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The United Benefice of
St Mary the Virgin, Higham Ferrers
with St John the Baptist, Chelveston-cum-Caldecott



23rd June 2024

Welcome to our Online Worship 

00:00 / 17:54

A Chorus before  Father Paul introduces the service


O God, our help in ages past,

our hope for years to come,

our shelter from the stormy blast,

and our eternal home;


Before the hills in order stood,

or earth received her frame,

from everlasting thou art God,

to endless years the same.


A thousand ages in thy sight

are like an evening gone;

short as the watch that ends the night

before the rising sun.


O God, our help in ages past,

our hope for years to come,

be thou our guard while troubles last,

and our eternal home.
    Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

A reading from ECCLESIASTES – verses from chapter 3
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil - this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.   


MUSIC FOR REFLECTION  – TURN, TURN, TURN   (Judy Collins, Pete Seeger)
This song has become a popular favourite ever since it was written by Pete Seeger in 1959. It was a global chart success for an American group, The Byrds, in 1965. It is unusual as the words have not been changed at all from the Bible original. In fact, Peter Seeger dedicated it to the Book of Ecclesiastes when he wrote the tune. In our service it is a different sort of “anthem” but underlines the reading we have just heard.


A reflection - the grip of time versus freedom of eternity

Prayer and blessing


Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided,

urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way,

sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided:

Lord for the years, we bring our thanks today.

Lord, for our land in this our generation,

spirits oppressed by pleasure, wealth and care:

for young and old, for commonwealth and nation,

Lord of our land, be pleased to hear our prayer.

Lord, for our world where we disown and doubt you,
loveless in strength, and comfortless in pain,

hungry and helpless, lost indeed without you:

Lord of the world, we pray that Christ may reign.

Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us-

self on the cross, and Christ upon the throne,

past put behind us, for the future take us:

Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith (b.1926)
Music: Michael Baughen (b.1930)

Material used in this service is copyright of its respective rights owners. Music and hymn words are reproduced under ONE LICENSE number A-633137, Church Copyright License 2148907 and Music Reproduction License 2216255. Material in this order of service is taken from Common Worship, copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000-2006 and is used here with permission.

images by permission of

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