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Abiding in Christ

Eucharist live from Lancing College Chapel in its 150th anniversary year. Preacher: Dr John Inge, bishop of Worcester. With Rafi Bellamy-Plaice, BBC R2 Young Chorister of the Year.

Choral Eucharist live from Lancing College Chapel, West Sussex, in the chapel's 150th anniversary year. The preacher is Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, President of the Woodard Corporation. The Choir of Lancing College Chapel sing a vibrant setting of the Mass by the College's Director of Chapel Music Neil Cox. Featuring the voice of BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year Rafi Bellamy-Plaice. Hymns include Immortal, Invisible; I heard the voice of Jesus say; Ye watchers and ye holy ones. Readings: 1 John 4:7-11, 20-21; John 15: 4, 5. Organist: Edward Picton-Turbevill; Celebrant: The Revd Richard Harrison, Chaplain. Producer: Stephen Shipley.

38 minutes

Last on

Sun 29 Apr 2018 08:10


Please note:

This script cannot exactly reflect the transmission, as it was prepared before the service was broadcast. It may include editorial notes prepared by the producer, and minor spelling and other errors that were corrected before the radio broadcast.

It may contain gaps to be filled in at the time so that prayers may reflect the needs of the world, and changes may also be made at the last minute for timing reasons, or to reflect current events.

Opening Announcement [from Continuity] (For programmes on Radio 3, 4 and 4 Extra)
BBC Radio 4.  The Bishop of Worcester, Dr. John Inge is the preacher for today’s Sunday Worship.  It’s a Choral Eucharist, live from Lancing College Chapel in West Sussex. The celebrant is the Chaplain, the Reverend Richard Harrison, who introduces the service after the choir has sung the introit by Jack Redman: ‘May the mind of Christ my Saviour live in me from day to day’. 

Introit: May the mind of Christ my Saviour 

Good morning and welcome. This great Chapel, celebrating its 150th anniversary year, is the central Minster of the Woodard Corporation, an educational charity of over 40 schools across the academy, independent and state maintained sectors.
We gather to worship Almighty God at the offering of the Eucharist, a pattern of worship our founder believed should be at the heart of all his schools.
In every school, the Summer Term is the term of exams and often of farewells. We pray for all pupils and students in schools and universities across the country.
Our preacher today is Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, one time Chemistry teacher at this school and President of the Woodard Corporation.
The choir includes Rafi Bellamy-Plaice, who is one of the current BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year and we begin by singing the hymn ‘Immortal, invisible, God only wise.’
Hymn: Immortal, invisible, God only wise 

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. 

The Lord be with you 

All  and also with you.
As always when we come into the nearer presence of God, we acknowledge our need for his forgiveness and his help in our lives ….. Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, that we may worthily celebrate the sacred mysteries … 
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit:
Lord, have mercy
All Lord, have mercy.
You bring pardon and peace to the sinner:
Christ, have mercy:
All Christ, have mercy.
You bring light to those in darkness:
Lord, have mercy:
All Lord, have mercy.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, 
have  mercy upon you,  
pardon and deliver you from all your  sins, 
confirm and strengthen you in  all goodness, 
and keep you in life  eternal; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All  Amen.
Gloria in excelsis (Missa Brevis – Neil Cox)
Let us pray:

Risen Christ,
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father.
Reader: 1 John 4:7-11, 20-21
A Reading from the First Letter of John:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
20 Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
This is the word of the Lord. 

All  Thanks be to God.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.   1’04’’ (chord and straight in)
 Abide in me as I abide in you. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit. (John 15: 4, 5)
Reader: John 15:1-8

The Lord be with you 

All  and also with you.

Hear the Gospel (+) of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
All  Glory to you, O Lord.   (The Gospel is censed)
1 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. 

All  Praise to you, O Christ.

