Readings and Prayers: August 29th 2021



Woodfield Team prayer. God our Father, you long to draw all people into your love; increase in number your church   throughout the Woodfield Team, deepen us as followers and learners of Christ and give us courage to share the good news of your kingdom. We pray this in the power of your Spirit, to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  A service of Morning Prayer can be accessed here:

 There is material for families and children at

The Collect

Almighty God, you search us and know us:

may we rely on you in strength

and rest on you in weakness,

now and in all our days;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the market-place they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?’ He replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

‘“These people honour me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.”

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.’

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.’ 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.’

A suggestion:

  1. Read this passage slowly and attentively two or three times. What particular word or phrase stands out for you in this passage?
  2. Where are we more worried about appearances than what is going on inside our hearts?

Prayers for today:

  • For the people of Afghanistan, of the Yemen, of Hong Kong and Myanmar
  • For the men and women of violence who seek their ends by bullet, bomb and knife to learn the way of peace
  • For all the changes needed to be put in place in the Woodfield Team as Vivien approaches retirement. For Rick and the ministry team and wardens.
  • For Bishop Guli now Bishop of Chelmsford as she takes up her new role
  • For the villages and people served by the Woodfield Team
  • For those parts of our world suffering the effects of natural disaster, and the many areas where wild fires are raging – for Haiti, Greece, India
  • For our churches as we work towards becoming Eco-churches; for the leaders of nations seeking ways ahead in light of the climate crisis
  • For those we know who are ill and for the recently bereaved
  • That we may draw closer to Jesus and love him more dearly; that our inner and outer beings may be more one