We are a friendly Christian church, based in the small town of
Neston, Wirral, Cheshire, midway between Liverpool and Chester.
Part of the United Reformed Church, we meet on Sundays for morning and evening worship and other church groups and activities take place during the week.
Revd. Hilary Smith
In common with other UK churches our buildings are currently closed for services and
other activities. But while our buildings are closed - the church congregation
is not! And in the meantime our minister, elders and members are keeping in touch
with each other, and each Sunday we are meeting for worship via the medium of Zoom,
following a service which is circulated each week.
This week’s service is added below and we invite you to
join us as we share this together in our own homes on Sunday mornings. If you would like
to receive future services, please contact us by email
We are part of the United Reformed Church and you may also like to follow the URC Daily Devotions which you can access through this link - https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ - or on the United Reformed Church Facebook page. The URC page also carries a weekly service in the form of a podcast.
We hope and pray that it will not be too long before we can welcome friends old and new back to regular services in our church, and we are looking forward to seeing you once again!
We come from a world confused about truth. We come with our own uncertainties. Let us bring the darkness of human understanding into the presence of God, who is light. Let us bring the story of our search for truth and share in fellowship the things we have heard and seen and touched. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy, gave us new birth into a loving hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
O God whose light shines in the darkness, shine on us today. God, made known to those who met Jesus, touch us through the experiences of life. God who gave Thomas what he asked, give to us what we need – that we too may come to believe. Lord, at this Easter time, we ask you to increase our faith, hope and love. Give us the faith that overcomes the world and helps us face both life and death calm and unafraid. Give us the hope that looks beyond this mortal life and grasps hold of the things unseen and eternal. Give us the love which binds us more closely with one another, and to give our risen Lord, to whom be all glory and praise, dominion and power, now and forever. Forgive us when we fail and renew us in your love and service. Amen
How good and pleasant it iswhen brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head,running down on the beard, running down upon Aaron’s beard,down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermonwere falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing,even life forevermore.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again, Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believethat Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God,and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Have faith in God, my heart, trust and be unafraid;
God will fulfil in every part each promise he has made.
Have faith in God, my mind, although your light burns low;
God’s mercy holds a wiser plane than you can fully know.
Have faith in God, my soul, his cross for ever stands;
And neither life nor death can pluck his children from his hands.
Lord Jesus, make me whole; grant me no resting place,
Until I rest, heart, mind and soul the captive of your grace.
Every day we meet people who are sceptical or cynical about what they see, read and hear. It may be the news, politicians, those who produce statistics, a broad spectrum of information which we have given to us each day. Each morning when I go for my paper, I meet a man who does not accept or believe that COVID 19 is a reality.Even with all the evidence of serious illness, those who are suffering the effects of long covid and the high number of deaths, he refuses to accept that Coronavirus is in the world. Nothing I say will change his mind. But he is not alone. There are those who refuse the vaccine offered to them, even though friends and colleagues have died. In our Gospel reading, we have the encounter Thomas had with Jesus, and how he had come to faith. When Jesus died upon the cross, it seemed as though the end had finally come. It maybe that Thomas had wanted to be alone, to reflect on all that had happened in such a short space of time. So when Jesus came back to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t there and refused to believe the good news that Jesus was alive. He said he would not believe unless he could see, touch and puthis hand in the nail prints in the hands of Jesus and the gash of the spear in his side. Thomas had to see for himself before he would believe. Was that unreasonable? Not so. For there are many who say they cannot and will not believe, unless they see the evidence for themselves. We are given that evidence, by leading a Christlike life in all we say and do, in our relationships; in our care and concern for others, in our trust in our God of love and forgiveness, revealed in his Son Jesus Christ. The Word made flesh. The Word made flesh translates divine realities in human terms. God helps us to understand the eternal trends in the Son of God made flesh. Look at him, reflect his life in ours, and others around us will see a glimpse of the glory of God: in who we are, and how we live our lives in true love and obedience to his great love. There is something of Thomas in all of us. We hear; we want to believe; we want to be sure. We must be certain and sure, for how can we share the good news with others unless we fully believe it ourselves. It is about our own experience, our integrity, which in the end shows we are serious in our discipleship. We know what God has done for us, and we have a burning desire to share this good news with all the world, who will hear it. Thomas was the man who became certain by doubting. He was a man of great courage: Thomas was honest enough to say he would not believe until he saw Jesus again. Jesus does not blame or condemn Thomas, or anyone who has the desire to be certain and sure of what we believe. It is how we wrestle and cope with our doubts in our lives, which makes us stronger in faith, and can say, ‘This is what I believe and I will live in the light of the Resurrection.’ Thomas’ very doubt was turned into certainty in the presence of Jesus, who came back and invited Thomas to put his finger in the nail prints and his hand in his side. Confronted by the risen Lord, Thomas’ response was one of the greatest confessions of faith, ‘My Lord and my God’. From that time on he became a man of great devotion and faith. Let us pray that we may give ourselves fully in his service, as we journey through life, and live as God’s people in God’s world. That can be our witness in these difficult and uncertain times. Amen
Jesus is Risen! He died once – then and there. He lives forever – here and now. Let us give thanks for all whom we know who bring light and joy into our lives. We thank you Father for our own growth in faith and understanding, and for all the influences which have brough us to this point on our faith journey. Open our hearts to see you active and smiling, in the heart of worship, in the joy of music, and as we pray for one another, that we may be touched by you, Lord. Father God, your Son Jesus Christ did not reject Thomas. Help us to value questions as together we seek the truth of life day by day. Father, the world is weary, and so soon after the Lord was raised. There is so much heartache in the lives of so many people, known and unknown to us. There is conflict in so many places in the world and in our own land. There is hunger, poverty and injustice all over. So soon we lose the Easter hope of a new creation and a new people ready to love and serve in the world’s dark places. In the strength of Jesus, we go from here commanded to carry his love to every part of our daily life, in our work, in our school, in our homes and family life. Jesus is Lord. Not a good man now dead, but a risen Saviour. Not a figure in a book but a living presence with us. So we will worship him, serve him, trust him, for he is our Lord and our God, in life and in death, and to all eternity.
Jesus, Lord, Redeemer, once for sinners slain, crucified in weakness raised in power to reign, Dwelling with the Father, endless in your days, unto you be glory, honour, blessing, praise. Faithful ones communing towards the close of day, desolate and weary met you in the way. So, when sun is setting, come to us and show all the truth, and in us make our hearts to glow. In the upper chamber, where the ten in fear, gathered sad and troubled there you did appear. Present with us now, Lord, bid our sorrows cease; breathing on us, Saviour, say, ‘I give you peace.’
The blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be upon us and all whom we love, in this world and the next. Amen
Why not come and join us for one of our services - you will be very welcome and we look forward to meeting you.