Online Services for Guestling Church

Great News...

St Laurence has a new website and the online serviceas can now be found there. Please follow this link to view them.


Sunday 24th October the Last Sunday after Trinity

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.



Sunday 17th October the 20th Sunday after Trinity

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.



Sunday 10th October the 19th Sunday after Trinity

Harvest Festival.

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.


Sunday 3rd October, the 18th Sunday after Trinity

Today's service

(116) A Service for Sunday 3rd October 2021 Guestling - YouTube


Songs for today 

All hail the Power of Jesus Name

Jesus Good Above All Other

In Christ Alone


Jim's Reflection

“Jesus suffered death so that by the Grace of God He might taste death for everyone” Hebrews 2 v9

Death is a melancholy subject and it has been on our minds frequently in the past couple of years.  We do not like to think about it, usually associating it with sorrow and grief.  From the beginning of recorded history mankind has feared death;  the myth of Cain killing Abel in Genesis 4 told how death invaded the family circle to destroy the dearest and most precious of human relationships. 

Death is one of the great certainties of our existence, along with taxes, according to Benjamin Franklin.  The experience of death is certain, and only the time is uncertain.  Death may come at any age, and it should never surprise us, though it is always a shock when it happens to someone else.  Life’s last frontier must be discovered for oneself. 

So there is no more sad subject for us to consider than that of death.  We may come to church to celebrate someone’s life, though not their death, but for Christians there is good news concerning death which is associated with the coming of Jesus into the world.  Apart from Him there is absolutely no good news about death.  Christ Jesus came to dwell among us to “taste death”.  The Crucifixion of our Lord was no accident in the divine plan, neither was it the result of the anger and hostility of the Jewish leaders, nor the cruelty of the Roman soldiers.  In a mysterious yet wonderful way, because of the Grace of God, Jesus came that He might taste death for everyone so that by His Resurrection He might bring about the death of death, destroying the power of the Devil.  When Jesus rose from the dead on the first Easter He did something more than just demonstrate divine power.  He revealed God’s plan to deliver believers from the realm of death and the grave. 

“What must I do to be saved?” asked the jailer of Paul and Silas in Philippi.  Back came the reply “believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.  You and your household.”  Through faith in Jesus we can rearrange our priorities and live with the values of eternity in mind, as we face life’s choices and we can overcome our fear of death.  When Death speaks to believers saying “now you have to leave this earth” we will be able to hear Christ say “but you are coming to be with me.”  Only a person who has heard and responded to the Good News can believe this. 



Sunday 26th September the 17th Sunday after Trinity

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.


Sunday 19th September the 16th Sunday after Trinity

Today's service.

(71) 19th September 2021 St Laurence, Guestling - YouTube


Songs for today

Lord of all Hopefulness

Breathe on Me Breath of God

God is Working His Purpose Out



Sunday 12th September the 15th Sunday after Trinity

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.



Sunday 5th September the 14th Sunday after Trinity.

Today's service

  (46) 14th Sunday after Trinity, St Laurence Guestling - YouTube



The songs for today

Praise to the Almighty

Spirit of God

O for a Thousand Tongues

Ken's Reflection

Reflection for Sunday September 5th 2021.

For my reflection this morning I would like to concentrate on Mark chapter 7 and verses 24 to 30.                                                                                                 

 This Gospel reading begins as Jesus tries to escape the crowds of people. Jesus was tired and He needed time to rest and pray. He hoped to find a place where both He and his disciples could be alone and rest.As we have left Mother's Day many months ago, but I would still like to consider a bright and brave woman whose concern for her daughter who had a unclean spirit led to a memorable verbal joust with Jesus. When scholars of the law crossed words with Jesus, they went away confounded but when this woman challenged him, she went away totally victorious.
Prior to this event Jesus had been engaged in a strenuous and demanding ministry. Jesus must have known that King Herod, who had beheaded John the Baptist, was disturbed at his popularity. Kings like Herod were notoriously paranoid about large crowds following popular leaders and had ways of controlling such situations. Perhaps for a little rest and relaxation, and to escape Herod's spies for a time, Jesus took his band of followers out of Herod's territory into Gentile country to the region of Tyre. There, Mark says, he entered a house and wanted no one to know of it, but he could not escape notice.
Very soon, a woman, a Greek of the Syrophoenician race, came to see him and dared to tell him the truth. Jesus focused his ministry on the House of Israel, and it appeared to her that he had overlooked an important truth. First, she made her need known to his group by crying out; my daughter is cruelly demon possessed." Jesus refused to answer her. She continued to pester Jesus until he took notice of her. It seemed that he would do so because he commented that he had been sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. Just then she managed to get close to him, knelt before him, and pleaded, "Lord, help me." He replied with what was probably a well-known proverb. Focusing on the Jews, he seems to reject her request by saying, "For it is not right to; take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs." She didn't hesitate but came right back with a truth that his proverb overlooked; "Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs."
In his day even Martin Luther marvelled at her reply and said, "He is silent as a stick. Her reply was a brilliant masterpiece."  It was indeed a masterpiece.             

 It made Jesus stop and think. When he replied it was probably after a pause and with a smile as he said, "For saying that you may go -- the demon has left your daughter."For a truthful, penetrating response, he granted her wish.This unnamed Syrophoenician mother tells the truth, and her daughter is healed of her affliction. Someone has said, "when we lie we die." But when we tell the truth life has a chance.We come to the table to tell the truth  Like this woman, we come to ask for what only Jesus can give, secure in the truth that his power is for us as well as for others. He does not put a fence around the table and say that only certain privileged people may receive his blessing. But we come also to admit that sometimes we lie, or cheat, or sin in some other way. We admit that we do what we ought not to do and that we fail to do what we ought to do  But Jesus honours our truth telling. He heals, forgives, and renews our life and our hopes.                                   

