Parish Church of St john the Baptist

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Vicar's Letter

27th May 2020


Dear friends,

We were recently watching a television drama where an innocent person looked as if they were going to be wrongly convicted of a crime. I don’t know about you, but when I see this, whether it’s in reality or fiction, my sense of injustice and impotence is palpable. What on earth must it feel like to be imprisoned for a crime you didn’t commit? With advances in DNA science we know there have been people who have been proven innocent after serving years of a custodial sentence.  I pray they’ve been able to re-enter society without being completely embittered. One thing is for sure, they will have their reward in heaven.

We encounter examples of injustice in our world every day and they’re not always severe, such as a miscarriage of justice, communities of people made refugees by their Governments or the disproportionate sharing of wealth in the world – sometimes it can simply feel as if it’s one rule for some and one for others, but it’s still unjust and it feels very unfair.

From reading the New Testament, it’s clear to see that Jesus hated injustice – many of the stories about his life and his teaching record him setting-out right from wrong. He despised what the Pharisees stood for because they used the Law to their own ends, whilst hypocritically ‘treading’ on the meek and lowly. You may recall Jesus calling them “white tombs” because they made themselves look pure on the outside, but they were dark as death inside (Matthew 23:27). There’s also the account of the woman accused of adultery (John 8:1-11); strictly speaking she had broken their Laws, but Jesus could see that the Scribes and Pharisees were using her as a tool to trick him. There was also a hugely unjust factor in their Law which meant that only women could be accused of adultery, and men often used it as a way to lay grounds for a divorce, leaving a woman alone and unable to support herself. So, Jesus highlights the injustice of the situation by inviting any one of them to stone her if they were sin-free. Of course, they all sloped-off and left the woman with Jesus; he up-holds the Law and tells her not to sin again, but equally doesn’t condemn her of her sin. That’s pretty revolutionary in itself, but the really radical thing Jesus did was to defend a woman. That was unheard of in his day, and it’s just one of the many ways he turned the world upside down. Jesus hated injustice - he still does!

There may have been an array of things which have felt unfair or unjust in the last couple of months. Whether it was something fairly minor in the grander scheme of things, like not being able to get a haircut, or rather more distressing, such as not being able to see family and friends, it doesn’t matter – share it with God. Nothing is too trivial for him, so tell him. Get cross with him if you need to – believe me, the awesome creator of this universe can take it. Taking our woes to God isn’t new; the Book of Psalms are full heartache, and they can be a great source of comfort if we’re feeling frustrated and helpless. And the reason I suggest sharing the unfairness of life with God is, because in doing so, it will help us to cope. As Jesus says, Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest(Matthew 11:28).

Whether we have suffered injustices in the past, are suffering them now, or will encounter them in the future, let’s move forward, safe in the knowledge we can share them with Jesus. And God forbid there’s a situation which cannot be righted in this life, rest assured, it will be in the next.


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

Every blessing, Heidi.



Sunday Service

Online service Sunday morning at 10am

Click on the link below to go to the YouTube site where you can take part in the serivce on Sunday.  You can subscribe to our channel and also set a reminder for Sunday morning.  Don't forget to click like button Like Button when you take part in the service.  

Sunday Service Link

The service sheet and a separate prayers and readings sheet for the serivce are available to download below as well as the full service on the web page.  

Service Sheet

Prayer and Reading sheet for this Sunday


Sunday Eucharist

Sunday after Ascension Day

Sunday 31st May 2020



In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord be with you;
All: and also with you

ALL: Almighty God,
you lead us and guide us
as we journey towards you.
Help us to keep you always in our sight,
so that we don't lose our way.


God the Father, we confess our love for you
because of your wondrous creation;
ALL: yet we have wasted your gifts

God the Son, we confess our love for you
because you died for us;
ALL: yet we have not put others first

God the Holy Spirit, we confess our love for you
because of the gifts you give us;
ALL: yet we have been selfish and self--seeking.
God, we praise you: forgive our weakness.

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,
ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,  before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”            Acts 2: 1 - 21


This is the word of the Lord

All:             Thanks be to God




Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All:                  Glory to you, O Lord.

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.      John 7: 37 - 39


This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:                  Praise to you, O Christ.



All: We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named.

We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts by faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be always with you;
All: and also with you.

With this bread that we bring
All: we shall remember Jesus.

With this wine that we bring
All: we shall remember Jesus.
Bread for his body, wine for his blood,
gifts from God to his table we bring.
All: We shall remember Jesus.

Pour upon the poverty of our love,
and the weakness of our praise,
the transforming fire of your presence.
All: Amen.

The Lord is here.
All: His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, good Father to us all,
your face is turned towards your world.
In love you gave us Jesus your Son
to rescue us from sin and death.
Your Word goes out to call us home
to the city where angels sing your praise.
We join with them in heaven's song:

All: Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Father of all, we give you thanks
for every gift that comes from heaven.
To the darkness Jesus came as your light.
With signs of faith and words of hope
he touched untouchables with love
and washed the guilty clean.
This is his story.
All: This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

The crowds came out to see your Son,
yet at the end they turned on him.
On the night he was betrayed
he came to table with his friends
to celebrate the freedom of your people.
This is his story.
All: This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus blessed you, Father, for the food;
he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said:
This is my body, given for you all.
Jesus then gave thanks for the wine;
he took the cup, gave it and said:
This is my blood, shed for you all
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in remembrance of me.
This is our story.
All: This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

Therefore, Father, with this bread and this cup
we celebrate the cross
on which he died to set us free.
Defying death he rose again
and is alive with you to plead for us and all the world.
This is our story.
All: This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

Send your Spirit on us now
that by these gifts we may feed on Christ
with opened eyes and hearts on fire.
May we and all who share this food
offer ourselves to live for you
and be welcomed at your feast in heaven
where all creation worships you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
All: Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
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 for ever. Amen.

ALL: Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant us peace.

God's holy gifts
for God's holy people.

All: Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


Faithful God,

who fulfilled the promises of Easter

by sending us your Holy Spirit

and opening to every race and nation

the way of life eternal:

open our lips by your Spirit,

that every tongue may tell of your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


All: Lord Jesus, just as you called your first disciples,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day. Amen.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
All: In the name of Christ. Amen.


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We are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church; we aim to ensure that all aspects of the House of Bishops 2017 Policy ‘Promoting a Safer Church’, are promoted and adhered to by all those who serve God within our church.

Any suspected abuse of children or adults or concern for their welfare must be reported to the Vicar or the Parish Safeguarding Officer.

The Parish Safeguarding Officer for Royston Parish Church is:

Rob Fox

Mob:07873 386830

Alternatively you can contact the Diocese Safeguarding Advisor.

Tel: 01727 818107

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