We are a friendly Christian church, based in the small town of
Neston, Wirral, Cheshire, midway between Liverpool and Chester.
Part of the United Reformed Church, we meet on Sundays for morning and evening worship and other church groups and activities take place during the week.
Revd. Hilary Smith
In common with other UK churches our buildings are currently closed for services and
other activities. But while our buildings are closed - the church congregation
is not! And in the meantime our minister, elders and members are keeping in touch
with each other, and each Sunday we are meeting for worship via the medium of Zoom,
following a service which is circulated each week.
This week’s service is added below and we invite you to
join us as we share this together in our own homes on Sunday mornings. If you would like
to receive future services, please contact us by email
We are part of the United Reformed Church and you may also like to follow the URC Daily Devotions which you can access through this link - https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ - or on the United Reformed Church Facebook page. The URC page also carries a weekly service in the form of a podcast.
We hope and pray that it will not be too long before we can welcome friends old and new back to regular services in our church, and we are looking forward to seeing you once again!
We join together now in our worship, and ask God to open our hearts and give us joy, because we know that we are loved, that Jesus died for us, that we are blessed because he lives in our hearts. Amen
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
Give me joy in my heart I pray
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
Keep me praising till the break of day.
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings!
hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!
Give me peace in my heart, keep me loving….
Give me love in my heart, keep me serving….
Great and wonderful God, we come into your presence with joy and wonder, celebrating your goodness, acknowledging your love.
We come conscious of our sinfulness, but rejoicing in your mercy, all too aware of our unworthiness, yet celebrating your awesome forgiveness.
We seek to worship you, not just for these few moments or in this place, or in one small part of our lives, but in all our actions, words and deeds, through the people we are and the lives we lead.
For all the ways we have failed to live as your people, forgive us.
Lead us closer to you and teach us your will, so that what we say with our lips we may truly practise in our lives, to the glory of your name.
Receive our worship now, and help us to serve you always.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. “But not during the Feast”, they said, “or the people may riot.”
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
One of the losses we’ve experienced this past year has been that of ritual – of all getting together to observe dates and practices, like shared Communion, mourning at funerals, and sitting before the Cross on Good Friday to meditate and pray.
Since for ever, humankind has needed ritual to mark life events, and they mean a lot – think of the act of coronation of the Queen, the state openings of parliament, the knighting of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the yearly observance of Remembrance Sunday.
These rituals speak of the value of being in the moment, as we connect to God and each other in a special way – and we’ve missed so many of them because of the Pandemic.
When the woman with the alabaster jar full of costly perfume performed this ritual for Jesus, she was doing something incredibly important – marking a massive event in the history of the world.
Did she understand the significance? Do any of us understand the significance of actions that we undertake, often without thinking about them? I remember immediately after the Hillsborough disaster, many people I knew made a point of going to Anfield to pay tribute. Sometimes, you just have to do something.
The woman who anointed Jesus knew something of the moment that was in front of her at that time and in that place, and made the most of it, even at great cost. I love that Jesus stuck up for her when the people taunted. He spoke of beauty, of sweet perfume, and of remembrance, and he understood.
This is a story about maybe not understanding the full implications of why you have to do something, but it’s good to do what you can. Amen.
Loving God, give us grace and strength to do what we can in this troubled world, to honour you and to build up your people. Lead us where you need us to go, and give us generous and compassionate hearts to make a difference in the world around us. We pray your light and love be known to all who are finding life difficult, those who feel lost and alone, anxious or unwell, fearful, or are bereaved. Grant courage to us when we feel weak, and help us to know that through Christ we can accomplish our daily tasks. We pray in his name. Amen.
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died
My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ my God All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down, Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe, spreads o’er his body on the tree, Then I am dead to all the globe, and all the glove is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
And now we approach the Lord’s Table as we open our hearts and consider the great sacrifice he made for humankind; we remember that Jesus was born of Mary, he lived our common life on earth; he suffered and died for us. On the third day God raised him from the dead, and he is always present with us through the Holy Spirit. In his presence and in the company of all the people of God, past, present, and to come, we celebrate the supper of our Lord.
Jesus said, Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Whoever comes to me, I will not turn away.
And now let us offer ourselves to God in prayer.
Almighty and most merciful God, you gave the gift of your son to the world. He sought the unloved and the lost, and welcomed all who came to him. He taught us lessons of forgiveness; he brought us healing for our sickness, and showed us how to live according to your will. For this he was rejected, for this he endured grief and sorrow. For this he gave himself up to death upon the cross.
But you broke the power of sin and death and raised him to the heights, that through the blood of his cross and by the gift of the Holy Spirit, everything in earth and heaven might be reconciled to you.
Lord, we bring ourselves to you, we for whom your beloved son gave his life, and ask that by your grace we may be instruments of your peace here on earth. Amen.
And as we come to share in this Communion meal, we remember the words of the institution of this sacrament as they were given to us by St. Paul. Paul said, I received from the Lord that which I give unto you, that the Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body which is broken for you. Do hits in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
And in order that we should fulfil the Lord’s command and obey his will, as Jesus did, we give thanks to the Lord for his gifts to us. Let us pray:
Lord, we praise you that we are here today, around the table of Jesus. We have heard the good news of your love, we rejoice in the gift of your son for us, we join with your people down the ages who have kept the faith in thought, word and deed, who worshipped you as we do now in remembrance and grateful thanks for all that you have done in lifting the burden of sin from us through the precious blood of your dear son.
Loving God, send your Holy Spirit upon this bread and wine, and upon your people, that Christ may be with us ,and that we may be made ready to live for you and to do what you ask of us, today and every day to come. We give thanks for these gifts of bread and wine, we give thanks for your Word, we give thanks for all we have in Jesus. We ask you to bless this bread and this wine, our gifts and our lives, and to you, Father, blessed be your holy name forever, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take, eat, said Jesus, this is my body, broken for you; do this in remembrance of me. (Serve bread)
After supper, Jesus took the cup, saying, “This is my blood, shed for you for the remission of sins.” Drink this wine, it is the cup of blessing (Serve wine)
Thanks be to God for this gift beyond words. Let us pray.
Loving God, you have fed us generously at this table, as we have remembered Jesus and rejoiced that he is with us today. We are ready now to follow him, and to be your people in the world. May your Holy Spirit show us the way, make us holy and fill us with love. Amen.
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, till moons shall wax and wane no more.
For him shall endless prayer be made, and praises throng to crown his head; His name like sweet perfume shall rise with every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue dwell on his love with sweetest song; And infant voices shall proclaim their early blessings on his name.
Blessings abound where’er he reigns; the prisoners leap to lose their chains The weary find eternal rest, and all who suffer want are blest.
Let every creature rise and bring peculiar honours to our King; Angels descend with songs again, and earth repeat the loud Amen.
Whoever you are, wherever you go, whatever your strengths, whatever your weaknesses, God will be with you, to hold, to heal, to guide and to bless. And so we go in peace, assured of his love. Amen.
Why not come and join us for one of our services - you will be very welcome and we look forward to meeting you.