Circuit Worship: 11 April 2021

Peter Powers

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:


Hello and welcome to worship on Sunday the 11th of April, here in the Oxford Circuit. Hallelujah Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia. We continue to celebrate the risen Christ of Easter day. Come embrace the risen Christ; come embrace the Prince of Peace; come embrace his pierced hands; come meet your Lord and your God. Our first hymn is in Singing the Faith no. 297. The hymn is Christ is alive let Christians sing.

Song: Christ is alive

Opening Prayers

I’m recording outside in the sunshine and at the garden at the manse in oxford here though it’s a bit chilly. Still there is some beautiful sunshine and even some blue skies. Let us pray then. As the disciples in the locked room reached out and touched you let us reach out and touch you today. Living Lord Jesus let us feel your scarred hands and feet, let us put our hands in your side, let us be still and know that you are our Lord and our God. Lord your body was broken and your blood was shed. Thank you for the cross. You did it so that we might live. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for all that you have done for us. Thank you for the cross. Your love has set us free. Thank you for the resurrection. You were raised to life and ran out of that grave. Thank you for the resurrection. Thank you that we have eternal life in you. Thank you for your cross and your resurrection. Amen. And a prayer of confession. Gracious and loving one we come with busy hearts and minds. Let us confess to God all those things that we should not carry. O God forgive us when we cannot see you, for all our questions, when we refuse to believe out of uncertainty or fear, when we don’t recognize you at work within us. God of mercy forgive us. O God forgive us when we keep you to ourselves, unwilling to share your joy with others, preferring to stay in our own comfort zones behind closed doors. God of mercy forgive us. O God forgive us when we muddle up our priorities, misunderstanding our purpose and potential and do not listen to your calling. God of mercy forgive us. Hear now the words of Jesus. For all who are truly sorry and seek to renew their lives your sins are forgiven. Lead us now O God to acknowledge your costly generosity by living as forgiven people until heaven and earth rejoice and the whole earth cries glory through Christ our Lord. Amen.


1 Peter 3: 3-9

Song: King of glory, King of peace


John 20: 19-31


Song: At the name of Jesus

We sing together another well-known hymn and one of my personal favourites. It’s number 317 in Singing the Faith and is the hymn At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, every tongue confess him king of glory now. We sing together.


And so we come to our prayers as we share together prayers of thanksgiving and we make our offering, and then we share together prayers for others. In our intercessions and so in our prayers and in our lives let us give thanks to God. For the love of God our Father the maker of all, the giver of all things, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the world’s beauty and the changing season, for blossom, birds and bees, and for the love of the life that we have been given, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ our Saviour who lived and worked among us. For those wonderful moments of recognition of the Lord alive within us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for his suffering and death on the cross and his resurrection to new life. The signs of new life we see and those that we hope for. Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for his rule over all things and his presence in the world, the signs of compassion, care and community around us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the Holy Spirit the giver of life who teaches and guides us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the grace of the Spirit in the work of the church, scattered or gathered and the life of the world, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen. Over the last year or so many of us have made our gifts and offerings through standing orders and other similar ways. Through the charitable gifts that we make, our time and our availability, our care and our compassion, we acknowledge all that giving as part of our worship today. Gracious God accept all our gifts and with them our lives to be used in your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord amen. And so as we make our gifts we also make our prayers for the needs of others, marking Jesus to intercede that our prayers might be heard and answered in his name. Let us pray. Loving Lord you promised us that whenever two or more are gathered in your name our prayers will be answered. Our definition of gathering has strangely changed. We pray that these prayers spoken from hearts spread out across our community will be acceptable to you. Gracious God hear our prayer. We humbly pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world separated from each other as we are by the darkness of this disease, we pray that you will hold us close, bound together in your love in faith. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for all the nations. None are exempt from this pandemic. We pray for all the other problems facing the world, poverty, famine, drought and war. These problems continue on unaffected worsened by its shadow. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for our leaders guiding us as best they can. We pray that you will guide them and so lead us through to a brighter world, brighter for everyone. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for our communities, for those serving us, serving us both ministering to our health and to our everyday needs. We pray that you will continue to protect them, keeping them and their families safe. We pray for those around us living alone, isolated, lonely, unseen. Keep them from despair. Lord guide us to them. Show us their need. Gracious God hear our prayer. Pray for the sick – Lord we pray that you will be with them where family and friends cannot. We pray that for those who have lost their battle who have died we pray that they are safe with you. Please comfort and support their loved ones left behind to mourn in isolation. Hold them especially close. Gracious God hear our prayers. Almighty God please join us your children together in your love along with all those who have gone before us and use us to your loving purpose. Amen. We gather these and all our prayers both spoken and felt inside as we share together the Lord’s prayer in the modern version. Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial. For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, forever and ever. Amen and before a blessing we sing again our closing hymn See what a morning gloriously bright with the dawning of hope in Jerusalem Folded the grave clothes tomb filled with life as the angels announce Christ is risen It’s no. 309 in Singing the Faith

