Online Worship Archive

Good morning. Welcome to this online service of worship. 

Today's order of service can be download here.

The YouTube playlist can be found here.




Online Worship Material Available 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 3 May 2020

Fourth Sunday of Easter



The Lamb

 Little lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,

By the stream and o'er the mead;

Gave thee clothing of delight,

Softest clothing, wooly, bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,

Making all the vale rejoice?

Little lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Little lamb, I'll tell thee,

Little lamb, I'll tell thee:

He is called by thy name,

For he calls himself a lamb.

He is meek and he is mild;

He became a little child.

I a child, and thou a lamb,

We are called by his name.

Little lamb, God bless thee!

Little lamb, God bless thee!

William Blake





Welcome and Introduction    Click to listen

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, as well as to those who may just happen in on us; and welcome to this online material for worship on the 4th Sunday of Easter.

Having been confined to our homes for some weeks now, I imagine many of us who live in the city long for a drive in the countryside. In this we may have become closer in spirit to those who already experienced this sort of loss for one reason or other before the virus struck. Country people enjoy the beauty of nature coming alive all around them at this time of year. But even in the density of urban life, there are signs of growth and grace and hope of new beginnings if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

May these signs encourage us wherever we are now, as I invite you to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship…..


Scripture Sentences

Worship the Lord with gladness;

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he that made us, and we are his;

we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Jesus said:

‘I am the good shepherd. The good

shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.


Let us pray

Teach us, good Lord, to learn how better to trust: to realise how much we trust already in the ground beneath our feet, the air we breathe, in falling asleep at night in the belief that we shall wake to another day.

Teach us to learn from the surrender of a child in a parent’s arms, from the faithful eyes of a beloved dog, from the quiet, unassuming presence of a trusted friend.

Help us to believe that in this world of uncertainty and fear there is still much in it that offers itself for our delight and joy, and upon which we can depend; for the sake of your beloved Son in whom we are ever called to put our trust, even Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hear our thanksgiving, almighty God, for the inestimable privilege of being alive: for time for delight and wonder, for hope; for opportunity to make amends, to be forgiven and to forgive.

Hear our thanksgiving that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever.


The Collect

God of peace, Who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant,

make us perfect in goodness so that we may do your will; and create in us what is pleasing to you; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.


Children’s Reflection    Hillary Leslie    Click to listen

Good morning everyone! It’s really good to have you here joining in worship this morning. I have been thinking about each of you and hope that you are all keeping safe and well just now.

As we are all spending our time indoors looking for different activities to do, last week I was thinking about getting a free trial of Disney’s new streaming service. Do any of you have it? One of my favourite Disney Pixar films from when I was younger is Finding Nemo. Who’s seen Finding Nemo? It’s a great movie – and it also has a great message! For those who haven’t seen it – just a warning now that this may give away a few spoilers.

Our story begins with a clown fish named Marlin who lives in the Great Barrier Reef. Does anyone know where the Great Barrier Reef is? It’s in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Marlin has a son named Nemo, who he loses after Nemo ventures out into the sea despite his father’s warnings about the dangers of the oceans far away from their home. Nemo is scooped up by a fishing boat and ends up in a fish tank at a dental office in Sydney, Australia! Marlin sets off to find Nemo, and along the way meets a fish named Dory, a blue tang fish. The two become traveling companions and cover miles of the ocean in order to rescue Nemo, encountering dangerous sea creatures like jellyfish, sharks and anglerfish along the way. At the same time this is happening, Nemo and the other sea animals in the fish tank are plotting their own escape to return to the ocean as free creatures. Marlin will stop at nothing until he can find his son.

When Nemo became lost, Marlin felt fear, sadness, frustration and panic. But when Nemo is found at the end of the film, there is joy and celebration as they are reunited together, safe and sound.

This story reminds me of one from the Bible called The Parable of the Lost Sheep. Jesus talks about a shepherd having 100 sheep in his flock, but one of them goes missing. The shepherd doesn’t give up until he finds the lost sheep and brings it home to his pasture for a joyful celebration.

Sometimes we feel lost, too. Sometimes we don’t know what the future looks like and that can be scary and unsettling. Sometimes we may find it challenging to feel God’s presence when we are going through a difficult or sad time.

