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Parkgate & Neston United Reformed Church

About Us What's On

Welcome

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.

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Our Minister

Revd. Hilary Smith

Our Minister, Revd Hilary Smith

News Bulletin

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 also following together, virtually, 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 on enquiries@parkgateandnestonurc.org.uk

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!


Sunday 29th November 2020 – Morning Worship prepared by Rev Hilary Smith

Call to worship

From the words of the hymn by Charles Wesley: Lo, he comes with clouds descending, once for favoured sinners slain; thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train. Alleluia, alleluia, Christ appears on earth to reign.

Gathered here today, we light a candle of hope, knowing that in dark times there is always a light that can be lit. Let us, people in dusk and dawn, light the light of vigilance, knowing that God is always calling us to justice, mercy and humility – at this time of year, and always. Amen


Gathering Prayer

We come before our loving God, sometimes aware, and sometimes not aware. Sometimes aware of our need, sometimes ignoring others’ needs. You wait for us, O God, and as you wait, you call us to wait for you too. As we gather together now, may we remember how you have helped us – in the kindness of a stranger, in the comfort of a friend, in the call for justice, in the shout for mercy. And make us, who wait for you, approach you and each other with new vigilance, and with new hope. Amen


Lords Prayer

Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here;
Come bow before him now with reverence and fear.
In Him no sin is found. We stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here.

Be still for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.
He burns with holy fire - with splendour He is crowned!
How awesome is the sight, our radiant King of Light,
Be still for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.
He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister His grace.
No work too hard for Him, in faith receive from Him,
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.


Reading: Mark 13: 24-37

But in those days, following that distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars shall fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you will know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away; He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!


Reflection

Our reading today was the Little Apocalypse, a prophecy about good overcoming evil, particularly in the face of widespread destruction and disaster; of the people being swept up helplessly in some cataclysmic event that is way beyond their control.

Advent is the start of the Christian year, unlike our secular calendars that see December as the end, and like Easter, which is a moveable feast, I find something comforting in the way we as Christians don’t always conform to the rules of the world, but to the rules of faith.

As the nights get darker, so we recognise that this is the time to think of new beginnings, light and hope.

At this Advent time in 2020, we need these thoughts more than ever, as we have lived through what has seemed to the world the equivalent of stars falling from the sky, and heavenly bodies being shaken; as families and communities and whole countries have felt the shocks and aftershocks of the coronavirus.

And again, more than ever, we need that message of being on guard, being alert, not being caught sleeping on our watch, and we need that message of always being ready to shed a bit of kindness and light and hope into the world -

because we don’t know where this virus is, and even if we don’t suffer from its symptoms, we don’t know where down the line we could pass it on, to someone who is left very ill or who dies from it…

the call to constant vigilance so that we can do the Lord’s work means something very specific just now.

But this reading is also about the Second Coming – the return in awe and wonder of Christ, final judgements, and eternal peace for the righteous – Jesus will judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom shall have no end – a time after which, the waiting will be over.

In the meantime, we wait.

We wait for global events, like this vaccine, to defeat the sickness.

We wait to see what the new administration in the US will look like.

And individually, we wait to see when life will get back to normal, our youngsters wait for decisions about their education, many people wait for the result of tests, for medical procedures, for financial news, for when they can see their families again.

We are blessed with faith, that tells us that even within that message of a Second Coming, we have Jesus as our guide, with us in the waiting.

In the words of the Johnny Mathis song, “When a child is born,” the world is waiting, waiting for the birth of a child.” Every new birth is a sign of hope that the future will be better, and even as the world is engulfed in apocalyptic events, we remain on guard, looking to the future, hopeful and ready to do the work of Christ and to be light in the darkness. Amen


Hymn

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess him King of glory now.
Tis the father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

Humbled for a season, to receive a Name
From the lips of sinners unto whom he came,
He became a witness, faithful to the last,
And returned victorious when from death he passed.

In your hearts enthrone him; there let him make new
All that is not holy, all that is not true.
He is God the Saviour, he is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshipped, trusted and adored.

When this same Lord Jesus shall appear again
In his Father’s glory, there with him to reign,
Then may we adore him, all before him bow,
As our hearts confess him King of glory now.


Blessing

Yea, Amen, let all adore thee; high on thine eternal throne. Saviour, take the power and glory, Claim the Kingdom for thine own. Alleluia, alleluia! Thou shalt reign, and thou alone. Lord we receive your blessing, we have been renewed in the name of the one who is love. Even in the darkest night, even when there is only one small candle lit, your power and love restore us. Let your light shine on us as we go on with our lives, so that we may be warmed and strengthened to light your light all around. Amen

TOY SERVICE

Historically our Toy Service is the first weekend in December, so why should this year be any different!! We will open the church for an hour on Saturday 5th December, from 11am 'til 12 noon when you are invited to bring toys, gifts or items for the local Food Bank. You are also welcome to drop off a monetary donation for our nominated Christmas charity - to be chosen at our Church meeting on Sunday. We will discuss on Sunday where to distribute the toys and gifts. The Food Bank are in particular need of: Tinned meat/fish; tinned vegetables; tinned potatoes; tinned tomatoes; tinned soup; instant pasta; pasta sauce; instant mashed potato; tinned custard; tinned custard; biscuits; UHT milk; long life juice and instant coffee Thank you for your continued support of those in need in our local community

Why not come and join us?

Why not come and join us for one of our services - you will be very welcome and we look forward to meeting you.

Service Times

Sunday Worship

11:00am

Family service and Junior Church - Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month.

We offer creche facilities, and junior church activities for school age children.

6:30pm

Evening Service (except August) - Holy Communion on the third Sunday of the month.

Midweek Worship

8:00pm - 9:30pm

Thursday evenings - Praise and Fellowship in the Community Hall Foyer.

Our church and hall are disability-friendly with designated parking spaces, ramp access, and accessible toilet.

Visit Us

Parkgate & Neston URC
Moorside Lane, Parkgate
Cheshire
CH64 6UZ

Parkgate & Neston URC Map showing location of the church