We're resuming worship in church this coming Sunday 12th July

Dear Friends
We’re hoping to resume worship in church this coming Sunday and are starting slowly with a BCP communion in St Mary’s at the later time of 9.30am, followed by a zoom Morning Prayer at 10.30 ( a number have asked for these Zoom services to continue across the summer and we hope to offer these alongside church services as often as possible). I do hope that you may feel able to attend this Communion service. Forgive my emailing you personally; please would you pass on this news to anyone who might be interested in attending it, as we cannot be comprehensive. As the government guidelines came too late for the Link to carry news of this, we shall be needing to publicise service-times by email, by word of mouth, by the website, by church notices and by the database instead.
You may well have some questions about safety in this situation.  We have carefully completed and followed a Risk Assessment according to government and Church guidelines. This will mean that the following is in place:
–Some service books are laid out separately so they can be picked up near the door by each worshipper, and then taken home. Please do regard this as your own for the time being, and  bring back for future BCP services. We have used gloves in laying these out but more than five days will also have passed since this was done, so there will be no risk of infection.
– Indications of where to sit in the Choir to maintain distance; please don’t sit in the nave. These markers assume solitary attendance but if you come as a pair, that is excellent; please just move the marker along, to give yourselves distance from any other worshipper
— Markers are also on the chairs in the nave for future use, especially the wedding on the following Saturday. Please don’t sit there if possible.
— Toilets and kitchen are not in use; please remind anyone you know who may attend of this. We will try to keep the length of services in church considerably down for this and other reasons
– Sanitiser is located around the church — please use it, and feel free to wear a mask if you would prefer to do so
–Following guidelines, the main and the side doors will be left open to provide a through circulation of air
–Communion is only in one kind, other than for the president; worshippers are asked to stand by the rail at distance and the president (wearing gloves) will release the host into out stretched hands – again this is the guidance, but if you would prefer to select a wafer yourself, please indicate this, and we can accommodate it.
– There is also a Zoom Morning Prayer at 10.30 (with sermon) if you would prefer this form of worship or to remain at home.
I do hope that these precautions will reassure any who is concerned, but please do speak to myself or one of the wardens if you have a question.
I look forward very much to worshipping soon in church with you.
with blessings,



St Mary's, Leigh Woods & Holy Trinity, Abbots Leigh

Welcome to the United Parish of Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods in the Bristol Diocese. Do come and join us for any of our services and events. You are assured of a warm welcome!

A message from the vicar
Rev. Dr Hester Jones

Rev. Dr Hester Jones

Hester divides her time between Bristol University and the parish.

Welcome to the United Parish of Holy Trinity, Abbots Leigh & St Mary’s, Leigh Woods.


We are a Christian community within the Church of England and we seek to follow Christ as we live out our lives in the world, and in particular in the Parish of Abbots Leigh with Leigh Woods.

Contact Us

Please contact us via the Parish Office to talk to the Vicar, a Churchwarden or Minister and for all other church matters, including Weddings, Funerals and Baptisms, or to request your welcome pack.

Email: admin@theparishchurch.com

Telephone: 01275 373996

Sermon for - 12th July

May I speak in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

One of the experiences of lockdown for me has involved sowing, nurturing and planting out seeds and seedling and waiting to see how they fare. I’m a total amateur and have no idea which will reach the seedling stage, let alone which the edible stage. My mother recently quoted her mother, both of whom were Londoners born and bred, saying that growing your own was for those with time and space to do so; a city-dweller’s perspective perhaps, but there does seem to be a lot of chance involved in the activity, which makes it something akin to the mystery of God’s work in our lives. Creative growth never can be quite controlled as a machine can be controlled, and that’s part of the fun, if sometimes too the challenge.


And the story, no doubt a very familiar one, in the gospel today, of the sower and the seeds, offers at face value comparable wisdom, appropriate for the agricultural audience to whom Jesus was probably mainly speaking. At one level, we receive the teaching of Jesus, and we enact its invitation to love selflessly, with varying success. That teaching is offered to us all, regardless of who we are, what kind of lives we have lived. But hearing and acting are different questions. We hear and perhaps we know, what sort of things we could and perhaps should be doing. But all sorts of life experiences get in the way, making us forget in the moment what love would ask, meaning that if we don’t forget, we may find it hard or complicated or in fact too much to go that, costlier, route; and so, regretfully, sometimes sadly, we fall away from the better path.


