Selfless service

As the nation mourns the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, we give thanks to God for her life of service, and recall some of her most powerful statements about her Christian faith.  The longest-reigning monarch in British history was born in 1926 and succeeded to the throne in 1952. She celebrated her Platinum Jubilee – 70 years as Monarch – earlier this year.

‘Selfless service’
She led a life of selfless service to the nation. We give thanks to God for her. Her Majesty was a force for stability in our society and had the respect of young and old, Christian, non-Christian and those of no faith at all.   She routinely spoke of her own faith. In 1952, in her first Christmas broadcast, she asked the nation to pray ‘that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life’.  God answered that prayer.
Uniqueness of Christ
Her Majesty delivered messages to the nation on almost every Christmas Day throughout her reign.
In 2011 she declared: “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves—from our recklessness or our greed.  “God sent into the world a unique person — neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.”  ‘I believe his message’
Seven years later, she told 6.4 million viewers: “The Christmas story retains its appeal since it doesn’t provide theoretical explanations for the puzzles of Life. Instead, it’s about the birth of a child and the hope that birth 2000 years ago brought to the world.   In her Christmas message in 2002, she said: “I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel. 

Only a few people acknowledged Jesus when he was born. Now billions follow him. I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. “It can be heeded by everyone. It’s needed as much as ever.”
Gospel of hope
However, such statements were not limited to Christmas. Her Majesty delivered her first Easter message in 2020, saying: “The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose and we can all take heart from this”.
I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness. 

Writing on the occasion of her 90th birthday and only last year, in her role as head of the Church of England, The Queen spoke of the unchanging Gospel of Christ.

She acknowledged that, for many, the last few years had been “a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness”, but that in that time, “the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages”.
These words from the Christian Institute perfectly sum up what the Christian faith and Christ especially, meant to our late Queen.  We give thanks for her life of faithfulness and pray for our new King that the Lord may bless his reign over us.
God save the King.


How to come to Church

How to come to church

Since we are thinking about how we revive our churches, we can first of all start with ourselves.  ‘How to come to church’ seems a bit like ‘teaching your granny to suck eggs’!   However, by thinking about some of the things below, we are playing our part in making the church gathering a place of encouragement and growth for everyone.  Sometimes it’s easy just to drift in to church without much thought and prayer.  But below is a way to encourage us to prayerfully play our part.   You might already be doing some or all of the things below.  If not, think about how these things can encourage and help others as well as yourself in growing disciples. You don’t have to do all of these things.  Think of one or two that you could do.

Five things to think about and do before you come to Church

1. Think of others you can invite to come with you or to whom you can give a lift.
2. Pray (for the service and all those taking part, preacher, leader, pray-er, reader, musicians, Sunday school and crèche, welcomers at door, those attending church)
3. Read over the Bible passage that is going to be preached on Sunday.
4. Come a little bit earlier, if possible, to sit and pray in the church for the service, get to know others in church you don’t know, or help with some of the practical arrangements.
5. Say hello to visitors and strangers, when they arrive and make them feel welcome.

Five things to do during the meeting

1. Listen actively to the Word being read and preached, i.e, follow it in your Bible; have your Bible open during the sermon, take notes; display the fact that the Word of God is important.
2. Sing with enthusiasm – even if your singing voice isn’t good! Show that praising God matters to you.
3. Speak up, especially when we pray together, e.g., the Confession, the Lord’ Prayer, the Versicles and Responses & the creed.  Say it like we mean it!
4. Help with practicalities e.g., give up your seat if necessary for the convenience of a late comer or stranger. And pray for the service to impact people.
5. Look out for newcomers or late comers to make sure they have a service sheet or Bible or know what page in what book!

Five things to do after the meeting

1. Say hello to someone you haven’t met before and especially newcomers to welcome them.
2. Speak to someone, at service or afterwards about some aspect of the service/sermon.  Share what you learnt at church on Sunday.
3. Pray with others there and then if you think that would be appropriate.
4. Stay for tea and coffee if appropriate; stay late to chat and help;
5. If appropriate, with person of the same sex, follow up for coffee or chat.


