Last Sunday was joyous and celebratory at our church. Our steward Sue Fox welcomed everyone to include our minister, the Rev’d Mark Lawrence and his wife Carolyn, and Sue reminded us as a congregation that we were celebrating two significant events for much loved church members. First, Keith and Jill Harrison, celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and Margaret Maxwell celebrating a significant birthday during the last few days. The celebrating note was echoed by Mark as we began worship with the hymn “With gladness we worship, rejoice as we sing, free hearts and free voices how blessed to bring”. Mark’s theme was “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done”. Jonathan Baddeley played the piano.

Our prayers of praise, thanksgiving and confession followed. Mark then led a short act of thanksgiving and blessing on Keith and Jill on their achieving 50 years of happy marriage and their daughter Aimee read a modern version of St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians about love. Carolyn Lawrence led our prayers for others reminding us of the suffering currently taking place in many parts of the world as well as for those taking part in the many parliamentary elections globally. We remembered also those known to us in need of our prayers at this time.

Our morning’s bible reading was taken from Luke, chapter 17 telling of the coming of the Kingdom of God. It was read by Sue Fox. It was this topic which Mark used in his sermon. He reminded us of the words of Jesus who said the Kingdom of God will not be seen as it is within us. He told us that his kingdom is not of this world and everyone who is on the side of truth must listen to him. This kingdom is part of the ceremony in the blessing of Holy Matrimony. Quoting various passages of scripture Mark asked that God’s will be done in our hearts, in our relationships with others, in our leisure moments and in our church.

Before our closing hymn “Love divine all loves excelling” especially chosen by Keith and Jill, we celebrated the sacrament of Holy Communion and Jill and Carolyn assisted Mark in distributing the elements of bread and wine. It had been a memorable act of worship for an excellent congregation of members and visitors.