Well, as said, that is one message of the parable. And we know that this is the case, because exceptionally, the parable tells us that this is the message – one of the only two cases where the parable tells us how to understand it. Perhaps that’s all I need to say today. I see you sighing with relief. We’ve got off lightly. On to the creed.


But perhaps that isn’t all the reading is saying to us. Jesus’ parables aren’t only there to teach us about morals, about how to live a good not wicked life. Jesus’ parables are there to teach us in often hidden , metaphorical language, about God, and about what God is like, because God is not a literal being and so we have to use metaphors and images to point to what God might possibly be like. God is beyond the world of things; God is not a man in the sky. But God is, and we reach for ways of suggesting how we can imagine that being.


In John’s gospel, John says that in the beginning was the word, and the word was God. The word is Jesus, the worldly expression of God. In this way, that word is a kind of seed, sown by the Father within the uneven ground of the world. So perhaps another way of understanding how to read the parable, is to see it as an account of Jesus, the seed scattered by God. Throughout his ministry, Jesus comes into all sorts of different places and amongst different people. Sometimes His life was eaten up by others; those who take the gifts of God, but don’t respond, like the lepers who are healed but don’t return to thank Jesus. Sometimes Jesus came to rocky ground. Even the disciples heard him, but when challenged, they ran away. We have probably all run away from God’s call to us, at one point or other. Sometimes, the cares of life made Jesus’ message hard to hear; and we remember the virtuous rich young man who was discouraged when Jesus told him to give all he had and to follow Him. Probably we all balk at going the extra mile on occasions. And goodness, I don’t know about you, but I certainly have a few of those slugs at the moment in the garden, choking my courgettes, and making me wonder if my grandmother wasn’t right. It’s hard to be a true environmentalist at that point.


All of this, reminds us that like us, Jesus had hard days: he had days where his meaning was missed in the detail of need answered, or fear following faith. But some of his words were heard, and stuck, and acted upon, land ed to the joy of God’s presence in faith and hope and peace. And we also know that those wonderful, rare moments last a lifetime. I wonder if you can remember the joy of such a moment: when someone you loved recovered from an illness, thanks to the dedicated care of others? Or when a problem that had been gnawing at your mind, fell away and was resolved? Or when a friend who had strayed, returned and reengaged? Or perhaps when, in the quiet and stillness of a sacred place, your heart felt at peace, and your mind and body, held in divine arms?.

Perhaps the pandemic has been a rocky time, where God has felt far from you; or a time where you felt his presence in the care of others, but where anxiety drove that presence away again. Perhaps, though, it has been or still can be, a time of fruitfulness, where you and where we, open our hearts to the growth and plentiful abundance of God’s life. As my grandmother said, such growth takes time and space; and such, lockdown has and probably continues to give us. But this growth also defies but it also defies the usual rules. God’s infinite fruitfulness can grow from one, single seed, as Jesus and his life of the Church, grew from one divine seed too. God’s abundance means that many opportunities are seemingly wasted; many choose not to respond to his grace. Much of our lives may seem humdrum or without that divine spark. And that seeming waste is OK, because, even so, there is enough grace to go round, and enough to grow the Kingdom of God. The church grew from a seed that fell out of the intended line of growth: Jesus was the rejected cornerstone, and still, God’s purposes are made possible, within that economy of abundance and blessing. May we know those rare moments in God’s presence and may we respond to them with open hearts and with open hands, Amen.







Holy Communion Order 1

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Dear Friends, following the advice about avoiding non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a statement ............... Read more

They are suggesting that we put public worship on hold and become a “different sort of church” in the coming months to face the challenge of coronavirus.  William Temple, one of the great Archbishops of Canterbury and York of the last century, is often quoted as saying that we are the one organisation which exists for the benefit of its ‘non-members’.  In response to the crisis, we will be suspending public worship in both churches until further notice. Other activities that involve our gathering together (Lent Groups etc.) will also not happen for a season. But we shall also seek to serve all people in a new way, and so perhaps to become a slightly different sort of church.

This clearly a huge and difficult step. We are looking at how we can support one another during this difficult time and how we can find opportunities to be a part of a loving, worshipping and praying community, while not being able to gather together. More details about this will continue to be shared: please check our Facebook page and Website for new links. In the meantime, if you would like support of any kind, or somebody to speak to or to pray with you over the phone or by skype, please do give one of us an email or call (details can be found elsewhere). We are in this together and we need to remember that God is with us.

