Mothering Sunday – 22nd March 2020


Hi Everyone and welcome to All Saints this morning.

After the letter published by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on the 17th March, our worship is going to look very different for the time being. There are lots of different resources which we will endeavour to point you towards, both on-line and hard copies. This service that we have put together for this morning is simply a starting point and we hope to creatively develop this space over the coming weeks. There will be a transcript for each of these, so they can be printed and handed out where needed. If you have any ideas, suggestions or contributions, please do send these to

It’s also Mother’s Day today, so I would also like to wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day. Today we say thank to those of you who have cared for us and continue to do.  It is also a day to come alongside those for whom this is a difficult day and one of pain and sadness.



Think about this past week. Where have you noticed God working? Pause and say thank you.


Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on 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 one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts 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.

I’ve heard this passage described as the wardrobe of God, as Paul outlines the Godly characteristics to put on day by day to enable the community in Colossae to live with each other and their differences in their society.

The passage reminds them first and foremost that they are chosen, set apart to be different (that is holy) and that they are dearly loved. Because of that they are to put on, to practice the characteristics of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Alongside these, they are encouraged to hold the peace-making attributes of forbearance and forgiveness because they themselves have experienced the forgiveness of Christ. All of this is held together by love, which unites and binds them.

The community in Colossae were attempting to live with a number of differences and knowing these tensions Paul expresses the wish that peace may reign within them. This peace is more than an uneasy truce or an absence of conflict, but a peace that builds the community. God’s word, or teaching is then set into a space of thankfulness, of singing hymns and psalms which in themselves are vehicles for learning about God. Lastly the vista broadens from the church community and spills out into the rest of life, for there is no part of the world which is not under God’s rule.

The more time that I have spent in this passage this week, the more it seems to speak into the current uncertain and quickly changing circumstances we find ourselves in as the world plans and responds to the COVID-19.

Firstly let us remember that as disciples of Jesus, we are indeed chosen, called apart to be different and that we are dearly loved, for this is a positive reminder of who we are in God and reminds us that God remains Lord of all.

Secondly, it is because of this that we should seek to practice those characteristics of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness, which is united in love. It is not that we have the monopoly on these characteristics for we are seeing that in abundance amongst our community. Instead it is simply that we become people who display these characteristics as a response to all that God has given for us and when it gets tough and we are tempted to give up, it is God who enables us to keep moving forward.

Lastly, in a time when we are unable to gather together for the good of us all, let us remember to be thankful, to keep worshipping and listening for God and all that he is teaching us. Our worship is to be set into the context of the whole of our lives and in this moment, we have an amazing opportunity to understand this in a new way.

So reading this passage;

  • What do you notice?What questions do you have?
  • What is God saying to you?
  • What are you going to do differently this week in the light of our current context?

Record this in some way (be it written, audio or visual) and review it in a week’s time.



Almighty God, Lord of all creation, the one upon whom we depend.

We pray for all those who have loved and cared for us as mothers,

May they know your presence with them.

We pray for all those who are struggling today,

May they know your presence with them.

We pray for all who work in the caring professions at this time,

May they know your presence with them.

We pray for the leaders and the governments of this world and the people they serve,

May they know your presence with them.

We pray for our communities and for our local industries

May they know your presence with them.

We pray for those who are worried or anxious about the coming weeks

May they know your presence with them.

We pray for ourselves and for all those we care or are concerned about

May we and they know your presence with them.



Alpha are having online prayer events next week to pray for our nation. This is a unique moment in time we find ourselves in – a season where the church will look a little different and where community is needed more than ever before.

“We would love to stand in prayer with you during this time, that we will see Christ be magnified in our Nation, that we will see the Church step up in creativity and innovation, and of course for all those affected by the Coronavirus.”

The Yorkshire call is on Thursday the 26th of March, 2020 at 12:00noon. To join the call use this Zoom link. Calls will be no more than 35 mins.

This Sunday, March 22nd 2020, the Archbishop of Canterbury will lead a virtual church service which will be broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield at 8.00 am and BBC Radio 4 at 9.00am.

It will then be on the Church of England Facebook page.

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”