So let us come confessing our sins, but also confessing our faith in the one who loves us and gave himself for us.  But not only that what is the “demon” in our lives that we are asking Jesus to cast out today? I invite you to spend some time today pondering that question. What will you ask Jesus for today? Jesus is waiting for you!  Amen.



Sunday 29th August the 13th Sunday after Trinity

Today's service...

(30) Sunday 29th August 2021 Guestling - YouTube



The songs for today

Come Down O Love Divine


Beauty for Brokenness


Lord for the Years



Jim's talk...

This comes from the heart

Today’s Gospel Reading found Jesus in Galilee and some of the religious leaders had followed Him there.  They had evil on their minds, as Mark had already told us of a plot to kill Jesus, and they certainly were not amongst the crowd to hear how they could live better lives, or to be guided towards true faith.  No, they were there to trip Him up by criticising the disciples.  They appeared to be horrified that some were seen to be eating with unwashed hands, a practice not introduced by God but by human pride.  Originally this was something hygienic done by priests at their sacred duties, but over time it became accepted practice for all orthodox Jews to distinguish themselves from the heathens amongst them. 

So the religious leaders asked Jesus why His disciples were failing to keep this tradition.  They were so full of their opinions that they had no time or energy left for the important things of life.  Jesus recognised the spiritual danger that can affect any of us when He quoted Isaiah “Their hearts are far from me” by holding onto human traditions. We have, over the ages, given the heart functions that it obviously does not have.  “You are my heart’s delight”, “My heart wasn’t really in it”.  But it’s a good allegory to describe a person’s inner self, which can become poisoned by self-absorption and affect those around us.  When God looks down on us He will see into our hearts and know how we led our lives. 

The Pharisees were not completely bad people, they were men of their time adhering to the ways in which they had been brought up.  Their lives were dedicated to obeying what they understood to be God’s Law, and felt that He would be pleased with their zeal.  This attitude led to the Jewish distinctive practices which helped them maintain their identity, but the trouble was that these rules became hard and fast, equal to Scripture.  The difference between God’s Law and their opinions had been lost sight of.  The Pharisees wanted to hold on to unimportant human traditions at all costs when they should have been more concerned with teaching God’s requirements of love and justice. 

The Pharisees were not the only ones who became upset when traditions are not adhered to.  History is littered with examples, often costing lives:- Becket and the Benefit of Clergy; The Tudors’ changes in religious practices; Jethro Tull’s Seed Drill; Threshing Machines; The Vote on Female Priests.  Shock!  Horror!  Shall we hear the Islamic call to prayer and drums at the next Coronation? 

Soon our Benefice will be facing more changes to our traditional ways but as Christians we must not let peripheral matters take centre stage, and we should never be afraid of what change might bring.  All we have to do is love God, not with our heads but with our hearts, and our neighbours as ourselves.



Sunday 22nd  August the 12th Sunday after Trinity

Today's Service

(19) 22nd August 2021 St Laurence Guestling - YouTube


The songs used in today's service

Soldiers of Christ Arise


Fight the Good Fight


Stand up Stand up for Jesus



Sunday 15th August the 11th Sunday after Trinity.

As it is our Patronal Festival there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday and there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.

8th August

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.


 Sunday 1st August the Ninth Sunday after Trinity

The Service for Today

1st August Trinity 9 - YouTube


Songs for Today

All My Hope on God is Founded


I am the Bread of Life


Thy Hand O God has Guided

Sunday 25th July

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.


Sunday 18th July

Today's service

18 July 2021 Guestling - YouTube


Songs for today

Ye Servants of God


Immortal Love Ever Full


Your Hand O God Has Guided



 Sunday 11th July

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling this week.

Sunday 4th July

Today's Service

  (3) 4 July 2021 Guestling - YouTube

Songs for today

King of Glory, King of Peace

Give Thanks

Lord of all Hopefulness

Jim's sermonette...

My Grace is Sufficient for you

The Bible has given us a number of words and phrases that have passed into everyday use.  Just a few examples are:-  Good Samaritan; By the skin of my teeth; Cast your bread upon the waters; Eat, drink and be merry.  In our Epistle this morning we met another; “a thorn in my flesh”.  What it was for St Paul we shall never know but he had some form of physical disability, yet despite it he travelled many thousands of miles preaching the Gospel. 

Paul told us of two wonderful visions of heavenly things, surely with himself as the central character, though he does not say as much.  In order that he did not become too puffed up about this, God sent a thorn to keep his pride in check.  Pride in our own abilities holds us back from doing God’s work, and God has no use for those who stand on their own strength.  He wants us to rely on Him.

In the Epistle we heard one of the great affirmations of the Christian faith “My Grace is sufficient for you.”  Grace is God’s undeserved love for us.  Does He treat us as our sins deserve?  No, this is God’s undeserved love which Paul continually stressed, having been the worst of sinners by persecuting the church, and yet, if God forgave Paul He will forgive anyone. 

The Apostle told the Corinthians that his first reaction to the thorn was prayer, but rather than take away the problem, God gave Paul the grace to put up with it for God’s “power is made perfect in weakness.”   Rather than being upset with God, Paul’s next reaction was to “glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  Any weakness in his flesh would serve to bring God glory, as Paul accepted what God had for him with great trust in His plans and His goodness. 

The Gospel has been entrusted to frail people.  We all have some thorn that could hamper God’s work if it were not for His power.  In our own weaknesses we experience the Lord’s strength but may recall a time when we were weak but God made us strong.  We cannot help ourselves “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40 v30).  Sooner or later, suffering becomes our lot.  Paul discovered that being a follower of Christ did not save us from hardship just because we led a faithful life.  We take our problems to God in prayer, and we thank Him that He does not desert us, but says “My Grace is sufficient for you.”




