Family Service on 7 June: Healthy Habits (1) Prayer

In today’s family service for all ages we are beginning to explore ten Healthy Habits of the Christian life and the first one is … prayer. Contributions from all ages and of course prayers for our nation, our world and ourselves. Find all the links mentioned in the service below.

Make a Prayer Cube:

Audio Service 31 May: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

The reading is included in the service.

Preacher: Ian Jennings

Sunday Worship: 24 May 2020, 10.30am

Below this video are all the links mentioned in today’s service!

Join us for VIRTUAL COFFEE at 11.15am:
Prayer Journal:
Prayer Adventure Map:

Audio Service 3 May: Joy after Sorrow

This talk is based on John 16.16-22. The reading is included in the service.

Preacher: Ian Jennings

Audio Service 19 April: “My Lord and my God!”

(Painting by Caravaggio)

This talk is based on John 20.19-31. The reading is included in the service.

Reader: Beverley Gray
Preacher: Ian Jennings

Sermon: Worship in Spirit and Truth VIDEO

Please scroll down for an AUDIO version of this talk and the video of a song we sang during the service.

Sermon preached by Ian Jennings at our 10.30am service on Sunday 15th March 2020.

Sermon: Worship in Spirit and Truth AUDIO

Sermon preached by Ian Jennings on Sunday 15th March 2020 at our 10.30am service.

This sermon is based on John 4.4-26.

During the service we sang this song about the living water that Jesus offers the woman at the well:

Sermon: Healthy Family – Suffering and Sacrifice

Talk by Ian Jennings at our 10.30am service on Sunday, 16th February 2020.

This sermon is based on Matthew 16.24-26  and Romans 8. 18-25.

Here are the notes from the front page of our news sheet:

Healthy Family: This Will Hurt!
By Ian Jennings

When I was sixteen I had a serious car accident. It was the days before compulsory seat belts and I was in the front the passenger seat. I was projected through the wind screen and so suffered a feather fracture of the skull and many lacerations of the scalp. I was rushed to hospital and the surgeon said, ‘I’m going to stitch your scalp back on but I don’t plan to use any anaesthetic – if you can stand the pain it will aid the healing process. But it will hurt!’ He was right – it did! But he was also right in that my scalp did heal quickly.

The experience of discipleship will hurt at times. Jesus said to his disciples, ‘in this world you will have trouble.’ It is unavoidable if we walk the path of true discipleship there will be times when it will hurt. Jesus went on to say, ‘But cheer up because I have overcome the world.’ There will be healing – ultimate and eternal. But as we live out our calling as disciples of Jesus we will experience and suffering and sacrifice. That is part of the deal.

For some the sacrifice is huge and the suffering intense. Sheila Cassidy was arrested and tortured when serving as a missionary in Chile. She went on to be the Director of a Hospice. She wrote a book called Sharing the Darkness. She writes, ‘Right at the heart of the mystery of suffering is the grace that sustains us all, carers and cared for alike. It comes as freely and as surely as the sunrise, piercing the blackness of grief and despair, restoring once again the hope of things unseen.’

Jesus said, ‘if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ Sacrifice is part of the adventure of discipleship. It may take many forms but it will involve moving out of our comfort zones and embracing new challenges. ‘Lord what would you have me to do today,’ is a good place to begin in our morning prayers. We may well be surprised by the opportunities that open up to us as a result. It may hurt as we step out of our comfort zones but it will also bring healing – to us and to others.

And ultimately, as St Paul says, ‘The suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.’

Sermon: Healthy Family – the Call to Discipleship

(Due to technical issues the sound quality of this recording is less clear than usually – our apologies!)

Talk by Ian Jennings at our 10.30am service on Sunday, 26th January 2020.

This sermon is based on Matthew 4.12-23.

Here are the notes from the front page of our news sheet:


Ian Jennings

At St Mary’s we are currently looking at the subject of Building a Healthy Church Family. The early followers of Jesus were quick to respond to his call and to embark upon the adventure of discipleship. The subtitle of Alison Morgan’s latest book is, “the Plural of Disciple is Church.” We are in this together; a community of disciples; sharing in the glorious adventure of following Jesus.

I am very unhappy with the ‘pew fodder’ concept of Church life. Andrew Roberts says we sometimes reduce the adventure of discipleship to ‘turning up, shutting up and paying up.’ That is a dull and deadly vision of church and one that is essentially unhealthy. True discipleship is never dull. As a church we need to be Kingdom-focused, and actively engaged in the service of the King. There is an urgency in this call in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. The word, ‘immediately’ crops up. Jesus said ‘follow me’ and ‘immediately they left their nets and followed him.’

True disciples do not graduate from arm chairs! Only doing does it! And not doing does not do it! We may feel inadequate and hesitant and inclined to say, ‘I haven’t got what it takes!’ The good news is that God has got what it takes and is ready to empower us with his Spirit. It is true to say, ‘what I give he takes and what he takes he cleanses and what he cleanses he fills and what he fills he uses.’

Let us respond wholeheartedly to the urgent call of discipleship as we move forward into 2020.

“I have grown up believing in God and I believe that being an England international and a lawyer has not just happened by accident. I am a person who has a relationship with God, and it’s a very active one. So whether I’m having my breakfast, driving, stood on the pitch or about to take a penalty, I will be praying, or in my mind speaking to God.”

Eniola Aluko, former professional footballer with 102 caps for England’s women’s team

Sermon: Are you ready for the arrival of the king?

This sermon was preached by Ian Jennings at St Mary’s Church on Sunday 8 December.

The talk is based on Matthew 3.1-10.