Bishop: Sermon
The huge, cathedral-like chapel in which we meet for worship this morning – the largest school chapel in the world – was built to the glory of God thanks to the inspiration of one Nathaniel Woodard, a humble curate of with a great vision.
It’s said that Woodard had been ill and determined that the height of the chapel should be the same height in feet as the number of paces he could walk. He managed 150 paces. His architect told him that it would not be possible to build something of that height on the chalk Downs. Woodard was not going to be blown off course so easily. He sacked him and employed another who was willing to attempt it. They had to dig down 150 feet to find bedrock. Astonishing edifices like this require deep and firm foundations.
150 years later it stands at the heart of Woodard’s much bolder dream, one for which this poor, socially unconnected and modestly educated curate raised astonishing amounts of money. His great vision, for the Christian education of young people, lives on: to the 11 schools he founded or acquired have been added many more. There are now 57 Woodard schools, some independent some state, offering Christian education to x young people.
I am the true vine and you are the branches, said Jesus. Just as buildings require firm foundations, plants need good roots if they are to flourish and grow. Woodard believed that human beings live only through being connected to the God who is revealed in Jesus Christ. Creation was not a once-for-all event but is an ongoing process in which God sustains us in life every minute of every day.
As a former Chemist, I am always dismayed when people suggest such a statement as that is incompatible with science, when they say that science and faith are at odds with one another. They most certainly are not. It was Albert Einstein, possibly the greatest scientist ever, who wrote that ‘whoever is devoid of wonder, whoever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for they have already closed their eyes upon life’. 
We can know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment as we see a glorious landscape or listen to beautiful music. God can speak to us through these experiences – and, perhaps most of all, when we love another human being. 
We should not be surprised to experience the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment in love since our human loves are a reflection of the divine love by which we were created. As St John reminded us in this morning’s reading, God is love. It’s not that God approves of love, thinks it’s a really good thing: it is God’s very nature. No wonder St Augustine went so far as to say that we know in so far as we love.  That’s also, surely, the reason why the existence of God cannot be proven. You can’t prove love.
Nathaniel Woodard envisaged an education which is, above all else, an education in love. Jesus taught us that the whole duty of humanity is summed up the great commandment to love God and love our neighbour. As St John makes clear in this morning’s reading, the two cannot be separated: ‘Those who say “I love God” and hate their brothers or sisters are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen cannot love God whom they have not seen.’ Indeed not. 
Most decent people in our society would agree, I expect, that loving and caring for their fellow human beings is a good thing. The part of Woodard’s Christian vision with which I imagine many would have difficulty today is the ‘God’ bit. Woodard was insistent that, just as you cannot properly love God without loving your brother and sister, you could not properly love your neighbour without loving God.
Jesus is quite explicit about this in our gospel reading: ‘I am the true vine and you are the branches’, he says, and then he goes on to insist that ‘apart from me you can do nothing.’ There is a sense in which this is a truism. Jesus, St John tells us at the beginning of his gospel, is the very Word of God through whom everything is created. In that continuous process which is creation we are held in being by Jesus. We receive what we need to live through him, as a vine branch does from the vine, even if we do not recognise it. Were we were to be cut off from him, we would die.
We come here to in worship to acknowledge that dependency as we receive new life from Jesus under the forms of bread and wine, the fruit of the vine. As we do so, we not only acknowledge our need of God but respond to Jesus’s invitation of to be in deep loving relationship with him, as well as one another, to love as he loves us.
This is the invitation which is communicated in Woodard’s great Christian vision for education, an invitation from Jesus to enter into relationship with him and so experience that fullness of life which he yearns to give, and pass it on. Some who were educated here at Lancing have done so famously. Countless others, educated here and at other Woodard Schools, have done so quietly and unobtrusively in lives of great goodness and godliness. I pray that this and future generations of Woodard students will do likewise.
Woodard’s vision was for the whole nation though his schools. Our nation badly needs that vision now. I pray that the love of God and love of neighbour in Christ which have sustained this country over centuries will once again capture its imagination so that all may experience that abundance of life which Jesus offers to all those who seek him.  

Anthem: Now the green blade riseth (with Rafi solo)

Brothers and sisters I ask you to profess the faith of the Church.


Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?
All:  We believe and trust in him.
Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again?
All:  We believe and trust in him.
Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit who gives life to the people of God, and makes Christ known in the world?
All:  We believe and trust in him.
This is the faith of the Church.
All:  This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

United in the company of all the faithful and looking for the coming of the kingdom, let us offer our prayers to God, the source of all life and holiness.
 (1 A prayer for the Church)
We ask you to bless Martin our bishop, and all ministers of your Church, that by faithful proclamation of your word, we may be built into a holy temple in the Lord.

Lord, in your mercy  
All:  Hear our prayer

(2 A prayer for the world)
We ask you to give to the world and its peoples the peace that comes from above, that they may find Christ’s way of freedom and of life. We pray for your gifts of peace and justice.

Lord, in your mercy  
All:  Hear our prayer

  (3 A prayer for those in need)
We give thanks for all who bring light to those in darkness. We ask you to hold in your embrace all who witness to your love in the service of the poor and needy; all those who minister to the sick and dying; as we pray especially for those in need … (add here a recent event to pray for)


Lord, in your mercy  
All:  Hear our prayer

 (4 A prayer for all schools)
We pray for those facing exams at this time and for the inspiration and guidance of your Spirit in the hearts and minds of those who live and work in all schools throughout the world; that the young may be helped to flourish in the rich soil of your kingdom.

Lord, in your mercy  
All:  Hear our prayer
(5 A prayer for the souls of the faithful departed)
We give thanks for the life and work of our Founder, Nathaniel Woodard, and for the faith and vision which inspired him to found our schools. We pray for the souls of all the faithful departed. Preserve us who live here in your faith, guide us to your kingdom, and grant us your peace at all times.

Lord, in your mercy  
All:  Hear our prayer

We join all these our prayers with those of Mary the Mother of God and Saint Nicolas our patron saints, and all the saints of Heaven. By your grace may we, like them, be made perfect in your love.
Merciful Father,
All: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
We now celebrate Christ’s peace and then, as we prepare the altar for the offering of the Eucharist, we sing our offertory hymn:  “I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘Come unto me and rest’”.

God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them. The peace of the Lord be always with you
All  and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace

Hymn: I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘Come unto me and rest’”

The Lord be with you 

All  and also with you.

Lift up your hearts. 

All  We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 

All  It is right to give thanks and praise.
But chiefly are we bound to praise you
because you raised him gloriously from the dead.
For he is the true paschal lamb who was offered for us,
and has taken away the sin of the world.
By his death he has destroyed death,
and by his rising to life again he has restored to us everlasting life.
And so, in the joy of this Passover,
earth and heaven resound with gladness,
while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation
sing for ever the hymn of your glory:
Sanctus and Benedictus (Neil Cox)
We praise and bless you, loving Father, through Jesus Christ,
our Lord; and as we obey his command, send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured may be for us
the body and blood of your dear Son.
On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice made once for all upon the cross.
Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection until he comes in glory.
Great is the mystery of faith:
All  Christ has died:  Christ is risen:  Christ will come again.

Lord of all life, help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.
Look with favour on your people; gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Nicolas and all the saints
to feast at your table in heaven.
Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours,
O loving Father, for ever and ever.
All  Amen.

As our Saviour has taught us, we are bold to say:

All  Our Father, who art in heaven, 
hallowed be thy name; 
thy kingdom come; 
thy will be done; 
on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation; 
but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, 
the power and the glory, 
for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
All  Though we are many, we are one body, 
because we all share in one bread.
Behold the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world. 
Happy are those who are called to his supper.
 All      Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.
Agnus Dei (Neil Cox)
Let us pray: Eternal God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:
grant us to walk in his way,
to rejoice in his truth,
and to share his risen life;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
All  Amen.
God the Father, by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life
and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,  
be among you and remain with you always.
All Amen.

The Mass is ended, go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
All In the name of Christ. Amen.
Hymn: Ye watchers and ye holy ones

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