Worship for Sunday 19th May 2024, by Rev. Ken Stokes


Call to worship

When the night was over, morning came.
When the spring was over, summer came. 
When Jesus left, the Spirit came.
So sing with joy,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia,
and hear the language of God’s love.

Hymn Singing the Faith 99
“All creatures of our God and King”

1  All creatures of our God and King,
     lift up your voice and with us sing,
    alleluia, alleluia!
    O burning sun with golden beam,
    and silver moon with softer gleam:
               O praise him, O praise him,
               alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2   O rushing wind that is so strong,
      and clouds that sail in heaven along,
     O praise him, alleluia!
     O rising morn, in praise rejoice;
     and lights of evening, find a voice:

3  O flowing water, pure and clear,
     make music for your Lord to hear,
     sing ‘Praise him, alleluia!’
     O fire, so masterful and bright,
     giving to all both warmth and light:

4  Dear mother earth, who day by day
     unfolds rich blessings on our way,
     O praise him, alleluia!
     The flowers and fruits that bloom and grow,
     let them his glory also show:

5  And all who are of tender heart
     forgiving others, take your part,
     sing, ‘Praise him, alleluia!’
     All who long pain and sorrow bear,
     praise God, and on him cast your care:

6  And now, most kind and gentle death,
     waiting to hush our fading breath,
     O praise him, alleluia!
     You homeward lead the child of God,
     and Christ the Lord the way has trod:

7  Let all things their creator bless,
     and worship him in humbleness;
     O praise him, alleluia!
     Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
     and praise the Spirit, Three in One:

St Francis of Assisi (1182–1226)
translated William Henry Draper (1855–1933)  (alt.)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 99 .


We adore you, Lord Christ, and we bless you,
for you did not leave your disciples to manage on their own, 
worried and confused, 
but sent your Holy Spirit to breathe life
and confidence and authority into their hearts. 
Come to our world today, 
transform it afresh, and fill our hearts 
with the power of your redeeming love. 

Collect Prayer for Pentecost

Almighty God who on the day of Pentecost sent your Holy Spirit on the disciples with the wind from heaven and with tongues of flame,

filling us with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:

send us out in the power of the same Spirit to witness to your truth

and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Hymn Singing the Faith 383
“Holy Spirit, gift bestower”

   1         Holy Spirit, gift bestower,
               breathe into our hearts today.
               Flowing water, dove that hovers,
               Holy Spirit, guide our way.
               Love inspirer, joy releaser,
               Spirit, take our fears away.
               Reconciler, peace restorer,
               move among us while we pray.

   2         Holy Spirit, Christ proclaimer,
               wisdom bringer, light our way.
               Fire that dances, wind that whispers,
               Holy Spirit, come today.
               Ease disturber, comfort bearer,
               move among us while we pray.
               Truth revealer, faith confirmer,
               rest within our hearts today.

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition

Words: © Church Hymnary Trust.  Administered by Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd <www.hymnsam.co.uk>

 Reading Acts Chapter 2, verses1-21

(1)  When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  (2)  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  (3)  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  (4)  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  (5)  Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.  (6)  And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.  (7)  Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  (8)  And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?  (9)  Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  (10)  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,  (11)  Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”  (12)  All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”  (13)  But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”  (14)  But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.  (15)  Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.  (16)  No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:  (17)  ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.  (18)  Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.  (19)  And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.  (20)  The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.  (21)  Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’


Years ago when I was a part-time University Chaplain I took my family to a University Open Day. One of the highlights of the outing was to go to see the the glass blower whose job is to meet the needs of the Chemistry department by making complicated tubes and amazing shaped beakers.

Glass is a very rigid and brittle material. It is only through heating the glass so that it becomes red hot that the glass becomes what appears to be a different substance fluid and malleable so that when my son was invited to blow into a glass tube he was able to  blow a bubble of glass. At normal temperature a glass tube would not move at all.Apply any significant pressure to it and it would simply break and shatter. Yet when it is heated up all sorts of wonderfully complex shapes are possible. When the heat of the Spirit is at work in people the normal rigidities that make it so hard for people  to change and grow are made fluid.

Ralph ran the choir. He hated modern songs and choruses with a passion. Though he was a gifted pianist and organist he hated them so much that he often would not play them very well. His playing seemed to send the message that he didn’t want anyone to pick them or ask him to play them.. When I rang with the hymns he’d usually say Oh no not that song or that hymn. His distaste was of the not over my dead body variety.

