Closure of the church 

The Prime Minister and the Bishop of Rochester have announced the full lock down of all church buildings with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020 until further notice.

We continue to be the Church: a people of prayer and action. 

The Rector will continue to say Morning and Evening Prayer at 8.30 and 4.30 respectively. Please join him from your home.

He will celebrate Holy Communion at 12noon on Sundays on behalf of everyone. 

He will post readings and prayers on this page each week.


The Rector has recorded a short video: Palm Sunday eucharistic intention



A Collect, Reading, Prayers and a Hymn for Palm Sunday, 5 April 2020


True and humble king,
hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory.


When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

Matthew 21:1-11

Sometimes a much longer account of the whole Passion is read or dramatized on Palm Sunday.
This year, the reading is Matthew 26:14 – 27:66.

You could read this in 3 portions as you say Compline on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Making Meaning:

It is always possible to stay on the surface of the story of Palm Sunday, to have a jolly good ‘Hosanna!’ as we remember the triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem. But scratch the surface, and there is deep and politics too. The crowd that chants ‘Hosanna!’ on Palm Sunday is the same crowd that cries ‘Crucify Him!’ on Good Friday. Dig a little deeper and the symbolism reveals that Jesus came in peace, not as a zealot insurrectionist. Even some of his closest disciples had misunderstood Jesus’ mission, which lead them to complete disillusionment, betrayal and worse… remember the fate of Judas!

We have seen how quickly things can change for the how world over the past few weeks. From an outbreak in China to global pandemic lock-down; from normal school to no school; from normal church to no public worship. The test that this will turn out to be for us all will require patience and faithfulness, rather than populism and arrogant disregard. The truth about what coronavirus demands of us is at stake, just as the truth of who Jesus was, as is, is at stake. ‘Hosanna’ is not the same as ‘Hallelujah’, it means, ‘Lord, save!’ Plenty of Hosannas today, please!


Father help us, this week, to stand at the foot of the cross, and learn again the meaning of love and service for the challenging times in which we live.

Strengthen us to learn forgiveness, and to keep reaching out as light in the darkness.

Deepen our will to be closer to you in prayer; and empower us to reflect your compassion day by day.


You are the King of glory,

you are the prince of peace,

You are the Lord of heav’n and earth,

You’re the Son of Righteouness

Angels bow down before you,

worship and adore, for

You have the words of eternal life,

You are Jesus Christ the Lord.

Hosanna to the Son of David

Hosanna to the King of Kings

Glory in the highest heaven

For Jesus the Messiah reigns


We send seasonal greeting to Sonny the Donkey, and to Vanessa and Alex who keep him, and who usually share him so generously with us on this day.

If you would like to say Compline this week, the local tradition in 9pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

The Order for Compline can be found at:


A Collect, reading, Prayers and a Blessing for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Passion Sunday (Sunday 29th March)

Lent 5th Sunday PassionSunday 29.03.20


A Collect, reading and poem for the Feast of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary (25 March 2020)

Annunciation 25.03.20


A prayer, reading and hymn for Sunday 22nd March (the fourth Sunday of Lent, and Mothering Sunday) 

Lent 4th Sunday 22.03.20


Our normal pattern of services

Normally we hold services each month in the two churches in our benefice, in Shipbourne or Plaxtol, as set out below, although as explained above, all services have been suspended for the foreseeable future. There are also special services for Christmas  and Easter and the other festivals of the church.

8.00 9.30 11.00
1st Sunday of month Holy Communion
Parish Communion
Family Service
2nd Sunday of month Holy Communion
Parish Communion
3rd Sunday of month Holy Communion
Parish Communion
Family Communion
4th Sunday of month Holy Communion
Family Service
Parish Communion
5th Sunday
(when there is one)
Holy Communion
Parish Communion


Every weekday at 8.00am Morning Prayer will be said at Plaxtol and every weekday evening (except Friday and Saturday) at 4.30pm Evening Prayer will be said at St Giles Shipbourne.