06 September 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (101) 6 September 2023

Saint Guthlac’s Church … between the Old Rectory and Passenham Manor (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Patrick Comerford

We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and this week began with the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity XIII, 3 September 2023). Today (6 September 2023), the calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship remembers the life and witness of Allen Gardiner (1851), Missionary, Founder of the South American Mission Society.

Before today begins, I am taking some time this morning for prayer and reflection.

This week, I have been reflecting each morning in these ways:

1, Looking at a church on the route of the annual Ride + Stride, organised by Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust and taking place next Saturday, 9 September 2023;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

The east end of Saint Guthlac’s Church in the tiny Northamptonshire hamlet of Passenham, near Stony Stratford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Saint Guthlac’s Church, Passenham, Northamptonshire:

The annual Ride + Stride organised by Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust takes place on Saturday 9 September 2023. Participants may be cyclists, walkers, horse-riders or drivers of mobility scooters. They can be of any age, but under-13s must be accompanied by an adult. All denominations are welcome.

Participants may visit as many churches as they like, planning their own route, and are asked to seek sponsorship from friends, relations and colleagues: so much per church visited or a lump sum. https://ridestride.org/

Ride + Stride offers opportunities find out what lies behind the churchyard gates of Buckinghamshire’s many churches and chapels.

Ride + Stride is open to walkers as well as horse-riders and cyclists. It always takes place on the second Saturday of September, between 10 am and 6 pm, and aims to raise money for the repair and restoration of churches and chapels of any Christian denomination in Buckinghamshire.

Half the money raised goes to the church or chapel of the participant’s choice, and the other half is added to a general fund administered by the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust.

Churches are encouraged to make applications to the trust for grants to help with church repairs and restoration. Last year’s Ride + Stride event raised more than £26,610. Last year, the trust awarded grants totalling £28,000 to 11 churches that applied for funding to assist with both major and minor works.

My photographs this week are from some of the churches taking part in this year’s Ride + Stride next weekend. Although Saint Guthlac’s Church, Passenham, is in Northamptonshire and in the Diocese of Peterborough, it is close to Stony Stratford and Milton Keynes and is one of the churches taking part in the Ride + Stride organised by Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust on Saturday. So, my photographs this morning are of Saint Guthlac’s Church, Passenham.

The waggon roof in the chancel of Saint Guthlac’s Church was restored in the 1960s and painted in blue with golden stars (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Luke 4: 38-44 (NRSVA):

38 After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. 39 Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.

40 As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. 41 Demons also came out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.

42 At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. 43 But he said to them, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.’ 44 So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.

Inside Saint Guthlac’s Church in Passenham … Sir Robert Banastre rebuilt the church in 1626 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayer:

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Harvest.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday. To find out more, visit www.uspg.org.uk

The USPG Prayer Diary today (6 September 2023) invites us to pray in these words:

Thank you, Lord, for volunteers. For the giving of their precious time to serve their communities.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post Communion Prayer:

God our creator,
you feed your children with the true manna,
the living bread from heaven:
let this holy food sustain us through our earthly pilgrimage
until we come to that place
where hunger and thirst are no more;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Inside Saint Guthlac’s Church, Passenham, facing the gallery and the west end (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Yesterday’s Reflection

Continued Tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

The choir stalls in Saint Guthlac’s Church date from 1628 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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