Sunday 27th June

Trinity 4

Today's Service

(1) 27 June 2021 Guestling - YouTube

Songs for today

All People that on Earth Do Dwell


We Cannot Measure How You Heal


Be Thou My Vision



Sunday 20th June

Trinity 3

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling.


Sunday 13th June

Trinity 2

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling.


Sunday 6th June

The Service for the First Sunday after Trinity

  A Service for Sunday 6 June 2021 from St Laurence, Guestling - YouTube


Songs for today 

Brother, Sister let Me serve You

Freely, freely

Dear Lord and Father of mankind

Jim's sermonette


Have you noticed on news programmes an interviewee will say that something is unforgivable?  Recently that was said of a woman whose perjury allowed a child murderer to go free, and it was also said of the officials whose inactions resulted in the Fishmongers’ Hall attacks. Recent revelations about the treatment of Princess Diana have also been described as unforgivable.  Failure to forgive lets some grievances fester and sadly it is a human failing to “nurse our wrath” like Tam o’ Shanter’s wife. 

We are fortunate that God is forgiving as the Bible tells of many instances.  Balaam, with the wee talking donkey, failed in his God-given task to curse the Moabites, but God accepted his apology and forgave him.  Not so his compatriots, who killed Balaam for his behaviour.

St Peter, in the High Priest’s courtyard, denied knowing his Lord and when Jesus turned forgiving eyes on him, Peter went out and wept bitterly

St Paul, writing to Timothy, acknowledged the behaviour of his former, pre-conversion, life and yet God had forgiven him. 

We pray “forgive us our sins as we forgive others.”  We are saying, along with the tax collector in the parable, “God be merciful to me, a sinner” and must be assured that God’s forgiveness is His gift to us.  We do not deserve it, and we cannot earn it.  We are offered it and we can take it, and our minds and wills can be changed to a yearning for a better way of life.  St Paul wrote to the Ephesians “it is by His Grace that you are saved.”

We are able then to devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us, for with so much forgiven we can become forgiving and loving, and engage in Christ’s work whatever that may be for us.





Sunday 30th May

Trinity Sunday

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling.


Sunday 23rd May

The service for Pentecost

(4) Guestling Pentecost Service - YouTube


Songs for today..

Come down O Love Divine

Spirit if the Living God

Longing for the Light



Sunday 16th May

The service for the Seventh Sunday of Easter or the Sunday after Ascension Day.

(1) Seventh Sunday of Easter Guestling - YouTube

Songs for today

All Hail the Power


Before the Throne of God Above


Crown Him with Many Crowns





Sunday 9th May

The service for the Sixth Sunday of Easter,

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 



Sunday 2nd May

The service for the Fifth Sunday of Easter,

Fifth Sunday of Easter Guestling - YouTube

Songs for today

Who Would True Valour See

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

Tell Me the Old, Old Story

Jim's sermonette

On the Gaza Road

Today’s Collect asks that God’s grace will put into our minds “good desires” so that with His help “we may bring them to good effect”.  This stems from a grounding in God’s Holy Word as found in the Bible which will set us on the right path.  We may consult concordances or Scripture Union notes, but whatever we use for guidance there comes a question which Philip asked the Ethiopian minister “Do you understand what you are reading?”  We can study all the theological books but they won’t make us decent Christians anxious to bring God’s plans to good effect among other people.  We can do nothing alone unless we remain in the vine of our Lord’s teaching and then we will bear much fruit, showing ourselves to be Christ’s disciples.

The Ethiopian minister came as a pilgrim, a seeker, but he did not understand what he was reading.  Maybe this section of Isaiah 53 was a souvenir, but he hadn’t a clue what it was about.  Then he met Philip, a Christian messenger sent to the busy Gaza road to advise him.  Philip’s explanation was sufficient for the Ethiopian to seek baptism. 

The Gospel has the power to change lives.  It can inform, reform and transform.  Philip was able to inform the Ethiopian minister and his explanation possibly transformed society in Ethiopia.  Established Christian worship certainly pre-dates Christianity in England, and the society which bases its life on the Word of God is transformed. 

Do you remember the account given in II Kings 22 of how some workmen, refurbishing the Temple in young King Josiah’s reign, found an old scroll of the Law?  When the King read it he realised how they had all slipped badly from keeping their side of the Covenant, and great improvements were set in motion.  The reading of those scriptures reformed and transformed the life of the people. 

“Tell me the old, old story” comes the cry, and tell it we can, simply and clearly in words and deeds leading to good desires and effects.  How can we do this without appearing to be the blind leading the blind?  And we all know what happened to them.  In order to show others the way, we must have done our homework.  We must be steeped in the Gospel. 


Sunday 25th April.


As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.




Sunday 18th April

The Third Sunday of Easter

 (1) Third Sunday of Easter Guestling - YouTube


Songs for today's service

Praise My Soul

Alleluia. Alleluia Give Thanks For The Risen Lord

Lord For The Years



Sunday11th April.

The Second Sunday of Easter.

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.



Easter Sunday Service

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.


Good Friday Meditation

    (36) Good Friday Meditation - YouTube

He was Pierced for Our Transgressions


Maundy Thursday Prayers and Reflection

 (37) Maundy Thursday - YouTube

Songs for today

An Upper Room

A New Commandment

Behold the Lamb



Sunday 28th March

Palm Sunday

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.



Sunday 21st March

The service for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

   Fifth Sunday of Lent 21st March 2021 - YouTube

The songs for today

Morning has broken

I the Lord of Sea and Sky

Oh Jesus I have Promised



Sunday 14th March

Mothering Sunday

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.