But just as Marlin searches the whole ocean for Nemo, and the shepherd searches for his sheep, God searches for us and never gives up. God is never apart from us, even when we feel apart from God. God will never stop calling us home to rest in pastures green and filled with love, joy, peace and hope. When we come home and find rest in God, God can’t help but to be overwhelmed with joy.

As we continue living in this scary and uncertain time in our world, may we remember that God is like the good shepherd, watching over his flock, searching for the lost sheep, and always calling us home to find comfort, peace and joy.

Now let’s close with a prayer – please repeat after me.

Dear God, thank you for showing us your love and comfort.

Thank you for searching for us even when we feel lost.

Please be with those in the world who are sick, tired or lonely today.

Help us share your love and peace with those around us.

And give us hope for each new day. Amen.


HYMN    The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want    Click to listen

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me lie in pastures green.
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.

And I will trust in You alone.
And I will trust in You alone,
For Your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness,
And he anoints my head with oil,
And my cup, it overflows with joy,
I feast on his pure delights.

And though I walk the darkest path,
I will not fear the evil one,
For you are with me, and your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know.

 Words: Psalm 23, adapted Stuart Townend Music: Stuart Townend (c) 1996 Thankyou Music CCLI - Streaming License #88916



First Reading    Acts 2: 42 - 47    Click to read    Click to listen

Second Reading    St John 10: 1 - 10    Click to read    Click to listen

Readers: Tom Mole and Kay McIntosh DCS


Reflection    By Revd Helen Alexander    Click to listen

The verses we’ve just heard from the Gospel lead into to one of the most well-known of St John’s sayings of Jesus: ‘I am the good shepherd.’

Before this, associations on the theme of sheep and shepherds: notably that of the shepherd’s voice and the metaphor of the door or gate of the sheepfold.

Perhaps these days, sheep in our country at least are less likely to recognise the human voice of their shepherds and more the sound of the quad bikes that many use to check up on them.

But I’m reminded that a couple of years or so I came across a report in a newspaper on the findings of a Cambridge–led study of Welsh Mountain sheep which demonstrated that their face-recognition skills were comparable to those of humans. So it wouldn’t surprise if their voice-recognition is just as good. The capacity of the animal world to exceed our crass underestimation of it is cause for humility.

Whatever the case with sheep, we know that the voice is supremely important for human beings. I remember a man once telling me that he heard the voice of the woman who was to become his wife before he met her. She was in an adjoining room and something about her voice made him pay attention, and became one of her most beloved characteristics.

And we’ve been hearing in the news lately how important beloved and familiar voices are as death steals the consciousness of those at the end of their lives.

On a lighter note, there’s a story told by Mark Oakley, now Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge, in his book entitled The Splash of Words. In conversation with an old Shropshire shepherd he asked if the purpose of the shepherd’s crook was to haul in naughty lambs.

‘‘No’, replied the shepherd, ‘that’s not what this is good for. I’ll tell you what I do with this crook. I stick it in the ground so deep that I can hold on to it and keep myself so still that eventually the sheep learn to trust me.’’

The image of this wise shepherd: watching, waiting, standing still, quite possibly quietly speaking to his sheep and his dog seems important – both for his fortunate flock and for our own lives.

How still can we stay, and how long are we willing to wait: for insight, for quiet consolation; for the courage to move on in spirit, or for the wisdom to remain where we are?

This question may be all the more poignant in our current troubling times.

How practised are we at hearing and discerning what we might call the voice of God in this world of competing cacophonous voices?

Perhaps much contemporary difficulty with Christian faith arises from a kind of hearing loss, whereby discernment in these matters has been blasted to bits: by literalism, for example; or facile pseudo-explanation of profound spiritual truth, to the extent that the contemporary world is in danger of losing the ability to ‘hear’ the truth that is quietly waiting to be uncovered, or discovered again through the medium of Christian tradition and practice.

All of which leads on to St John’s metaphor of the gate or the door of the sheepfold.

When he wrote of this, John probably had in mind an enclosed courtyard into which a number of separate flocks would be gathered for safety at night.

The gatekeeper would watch for intruders bent on damage and theft, and would have oversee sheep and shepherds passing in and out.

And so to another of John’s I AM sayings of Jesus: I am the gate of the sheep.

The idea is that Christ provides the way, the gate, through which there is a coming-and-going in relationship between people and God.