Song: See what a morning


You remain in my prayers and the prayers of many others. As the week ahead comes to us we share together in a final blessing. Jesus stood among them and said “Peace be with you. As the father has sent me so I send you the holy spirit”. Go and do the Father’s work in the name of the Son and in the strength of the Spirit. Amen and the blessing of God Father the Son and the Holy Spirit remain with you always Amen.

Organ voluntary

March, from the Occasional Oratorio (G.F. Handel)

Alexander Binns plays the organ of Derby Cathedral

Circuit Worship: 4 April 2021

Simon Blainey

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:


Happy Easter to you all, and a very warm welcome to the Oxford Circuit Service for this Easter Sunday. I’m Simon Blainey, one of the local preachers on the circuit, and I feel hugely privileged to be leading today’s service on the most joyful Sunday in the Christian calendar, so wherever you are listening to this service, I’m delighted to be sharing in worship with you.

And so let’s begin our service by hearing from John’s gospel about what happened on that first Easter morning.

Reading 1

John 20:1-18

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.


See What A Morning – Singing The Faith 309

See What a Morning – Kristyn Getty, Margaret Becker, Joanne Hogg – YouTube

Reading 2

Acts 10:34-43

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”


Thine Be The Glory – Singing The Faith 313

Thine Be the Glory [with lyrics for congregations] – YouTube



Lord, Enthroned In Heavenly Splendour – Singing The Faith 593

Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendour (St Helen) [with lyrics for congregations] – YouTube

Prayers of intercession

Lord, we pray for the world in need of your resurrection power;

For a world thrown into chaos by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For a world where there was already so much suffering and pain,

Where many people have nowhere to live, nowhere to call home, nowhere to feel safe and secure.

For a world where people have been driven from their homes by crime, war, and political unrest.

For a world damaged by those in thrall to the threat of death and darkness.

May the risen Christ bring hope and peace.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for people in need of your resurrection power.

For those whose attitudes of hate, resentment and bitterness and a desire to dominate cause hurt and deep wounds in the lives of others.

For those whose hearts are filled with sadness and sorrow because of the loss of those they loved.

For those whose hopes have been dashed, whose plans and dreams have come to nothing, and for those who are filled with regret for what they did or failed to do.

May the risen Christ bring them comfort.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who work for others.

For healthcare professionals who have spent over a year caring for those affected by Covid-19.

For key workers who have put themselves at risk to keep our society functioning.

For those who disregard their own safety to help the victims of war.

For all those who sacrifice their own comfort and security for the sake of those with no one to care for them.

For those whose words and deeds bring hope to those crushed by their experiences of life.

For those who give little thought to their own needs because they see only the hope of others.

May the risen Christ fill them with his grace.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who we know to be in particular need this Easter time.

Those who are ill, anxious, depressed or afraid.

Those who are seeking guidance and the presence of God;

For those whose hearts are breaking, and those whose lives are filled with joy.

We pray too for ourselves, for all that is concerning us now, and all that we must face tomorrow.