Sunday 7th March

The service for the Third Sunday of Lent

   Third Sunday of Lent 7th March 2021 - YouTube


The songs in the service

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

At the Name of Jesus

Jim's reflection

The Parable of the Mistaken Horse

A father from Guestling took his 11-year old daughter on a sightseeing trip to London, where they saw Buckingham Palace, the Crown Jewels, and took a river trip.  At the end they stopped in Trafalgar Square to admire Landseer’s Lions and the equestrian statue of Charles I.

On the train journey home the man asked, “what did you like best?” The girl’s eyes lit up.  Being of a horse-loving nature she replied, “oh I liked Charles’ statue but who was the man on his back?”To that girl, the most important thing about the statue was the horse.  To her, it was not a statue of a man on a horse, it was a statue of a horse with a man on it. 

My parable points out the very human tendency to get the wrong emphasis, placing something of lesser value at the centre where the most important thing should be.  In today’s Epistle St Paul tells us that the Jews demanded signs and the Greeks looked for wisdom, “but we preach Christ crucified.”  There was only one thing that was important, the Cross of Jesus.

For almost 2,000 years Christians have commemorated Christ’s triumph over death.  We remember in devotion, in worship, in renewal of personal loyalty, celebrating that event which changed the world.  Little did the Roman military and the cynical Jewish priests who contrived Christ’s judicial murder imagine that the instrument of His death would become the cause of hope and the emblem of millions. 

I once watched The Lord of the Rings.  There is a battle scene which lasts about 40 minutes, and at  some dark moment somebody asked, “what can man do against such hatred?”  We may often ask the same question ourselves, and the answer of course is nothing – by ourselves.  But our Master, who only needed a cross to die on to save the world, said, “I leave you not comfortless.”

There is nothing else we need.  We can say with St Paul, “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  All else is unnecessary.




Sunday 28th February

The service for the Second Sunday in Lent

   Second Sunday of Lent 28th February 2021 - YouTube


The songs in the service

The God of Abraham Praise


Oh God Our Help in Ages Past


Will you come and Follow Me




Sunday 21st February

The service for the First Sunday of Lent

First Sunday of Lent 21st February 2021 - YouTube


The songs sung in the service

On Jordan's Bank

Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Lead us Heavenly Father


Wednesday 17th February

The service for Ash Wednesday

   Ash Wednesday - YouTube


The songs used in the service

Forty Days and Forty Nights

Before the Throne of God Above

Here is Love Vast as the Ocean

Longing for Light we wait in Darkness

How Deep the Father's Love for Us



Sunday 14th February

The service for the Sunday Next before Lent.

The songs for today

Oh Worship the King

Be Still for the Presence of the Lord

Guide Me oh Thou Great Redeemer



Sunday 7th February

The service for the second Sunday before Lent



The songs for today...

Jesus is Lord

Be Thou My Vision

Christ Triumphant


JIm's sermonette


Isn’t it wonderful to have it a bit lighter at the end of the afternoon after so many weeks of depressing darkness?  No wonder comparisons between dark and light are frequently to be found in the pages of the Bible. 

“God saw the light and it was good”

“They love the darkness because their deeds are evil”

“Those who walk in the day do not stumble because they see the light”

How we need that light today in a dark world that has the richness of materials with abject poverty beside it. 

The part of the world we live in has size and power but there is a coldness and an unlit nature about it.  We need a light but where is that light to come from?  Of course, the Light of the World.  I am convinced that if we allowed the light to shine in our world and in our lives then all the evils will go. 

Do you remember the words in the Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion Service taken from Matthew 5 v.16 “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works”?  First, we must get our light, which is not something that we create; that light comes from God.  We need to get our light before setting out into the dark world with its snares and traps.  We need to get our light before we can go looking for the lost.  “Can the blind lead the blind?  No, they will both fall into the ditch,” said Jesus.

With the drawing out of the nights we are reminded that we should be cleaning and recharging the lights in our own lives and turning on with full force the light that Jesus sheds.  It will show us where we have sinned and been unworthy, where we have failed and not measured up, where we have proved false, and where we have made poor efforts.  Let’s clean the glass of our lanterns, trim the wicks and give Jesus a chance to light up our lives.  Let’s get rid of the world’s little lights and in Christ’s marvellous light go out ready for service.

Christ will light our lives.  He will illuminate the darkness of the world’s hatred and show us how to live lives of love. 

What critical times we live in!  There is danger for us all beset by worry and our thoughts grow dark and depressed.  It will be too easy to allow our lights to become dim, so it is at times like this that we must fix our eyes on Christ, the Light of the World.  There is enough light in God’s love but we must want to turn it on.  Jesus knew what it was to live in a world of darkness, to meet minds living in darkness.  Into a world of hate and suspicion He brings love.  Into a world at war with itself and beset with rumours of war He brings security.  Sadly our world is in darkness but Jesus trusts us.  He says, “you are light






31st January

The service for Candlemas

The songs for today

Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies

Purify My Heart

Like a Candle Flame



Sunday 24th January

The service for today..

The songs in today's service

What Child is This

I Will Sing the Wondrous Story

All My Days

The Spirit Lives to Set Us Free



Sunday 17th January

The Second Sunday of Epiphany.

Today's Service...


The songs used in today's service... 

Christ be Our Light

Hushed was the Evening Hymn

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind




Sunday 10th January

The First Sunday after Epiphany...The Baptism of Christ


Today's Service


The songs for today

Thou Whose Almighty Word

On Jordan's Bank

Shine Jesus Shine






Sunday 3rd January


The service for today

The songs used in the service

Brightest and Best


Born and n the Night


We Three Kings


Jim's sermon


Behold, I tell you a mystery, or rather St Matthew does, in this morning’s Gospel reading. And more than one mystery, for the more we study the passage, the greater number we will find.

