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4th Sunday of Advent, 20th December 2020

Worship in church

St Mary's is open for public worship on Sunday at 10am for our Parish Eucharist, and on Wednesday at 9am for Morning Prayer. Being in Tier 3 means that there should be no socialising outside of your household or bubble. This is the same as when we were gathering in October.


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:



Service of Lessons and Carols

This year's Carol Service premieres at 6pm on Sunday 20th December 2020 on our YouTube Channel. One of the most significant casualties of the Covid restrictions is our ability to sing together in worship, so we have put together this simple online Carol Service which you can join in with at home and sing along.

Parish Postcards Thank You

Enormous thanks to everyone who offered their time and energy to deliver our Parish Christmas Postcards. This is a wonderful ministry that we have at St Mary's, and letting the people of our parish know that we are here for them is more important than ever.

If you haven't yet had a chance to do your delivering, and want reminding of the streets, click the link below.

Thank You

Ann Otter 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.

Many thanks

Thank you to everyone who telephoned me or sent a greetings card on my recent birthday. It was really lovely to hear from you. Sheila Torrance

Christmas lights in the church garden

The tree and hedge in the church garden are lit in memory of the late Bobby and Lilian Hart. Many thanks to all the team who helped put them in place; you've done a splendid job!

Mothers' Union

Thank you so much to all our members for paying their Tributes so promptly making Judy's task a little easier. Thank you also for your generosity - we sent £190 to the person compiling shoe boxes for the People's Kitchen.

Christingle News

Many thanks for the support and generosity given to this year's Christingle service. Amazingly, we have been able to send £152.77 to the Children's Society from your donations and we are aware that there have also been on-line donations. You made the light shine! Sue and Rick



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.

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.

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.

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.

Money for candles would need to be received by Monday 21st December.

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 including Wednesday 30th December 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

Emma Campbell

Olya Bouchard

Rona Lawrie


Chris Taylor

Tina Tompkins

Peter Schofield

Denise Burton

Rest in Peace

Riccardo Austoni (Anniversary)

John William Lees (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


Drop down ye heavens from above,

And let the skies pour down righteousness.

Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people;

My salvation shall not tarry.

I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions.

Fear not, for I will save thee;

For I am the Lord thy God,

The holy one of Israel, thy redeemer.

Drop down ye heavens from above,

And let the skies pour down righteousness.

Advent Prose (Rorate Coeli)

Performed by the Choir of Merton College, Oxford

© Delphian


God our redeemer,

who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary

to be the mother of your Son:

grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,

so we may be ready to greet him

when he comes again as our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

A Reading from Samuel

Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.’

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.

2 Samuel 7.1-11,16

A Reading from Paul's letter to the Romans

Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever! Amen.

Romans 16.25-27

The Gospel according to

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Luke 1.26-38

Offertory Hymn

Long ago, prophets knew Christ would come, born a Jew, come to make all things new; bear his people's burden, freely love and pardon.

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring! sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing! When he comes, when he comes, who will make him welcome?

God in time, God in man, this is God's timeless plan: he will come, as a man, born himself of woman, God divinely human. 1st Refrain

Mary, hail! Though afraid, she believed, she obeyed. In her womb, God is laid: till the time expected, nurtured and protected,

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring! sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing! Jesus comes! Jesus comes! We will make him welcome!

Fred Pratt Green

© 1971 Stainer & Bell, Ltd. admin. Hope Publishing Company

Communion Anthem

The Angel Gabriel from heaven came,

his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;

'All hail,' said he, 'thou lowly maiden Mary,

most highly favoured lady.'


'For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be,

all generations laud and honour thee,

thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold;

most highly favoured lady.'


Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,

'To me be as it pleaseth God,' she said,

'My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name':

most highly favoured lady.


Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born

in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,

and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say

'Most highly favoured lady.'


Traditional Basque Carol, Translated by S. Baring-Gould

Performed by The Sixteen

© 2010 The Sixteen Productions

Post Communion

Heavenly Father,

who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary

to be the mother of the promised saviour:

fill us your servants with your grace,

that in all things we may embrace your holy will

and with her rejoice in your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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