This short act of worship has been prepared for you. I invite you to share in a few moments with God, knowing that other people within Paulton, Trinity and Chew Stoke Methodist Churches are sharing this act of worship with you.

Revd Martin Slocombe

Baptism Water

Gathering prayer

Great and wonderful God, we clear our thoughts of the daily things of life, that in the stillness of this place, we can come, recognising your presence with joy and with wonder, celebrating your goodness, acknowledging your love for us, before we knew anything about it.

Receive our worship now, and help us to serve you always.  Amen

Hymn – 419 – Like a mighty river flowing

1 Like a mighty river flowing,
like a flower in beauty growing,
far beyond all human knowing
is the perfect peace of God.

2 Like the hills serene and even,
like the coursing clouds of heaven,
like the heart that's been forgiven
is the perfect peace of God.

3 Like the summer breezes playing,
like the tall trees softly swaying,
like the lips of silent praying
is the perfect peace of God.

4 Like the morning sun ascended,
like the scents of evening blended,
like a friendship never ended
is the perfect peace of God.

5 Like the azure ocean swelling,
like the jewel all-excelling,
far beyond our human telling
is the perfect peace of God.

Michael Perry (1942 - 1996)
© Mrs B Perry/Jubilate Hymns

Baptism of Baby Chester 

Let us pray.

Generous God,

touch us again

with the fire of your Spirit

and renew in us all

the grace of our Baptism;

that we may profess the one true faith 

and live in love and unity 

with all who are baptized into Christ.  Amen.


We say together the prayer that Jesus gave us:        

Our Father in heaven,               

hallowed be your Name,               

your kingdom come,                 

your will be done,                      

on earth as in heaven.               

Give us today our daily bread.  

Forgive us our sins                        

as we forgive those who sin against us.                

Save us from the time of trial        

and deliver us from evil.            

For the kingdom, the power and the glory          

are yours,                         

now and for ever.  Amen.              

Hymn – 492 (H&P) – Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising

 1      Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
           give me joy in my heart, I pray;
           give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
           keep me praising till the break of day:
                Sing hosanna!  Sing hosanna!
                Sing hosanna to the King of kings!
                Sing hosanna!  Sing hosanna!
                Sing hosanna to the King!

   2      Give me peace in my heart, keep me loving,
           give me peace in my heart, I pray;
           give me peace in my heart, keep me loving,
           keep me loving till the break of day:

   3      Give me love in my heart, keep me serving,
           give me love in my heart, I pray;
           give me love in my heart, keep me serving,
           keep me serving till the break of day:



Did you all sanitise your hands when you came into church this morning?  Since Covid, we are much more conscious of the need to cleanse our hands, not just when they appear to be dirty from doing jobs such as gardening or cooking for example, but now we need to be extra conscious of the need to cleanse our hands from germs and viruses that we cannot see.  It is easy to think that our hands are clean, when, in fact, they aren’t.

We have got used to carry hand sanitise round with us.  For everyday use, you can carry around a small hand sanitiser like this one – hold up small sanitiser – If you regularly get dirty, you might need a larger sanitiser – hold up 2nd bottle – or even the largest bottle – hold up 3rd bottle.

Or if it is convenient, we are told you can wash your hands with soap and water whilst singing 2 verses of Happy Birthday, about 20 seconds.

But once is not enough.  We have to wash our hands over and over again, many times everyday.  If you go shopping and go into lots of shops you might get asked to clean your hands loads of times.

Sometimes the dirt on our hands is very obvious and we know we need to wash them, but other times, as in the case of Coronavirus, it is unseen to the human eye, and we are less aware, and have to be reminded. 

This water we have used for Chester’s baptism is symbolic.  It is a reminder that Jesus himself was baptised in the water of the river Jordan, but also it is a reminder of the cleansing nature of water, its power to wash away the dirt from our hands, all that makes us unclean. 

When I blessed the water used for Chester’s baptism, I thanked God  for your gifts of water and the Holy Spirit, for your sustaining, cleansing, and life-giving power.”