Thought For Easter

The Cross is the very centre of our faith.  Think of the letters of the cross:

 ‘C’ stands for conquest.  The cross is described in the NT as a great victory.  Jesus has defeated sin and Satan and won for us a place in heaven.  No-one else could have won such a victory – only the Son of God.

 ‘R’ stands for redemption.  Victory has come at a great cost.  Jesus paid the price to set us free.  He paid the ransom to redeem us and free us from captivity. 

‘O’ is for oblation.  This means offering.  Jesus has offered a perfect sacrifice for sin – his body on the cross.  We cannot offer our deeds to be an oblation, or offering for our sin. Christ, the sinless one, offered his perfect obedient life to be the offering that averts God’s just anger from us.

 ‘S’ is for satisfaction.  Nothing more needs to be done to take way our sin.  Christ’s death perfectly satisfies the justice of God against sin.  We can do nothing except believe and be thankful.

‘S’ is also for substitution.  We hear a lot about this in the Bible.  Substitution is Jesus dying in our place.  We should pay for our sins, but Jesus has taken the punishment for us and died in our place.  This penal (paying the price by death) substitution is the very centre of the cross.  It is the reason for the victory of the cross, the reason redemption is effective, and the reason why Jesus’s death is a perfect offering and satisfaction.

Let’s think deeply on the cross and reflect this Lent and Easter on what it means for us, giving praise to God for his mercies provided through it.


Christmas Message

In one of the readings for Christmas Day in the Prayer Book (Titus 2:11-14), we are told: ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared for all men’.  This is how Christmas Day is described in the New Testament.  Here is hope in a Covid world of uncertainty, depression and sorrow.

In relation to mankind, Christmas means salvation.  There is hope for all of us; those weighed down by sin; those feeling unworthy of God; those who are despondent and are not looking forward to the future.  The coming of Jesus is the light in the darkness of all our fears and sorrows.  There is freedom from our sins, acceptance with God and hope for the future because of Christmas.

In relation to the Christian, Christmas means joy and new life.  Christ’s coming into the world has brought us into a new, living relationship with God, our Father.  No longer do we need to feel like outcasts – God has acted through the sending of his Son to bring us into his family.  Now we have a new way to live, with God’s Spirit within, enabling us to live lives of hope.

In relation to Christ, Christmas meant a cross.  For mankind to know the joy of sins forgiven, and the hope of a heavenly home, Christ came to this world; he died on the cross bearing our sins, so that through repentance and faith in him, we need not pay the penalty for our own sins.  Here is what Christmas points to – the child in the manger becoming the man on the cross.

What about Christmas in relation to you?  We’re all tired of Covid-19 and detest it for ruining our families, our settled way of life and bringing constant anxiety into our lives.  Well, let’s remedy that by looking at Jesus this Christmas.  Lets focus on the meaning of Jesus for us – salvation, hope, light, forgiveness, life and a future.


What Does A Cross Mean

What Does A Cross Mean?
What does a cross mean? Well, it depends where and when it is used.

‘I Love you’
Look at the following crosses. X X X,  What does they mean?
We can all tell straight away what these crosses mean. A cross here stands for a kiss and it means ‘I Love you’.
When we think of Easter and the cross of Jesus, it means ‘l love you’ – God showing love for us in this, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The message of the Bible is that God loves us us and does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live.
‘You are wrong’

A cross can stand as a picture of love, and also it can mean something is wrong. Imagine someone making a mistake in a maths calculation, e.g., 1+1-3. If the teacher puts a big cross through this, it wouldn’t stand for a kiss! it would say, ‘You are wrong’. In the same way, the cross of Jesus points to our sins and wrongs. It is because we are sinners, people who have rebelled against God and broken his laws that Christ went to the cross. We deserve to pay for our wrongs, but on the cross, Jesus paid it all!
‘Christ died for you’

So, ultimately the cross that really matters for us is the cross of Jesus, for as we’ve been seeing, here, on this cross, out of love for us, Christ paid for all our wrongs. Here is God’s solution to man’s sin. Here is God’s love bringing us back to himself. Here is a message that changes lives and changes the world. And of course death could not hold him., On the third day he rose again. The tomb is empty, and Christ reigns in heaven to give eternal life to those who come in repentance and faith to the cross.
‘You must choose’