We sing hymns of praise, petition, thanksgiving, are often laced with reference to Christ: his life, his death, his resurrection. Through these, we’re encouraged to offer something of the depths and heights of our own lives to God through our knowledge of the life of Christ, in its glory and its pain.

We often end prayers with the phrase ‘through Jesus Christ our Lord’ which is a way of expressing this insight.

It’s as if the figure of Christ is the gate or door - through which we may be open to the grace of God.

Or to change the metaphor, Christ is like a stained glass window which, when the sun shines outside, illumines the figure when viewed from within, and gives us a picture to which we may relate our own lives, however fitfully or imperfectly, and from which we may receive glimpses of grace.

It’s this relationship of our lives to Christ’s that constitutes the church.

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is all about the growth of the church. Today’s First Reading paints a somewhat idealised picture of its earliest days. We learn later in Acts and from the letters of St Paul that it wasn’t long before inevitable cracks occurred. They were just like us really, with gracelessness, competitiveness and lack of generosity all mixed up with fidelity, integrity and love.

Nevertheless these all too human communities were the bedrock of the Christian faith, and continue to be so.

The other day I read an article written for The New Statesman by Helen Macdonald, author of the amazing book entitled ‘H is for Hawk’. At the close of the article, she recorded her appreciation of the ordinary birds living ‘their small and local lives’ in her garden during these strange days of lockdown. Through what she calls ‘their ubiquity, their familiarity, their squabbling sociality’ they are helping her ‘to think about the nature of community, of how things fit together and, in the future, what our place in that might be.’

‘The nature of community, of how things fit together…..what our place in that might be.’: words to ponder in respect of the church locally and throughout the world in our times.



Click to listen

Voluntary by  Edward C Thomson


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession    Click to listen

For all people aged from 0 to 100 years, and more we make our prayer, thinking of infants coming into the world in these days, and seeking for them and for all children a healthy, hopeful future in a better and more sustainable world.

We remember those who have far fewer years in front of them as they have behind them, and pray that their achievement, ingenuity and wisdom may be honoured, and that care for those at the end of their lives may be no less important and valued than that offered to any other segment of society.

We pray for all of any age who are struggling with worry, fractured relationships, debt, hunger and bereavement; and for those who are dying.

We offer our hope in the power of prayer, and of thoughtfulness, decency, good humour and grace, and we seek for ourselves and those for whom we pray blessings even in the midst of darkness, instability and fear.

We pray for teachers who have continued to assist their pupils to learn at home over these past weeks, and for parents who have balanced helping their children to learn while continuing their own work at home. We remember young people for whom school is a refuge that has been denied them over recent weeks; for those who worry about exams and qualifications; and for those who have succumbed to depression and anxiety.

We pray for the young people associated with Mayfield Salisbury church giving thanks for the encouragement and pleasure of their presence within the community, remembering Hillary our youth worker and all she does to encourage and support them.

We pray for young people within the church world-wide, giving thanks for their spirit, their liveliness and for the hope they bring the rest of us, and we commend them to God in faith as the leaders of the church to come and pray that we who are older may not fail them.

And we pray for those we love: naming them now…………, even as we remember with thanksgiving all those who have gone before us who bequeathed to us their example, their faith and blessed memory; giving thanks for the church universal, past, present and to come of which we are for ever part; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. 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.


HYMN 511    Your hand, O God, has guided    Click to listen

Your hand, O God, has guided
your flock, from age to age;
the wondrous tale is written,
full clear, on every page;
your people owned your goodness,
and we their deeds record;
and both of this bear witness:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Your heralds brought glad tidings
to greatest as to least;
they summoned all to hasten
and share the great King's feast;
and this was all their teaching,
in every deed and word,
to all alike proclaiming:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Through many a day of darkness,
through many a scene of strife,
the faithful few fought bravely
to guard the nation's life.
Their Gospel of redemption,
sin pardoned, life restored,
was all in this enfolded:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Your mercy will not fail us,
nor leave your work undone;
with your right hand to help us,
your victory shall be won;
by mortals and by angels
your name shall be adored,
and this shall be their anthem:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.


BENEDICTION    Click to listen

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.


