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Sunday, 14 June 2020
Audio files are available on "The Message" page.

‘THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK’ FROM THE REVEREND STEPHEN GUISE, PRIEST IN CHARGE – FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY, 14 JUNE




Holman Hunt, ‘A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids’,
1850, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Dear Friends

The Gospel reading (Matthew 9:35-10:8) for this, the first Sunday after Trinity, includes Jesus’ exhortation to the twelve to ‘proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’  And on Monday week, 22 June, we shall be remembering St Alban, the first martyr of Britain, who found that the kingdom of Heaven was close at hand in the person of a Christian priest who was fleeing during a time when the Church was still subject to sporadic persecutions.  Alban himself was a pagan, a Romano-British soldier, who lived near Verulamium.  During the persecution of Septimus Severus he offered shelter to a Christian priest, and was deeply impressed by the holy man’s faithfulness in spending all his time in prayer and vigils.  Touched by the grace of God, Alban was moved to follow the priest’s example and began to emulate his faith and devotion.  In the course of time, he became imbued with the priest’s salutary teaching and himself wholeheartedly professed the Christian faith.  Meanwhile, however, word had got out that Alban was sheltering a Christian and when the soldiers arrived to search the house, Alban dressed himself in the priest’s clothes and gave himself up in the place of his guest and teacher.

The judge appointed to hear the case was incensed that Alban should have surrendered himself in place of his guest, and, when he refused to offer sacrifice to idols, ordered him to be scourged, in the hope that his new-found faith and constancy could be shaken by torture.  But Alban bore all his severe torments with joyful patience for the sake of Christ.  When the judge saw that no torture could break him, or induce him to repudiate his faith, he ordered him to be beheaded.  Alban was martyred on 22 June 205 near the city of Verulamium.  Once more peaceful times were restored, a fine church, worthy of his martyrdom, was built in the city which we now call St Alban’s.

The Venerable Bede includes this account of the life of St Alban within his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.  It serves perhaps as a salutary reminder of the adage of another saint, Francis, who is commemorated later in the liturgical cycle: ‘Preach the gospel; use words if necessary’.

Fr Stephen


Collect for St Alban

Almighty God, who at the beginning of the conversion of Britain,
gloriously confirmed the faith of Alban by giving him a martyr’s crown:
in your mercy grant that, following his example in the fellowship of the saints,
we may worship and adore the true and living God
and be faithful witnesses to the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Roman 5.1-8

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.

Since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand;
and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

And not only that,
but we also boast in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,

and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,

and hope does not disappoint us,
 because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak,
at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—
though perhaps for a good person
someone might actually dare to die.

But God proves his love for us
in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.


Gospel Matthew 9.35-10.23

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and every sickness.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples,
 "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few;

therefore ask the Lord of the harvest
to send out labourers into his harvest."

 hen Jesus summoned his twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits,
to cast them out,
and to cure every disease and every sickness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles:
first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;

Philip and Bartholomew;
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, t
he one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:
"Go nowhere among the Gentiles,
and enter no town of the Samaritans,

but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

As you go, proclaim the good news,
"The kingdom of heaven has come near.'

Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.
You received without payment;
give without payment.

Service Times

10:00am Sunday Service

Useful links


Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:


  1. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  2. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  3. Prayer for today.
  4. The C of E youtube channel.
  5. We will be updating Fr Stephens Message page on a regular basis.
  6. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  7. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.