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3rd Sunday of Advent, 13th December 2020

Worship in church this Sunday

We are out of lockdown now, and this means that we are able to return to public worship in church. Being in Tier 3 means that there are still restrictions in place. This is the same as when we were gathering in October. Please get in touch if you have any queries about out safety measures.


Join us in church! Go to our Services & Worship page to see upcoming services and sign up. You can do that by clicking or tapping on this link:


Join us online! Head to our YouTube Channel to join us Live at 10am on Sunday, and access other videos. You can do that by clicking or tapping on this link:



Parish Postcards Update

Thank you to everyone who has agreed to deliver the postcards this year. It's been a challenge to organise in these difficult times, so thank you also for your patience. Here is a list of streets and who's delivering so far:

If the space is blank, it means we need someone to take it on. Please add your name if you are able to help, and then collect a bundle of postcards from church when it is open. Your help here is so valuable. Thank you!

A message from Ann Otter

Ann would like to thank everyone for the many cards and good wishes she has received after moving into her new home. Ann sends her love and Christmas wishes to everyone at St Mary’s.

Tech help

We have a small but merry band of people who push the buttons on a Sunday morning, allowing the service to be Live Streamed to those at home. This is so valuable to those who aren't able to get to church.

If you think you might be able to spare the odd Sunday morning helping in this way, please let Ben know ( It seems like an intimidating job, but once it has been shown to you it is quite simple.

If you happen to be interested and free on Christmas Eve, we need some help for Midnight mass.



Christmas Services

We now have a dedicated Christmas page on the website. Here you can see all of our upcoming services and start signing up now.

100 Club Christmas Draw winners

£100 Ron Noble, £50 Derek Daniels, £30 John Charlton

Our Christmas Appeal

Giving to our chosen charity will be very difficult this year because of social distances and other restrictions. If you go to our Christmas page, you will see a link to our chosen charity for this Christmas: the Disaster Emergency Committee Coronavirus Appeal. Christmas will be difficult enough for us in the UK, and even more so where there aren't the public health resources to cope. Anything you can spare would help make a difference.

2021 Charities

After 3 weeks of voting, the results are in for which charities we will support in 2021.

They are: North East Homeless (local); Mind (national); Christian Aid (international). More information about these causes will be shared next year. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Christmas Cards

Please do not pop Christmas Cards into the pigeonholes in the church vestibule this year as you may have done in previous years. Due to the current virus situation this isn’t an option. If you are really struggling to deliver your cards this year then please do get in touch with the office or the staff team as we may be able to help you with this in some way.


As we are unable to run the Traidcraft stall in church at present we would urge you to consider browsing the web site, particularly as Christmas approaches.

Much love, Anne and Rick

Light a Candle!

As in other years we will still be lighting candles on the church windowsills on Christmas Eve in memory of loved ones. The candles will burn continuously for 7 days. Each candle costs £5 and you can pay for a candle by Bank Transfer (BACS) as this would be the safest way during this time of pandemic.

Bank details are: HSBC - Sort code: 40 46 28 - Account no: 01444948

Please add a reference to the payment so we know that it's for the candles. You could also send payment by a cheque made payable to: St Mary’s Monkseaton, PCC and again, please put a note with the cheque to say that it's for the Christmas Memorial Candles. Do remember that the parish office isn't open at the moment so do not bring any cash or cheques into the church building.



Private Prayer

Church is open for Private Prayer from 9am on Wednesdays in church until midday for those who wish to visit during these times and all are welcome to attend. Face coverings must be worn.

The Parish Office

Dot and Carol continue to work from home. Phone messages or emails will be checked regularly and correspondence can be popped through the letterbox in the north door and will be responded to as soon as possible.

The Bay Foodbank

Please continue to donate non-perishable items at Sainsbury’s & Morrison’s.

Plants Sale for Church Funds

Dave Haddock who has been selling his plants to us over the summer has now put all of his new stock on his new website, including an easy order form.

Or you can contact Dave on 0191 2524985 or 07976 687973. 30% of sales will be donated to St Mary’s, so be sure to mention St Mary’s when you order! So far £260 has been raised through this scheme!

Derek's Book

Derek’s book ‘A Light To My Path’ is available to order from Waterstone’s in Newcastle and from The new version has a foreword by Tony Garland along with a dedication and has some reviews at the back.


For your prayers this week:

Your Prayers are requested for

Martin Cooper

Rona Lawrie

Olya Bouchard

Emma Campbell


Chris Taylor

Tina Tompkins

Rest in Peace

Zena Bernacca (Anniversary) John Muitt (Anniversary)

Karen Kinninmonth (Anniversary)

Don’t forget, you can add someone to the prayer list by emailing or phoning as usual, but you need to get their permission before adding them to the sick list. You can also use the form on the website here to submit a prayer request online.


This Sunday's Hymns & Readings


O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn Splendour of Eternal Light Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice Come, come, come, come, come, Come shine on those who dwell in darkness And the shadow of death

Isaiah had prophesied, 'The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone'


James Macmillan

Performed by The Sixteen & Harry Christophers

© 2016 The Sixteen Productions


O Lord Jesus Christ,

who at your first coming sent your messenger

to prepare your way before you:

grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries

may likewise so prepare and make ready your way

by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,

that at your second coming to judge the world

we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

A Reading from Isaiah

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,

to bind up the broken-hearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and release to the prisoners;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

to provide for those who mourn in Zion—

to give them a garland instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.

They shall build up the ancient ruins,

they shall raise up the former devastations;

they shall repair the ruined cities,

the devastations of many generations.

For I the Lord love justice,

I hate robbery and wrongdoing;

I will faithfully give them their recompense,

and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

Their descendants shall be known among the nations,

and their offspring among the peoples;

all who see them shall acknowledge

that they are a people whom the Lordhas blessed.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,

my whole being shall exult in my God;

for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,

he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,

and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots,

and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,

so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise

to spring up before all the nations.

Isaiah 61.1-4,8-11

A Reading from Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

1 Thessalonians 5.16-24

The Gospel according to

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ He said,

‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord”’,

as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

John 1.6-8,19-28

Offertory Hymn

Lo, he comes with clouds descending, once for favoured sinners slain; thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ appears on earth to reign. Ev'ry eye shall now behold him robed in dreadful majesty; we who set at naught and sold him, pierced and nailed him to the tree, deeply grieving, deeply grieving, deeply grieving, shall the true Messiah see. Yea, amen, let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne; Saviour, take the pow'r and glory, claim the kingdom for thine own: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.

Charles Wesley

Communion Anthem

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.

Wait for the Lord: be strong, take heart!

Prepare the way for the Lord

Make a straight path for Him

The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed

All the Earth will see the Lord

Rejoice in the Lord always

He is at Hand

Joy and gladness for all who seek the Lord

© 1991 Ateliers et Presses de Taize, Taize Community, France, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent (author)

Post Communion

We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;

kindle in us the fire of your Spirit

that when your Christ comes again

we may shine as lights before his face;

who is alive and reigns now and for ever.


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