What was the “star” the men followed?

Where did they come from and how long was their journey?

Why does St Matthew place the Holy Family in a house when we all know that the Infant Jesus was born in a stable?

Where did the Gospel writer say there were 3 faith-filled travellers with names?

Or for that matter, that they were kings?

We have just read one of the great mysterious narratives of the New Testament which in many ways is similar to the parables of our Lord. We have to think about it to tease out the teaching and to understand the truths it is telling. The more we think, the more we will get out of it. But of one thing we can be certain. These Magi, as our version of the Bible calls them, were willing to step out in faith to go wherever God would direct them. We can be as confident ourselves for did not God direct His people in their wilderness years? They crossed the Red Sea safely, they were led by a pillar of cloud and fire, God provided food and drink, but after 40 years they reached the Promised Land.

And now the Magi were confident that God was leading them by a stellar spectacle to where the baby king lay. God may not lead us so dramatically nowadays but He does promise to lead us if we let Him.

The eye of faith is one that is willing to take the next step and trust God to direct it. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know we will be guided. Jesus said “I will not leave you alone”. Wise men and women have always relied on this.

After a variety of adventures, the Magi reached Bethlehem and offered their “gifts most rare”. The story doesn’t end there as we are told that they had to alter their travel plans because of King Herod’s duplicity. The Magi then vanished from view.

What did this encounter with Jesus mean to them, I wonder? Letting Jesus into our lives can change us, as it did Saul of Tarsus, the early disciples, Zacchaeus, to mention but 3 examples. On their journey the Magi must have had obstacles to overcome, as we also will meet setbacks in our quest, but with perseverance we will find Jesus if we follow the markers He puts along the way. For the Magi it was a bright heavenly body, but God can use anything to reach us so that our gifts can be put to use


Sunday 20th December

The Fourth Sunday in Advent

The service for today...


The songs in today's service

The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came

Joy to the World

Thou didst leave Thy Throne




Sunday 13th December

The Third Sunday in Advent,

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.



Sunday 6th December

The Second Sunday in Advent

Today's service...


Today's hymns

On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry


Make Way. Make Way


Lo he comes with Clouds Descending




Advent Sunday 29th November


Today's Service


Come Thou long expected Jesus

 The candle song

 O come O come Emmanuel

Jim's Sermon






Sunday 22nd November

The service for the Sunday next before Advent


The songs in the service...

Immortal, Invisible God only Wise


The King of Love My Shepherd Is


Christ Triumphant Ever Reigning




Sunday 15th November

The service for the Second Sunday before Advent


Songs for today...

Ye Servants of God


Take my Life


Be Thou my Vision




Sunday 8th November

The service for Remembrance Sunday


The songs in the service...

Oh Valiant Heart...


I Vow to Thee my Country


Oh God our help in ages past


The order of service...

Remembrance Sunday, 8 November 2020, St Laurence, Guestling

Opening sentence

I lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

                                                                        Psalm 121.1-2


We meet in the presence of God. 

 We commit ourselves to work in penitence and faith for reconciliation between the nations that all people may, together,

live in freedom, justice and peace. 

We pray for all who in bereavement, disability and pain continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror. 

We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives, in world wars and conflicts past and present, have been given and taken away.


Let us pray

Ever-living God, we remember those whom you have

gathered from the storm of war into the peace of your presence;

may that same peace calm our fears, bring justice to all peoples

and establish harmony among the nations,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


First Hymn: O Valiant Hearts


An Act of Penitence

Let us confess to God the sins and shortcomings of the world;

its pride, its selfishness, its greed,

its evil divisions and hatreds.

Let us confess our share in what is wrong,

and our failure to seek and establish that peace

which God wills for his children.


After a short silence, all say


Most merciful God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

we confess that we have sinned

in thought, word and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;

that we may do justly, love mercy,

and walk humbly with you, our God.



Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Let us remember before God and commend to his safe keeping those who have died for their country in war; those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure; and all who have lived and died in the service of mankind


The Silence


Reading of the Roll of Honour


The Exhortation

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old, Age shall not

weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them 

We will remember them

When you go home, tell them of us and say:

for your tomorrow we gave our today


The Kohima Epitaph

When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, we gave our today.



Almighty and eternal God, from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted, either by death or life:

Hear our prayers and thanksgivings for all whom we remember this day;

fulfil in them the purpose of your love; and bring us all,

with them, to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things

in your beloved Son, the King of all:

govern the hearts and minds of those in authority and bring

the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,

to be subject to his just and gentle rule;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Second hymn: I vow to thee my country


First Reading: Amos 5:18-24     

This is the word of the Lord                   

Thanks be to God


Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13

This is the word of the Lord                   

Thanks be to God




Neil’s Intercessions


As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth

as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and

forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the

glory for ever and ever. Amen


Prayer for the Faithful Departed (followed by names)

Hear us, O merciful Father,

as we remember in love those whom we have placed in your hands.
Acknowledge, we pray,

the sheep of your own fold,
lambs of your own flock,
sinners of your own redeeming.
Enfold them in the arms of your mercy,
in the blessed rest of everlasting peace,
and in the glorious company of the saints in light.



Final Hymn: O God our help in ages past


Act of Commitment

Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God and our fellow men, that we may be peacemakers in our homes, in our community, in our country and in our world.    

Lord God, we pledge ourselves to serve you and

all mankind in the cause of peace and for the relief

of want and suffering. Give us wisdom; give us courage; give us hope; and keep us always faithful. Amen.


The Blessing

God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest,

to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth and all people, unity, peace and concord, and to us and all God’s servants, life everlasting.

And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all and remain with you always.







Sunday 1st November

The service for All Saints Day.


 The songs for today's service.