May the risen Christ be with us in all that we do.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

And so let’s say together the prayer which Jesus taught us…


And Can It Be – Singing The Faith 345

And Can It Be That I Should Gain [with lrics for congregations] – YouTube


Lord Jesus, yours is the victory, ours is the hope.

Yours is the triumph, ours is the joy.

Yours is the glory, ours is the peace

Yours is the power, ours is the trust.

And may your risen presence hold us, guide us and lead us, now and for ever, Amen

Organ Voluntary

Toccata, from the 5th Organ Symphony (Charles-Marie Widor)

Jonathan Scott plays the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Manchester Town Hall

Circuit Worship: 28 March 2021

A service for Palm Sunday, led by Prof. David R. Matthews

The service this week is integrated into a single video. This is the only way to view the service this week – to play this click below or go here.

Resources for the service:

Reading: Mark 11. 1-11


Jesus, Lord of the Journey,
we thank you
that you set your face firmly towards Jerusalem,
with a single eye and pure intention,
knowing what lay ahead but never turning aside.

Jesus, Lord of the Palms,
we thank you
that you enjoyed the Hosannas of ordinary people,
living fully in that moment of delight
and accepting their praise.

Jesus, Lord of the Cross,
we thank you
that you went into the heart of our evil and pain,
along a way that was both terrible and wonderful,
as your kingship became your brokenness
and your dying became love’s triumph.

COVID POEM (Laura Kelley Fanucci)

When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbours
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.

When this ends,
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way
– better for each other
– better for the world
because of the worst.

INTERCESSIONS (Clare Matthews)

We offer to God our prayers for the world.

Loving Father, we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters around the globe who, in all sorts of places and situations and styles, are preparing to commemorate the events of Holy Week. May they bear faithful and attractive witness to the Easter gospel of hope and love which the world so urgently needs to hear. 

We ask your particular blessing on those who will be worshipping you in places where it is unsafe to be a Christian. May they be upheld and encouraged by your close presence. 

In a moment of silence we ask your blessing on our own church communities, asking that even when we are scattered and separate, we may continue to find ways of sharing and spreading your love. 

God of mercy and love.  Let us serve you in our world.

We pray for all nations embroiled in long-term conflicts, and for communities scarred by unrest and upheaval.  Grant wisdom to the world’s decision makers and a real desire for peace. May hearts which have been hardened by violence and self-interest discover a different light and a better way. 

We pray for progress in the global battle against the Covid pandemic, asking that our leaders will move forward in a spirit of generous co-operation to find a way to protect all people.

In a moment of silence, we each hold up to you a country or situation that is particularly on our minds. 

God of mercy and love.  Let us serve you in our world.

We hold up for your blessing the communities where we live and work, giving thanks for those who help them to run smoothly through their jobs or voluntary work or good neighbourliness.  Strengthen all efforts to build a tolerant, harmonious society where every member can flourish and the weak are cared for. 

In a moment of silence, we ask God to make each of us aware of ways in which we can better serve our neighbours and communities.

God of mercy and love.  Let us serve you in our world.

We hold up to your healing light the many, many people who are suffering in body, mind and spirit from the damage inflicted by Covid.  Draw close to them in their distress so that they may be aware of your strong arms holding them and your message of hope spoken to them. 

In a moment of silence, we each pray for one person we know who is in particular need of God’s comfort and peace.

God of mercy and love.  Let us serve you in our world.

Loving Lord, we thank you for bringing us together through this act of worship, wherever and whenever we are joining it.  As we embark on another Holy Week may we be excited all over again by its extraordinary message of indestructible love and boundless hope, and may the ripples of our excitement spread out into the world to draw others to you. 

We offer all our prayers in the name of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 


BLESSING  (John L. Bell)

On our heads and our houses
the blessing of God, 

on our coming and going,
the peace of God; 

in our life and believing, 
the love of God; 

at our end and new beginning, 
the arms of God to welcome us and bring us home. 