On Sunday 22nd March, all churches in England have been called to a National Day of Prayer. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds. At 7 pm this Sunday, we have been encouraged to light a candle in the windows of our homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer. In place of our Mothering Sunday and Taize Services in St Mary’s, we shall offer prayer in Holy Trinity, in addition to ongoing Morning Prayer, for the parish and for all affected by this situation.

In relation to prayer, we have also put together a prayer resource to engage with, in light of the news that we are unable to meet physically together. Please join us in these rhythms, so that we might be reminded of God’s presence and peace; and be prompted to look outwards towards those who are the most vulnerable among us.

Please be assured that we will continue to uphold the whole church community and the wider parish in prayer.

May you know that you are loved by our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.


With love and blessings for health and peace from


Hester, working remotely and alongside Wo, our wardens and wider team


WORSHIP AT HOME. With published services ceasing but prayer continuing in home and in church see below ............... More


Here you will find simple, complete versions of the Daily Office, Morning Prayer and Night Prayer, with readings and psalms.  Unlike the Eucharist, that requires a priest, the Daily Office is the prayer of all God’s people, laity and clergy together.

There are occasions when people need a form of prayer including scripture to use on their own.  The Coronavirus pandemic is one such occasion.  But Christians never pray entirely alone: in using this form of prayer, we are actually praying together as a parish.  We also always pray with all the saints in heaven:
One family, we dwell in him,
one church, above, beneath;
though now divided by the stream,
the narrow stream of death. 
 Perhaps noticing this is encouragement for those in isolation.
A regular pattern of daily, structured, personal prayer built around the Word of God complements Sunday worship. So perhaps this time of enforced retreat can be a time when we connect once again with the rhythms of God’s Word in the context of our daily life, giving a structure to the day, and setting our day, however we live it, in the context of God’s loving purpose for our lives. We hope to continue to offer prayer in church and at home, and Holy Trinity, Abbots Leigh, will continue to be unlocked and open for you to spend personal time in quiet and reflection there, if you wish, while keeping safe. Prayer will be offered at normal times on Sundays and as/when advertised; this Sunday, in common with the rest of the church, we shall pray for one another and for the world in this time of crisis, in place of the advertised Mothering Sunday service.
Morning Prayer
 You may wish to light a candle and have some reflective music playing in the background.

 The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes.

God is close to those who trust in him.

Nahum 1.7

 Opening Sentences

 O Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

 Pause for reflection as you offer the day to God.

 As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for  ever. Amen.

 Bible Reading

 You may wish to say Psalm 23 or another psalm here, such as Psalm 16 or Psalm 139.

 Psalm 23

 The Lord is my shepherd;     

therefore can I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures     

and leads me beside still waters.

He shall refresh my soul

and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You spread a table before me

n the presence of those who trouble me;    

you have anointed my head with oil and my cup shall be full.

Surely goodness and loving mercy

shall follow me all the days of my life,    

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Glory to the Father

and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;   

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen. 

 You may wish to use the weekly pattern of short readings given below, or choose a passage of your own.

 Sunday Morning

 But now thus says the Lord,    he who created you, O Jacob,    he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

 I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,    and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God,    the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

Isaiah 43.1-3a

 Monday Morning

 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14.1-6

 Tuesday Morning

 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4.8-9

 Wednesday Morning

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 3.16,17

 Thursday Morning

You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

Ephesians 2.19-22

 Friday Morning

 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Romans 19.9-12

 Saturday Morning

 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Luke 12.22-31


 Almighty and everlasting God,

we thank you that you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Keep us from falling into sin or running into danger; order us in all our doings and guide us to do always what is righteous in your sight;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Keep us, good Lord,  under the shadow of your mercy  in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love  in Christ Jesus our Lord.


 The Lord’s Prayer

 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.

 The Conclusion 

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.  Amen.


Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Night Prayer

 You may wish to light a candle and have some reflective music playing in the background.

 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33.27

 Opening Sentences

 The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen.

 Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.

 Pause and reflect on the day that is past.

 Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.

Bible Reading

 You may wish to say here the psalm given below, or Psalm 27, or another chosen psalm.

 Psalm 91

 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High and abides under the shadow of the Almighty,

Shall say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my stronghold, my God, in whom I put my trust.’

For he shall deliver you

from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

He shall cover you with his wings      

and you shall be safe under his feathers;           

his faithfulness shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of any terror by night,                 nor of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor of the sickness that destroys at noonday.