Ye Servants of God


For all the Saints


All hail the Power of Jesus Name

Jim's sermon...

Guestling Sermon – 1 November 2020

Whoever said that being a Christian would be easy?  It’s not, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.  Jesus never promised His followers an easy life.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that once we surrender our lives to God everything will be okay.  So it’s not so much that we Christians are spared from life’s struggles than that God expects us to show extraordinary faith in our struggle with life.

So we must show a right attitude towards God and towards other people.  The way to Heaven is not through living a good life and doing good deeds, it is through faith in Jesus Christ.  The humble recognise their spiritual poverty and each of the Beatitudes speaks of what will follow.  “Blessed are you ……………….. for you will be …………………”.  Jesus invites His listeners, them and us, to live in the reality of the light of things to come. 

What courage God gave them!  Many suffered cruelly but those early leaders had an unshakeable belief in the promises offered.  They had a huge impact on history whilst those who persecuted them, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Nero, Diocletian, are now largely remembered for their evil cruelty and their empires have crumbled, whilst the blood of those they martyred nourished the growth of Christ’s Church.

The Christian Gospel isn’t simply a set of lofty ideals but the most insightful view of history.  At this season of All Saints we must give thanks to God for their faithful witness.  Many of them died without seeing the impact of their efforts but they were faithful to Jesus and trusted Him to fulfil His promises.




Sunday 25th October the 20th Sunday after Trinity

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.


Sunday 18th October


The Service for the 19th Sunday after Trinity


The songs for today's service...

Ye Holy Angels Bright


Here is Love Vast as the Ocean


Oh for a Thousand Tongues to Sing


Jim's talk


One small reference in St Paul’s letter to the Colossians is all that tells us of how Luke earned his living.  Whilst Paul was busy at tent-making in between his missionary work, can we picture Luke holding surgeries, maybe setting broken bones, applying eye salves, making himself a comfort to the unwell people in whose communities he found himself with St Paul?  Why not?  God loves people and he seeks the best for us.  He will use our skills in the benefit of mankind if we will let Him. 

Other hints come in Luke’s Gospel.   He seems to record miracles of healing with the interested eye of a medical practitioner, giving rather more detail than the other two synoptic gospels.  He gives us the human details of the Nativity, no room in the inn, swaddling clothes, humble shepherds who had one night of glory.  Without Luke we would never have known of Zacchaeus, the diminutive tax collector whose life was turned around thanks to a few kind words from Jesus.  Luke alone tells us of two ordinary men on the road to Emmaus.  Two ordinary fellows hurrying home one evening, perhaps aware that their wives might be getting worried, who invited a stranger to stop for the night.  Luke had an eye for the condition of humanity.  He was a people person.  He had an interest in those on society’s fringes.  Without him the parable of the Good Samaritan would not have come down to us, nor the Prodigal Son, some of the greatest teaching ever given in the history of the world. 

Of course, we know that not only did he write his gospel but Luke also gave us the Acts of the Apostles.  The dedication to Theophilus in each is a giveaway, as are the passages where he writes, “we did this,” “we went to such and such a place.”  Luke was with St Paul on many of his journeys.  He gets a mention on other occasions.  When Paul was signing off his letter to Philemon, he sends greetings from various companions, including Luke. 

And then there is the sad mention in that rather bleak section of Paul’s second letter to Timothy “everyone has left me except Luke”, faithful Luke.  It has been worked out that the two were travelling companions for the best part of nine years, and here was Luke staying with his friend, perhaps giving medical help as and when to his master under house arrest in the city he had always hoped to visit. As well as being the special saint of doctors Luke would also qualify for that of patron saint of good companions.


How does the Church designate him?  Not just St Luke the physician, but St Luke the Evangelist as well.  Once the church had settled down into an organisation the word evangelist referred only to the four Gospel writers, but in the earliest days an evangelist was one who prepared people for the apostle who would come bearing the Gospel.  An evangelist was not as important as an apostle but a valued member of the team nevertheless. 

Luke would have been doing what we all can do, listening to people, helping them to understand what the love of God can do in their lives.  We can all be evangelists in the old sense of the word.  One to one is a most effective way of passing on the old, old story.  Jesus sent out His messengers in pairs to prepare every town and village where He was going to visit.  There was an urgency about the mission.  Don’t bother to find your personal possessions, and don’t stop to chat on the road.  There’s a harvest to be gathered in.  It’s there if we look for it.  We must become like the shepherd, looking for that lost sheep because others are our responsibility.  We must ask God for a sensitivity to their needs, and if we should fail in these matters we will have to answer for it in due course. 

A saint points us to God.  In a saint’s life we can see characteristics of human behaviour writ large, which should encourage us to lead lives that are more Christ-like.  The saints are examples to us all and we can picture Luke selflessly caring for Paul.  The end was approaching, all his other friends and helpers had moved on, but Luke was there with companionship and support.  This is what God asks of us, to be good neighbours.  Luke knew that from recording the parable of the Good Samaritan, and we know that from our reading of it. 

So in Rome there was one footsore old man with failing eyesight, who had done his best in the race,  had run the full distance, and had kept the faith.  When Paul needed a neighbour Luke was there. 



Sunday 11th October the 18th Sunday after Trinity

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.