Baptism is not about the water washing away physical dirt from our hands, but is all about ourselves being washed clean by the Holy Spirit.  As water washes away the dirt on the outside of our bodies, so the Holy Spirit washes away sin from inside our bodies. 

What is this sin, well its everything that stops us from becoming closer to God, all our actions which are less than how God intended us to be.  Sin is not limited to the bad things we do, but is also comes from the reality that as human beings we are not perfect, we all have failings and weaknesses however hard we try not to.  We are all human.  And in being human we are all vulnerable to sin.

Chester hasn’t consciously done anything wrong in his short life so far, but he is human, and is vulnerable, just like we are.

When we wash our hands, water alone is not enough to protect ourselves from the unseen Coronavirus, we need something stronger, sanitiser, to clean the virus away.  As we reflect on our human nature, we also realise we need something stronger to cleanse us from our mistakes.  In Baptism, we acknowledge Chester’s place in this Christian family, we acknowledge the love that God has for him before he knows anything about it, and we give thanks for the Holy Spirit which cleans away the unseen sin inside him, and enables him to be the wonderful human being that God has created him to be, not just today, but forever.  Chester’s baptism is once and for all, it’s all he needs, it is a free gift to him, and it will be up to him how he responds to it as he grows up.

We hope and pray that he will find God in his life, and respond to the gift he has received today.


Hymn – 673 – There is a Redeemer

   1      There is a Redeemer,
           Jesus, God's own Son,
           precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
           Holy One.
                Thank you, O my Father,
                for giving us your Son,
                and leaving your Spirit
                till the work on earth is done.

   2      Jesus my Redeemer,
           name above all names,
           precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
           O for sinners slain.

   3      When I stand in glory
           I will see his face,
           and there I'll serve my King for ever
           in that holy place.

vv. 1-2 Melody Green (b. 1946)
v. 3 Keith Green (1953–1982)

Today we have welcomed Chester into our church family, but we also acknowledge that there are some members of our families who are missing today.  We particularly remember Ted, who was such an important member of your family, and our family, and we give thanks for him now in our prayers.

Prayers for others

We pray for the world, for the ongoing discussions at COP26, for the tragic deaths at the festival in Texas, and the streets of Sierra Leone …

We pray for your church in the world,

for the North East Somerset & Bath Circuit, of which we are a part, for it’s ministers, lay workers, churches and congregations – especially this week we join with the Circuit as we pray together for Peasedown St John, and their minister, David Winstanley

We pray for Chester, and his parents and family.

Today, we also give thanks for Ted, Chester’s great-grandfather, who was such a dedicated and loving member of both our earthly and Church families.  We remember the wonderful influence he was, the love that he shared, the commitment that he showed, the Christian example he revealed to us.  We thank you loving God, for the life he shared with us, and the life he now lives reunited with Margaret, in your heavenly kingdom.

We pray for our friends who are unwell, and their families who are supporting them, and for all those we know and love …………

And we pray for ourselves

In silence or spoken aloud, we bring our own prayers


God of all, we ask on behalf of all those in need.


Close with a favourite hymn of Ted’s

Hymn – 429 – Lord for the years

   1      Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided,
                urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way,
           sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided,
                Lord of the years, we bring our thanks today.

   2      Lord, for that word, the Word of life which fires us,
                speaks to our hearts and sets our souls ablaze,
           teaches and trains, rebukes us and inspires us,
                Lord of the word, receive your people's praise.

   3      Lord, for our land, in this our generation,
                spirits oppressed by pleasure, wealth and care;
           for young and old, for commonwealth and nation,
                Lord of our land, be pleased to hear our prayer.

   4      Lord, for our world; when we disown and doubt him,
                loveless in strength, and comfortless in pain;
           hungry and helpless, lost indeed without him,
                Lord of the world, we pray that Christ may reign.

   5      Lord, for ourselves; in living power remake us,
                self on the cross and Christ upon the throne;
           past put behind us, for the future take us,
                Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926)



Today we have welcomed Chester by baptism into this family, and we have reminded of our own baptism, however long ago that may have been.  Loving God, renew in us the cleansing and refreshing waters of your Holy Spirit, that we may be renewed to serve you, day by day.



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