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Christchurch Priory

Sermons Services archive

A message from the Vicar:

If you’re visiting this website for the first time, welcome! For everyone else, welcome back!

The pace at which we’ve had to react to changing circumstances in recent days has been unparalleled in living memory. If you’ve found this unsettling (I certainly have) one of the main reasons may be because the rhythm of our lives, daily or weekly, has been turned upside down by forces beyond our control. Normal routine is no longer normal.

This matters because human beings thrive on having a rhythm in life. When that rhythm is removed, for whatever reason, we can struggle. Recognising that Covid-19 and its constraints will be with us for a while, I want to encourage us all consciously to put in place a rhythm in life to sustain us through the coming weeks, and beyond.

The Rule of St Benedict, written in the early 6th century, is a good place to start, precisely because it was written, not just for monks or nuns, but “for hard-working, busy people whose family lives and bills and civic duties and hard work consume them in the world today” (Joan Chittister OSB). Its principles are as relevant today as when he wrote them.

So, for example, the Rule provides for “some activity which will involve the body and for some activity which will involve the mind and, finally, for opportunities in which the spirit which is in us can expand” (Ambrose Tinsley OSB). Physical exercise, mental exercise, and spiritual exercise: doing some form of each of these every day, which we can do even at home, will benefit us all and punctuate our days with helpful changes of pace and focus.

Another thing we can do to help bring rhythm to life would be to set aside time daily to phone a friend. It may be a friend you normally meet regularly, or perhaps someone you’ve not seen for a while. Just think of the network of blessing that would ensue if we all phoned a friend (or two) every day.

God bless us all, and those we love and care for, and may He guide us to a rhythm of life that will help us to flourish, now and always.

Canon Charles Stewart

Services - in line with national guidance, all public worship is suspended and the churches are closed.

The clergy will be saying morning and evening prayer daily. You can join us online for morning prayer (see opposite on this page).

The Eucharist: we are no longer permitted to celebrate the Eucharist in our church buildings, but we do have permission for the priests to celebrate at home and make a recording of it. We intend to do this each week in time to be able to share the recording here and on social media on Sunday mornings. 

This invites us to consider how we can share in communion when we are not physically present together and when we are not physically receiving the consecrated elements of bread and wine. We can do this by making what is known as 'spiritual communion'. The Vicar has prepared an explanation of this, drawing on an article written by Rev'd. Canon Grant Bayliss, of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Please read it here: Spiritual communion


The Eucharist for Sunday 29 March will be shown on our YouTube channel at 9.30am.

Use this link to view on YouTube:

You can download the order of service here: Eucharist Sunday 29 March 2020


The recording of the service will be uploaded here shortly afterwards.

Previous services and sermons are available in the archive using the buttons above. 





These are traumatic times for many people. Read here a wise and valuable short piece written by the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral about trauma and tragedy and how they affect us: David Ison


A Poem



What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath -
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

To listen to a reading of this poem, click here: Pandemic 


 Daily Reflection: 28 March




Click on play below to listen:

Daily Prayer

In the Priory we use Common Worship: Daily Prayer. The best and easiest way to use this is as a download on your phone, iPad (or other tablet), or computer. It is available free of charge from the Church of England website: just go to:  

(if this link does not work, go to  then click on ‘Prayer and Worship’; find ‘Join us is a service of daily prayer’ in the drop-down menu; click that, look below ‘More Options’ and you’ll find a box titled Morning Prayer, for the day in question).

For smart phones or iPads, this material is also available from the App store. It is also available for Kindle.

You can join us online (using Zoom) as we say Daily Prayer at 8.30am each day (Mon-Sat). Please email for details.



Prayer Requests

Please pray for our sisters and brothers in Christ in San Lorenzo, Florence, as they endure continuing restrictions on their daily life and the closure of their church, amid a very serious outbreak of the Corona virus.

If you would like prayers to be offered by the clergy in the Priory, please email your request to and your prayer will be offered during Evening Prayer at 5.00pm.

Bible reading

This is the Epistle for Sunday 22nd March

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3.12-17)


 Prayer for Today


 O gracious and holy Father,

give us wisdom to perceive thee,

diligence to seek thee,

patience to wait for thee,

eyes to behold thee,

a heart to meditate on thee,

and a life to proclaim thee;

through the power of the Spirit

of Jesus Christ our Lord.


(St Benedict)

Foodbank logo 

Our local Foodbank is under real pressure during the current crisis, especially with most schoolchildren not at school and therefore those most in need not receiving free school meals. Please support them by making a direct donation by bank transfer to 40-52-40 a/c 00015300 using the reference CFBFood. If you are able and willing to shop and buy produce, there are Foodbank collection points in supermarkets. At present, the Priory is closed, so you cannot leave produce there. Thank you.