Sunday 4th October

The service for the 17th Sunday after Trinity

The songs used in the service

Christ is made the sure foundation

My song is love unknown

Christ be our light

Jim's sermon for today

When Jesus spoke in parables He was continuing a tradition going back centuries.  Some Old Testament examples which come to mind are:- The Trees choose a King (Judges 9), The Poor Man’s Lamb (2 Samuel 12), Jonah.  Of course nothing compared with the homely way that Jesus spoke in pictures, which related to the lives of His listeners.  They knew about the dangers on the road to Jericho, about wastrel sons, about lost sheep and vines which failed to produce good grapes.In the Bible there is a contrast with how sheep and grape vines are portrayed.  God’s people, sheep, are shown as needing the guidance of a kindly shepherd, whereas vines and workers in them show all the wilfulness of human beings.  Vines do not receive a good press.Yet vines were valuable to the Jewish way of life, providing grapes to make wine.  Many synagogues had carvings of bunches of grapes over their doors, stressing their importance to the community.  A good farmer would work hard to care for his vines, waiting patiently and expectantly for a good crop, and if conditions had been favourable join happily at Sukkoth, the grape harvest festivaIt is thought that it was at this service that Isaiah delivered his withering sermon which we heard today.  He was continuing to use the vine as a warning as others prophets had done.  Vines had become a symbol of how Israel had degenerated.  God had tended His nation to bring salvation to the world, yet it had done nothing to repay His attention.  In fact, the leaders had constantly rejected God’s prophets.  His people had gone their own way; there was no justice, only cries for help.  Retribution was on its way but nobody was listening. Those who heard Jesus must have been reminded of Isaiah’s words but this parable took the warnings to another level.  References were made to the earlier rejected prophets, and in the end Jesus was saying God’s mission to call back Israel to him was so urgent that He sent His Son. Jesus knew of the religious leaders’ plans.  He would be “thrown out of the vineyard and killed” because He wasn’t the warrior king they wanted.  But God’s plans will not be thwarted and one day the rejected stone would become the cornerstone of God’s brand new building, the Christian Church.  Jesus’ life and teaching would be the church’s foundation.





Sunday 27th September

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to watch an online service this week please go to the Westfield Church Online Services page.


Sunday 20th September

The Service for the 15th Sunday after Trinity

The songs in the service

Amazing Grace.

Take my life

Now thank we all our God



Sunday 13th September

As there is a service in St Laurence's Church this Sunday there will not be an online service for Guestling. 

If you would like to wacth an online service this week please got to the Westfield Church Online Services page.



Sunday 6th September

The Service for the 13th Sunday after Trinity


Jim's Sermon 

Every now and again the midweek service at Westfield is sparsely attended, and someone will say “Never mind.  Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in Christ’s name, He is there”.  We heard those words again in our Gospel reading today, and they are amongst the most well-known of texts. This is something the Church has always claimed, that whenever any number of people are met together in His name for praise or service, Christ is with them.  The Risen Lord stands amongst us even now.How does Christ come?  However we try to explain the Holy Spirit in theological terms we can easily understand that it is part of His work to make Christ real, to make our Lord’s teaching clear.  The love which the Spirit kindles in our hearts is the love shown by Jesus through all time. Jesus comes when people gather together to worship in His faith and love.  He comes in the mystery and wonder of the worship, whether it is in St Laurence’s church, a magnificent cathedral, a simple chapel or, as today, in the comfort of our own homes.  Wherever folk sincerely seek His presence for Christ-like reasons, Jesus will be there.And Jesus comes where women and men become His hands on behalf of other members of God’s family.  Martin Luther struggles with the idea that good works are all we need to be justified to God, but his study of Romans (part of which we heard this morning) convinced him that it is the good we trust in him to do in us.  We are justified by faith, not works, Luther realised.  But still he had doubts about the Reformation he was spearheading, until he recalled those parting words of our Lord to His disciples.  According to St Matthew, Jesus said “Lo I am with you always”.Jesus promised then, as He promises us now, that He would always be with His people.  Those early followers worshipped Jesus but some doubted, we are told.  It is very human to have doubts and fears, and the Old Testament has many examples of God needing to stiffen the backbones of His chosen ones, and even the Apostles doubted Jesus’ ability to feed the multitude.  “Take it to the Lord in prayer” and He will resolve our qualms. You may be alone following this service or with your family, worshipping, but you are still linked to the worldwide church, giving praise to the One who promised to be always with you because where 2 or 3 are gathered together in Christ’s name, He WILL be with them.

The songs used during the Service

Soldiers of Christ

A new commandment

Praise my soul



Sunday 30th August


The Service for the Twefth Sunday after Trinity


The songs used in the Service

For the beauty


Father hear the prayer we offer


From heaven You came




Sunday 23rd August

The Service for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity


The songs used in the Service...


Come thou fount of every blessing


Be thou my vision


The Church's one foundation





Sunday 16th August

The Service for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity

Please accept our apologies for the late uploading of the service. We'll have to make Tuesday the new Sunday.



The songs used in the service

Praise My Soul


Fairest Lord Jesus


The Kingdom of God is Justice and Joy






Sunday 9th August

The Service for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity...


The songs used in the service

Morning has broken


I lift my eyes to the quiet hills


Great is thy faithfulness




Sunday 2nd August

The Service for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity

The Sermon for 2nd August

If you were to ask a group of people in a quiz to list five of Jesus’ miracles, the chances are that the one they’d have in common would be the Feeding of the Five Thousand which is recorded in all four Gospels.  As Christians, the miracle is significant to us and conveys some important teaching.

Jesus was at a low point, having heard of the brutal killing of John the Baptist, and we read that He went off to a deserted place to be by himself and with God in prayer.  A deserted place tells of solitude and silence, but that was soon to change because people in their thousands gathered together as they heard that Jesus was going to that deserted place.  Jesus travelled there by boat but the crowd went on foot; they made an effort to bring Jesus into their lives.  “Follow me” the Master often said, and these people certainly did to reach that barren deserted place.  They came with their unwell friends and relatives, they came with the many problems that face mankind, deserted people in a desert place.  It’s no different today, perhaps more so in these self-isolating times, and many are lonely with no companionship.  They are people with unsettled meaningless lives.  But Jesus is present in our deserts, ready to help.  He promises today that he is among us in our isolation.

