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A Service of Thanksgiving

for the

Conservation of
St James’ Finchampstead

Sunday 18th July 2010 at 4pm


Message from the Rector, Rev Dr Richard Warden

In an excerpt from A Pageant of The Chronicles of


Finchampstead, written by the then Rector Rev W E
Woosnam-Jones and performed in the grounds of St James’
Church in July 1956, Sir Alard Banastre pledges loyalty to God
and the people by building a new church in Finchampstead on
this hill.

"I vow to build a new church, of fair stone, where we may all gather
Sunday by Sunday to worship God as all children of one family.
And may that church still stand there in 1000 years when all of us
are gathered to our fathers."
Scene 3: Set in 1121 AD

Thanks be to God for the dedication of the good people of


Finchampstead who in 2009 -10 AD did their part to ensure
that St James' Church would stand for another thousand years
on this site as a place of Christian worship.

It has been an immense privilege to have been your Priest-in-


Charge during this great Conservation Work.
Service conducted by Rev Dr Richard Warden, Priest in Charge
Director of Music Mr Andrew Bosley

Choir Introit
O come ye servants of the Lord, by Christopher Tye

Welcome and Opening Prayer

Welcome in the name of Christ.


God's grace, mercy and peace be with you
and also with you.

Collect
Almighty God,
to whose glory we celebrate the dedication
of this house of prayer:
we praise you for the many blessings
you have given to those who worship you here:
and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you,
and, being filled with the Holy Spirit,
may become a living temple acceptable to you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Hymn Praise to the Lord the almighty


Prayers of Penitence
We come to God as one from whom no secrets are hidden,
to ask for his forgiveness and peace.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,


we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
Amen.

First Reading

Genesis Ch 28 v 11-18 The house of God, the gate of heaven.

Jacob came to a certain place and stayed there for the night,
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because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place,
he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12And he
dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top
of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending
and descending on it. 13And the LORD stood beside him and
said, ‘I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and
the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you
and to your offspring; 14and your offspring shall be like the dust
of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to
the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families
of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.
15Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,

and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you
until I have done what I have promised you.’ 16Then Jacob
woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this
place – and I did not know it!’ 17And he was afraid, and said,
‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the
house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’
18So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone

that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and
poured oil on the top of it.

This is the word of the Lord.


Thanks be to God.

Hymn Angel voices ever singing

Second Reading

Romans Ch 12 v 1-21 Living sacrifices and loving lives

1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to
offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to
God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform
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any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by


the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and
approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect
will.
3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not
think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think
of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the
measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one
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body with many members, and these members do not all have
the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one
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body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have 6

different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is


prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is 7

serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is 8

encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the


needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let
him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it
cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is
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good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor


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one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but


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keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope,


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patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people


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who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who


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persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those


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who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony


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with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate


with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is
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right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it


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depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take 19

revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is


written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On 20

the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do
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not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn God is here as we his people

Sermon Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell BA, Bishop of Reading

Choir Anthem
Sing praise to God, by Henry Purcell

Prayers of Intercession
We pray that Christ may be seen in the life of the Church.
Jesus, Lord of the Church,
in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us into the family of those who are


the children of God.
May our love for our brothers and sisters
be strengthened by your grace.
Jesus, Lord of the Church,
in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us to be a temple


where the Holy Spirit can dwell.
Give us clean hands and pure hearts,
so that our lives will reflect your holiness.
Jesus, Lord of the Church,
in your mercy, hear us.
You have called us to be a light to the world,
so that those in darkness come to you.
May our lives shine
as a witness to the saving grace you have given for all.
Jesus, Lord of the Church,
in your mercy, hear us.
You have called us to be members of your body,
so that when one suffers, all suffer together.
We ask for your comfort and healing power
to bring hope to those in distress.
Jesus, Lord of the Church,
in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us to be the Bride,


where you, Lord, are the Bridegroom.
Prepare us for the wedding feast,
where we will be united with you for ever.
Jesus, Lord of the Church,
hear our prayer,
and make us one in heart and mind
to serve you with joy for ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,


Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom
in the words our Saviour taught us.

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.

Act of Thanksgiving and Commitment

Poem composed by a member of St James

Our Church at Finchampstead

The cornerstone of faith and hope


nine hundred years it stood,
but wear and tear it did erode
stone and brick and wood

God chose a team of wisdom who,


with foresight and resolve,
conceived a conservation plan
to restore the church we love.

The community has toiled and striven


to get this plan in motion,
has sacrificed and paid out funds
with dedication and devotion.
With death watch beetle in the wood
and pews to be replaced,
and chequered tiles on floor renewed
all signs of rot erased.

Psalm eighty four has this to say


‘How lovely is your dwelling place’,
and this is true of our fine church
one filled with peace and grace.

A shining haven on the hill


a place of fervent prayer and song,
our church a refuge for us all
a home where we belong.

Too pure to know in iniquity


God looks down from above,
and sees his church filled end-to-end
with sanctity and love.

Eye could not see nor heart divine


how wonderful St James would be,
for future man and woman and child
a blessed, sacred sanctuary.

From outer space where stars abound


it seems the smallest part
of the grand whole that guides us on
from birth ‘til we depart.
Prayer of Commitment

God of power,
may the boldness of your Spirit transform us,
may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,
may the gifts of your Spirit equip us
to serve and worship you
now and always. Amen

Hymn Now thank we all our God

Blessing and Dismissal

Christ, whose glory is in the heavens,


fill this house and illuminate your hearts;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen

Like living stones, precious in his sight,


go in peace to proclaim the mighty acts of God.
Thanks be to God.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):


Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches
of Christ, USA Blessing (Dedication Festival 1) © Michael Perham
Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops' Council 2000