not liberal.’ And so on.                                                                                         Today we have a great parable in the use of modern and traditional music. A mixture of the organ and the Worship Group. So often we think that we must live in narrow parameters. But I think one of the blessings of our United Benefice is that we have a great deal of diversity, we have different views and different traditions. But, we must never take this blessing for granted.

During Lent, let us try to develop these gifts:- mutual respect; humility; openness, hospitality, active communication (i.e. really listening to what other people are saying).                                                                                                        We mustn’t take for granted the different gifts which have been given to all of us by God. There are times when we’re all tempted to take ourselves, and our own thoughts, too seriously. God has blessed us with many and varied gifts.

So, let’s appreciate these gifts. And remember:

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!!’


Thoughts on Forgiveness

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’

(Martin Luther King, Jr.)

‘Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.’

(H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)

‘Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.’

(Bruce Lee)

‘Because forgiveness is like this:- a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you’ve closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart.’                                                               (Desmond Tutu)


 A Lenten Prayer

The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, Lord, in a special way, a time to pray, to fast, and thus to follow you on your way to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death.

I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me to become deaf to these voices and more attentive to your voice, which calls me to choose the narrow road to life.

I know that Lent is going to be a very hard time for me. The choice for your way has to be made every moment of my life. I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions. There are not times or places without choices. And I know how deeply I resist choosing you.

Please, Lord, be with me at every moment and in every place. Give me the strength and the courage to live this season faithfully, so that, when Easter comes, I will be able to taste with joy the new life that you have prepared for me. Amen.

Psalm 91.1-2, 9-16

1             Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides under the shadow of the Almighty,

2             Shall say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my stronghold,
my God, in whom I put my trust.’

9             Because you have made the Lord your refuge
and the Most High your stronghold,

10            There shall no evil happen to you,
neither shall any plague come near your tent.

11            For he shall give his angels charge over you,
to keep you in all your ways.

12            They shall bear you in their hands,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13            You shall tread upon the lion and adder;
the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14            Because they have set their love upon me,
therefore will I deliver them;
I will lift them up, because they know my name.

15            They will call upon me and I will answer them;
I am with them in trouble,
I will deliver them and bring them to honour.

16            With long life will I satisfy them
and show them my salvation.