Standish Methodist Church


standish church outside



Dear Friend,


When I was a young lad I can remember my grandmother being an avid listener on Radio 4 to Alistair Cooke’s letter from America. He made 2,869 broadcasts over nearly 58 years and gathered an enormous audience, being broadcast not only in Britain and in many other Commonwealth countries, but throughout the world by the BBC World Service. He talked about American life and politics. He began in 1946 and ended just before his death in 2004. On one occasion he spoke about the effect of Ice Cream on America. He noted that by about 1960 ice-cream everywhere had deteriorated and had gone thin and watery.  


Well, I am now on my 16th letter since the beginning of lockdown, so I have some way to go before I catch up with Alistair Cooke. I’m no expert on Ice Cream and its effect on society, but I do know this Covid 19 has had a deep and lasting effect on everyone. It is going to take a long time for us to recover not only socially and economically but mentally and perhaps spiritually. As we slowly return to our places of worship, we will need to be prepared for changes and adapt accordingly. So please be patient and remember that the over-riding thing is to do all we can to make our buildings and what we do there as safe as possible. We cannot eradicate all risk, but we can try to reduce risk as much as is possible.


So, keep praying, keep the faith, and love God and your neighbour as yourself.


Please continue to check out our church web sites to see too what else is going on. I have to say the churches are doing a remarkable job in finding different ways of communicating the gospel to our communities. For those with Smart phones, i-Pads etc, you may wish to watch a live streamed service from Wesley’s chapel in London. The service times and link are as follows:



Service times


Wednesday 12:45

Thursday 12:45

Sunday 9:45 and 11:00.  


All these services will be available at: 



May the Lord be your strength and protection,


Prayerfully yours,   Rev John


Revd. John C Hilton,    Tel:  01695 625528,   Email:















Sunday 5th July 2020  



This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you


Opening Prayer


Jesus, I come to you to celebrate your love and to receive your word.

You taught that we must worship God in spirit. I long to worship with your people, but I know you are with me, in these difficult times. Amen.


Hymn:  Love divine, all loves excelling (Singing the Faith No 503)


Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here

on the picture link





























Let us pray together

Lord God, I am in wonder at the world you have created and the life you have given me. I thank you for that gift of life and the joy of sharing my life with others.

I have not always lived my life as you would wish. Yet, even as I confess this to you, I know your forgiveness by the suffering and death of your Son, Jesus Christ, my Saviour. Amen.


Today’s letter to an Early Church: Romans 7. 15-25a


Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30


Time to Reflect


Matthew 11: 28-30  


‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’


Jesus’ says that he is offering a new way to God. Like the old way, it aims for salvation, but He offers us strength and comfort on our path to God.


He calls us to accept the need for forgiveness, and the salvation He offers to us. Then we can receive the Spirit to follow God’s way with the knowledge of His Love.  

Jesus says people criticise him for not conforming to their expectations. Those who fear his message point to how he lives his life, as they had done regarding John the Baptist.

If, through our calling, we receive or fear such criticism, we must rise above it. Seeing others we should look to what their words and actions mean for us, rather than judging their outward appearance.

It is reported that when Sydney Carter wrote the well-known hymn “Lord of the Dance” he expected the Church to dislike it because it was different. Happily it was accepted, perhaps not as quickly as it deserved, and is now a familiar celebration of Jesus’ life.  

Jesus speaks of the word of God being hidden from the wise, of those who allow wisdom or knowledge to hide the love of God, and who see the detail of the Law as overriding God’s calling that we should love God and our neighbour.  

In the tale of the ‘Good Samaritan’ it was a priest and a Levite (someone who would assist the priest in the Temple), who would know the Law, who walked by.

In writing to the Romans, Paul speaks of the conflict between following the Law and accepting the call of Jesus.

This does not mean that we can disregard the Law. Indeed often the Law shows us how to love our neighbour, but the love God shows us is not following a set of rules but a supreme act of love through suffering. Our call to respond should also be through Love.

All this is through God’s love for us, shown in the grace we are offered when he sent His Son to die for our forgiveness and salvation.


Take a time to sit quietly


A time of prayer


I thank you Lord for the gift of your Son: for His life, His sufferings and death and for His Resurrection and Ascension, for the witness, salvation and hope He gives.

I thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit to those who have come to you, and especially for the gift of that Spirit in your Church.

I rejoice in the work and witness of your Church and pray that it may continue to strive to fulfil your work and proclaim your Love.

I pray for the needs of the world, thinking especially at this time of those affected by the Coronavirus, but remembering too all who suffer including those whose plight seemingly goes unnoticed. Be with all those suffering in any way. Especially be with……………(people known to me)  

Be with those whose lives impact others: leaders in government, or the workplace, health care workers, teachers, emergency workers and all those on whom people depend. Grant them the wisdom and the strength to know and to follow your way.

Lord, I commend all men, women and children to your unfailing love through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.



hve mercy

The Lord’s Prayer 


Our Father ……


Hymn:  Listen to “Lord of the Dance” Singing the Faith no 247




I danced in the morning

when the world was begun,

and I danced in the moon

and the stars and the sun;

and I came down from heaven

and I danced on the earth,

at Bethlehem

I had my birth.


\i'Dance, then, wherever you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance.' said he,

'and I'll lead you all wherever you may be,

and I'll lead you all in the Dance,' said he.


I danced for the scribe

and the pharisee,

but they would not dance

and they wouldn't follow me;

I danced for the fishermen,

for James and John;

they came with me

and the Dance went on.


They cut me down

and I leapt up high;

I am the life

that'll never, never die;

I'll live in you

if you'll live in me;

I am the Lord

of the Dance, said he.


A Prayer of blessing


May the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit rest and remain with each of us sharing His worship today and always.  

Original Materials by Ralph Frankland


Hymns reproduced under CCLi 1144191  


Songs published under CCLI No 1144191























Welcome to

Standish Methodist Church

Minister: Rev’d John Hilton

Tel: 01695 625528

Email: johnhilton56@outlookcom



You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:14


from Rev. John Hilton

Love divine, all loves excelling,

joy of heaven to earth come down,

fix in us thy humble dwelling,

all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesu, thou art all compassion,

pure, unbounded love thou art;

visit us with thy salvation,

enter every trembling heart.


Come, almighty to deliver,

let us all thy life receive;

suddenly return, and never,

never more thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

serve thee as thy hosts above,

pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,

glory in thy perfect love.


Finish then thy new creation,

pure and spotless let us be;

let us see thy great salvation,

perfectly restored in thee:

changed from glory into glory,

till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise!


Charles Wesley (1707-1788)






Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30


‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,   “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;    we wailed, and you did not mourn.”  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’


At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  


‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’







I danced on the Sabbath

and I cured the lame:

the holy people

said it was a shame.

They whipped and they stripped

and they hung me on high,

and they left me there

on a Cross to die.


I danced on a Friday

when the sky turned black;

it's hard to dance

with the devil on your back.

They buried my body

and they thought I'd gone;

but I am the Dance

and I still go on.


They cut me down

and I leapt up high;

I am the life

that'll never, never die;

I'll live in you

if you'll live in me;

I am the Lord

of the Dance, said he.


Sydney Carter (1915-2004)

Romans 7. 15-25a


I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.  


So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!


So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.