And there’s one more thing we can say about a cross. It can also stand for the cross we often put in a Ballot box when we are voting. That cross means acceptance of someone for office. There must come a time in our lives when we have heard the Gospel message that we respond to it. Ask God to give you the ability and power to come to him, to come to Christ and seek the forgiveness of your sins. Do not put this off. Now is the day of salvation the Scriptures tell us. This is the proper response to make the message of Christ crucified and risen.


Sunday Services


Hi folks,

The Church of Ireland authorities along with the other mainline denominations have directed that we should cease all Sunday in-person gatherings in church until March 5th.

We will continue with a Facebook broadcast at 10.45am each Sunday until we can get back to our church building.

Please pass on this message by phone or text to those of our parishioners, who do not use social media.

Please do keep safe and well and contact others who may be isolated by this recent lockdown.

Trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in all your ways.’




Free Will Offering 2021

Dear all,
As mentioned in our December magazine we were happy to receive contributions for 2020 up to and including 3rd January 2021. As we have recently updated our records the envelopes you have received for 2021 may have a  different number from 2020. It is therefore important that all 2020 envelopes are destroyed and only 2021 envelopes are used for this year .It is also necessary that your envelope is enclosed with any contributions delivered to the Rectory or posted to the Treasurer.


Christmas and New Year Services

Because of the uncertainty caused by Covid-19, unfortunately we have not been able to prepare for our normal Christmas services. However, below is our hoped for services over Christmas and the New Year.

Christmas Day

8.30am Holy Communion in Lambeg

10.00am Christmas Morning Prayer via Facebook

Sunday 27th December

9.30am Morning Prayer via Facebook

19.45am Morning Prayer in Lambeg

New Year’s Day

10.30am Holy Communion in Lambeg

Online Children’s Nativity

Together with the Connor diocese, we are putting together an on-line Children’s nativity, featuring boys and girls from our Sunday schools. Keep an eye out for this on our Facebook page later in December. Contact Aimee, our youth and family worker, for further details.


Christmas in 3 Words

Christmas in 3 Words

When many people think of Christmas, they think of Santa Claus and Rudolf the red nose reindeer. There’s a temptation to put the birth of Jesus into the same category- not really real, but sort of part of the fun of Christmas.

But Christmas is historical. It really happened. The Son of God truly came into this world. Born in a unique way, he truly took on our flesh, lived and died for us.

Secondly, Christmas is joyful. God really cares for us. The question is why did the Son of God come into this world in the first place? The angels described the birth of Jesus to the shepherds as ‘…good news of great joy… for all the people’ (Luke 2:10)

He has come to bring us the joy of salvation, of a new beginning, of becoming a new creation, the joy of being accepted by God, the joy of forgiveness.

In a miserable Covid-19 world, joy is in short supply. However,  God truly cares for us and has provided for our deepest joy in the person and work of his Son.

And thirdly, Christmas is essential.  Yes we know that Christmas shopping this year is essential for our retailers; we know that Christmas this year is essential for our mental health – just to have some normality in a very hard year.  But there’s another, deeper, way in which it is essential. The first Christmas was essential because it is essential that we have a Saviour, someone to pay the price we deserve to pay for our sins.  It is essential that we find forgiveness. All this is ours in Christ.

May you and all whom you love know the truth of Christmas and discover the joy of knowing the one who gave us Christmas.


Return to Church

                                                                                                                                            August 2020

Dear Parishioner,

I hope all is well with you and that you and all whom you love are keeping safe in these difficult times.  I know that some of you have suffered anxiety, depression, illness and bereavement because of Covid-19 and the ‘Lockdown’ restrictions we have had to endure.  Please be assured that you are constantly in our prayers to move forward step by step with the Lord’s help and strength.