Anyway Ralph’s Church had organised a weekend away, and Ralph was asked to come to play for a singing group that wanted to learn new songs to sing in worship. He was the only pianist available so grudgingly he agreed. “I’ll play he said but don’t expect me to enjoy it”.

Yet there was something about the passion and commitment of the group that attracted him they were playful and laughed  a lot but in their own way they were just as serious about worship as Ralph and the choir were. Ralph  started to become less defensive and somewhere along the line the Spirit crept in

A few weeks later Ralph to everyone’s astonishment decided to accept the singing group’s invitation to be their regular pianist. You could practically see Ralph warming up and begin to be melted and moulded in a new way, the old rigidities no longer got in the way.

When he played on a Sunday there was a difference in the way he played. He had always played well technically but there was a new warmth and sympathy about the way he played the newer tunes. In fact he played them just as well with just as much joy as the old hymns and because of this worship came alive in a new way that it had not before.

A song to reflect onTom Read – From Ashes To Beauty

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord

Is on me now

To love, to speak, to heal, to preach

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord

Is on me now

Giving life


You turn ashes to beauty

Mourning to dancing

Anguish to songs of praise


Pour Your Spirit over me

Let Your love rain down

Would You take these hands of mine

And use me

Pour Your Spirit over me

Let Your love rain down

Would You take these feet of mine

And lead me


The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord Is on me now

To go, to free, to give, to feed

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord Is on me now

Spreading love


You lead me to the poor

That’s where You are

You lead me to the weak

That’s where You are

You lead me to the lost

That’s where You are

Lord I want to be

Where You are

Hymn StF 167 “Colours of day”

1  Colours of day dawn into the mind
     The sun has come up, the night is behind,
     Go down to the city, into the street,
     and let’s give the message to the people we meet

So light up the fire and let the flame burn,
open the door, let Jesus return.
Take seeds of his Spirit, let the fruit grow,
let the people of Jesus, let his love show. 

 2  Go on through the park, on into the town;
      the sun still shines on; it never goes down.
     The light of the world is risen again;
     the people of darkness are needing a friend.  

3  Open our eyes, look into the sky,
     the darkness has come, the sun came to die,
     The evening draws on, the sun disappears,
     but Jesus is living, his Spirit is near.                                                                         

Sue McClellan(b.1951), John Paculabo(b.1946) & Keith Rycroft (b.1949)       

Prayers of Intercession

God of wind and dove and fire,
speak freedom, peace and change 
over lands divided by war and by creed. We pray for the people of Gaza and the people of Ukraine and pray and hope for peace and justice

Holy Spirit bless us:
fill us with your passionate love

Speak welcome, encouragement and acceptance
over peoples excluded by racism and any form of discrimination.

Holy Spirit bless us:
fill us with your passionate love
Speak refreshment, assurance, and warmth 
over lives afflicted by exhaustion. We remember particularly those suffering with any form of chronic illness.

Holy Spirit bless us:
fill us with your passionate love
Speak integrity, humility and challenge 
to churches restricted by fear of the future
and anxieties induced by feeble finances.

Holy Spirit bless us:
fill us with your passionate love
Speak calm, gentleness and comfort 
over lives broken by grief and loss.

Holy Spirit bless us:
fill us with your passionate love
Speak power, anointing and healing over each one of us, that this Pentecost may be a new beginning, 
and a catalyst for change.

Holy Spirit bless us:
fill us with your passionate love. Amen.

Hymn StF 564
“O thou who camest from above”

   1                   O thou who camest from above
                              the pure celestial fire to impart,
                              kindle a flame of sacred love
                              on the mean altar of my heart!

   2                        There let it for thy glory burn
                              with inextinguishable blaze,
                              and trembling to its source return,
                              in humble prayer and fervent praise.

   3                        Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
                              to work, and speak, and think for thee;
                              still let me guard the holy fire,
                              and still stir up thy gift in me —

   4                        Ready for all thy perfect will,
                              my acts of faith and love repeat,
                              till death thy endless mercies seal,
                              and make the sacrifice complete.

Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 564 .

Blessing and dismissal

May the Spirit of Pentecost empower us.
May it help us to find our voice.
May it open our hearts to the riches of diversity.
And may it draw us closer to God 
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.