28 March 2020

Dear friends,

Tomorrow is the fifth Sunday of Lent, known as Passion Sunday. We turn our attention to our Lord Jesus Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. 

Tomorrow at 10am all being well I will celebrate the Parish Eucharist with my family as normal and pray for you all, for world leaders, for all who work in healthcare, and for the needs of the world, for all who suffer the effects of the Coronavirus and other illness, and for all who have died. 

Between 10am and 11am tomorrow please try and stop and pray so that we are all united in worship and prayer (don’t forget the clocks go forward!). 

Copied below are the collect, readings and intercessions for tomorrow and also some special prayers including a prayer to make your spiritual communion. Try and pray through this with your household unit.

The Gospel reading for tomorrow, the raising of Lazarus, is worth reading closely. At the grave of Lazarus, Jesus' friend, Jesus weeps. Jesus knows our fears, grief, pain and worry. I know this is a deeply worrying and strange time for us all. But though we are isolated the story of the raising of Lazarus reminds us we are not alone: Jesus is with us whatever happens, and surrounds us with his love. 

You’ll all be on my heart tomorrow as I celebrate the Eucharist and I’ll be in touch afterwards with a video message which I will try and make available on the internet.

A reminder to let me know if you would like to join the church whatsapp group. 

Love and prayers,

Father Stephen.


Sunday, 29th March 2020

Dear friends, at this time when we are not able to gather in Church for the celebration of the Eucharist, you are invited to pray the Collect of the day, read and reflect on the readings and Gospel, and offer some prayers of intercession printed below.

Then pray the Lord’s Prayer and the Act of Spiritual Communion below – a special prayer for those who cannot be present to receive Christ in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Once you have done this pray the prayer for all who suffer at this time written by the Church of England for this crisis, and conclude with the Grace.


Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


Ezekiel 37:1–14     A reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel.
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.  He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.  He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’  So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.  I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’  I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.  Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.”  Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.  I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’
Romans 8:6–11     A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law – indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.


John 11:1–45     A reading from the Gospel according to John.
A certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.  So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’  But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’  Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’  The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’  Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight?  Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world.  But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’  After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’  The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’  Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.  For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him.’  Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’  When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.  Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’  Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’  Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?’  She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’  When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’  And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.  The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out.  They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.  He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’  They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’  Jesus began to weep.  So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’  But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’  Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb.  It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.  Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’  Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’  So they took away the stone.  And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’  When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’  The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.  Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’  Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.


Please pray at this time for containment of the Coronavirus.  Pray too for the leaders of the nations, for all doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, and for the elderly, housebound and vulnerable at this time.
Please pray for those suffering from the Coronavirus.  Pray too for the sick known to us among them:  Mark Harris, Daphne Laing, Germano Valsecchi, Sarah Mortimer, Stuart Gunn, Dave Webbing, Margaret Al-gaban, Susan Dingle, Barbara Green, Katie Smith, Beryl Andrews, Molly Johnson, Louisa Boon and Tom Morris.
Please pray too for the recently departed and those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time. 


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.


My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there, and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.


Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy. Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.

20 March 2020

Dear friends,

Tomorrow, the 4th Sunday of Lent (Mothering Sunday) all being well I will go into church to celebrate the Parish Eucharist at 10am as usual, with Roberta and the girls as the congregation. We’ll pray especially for all of you, our congregation and parish, at this time. 

Please do try and stop and pray at around 10am so there’s a real sense of our church still coming together in the Spirit. I’ve copied below the readings for tomorrow’s Eucharist, and the intercessions, to help your prayer and worship at home. 

For the children here’s a sheet of Mothering Sunday activities from the Mothers Union which can be printed 

There’s also a good Sunday School video on the St Paul’s Winchmore Hill website www.spwh.org

After church tomorrow I’ll record a short reflection from inside our beautiful church building.

With thanks to Sue Stanson for putting these together, some Mothering Sunday flowers will be blessed which I’ll then deliver to our older and vulnerable members of the congregation. Any left over will be in church and can be taken away - the church will be open between 11am and 2pm for private prayer. 

Finally - I am working on live streaming our services and also recording messages for the children, which I hope to launch next Sunday.

At this worrying time and as evening falls we pray this wonderful prayer commending each other and the whole of creation to God’s safekeeping:

Lighten our darkness we beseech thee O Lord, and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night, for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 

With my love and prayers for you all,

Father Stephen.

The Revd Stephen Coleman
Parish Priest and Vicar
The Vicarage, 10 Langham Gardens, London, N21 1DN
Telephone: 0208 360 2294 Ÿ E-mail: stephenplcoleman@hotmail.com

Sunday 22nd March 2020


God of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


1 Samuel 1:20–28     A reading from the first book of Samuel.
Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”  The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.  But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.”  Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only – may the Lord establish his word.”  So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.  When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine.  She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”  She left him there for the Lord.
Colossians 3:12–17     A reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians.
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.  
And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


John 19:25b–27     A reading from the Gospel according to John.
Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.


Please pray at this time for containment of the Coronavirus. Pray too for the leaders of the nations, for all doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, and for the elderly, housebound and vulnerable at this time.
Please pray for those suffering from the Coronavirus. Pray too for the sick known to us among them:  Mark Harris, Daphne Laing, Germano Valsecchi, Sarah Mortimer, Stuart Gunn, Dave Webbing, Margaret Al-gaban, Susan Dingle, Barbara Green, Katie Smith, Beryl Andrews, Beryl Kendall, Molly Johnson, Louisa Boon and Tom Morris.
Please pray too for the recently departed and those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time.