I would like to bring you up to date with what is happening regarding plans to return to Church for worship.  Following the Government’s easing of ‘Lockdown’ restrictions, the Select Vestry and I feel that the time is right to make a return to in-church worship.  This has entailed a lot of preparation and planning, so that the Church can reopen for services from Sunday 6th September 2020.

Initially there will be just one service each Sunday – Lambeg at 10.45a.m.   We pray that services in Hilden will follow soon afterwards but for the moment our guidance is that there should be just one service in each parish.  However, I am also glad to confirm that our Facebook service will continue online at the slightly earlier time of 9.30a.m., also from 6th September.  Also, as usual, it can be accessed by telephone (028 92 508 097) later on Sunday.

The key messages impressed upon us by the Church and Government authorities are that if you or any member of your household are experiencing, or recovering from Coronavirus symptoms, or have any reason to believe that they have been in contact with anybody who has, they should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so. 

The Church we return to may feel and appear a little different to what we were normally used to, and in some respects, it may seem a little impersonal.  For example, social-distancing seating will be in place, which will mean that where you normally sit will probably not be available: we will not be allowed to sing hymns or to gather in groups to chat at the back of the church.   To help you deal with these and other changes, we have included in this communication some key information to prepare you for what to expect when you return to in-church worship.  The information that we giving to help us return to church is based on that which has been laid down in guidance set out by the House of Bishops and the Government’s Public Health Agency. 

In closing, suffice to say these are unique times, such as none of us have experienced before.  Some of you, for personal health reasons, may not be ready for such a return to church.  I perfectly understand that.  You can only do what is safe and best, as well as re-assuring for you.  So, while return to church may take time, let’s be confident in the Lord.  With His help we will endure through it, and by God’s will, return to some kind of normality in the weeks and months ahead.  Do please pray for our plans to re-open; for delivery from this plague; for those who are suffering especially at this time; for the work of the NHS and all front-line workers; as well as the development of a successful vaccine so that we can confidently go about our every-day lives in safety.  

Until then, keep safe and well.

Every blessing.


Lambeg Parish Church – Returning to Church – Sunday 6th September 2020 at 10.45 a.m.

  • First of all, and most importantly, please do not come back to Church if you or any member of your household are experiencing or are recovering from any of the Coronavirus symptoms, i.e., a fever or high temperature, a cough, difficulty breathing or a sudden loss of taste or smell.  Refer to N.H.S. Guidelines in this regard.  Also, if you have any reason to believe that you have been in contact with someone who has the virus, you should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until you have received medical advice that it is safe to do so. 
  • Secondly, if you are in an ‘at risk’ or vulnerable category, or are shielding, you should carefully consider when is the right time for you to return.  The virus is still about.
  • If you are bringing infants or young children with you, remember that you will be responsible for them – especially where maintaining social distancing could be a challenge.

 What to bring with you: Your Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), etc.

  • Gloves (recommended);
  • Face covering (optional, but strongly recommended because of the lack of good ventilation in the Church and because sometimes social distancing cannot always be guaranteed);  [This could become compulsory before 5th Sept]
  • Tissues (strongly recommended);
  • Your own hand sanitiser (if you would prefer to use that);
  • A pen (to complete your attendance slip);
  • A coat/umbrella (You could be queuing outside, waiting to enter the Church).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Car Parking:

  • When you park your car beside another car, please ensure that the occupants of that car have moved on before you leave your own car.  This is to ensure that proper social distancing is maintained. 
  • There will be car parking stewards there to help you park.
  • Should there be a lengthy queue waiting to enter the Church, the steward may advise you to wait in your car until it has reduced, especially if it is raining. 
  • The toilet block in the car park will remain closed for the time being but there will be one toilet available inside the Church (in the Clergy Vestry).

Approach to Church:

  • When approaching the Church (which should only be from the car park route), it will be important to observe the social distancing rule of 2 metres.  They are marked.
  • Read the notices on the way in but please do not create any bottlenecks. 
  • We will only be using the main door for entry.  There will be a Steward on duty to assist you enter the Church safely.