Jesus saw that crowd and was moved with pity.  He knew that they were deserted people but they came and surrendered their lives to His mercy.  He looks at us now and calls us to surrender our deserted lives to Him.  He needs our co-operation by giving of ourselves to Him. 

Jesus focused on these hungry people.  Very few of us today know real hunger but there is a hunger still for all sorts of things apart from food.  Justice for the oppressed and voiceless, peace in our families, our communities, our world.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness” Jesus said.  What a stirring passage is Isaiah 55, part of which we heard earlier.  God invites us to come to Him with our desires.  The Authorised Version’s passage is one of my favourites starting “Ho everyone that thirsteth”.  It’s well worth a read. 

“Send the crowds away to buy food” suggested the disciples.  We can give them credit for thinking of the people’s hunger, but although they saw the need they knew they didn’t have the ability to help, but Jesus knew and understood how God works.  He takes what meagre resources we have and distributes our offering through us, Jesus’ followers.  But he does need us to come to Him with our loaves and fishes which He blesses and uses to care for the needs of us all.

So let us pray.

Gracious Lord, thank you for all that you give us and for the privilege of sharing with others in need.  In the name of Jesus Christ we offer to you our loaves and fishes.  Amen

The Songs used in the Service


I heard the voice of Jesus say


As the deer pants for water


The King of love my Shepherd is






Sunday 26th July


The Service for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity


The Songs used in the Service


God is love his the care


Take my life and let it be


Amazing Grace







Sunday 19th July

The Service for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity


The songs used in the service...

All people that on earth


Father God


How great thou art




Sunday 12th July

The service for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity.


Songs used in the service...

Ye servants of God


Summer suns are glowing


Great is thy faithfulness


Sunday 5th July    

The Service for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity


Jim's Sermon 

There can’t be many more poignant verses in the Bible than one we heard in our Gospel reading this morning, Matthew 11 v.28.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.  The past 4 months have certainly been a burden and many of us are weary of it all, but Jesus invites us to come to Him with our problems and our burdens.  It is the most gracious invitation ever extended.

Jesus’ ministry was full of invitations not commands.  In the parable of the great banquet, many who were invited had other things to do and so were excluded in favour of the disadvantaged, who came willingly.  Jesus invites us to come for forgiveness that we might have life. 

Some of John the Baptist’s disciples were invited to come and see what our Lord was about, and St Mark relates how the fishermen were invited to, “Come, follow me”.  Jesus called them to a life of discipleship if they would but leave their nets and follow Him.  He invites us to give up our self-centredness and offer ourselves to the service of our Lord and to our fellows.  Following Christ is not a golden ticket into Heaven but we have to share the Master’s burden as the parable of the sheep and the goats makes clear. 

Jesus continued, “Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.  Yokes have almost passed into history but in Jesus’ day they were commonplace for both draught oxen and, yes, people.  What could be an unendurable task is so much easier with help.  A problem shared is a problem halved, the old saying has it. 

One of life’s great tragedies is to have no yoke fellow, so Christ calls, “Take my yoke”.  No yoke is easy; it wasn’t intended to be and you wouldn’t ask if the yoke was easy.  It cannot be, but it can be gentle if fitted properly and in tandem with another.  Jesus calls us to service but doesn’t offer us ease.  His gracious invitation comes to all who find the weight of the responsibilities of life crushing and difficult to bear, though we notice Jesus does not promise to remove the burdens completely, but to give us the help we need.  By accepting our Lord’s invitation we shall be accepting the aid needed for bearing life’s burdens.

 Songs in the service

What a friend we have is Jesus...


Dear Lord and Father of Mankind


Forth in thy name oh Lord I go.





Sunday 28th June

The Service for the third Sunday after Trinity


Bishop Martin's talk


The songs used in the Service today...

Blessed assurance

At the name of Jesus

Be thou my vision


Sunday 21st June

The service for the second Sunday after Trinity


Today's talk

A sermonette from Jim


Songs used in the Service..

Take up your Cross

When I survey the Wondrous Cross

Lift high the Cross





Sunday 14th June

The service for the first Sunday after Trinity...


The songs used in the service

All my hope on God is founded


God forgave my sin...Freely, Freely


Lord You give the great Commision





Sunday 7th June

The Sevice for Trinity Sunday


Songs used in the service...

Holy, Holy, Holy 


Father I adore You


Lead us Heavenly Father lead us







Sunday 31st May

The Service for Pentecost

Songs for the service

Come down O Love Divine

Spirit if the Living God

Longing for the Light




Sunday 24th May

(Please use the links below for different parts of the Service)

The service for the Sunday after Ascension Day...


Songs used in the service...

Hail the Day...


The Head that Once was Crowned with Thorns


Lot of all Hopefulness




Sunday 17th May

(please use the links below for different parts of the Service)


The Service for the 6th Sunday of Easter,


Songs used in the service

Immortal, invisible...


Breathe on me Breath of God...


Love divine....






Sunday 10th May

(please use the links below for different parts of the Service)

The Service for the 5th Sunday of Easter,

The songs used in the service...

Who would true valour see


Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you

To God be the Glory






Sunday 3rd May

(please use the links below for different parts of the Service)

The Service for the 4th Sunday of Easter,

Songs used in the Service

The King of Love my Shepherd is...

I lift my eyes...

Great is Thy Faithfulness...





Sunday 26th April.

(please use the links below for the different parts of the service)

The Service for the 3rd Sunday of Easter.


Sarah's reading


The songs used in the Service


 Blessed Assurance...

 How Great Thou Art...

Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer...




Sunday 19th April.

The Service


Joy's talk for the second Sunday of Easter.


Links to the songs used in the service