Though a thousand fall at your side       

and ten thousand at your right hand,     

yet it shall not come near you.

Your eyes have only to behold    

to see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge     and the Most High your stronghold,

There shall no evil happen to you,          

neither shall any plague come near your tent.

For he shall give his angels charge over you,                  to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you in their hands,

lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall tread upon the lion and adder;            

the young lion and the serpent

you shall trample underfoot.

Because they have set their love upon me,        therefore will I deliver them;

will lift them up, because they know my name.

They will call upon me and I will answer them; 

am with them in trouble,

I will deliver them and bring them to honour.

With long life will I satisfy them

and show them my salvation.

Glory to the Father

and to the Son 

and to the Holy Spirit;        

as it was in the beginning

is now, and shall be for ever. Amen. 

You may wish to use one of the following short readings or choose a passage of your own.

 Sunday Evening

 You, O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; leave us not, O Lord our God. 

Jeremiah 14.9

 Monday Evening

 Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

Isaiah 30.15

 Tuesday Evening

 Jesus said, ‘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.

Matthew 11.28-end

Wednesday Evening

 Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5.6,7

Thursday Evening

 Jesus said, ‘I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’

John 16.33

Friday Evening


God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.

1 Thessalonians 5.9,10

Saturday Evening

 Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’

John 8.12


 Merciful God,

we entrust to your unfailing and tender care this night

those who are ill or in pain,

knowing that whenever danger threatens

your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.

Comfort and heal them,

and restore them to health and strength;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 Be present, O merciful God,

And protect us through the silent hours of this night,

so that we who are wearied

by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,

may rest upon your eternal changelessness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 The Lord’s Prayer

 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.

 The Conclusion

 In peace we will lie down and sleep; 

for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

 The Lord bless us and watch over us;

The Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us;

The Lord look kindly upon us and give us peace. Amen.


 Materials in this booklet are drawn from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, Common Worship: Pastoral Services, and Common Worship: Daily Prayer, all of which are copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.


Voluntaries for Sunday 12th July

played by John Talbot at home:

Eintritt from Waldscenen (Entry from Woodland Scenes), Op.82 by Schumann

by by Schumann

O Worship the Lord: Words here

1 O Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
Bow down before Him, His glory proclaim;
Gold of obedience and incense of lowliness
Bring, and adore Him: the Lord is His name!

2 Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness;
High on His heart He will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

3 Fear not to enter His courts in the slenderness
Of the poor wealth thou canst reckon as thine;
Truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness
These are the offerings to lay on His shrine.

4 These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
He will accept for the Name that is dear,
Mornings of joy give for evenings of fearfulness,
Trust for our trembling, and hope for our fear.







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Our Mission & Vision


A message from the Vicar


Welcome to the United Parish of Holy Trinity, Abbots Leigh & St Mary’s, Leigh Woods. We are a Christian community within the Church of England and we seek to follow Christ as we live out our lives in the world, and in particular in the Parish of Abbots Leigh with Leigh Woods.

 In doing this, we take the Bible seriously, recognising also that our response to it may be informed by our personal experience and our particular culture. Whether we are old or young, male or female, new to the church or familiar with its tradition, everyone is invited to share in the banquet of God’s creation, and is equally welcome. We hope as we meet, to celebrate the diversity and goodness of the world, and to find God already at work in it. We seek also to respond – as we are able – to the needs of the poor, and – blessed as we are by the natural beauty of our parish – we seek to cherish and to be good stewards of the earth.

We understand our community as one where we can question, and where we may discover the sacred, whether in worship or in laughter, in prayer or in conversation, receiving the sacraments, or over a cup of coffee. When we gather together for services, we worship God in a range of different ways, and we hope that you may find a way that suits you. It may be through sharing in a Parish Communion. It may be in the more informal context of a Family Worship service, where it’s fine if your way is more exuberant or exploratory. It may be in the still quietness of our 8.00am BCP Communion, or the beauty of choral Evensong. It may be in the reflective chants of Taizé worship, or in the shared silence of meditation. Alongside all of these, we seek also to share in the hospitality of God’s spirit. We do very much hope that you will join us in this, and find something of the God who comes to meet us wherever we are.

If you are new in the parish, we would love to meet you. We would love to know if there is anything our community can do for you. We would love to speak with you, to hear if your gifts might help us to share this welcome better. Do please drop us a line or give us a ring.


St Mary's Church the Virgin

Church Road
Leigh Woods

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity
Church Road
Abbots Leigh