Morning Praise – Fourth Sunday of Easter, 3 May 2020



Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.



Hear the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John.
Glory to you O Lord.

Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit.  The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’  Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

This is the Gospel of the Lord,
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON – Written by Rev’d Graham Kirk-Spriggs



Dear Lord, we thank you for all the things around us, the flowers in the garden, the birds and animals going about their days with joy and pleasure. It brings us comfort. On reading our gospel, today it is about being a good shepherd in understanding that everyone before God is welcome. Our sense of fellowship and belief empowers us that we can help every person in need.

Father, we pray that you may help all those in government make the right choices for our country, to lift us out of this pandemic and go forward stronger together and united. We also pray for our Queen and all of the Royal household to help with kindness and understanding, now and in the future.  Dear Lord, we also give thanks for the people who are running our hospitals, care homes and all other institutions that are working hard for us as a nation, and indeed all over the world. We pray that a solution is found soon to lift us all out of this pandemic.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


It is comforting to see so many people giving their time for our community. The local council and charities are doing such good work, and we ask you to bless them all for their courage and kindness, being given so freely.  All of our lives have changed dramatically; but with your love, Lord, guide us though this darkness.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Lord, we pray for all those who are suffering from this pandemic and those who suffer other conditions as well, including, from our own church community, Pam, Simon, Janet, Martin and Val. We pray especially for the thousands of people who have sadly died, and our hearts go out to all who are suffering a bereavement at this time.   Amongst the recently departed, we remember in particular with love Brian Noble and Anita Robinson, and, at their years mind, Ruth Burton, Ellen Forrow, John Barnes, Ronald Langford, Peggy Fitt, Norman Billings, Clare Mundy and Fred Brown.

Please Lord, help all the souls who need your blessing, and lift their hearts to go forward and recover soon.  If unfortunately friends and loved ones pass on into the next life, let them know that we are thinking of them now and for evermore.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Dear Lord, make us all more holy; give us the power to resist evil and the strength to do what is right; Lord, make us a more generous people, a hospitable people. Lord, we pray for all the homes where love has grown cold, for all who are bored or tired of life, for all betrayed by a loved one or a friend. Let us never take anyone for granted and never misuse our power and freedom.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ




The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.

Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.