Organ Voluntary

Chorale prelude on ‘Valet will ich dir geben’, BWV 736 (J.S. Bach)
Wolfgang Zerer plays the organ of St Catherine’s Church, Hamburg

Circuit Worship: 21st March 2021

Led by Peter Powers

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:

Welcome and call to worship

Hello and welcome to worship for the fifth Sunday of Lent in the Oxford Methodist Circuit. It’s good to welcome you as we gather for worship today, with the theme in our minds “we want to see Jesus”. We begin with our call to worship. We come into the presence of Jesus to worship him today. Let us make our church a place where all are welcome and all are included. We begin with Singing the Faith number 508, if you’re using the hymn book, the video with the words and music and those singing will appear next and that is Purify my Heart.

Hymn – Purify my Heart – StF 508

Opening Prayers

Let us pray. O God we come before you knowing that we are welcome in your house. A warm feeling stirs within as we direct our footsteps her,e knowing that our presence is wanted and anticipated and that you have good things in store for your children. Help us we pray to learn from you and be like you in the welcome we extend to others, for all people are your children, and whether they join us or we meet them in the places common to all, your welcome must show in our loving acceptance. Thank you for welcoming us as we should welcome others unconditionally. Yours Lord were the arms stretched wide on the cross a welcome to all in the midst of your agony. Yours were the arms spread in blessing after the resurrection. Crucified Lord, risen Lord, we adore you in your pain and in your victory. Your welcome ever the same, gathering us to you and blessing us and folding us in your loving embrace. Lord of all we thank you for giving your all to include us in your love. Help us to follow your example and to take up our cross and follow you. Make us ready to receive and welcome all who come to us, so that they too may see Jesus. Lord forgive us for not welcoming others as you do, for looking askance at the stranger in our midst. We confess that we are quick to note the differences between ourselves and others, but you treat all people the same. Forgive us for revelling in the presumed privilege of being your children. Help us to break down barriers to you. We cannot keep you to ourselves. Help us to welcome unconditionally all who seek you within these walls and to take your welcome wherever we go to be church without walls. Thank you for welcoming us back no matter what we have done; for that initial embrace that welcomed us, though we were sinners; for the forgiveness that greets us every time we turn back to you. Help us to embody your forgiveness in our dealings with one another and with those outside the flock. May our welcome be the sign of the greater welcome that comes from you. Amen.

Reading: John 12:20-33

Hymn – Let us build a house where love can dwell


Prayers of intercession

We now take time to pray. First of all, a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, and then we share our prayers for the needs of others and of the wider world in our prayers of intercession. Let us pray. Lord our God in covenants old and new you have held your arms open wide to your people, in the arms of a baby in a manger, waving in delight at strangers from near and far, you embraced all humanity. On the cross you held your arms open to the world. God incarnate, God crucified and risen, we praise you for all you have sacrificed to welcome us. Help us to give up our pettiness, our selfishness, in order to embrace others in the welcome that comes from you. Amen. And as we share our prayers of intercession, you’ll recognize the well-known response. When I pray Lord in your mercy if you would join in by praying hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who, like Christ, are ridiculed for what they believe, and persecuted for what they hold dear. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ put their lives on the line for others in the full knowledge of the risks they are taking. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ are beaten and abused, the victims of torture and brutality. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ are betrayed by friends and colleagues who run away at their hour of greatest need. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ know their need of you and turn to you in prayer, and be with us now as we share together in the prayer that you have taught us of Christ. The lord’s prayer. Our father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Forgive us today as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen. And we turn to our closing hymn: Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew.

Hymn: Breathe on me breath of God


Thank you for joining us. It’s been good to gather together. You’re welcome again to our online service next Sunday and we look forward to Holy Week when we will have a number of service and worship opportunities for you during Holy Week as we approach Eastertide. A blessing as we go to the rest of our day. Welcoming God, thank you for the welcome that Jesus offers out of his great love for all people. Help us to follow his example, teach us to consider the needs of others, even when this means we must lay something down. Bless us as we meet with others. Day by day give us a spirit of welcome and friendship. As you welcome us, help us to welcome those whom you send to us and may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us and with those we love and seek to love, now and forevermore. Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Ciacona in E minor (Dietrich Buxtehude)

Kimberly Marshall plays the Fritts organ of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

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