Sunday 14th June

As many of you know, Sarah’s mother Barbara died last weekend. Chris and Sarah appreciated your phone calls, cards and messages very much. Although, Sarah has been very much involved in putting it together, the restrictions mean that only her two brothers will be gathering at graveside with the parish priest for Barbara’s funeral on Monday. Quite understandably, Sarah has chosen not to put together a video service this week, but has drawn some resources together for us to look at as we consider Barnabas, whose feast day is celebrated around 11-June and for whom our cluster church St Barnabas is named. They have a wonderful range of resources we recommend to you on their website and especially on their Youtube channel.

Imagine: a video reflection from Margaret James (2 minutes)

We begin with a brief reflection from Margaret James, who looks after the Diocese’s church schools, asking us to pray for schools as the ‘next normal’ begins to open up for our children

Click on the image below or use this link to hear Margaret.

The Lord’s Prayer from year 5 school children (1 minute)

Eucharist from Canterbury Cathedral (25 minutes)

Today’s service comes from Canterbury Cathedral. Sarah has chosen it because the priest is her friend Tim Naish. Tim is a safe pair of hands. Not only was a key figure in her training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, he is the only person she has ever met who also has a dog called Tucker! Click on the image below for Eucharist for St Barnabas.

Who was St Barnabas?


Barnabas was one of the very earliest followers of Jesus and a leader of the early church. His story is told in the Acts of the Apostles and he is also mentioned in some of Paul’s letters. Originally called Joseph, he was given his new name of Barnabas by those who knew him well, it means ‘son of encouragement’. His new name certainly fits what we know of his character and actions.

We first hear of Barnabas in the New Testament due to his simple act of stewardship and sharing. He sold land he owned and donates the proceeds to the church to be used to support the poor. When Paul came to Jerusalem after his conversion, most of the Christians there wanted nothing to do with him for they had known him as a persecutor of Christians. But Barnabas, guided by God was willing to take a calculated risk on Paul. He sought Paul out, spoke with him, and having weighed him up, vouched for him. We owe much of our New Testament to the work of Paul and in his preaching and evangelism he was used by God in the creation of many of the early Christian communities. Imagine if Barnabas had not been willing to obey God’s call?

Later, Paul and Barnabas travelled far and wide, sharing the good news of God’s love in Jesus. On one journey they took a young man called Mark with them. This travelling ministry was tough and dangerous; they literally were risking their lives. Part way, Mark turned back. When Paul and Barnabas were about to set out again, Barnabas suggested taking Mark along again. Paul was against it, saying that Mark was not dependable. But Barnabas wanted to give Mark a second chance, and so he and Mark went off on one journey, while Paul took Silas and went on another. Apparently Mark responded well to the trust given him by Barnabas, the “son of encouragement,” since we find that Paul recognises the change in Mark and later speaks of him as a valuable assistant.

Barnabas, who became one of the leaders of the Church was asked to help in the growth of a new congregation in Antioch. He didn’t arrive thinking he’d whip them into shape, instead we read, ‘he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion.’ Barnabas called Paul over to help in this work at Antioch and both he and Paul grew in their faith and ministry. And the Church grew too:  a great many people became Christians – indeed it was here at Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called ‘Christians’. Born in Cyprus, Barnabas also died there in AD 61 when he was martyred for his faith. He stayed faithful and willing to give everything right to the end.

A PRAYER Bountiful God, giver of all gifts who poured your Spirit upon your servant Barnabas and gave him grace to encourage others; Help us, by his example, to be generous in our judgements and unselfish on our service; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Brother Sister Let Me Serve You (2 minutes)

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