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Third of Advent - Sunday 17th December 2023

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Welcome to our weekly pew sheet and updates blog! Remember to try and keep this sheet digital but do print copies for those who may need them.

The Clergy and Ministry Team wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Don't forget the new Rectory Phone Number is 07860 156971.


Sunday Morning:

The link for our readings:

Please note the complete readings are in full at the end of the blog.

Collect Prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ,

who at your first coming sent your messenger

to prepare your way before you:

grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries

may likewise so prepare and make ready your way

by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,

that at your second coming to judge the world

we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer: We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;

kindle in us the fire of your Spirit

that when your Christ comes again

we may shine as lights before his face;

who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

Upcoming Dates

This week: Sunday 17th December - Third of Advent Holy Communion will be live streamed at 9.30am from St Peter’s on 9.30am: St. Peter’s Holy Communion with Children's Church & facility for pre-schoolers 11.15am: All Saints’ Holy Communion

6.00pm: All Saints' Carols by Candlelight

This week: Monday - Friday 10.00am -12 midday Food Hub Collection at St Peter’s

Tuesday & Friday

9.00am: live streamed Morning Prayer via Facebook

Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday

9.30am - 12.30: Daily Bread Cafe


9.00am: Morning Prayer in the Daily Bread Cafe

9.30am: Holy Communion at All Saints'


7.30pm: Advent Course at St Peter's


7.00pm: Beer & Carols at St Peter's

Next Sunday: 24th December - Fourth After Advent 11.15am: All Saints' Holy Communion

3.00pm: St Peter's Family Carols & Nativity

11.30pm: St Peter's Midnight Mass

Further Ahead:

25th December - Christmas Day

10.30am: All Saints' Holy Communion

31st December - First of Christmas

10.30am: St Peter's Holy Communion


Advent Course continuing this week with our last session on Thursday evening.

Daily Bread Cafe & Food Hub

The last opening day of the Cafe & Food Hub will be on Friday 22nd December. Both will remain closed from Saturday 23rd December to Thursday 4th January, re-opening on Friday 5th January 2024.

Thank you for all your support and donations over the last year!

Spiritual guide or Companionship

Many people value the companionship and encouragement of another person as they walk the spiritual way and find a listening ear helpful.

Spiritual guides have been trained to do just that and to help you listen and discern how God is working in your life.

If this is something you might be interested in please pick up one of the leaflets at the back of the church which will give you some information or speak to me in private if you are unsure, Chris Thomas LLM.

Afternoon Prayer and Meditation

“Be still and know that I am God”. Psalm 46 v 10.

Quiet Prayer and Meditation on the 4th Wednesday afternoon of each month. 2.00-4.00pm. Please note the next meeting will be 24th January 2024.

Rooted Community

We would like to wish every one in the Parish a Merry Christmas and hope to see you at some of you at the services over the holiday period. Rooted will next meet on Friday 5th January 2024, please email for more information.

Deanery Confirmation

There will be a Confirmation Service at the Church of St. Edmund & Mary, Ingatestone, on 14th January 2024. If anyone is interested in being confirmed please speak to someone on the Ministry Team.

Bible Study

The first Monday of the month at 2.00pm

The Wednesday Group will be meeting will take a break due to the Parish Advent course and will resume on 17th January 2024.

Future Events

To donate direct to the Mothers' Union please click the logo below

Don't forget the new Rectory Phone Number is 07860 156971.

With every blessing,


The readings in full

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

The servant of the Lord said:

1The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,   because the Lord has anointed me;he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,   to bind up the broken-hearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives,   and release to the prisoners; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,   and the day of vengeance of our God;   to comfort all who mourn; 3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—   to give them a garland instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning,   the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.They will be called oaks of righteousness,   the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins,   they shall raise up the former devastations;they shall repair the ruined cities,   the devastations of many generations. 

8 For I the Lord love justice,   I hate robbery and wrongdoing;I will faithfully give them their recompense,   and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations,   and their offspring among the peoples;all who see them shall acknowledge   that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,   my whole being shall exult in my God;for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,   he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,   and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots,   and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise

to spring up before all the nations. 

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,[a]    we were like those who dream.Then our mouth was filled with laughter,    and our tongue with shouts of joy;then it was said among the nations,    ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’The Lord has done great things for us,    and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,    like the watercourses in the Negeb.May those who sow in tears    reap with shouts of joy.Those who go out weeping,    bearing the seed for sowing,shall come home with shouts of joy,    carrying their sheaves.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

My brothers and sisters,

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil. 

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 

John 1:6-8, 19-28

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 

19This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ 21And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ 22Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ 23He said,‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,“Make straight the way of the Lord” ’,as the prophet Isaiah said. 

24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ 26John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. 

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