Entry to Church:

  • Once again, please do maintain the two metres distancing rule and wait for the Seating Stewards to call you.
  •  There will be a hand sanitiser station inside the door for use on entry.  The sanitiser works on a sensor basis when you hold out your hands and is quick drying. 
  • The Seating Stewards will also provide you with your Order of Service which will include your Attendance Slip.  They can, if need be, also provide you with a pen or pencil to complete same.
  •  You will note that most notices and materials have been removed from our Notice Boards and from the back of the Church.  This is to prevent bottlenecks.


  • The Stewards will guide you to your seat on the basis that the first in will go to the front. Unfortunately, people who sat in traditional seats in the past will no longer be able to do so. 
  • Pews have been marked out with two metres gaps and every other pew is closed off.  Individuals from the same household may sit together but otherwise the two metres will be observed.
  •  The choir pews and some chairs will also be used.    You will also note that all seat cushions and kneelers have been removed.

The Service:

  • The Service, including the liturgy and Bible readings, will be printed in an Order of Service leaflet each week.
  • Hymn Books and Prayer Books will not be used and Bibles have been removed from the pews.
  • The Service will be slightly shorter than what you have been used to in the past, in order to reduce the potential for the transmission of the virus.
  • There will be no singing of hymns, etc., for the time being, as this can increase the potential for virus transmission.  The organ/piano may be played at certain stages before, during and after the service.
  • When exiting there will be a basket available for collecting your freewill offering envelopes or Church collections.

Communion Services: Because of the severe restrictions laid down for holding Holy Communion services, it has been decided that for the time being they will be deferred.  It is hoped that this will not last for too long and that in the near future we will be able to return once again to sharing in the Eucharist.

Exiting from the Church:

  • At the end of the service, please remain seated for a short period and the Stewards will direct you in a safe and orderly manner, in pew order, down the aisles to the main door, commencing at the back of the Church;
  • Please continue to maintain social distancing of 2 metres and avoid bottlenecks;
  • Please sanitise your hands again when exiting;
  • Bring your Order of Service, which includes your completed Attendance Slip, with you and deposit it in the designated box; If you received a pen/pencil they can be left there also, or left in the pew;
  • There will also be a plate or basket at the exit to receive your freewill offerings;
  • There will be a pedal-operated bin in which you can place any used PPE (gloves, tissues, face coverings, etc), though you may prefer to bring them home and dispose of them safely there;
  • While we appreciate that you will all want to talk to your many friends and fellow worshippers, we would ask that there be no undue or lengthy socialising or congregating in groups outside the Church or in the carparks.  Remember, the virus will still be about.
  • You will notice that the clergy and those leading the service will not be standing at the back of the Church, or outside, in order to greet you – this has been forbidden, in order to prevent bottlenecks and to maintain social distancing.  If you need to speak to the Rector please feel free to give him a ring at any time. 


 Because of the various risks associated with arranging for fresh flowers in the Church, there will be no Flower Rota in operation for the time being.                                                             


The toilet in the Clergy Vestry will be the only one available.  Please observe the notices regarding hand washing and use the hand sanitiser provided, both before and after using the toilet.

 Attendance Slips:

We will ask all attendees to provide their name(s) and telephone number each Sunday in case there is a need to track and trace them afterwards, because of an outbreak of the virus.  This is a regulatory requirement on the Church. The slips will be kept safe and secure and destroyed afterwards, normally after one month. 


There is still an urgent need for volunteers to replace many of the existing teams of people who look after our needs, week by week, but who are now prevented from continuing in these roles because of age limits and health vulnerabilities.  The specific roles to be filled are the Stewards, as described in this letter, and Cleaners who will prepare the Church for the next service.  (This will be done either immediately after the service or after 72 hours have elapsed).  All volunteers will receive full training and will be provided with whatever PPE items are deemed necessary.  There is also a particular need for young ‘Techies’ to come forward to assist us with future proposals to live stream or later stream our services.


It has been emphatically stressed to us that anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who has reason to believe that they have been in contact with someone who has, should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so.  Should anybody attending Church, whether as a volunteer or not, subsequently contract COVID-19, or show symptoms of it, they should, as well as advising their medical adviser, also advise the Rector as a ‘track and trace’ exercise may be required.