This morning’s voluntary

Walter Thomson says of this piece. ‘I am very pleased that Kate has agreed to play a voluntary by my late father, Edward Thomson who was member of Mayfield North (as it then was) in the 1930s. An enthusiastic listener and inveterate concert goer, he was an amateur pianist of modest ability who composed one or two pieces in a traditional style. I recall him working on this voluntary in the 1950s with much revisal and polishing. He would have been thrilled to think that it might be played in a service at his former church’



NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS: 1 Peter 2: 2 – 10 & St John 14. 1 - 14

GRAPEVINE MAGAZINE The May/June edition of Grapevine will be available tomorrow from 8.00am on the church website. The usual email distribution will also be sent. If you have not already signed up for the Grapevine email list and are able, please do. See intimation 6 for further information.

If you normally receive Grapevine delivered to your door this will still arrive, mostly by Royal Mail, as our usual delivery system has been suspended for the moment.


Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of May can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. Please note the time and age group changes for various activities. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. New virtual youth consent forms must be sent to Hillary before attending a session. For log-in access to the Zoom sessions, or to get a copy of the consent forms, please contact Hillary!

Children & Youth Resource List: A resource page on the church website will be updated weekly with links to resources which our families can use with their children and youth at home while we are unable to meet as a church community and in our Sunday School groups. The resource list can be found under the 'Young People' tab.

Youth Group: Sunday 3 May we will meet on Zoom for a discussion night thinking about our journey with God. P6 & P7 will meet from 6:30-7:30pm and S1-S6 will meet from 7:30-8:30pm. Hope to see you there!

ANNUAL LEAVE Hillary Leslie, Youth Worker, will be on annual leave from Sunday 10 to Thursday 14 May inclusiv


Responding to the coronavirus, Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal, requesting urgent support for its work among the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people who are at greatest risk.

Christian Aid Week (10th-16th May) will look very different this year, as we are unable to gather together in church and donate in the usual way. However, the need is greater than ever. The focus for 2020 is the climate crisis, and its effect on communities like those in Kenya where devastating droughts make it difficult for millions of people to access sufficient food and water.

Cash and cheques cannot currently be accepted, so we would encourage everyone who can, to support both appeals by making online donations anytime between now and 16th May – and beyond! Please go to the Christian Aid website,, choose ‘Appeals’, and follow the links to Christian Aid Week and Coronavirus Emergency Appeal.

On behalf of members of the congregation without internet access, we hope to hold a further collection in support of CA Week using the familiar red envelopes and buckets, in the Autumn to coincide with Creation Covenant Sunday.

Christian Aid reminds us that in the current situation it’s more important than ever to join together as a community to worship, share fun and fellowship, and support our sisters and brothers living in poverty. They are offering a range of opportunities for involvement, including a live-streamed service with Dr Rowan Williams, at 1 pm on 10th May, and daily prayers and reflections throughout CA week from their staff and partners overseas. And from Sunday 10 - Saturday 16 May, at 7.30pm, there are daily fun quizzes for the whole family to enjoy.

You can find out more via the website at

We’re sure you’ll agree that it’s vital we support Christian Aid at this particularly difficult time, as it continues to work alongside its overseas partners in their humanitarian programmes. Thank you! – The Christian Aid Team


Mayfield Salisbury maintains several email lists to help distribute information throughout the congregation.  The lists are as follows:

0930 Service list Information pertaining to the Sunday 0930am All-Age Worship and related events.

Youth Newsletter Hillary Leslie, our Youth Worker, sends out a Youth Newsletter to parents of P6 - S6 youth. This keeps the parents and their kids in the loop about important youth-related events and activities

Congregational list General information relevant to the entire congregation. This includes general news, notices of lectures & special events and importantly details on the forthcoming ministerial vacancy.

Grapevine Magazine list The latest magazine in PDF format.

If you would like to be added to any of these lists, please contact the Church Manager, William Mearns on: 0780 801 1234 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Forthcoming Deadlines

Order of service for next week: Thursday at 8.00pm.

Next Grapevine: Friday 26 June at 6.00pm.

Please send submissions to the Church Manager, William Mearns.

Phone: 0780 801 1234 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Books for the Journey

My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul by Mark Oakley.

Luminaries: Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian Way by Rowan Williams.


Interim Moderator

Revd Neil N. Gardner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 556 3515

Locum Preacher

Revd Helen Alexander This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 346 0685

Pastoral Assistant

Kay McIntosh DCS This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0790 326 6307

Youth Worker

Hillary Leslie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0745 372 2224

Church Manager

William Mearns This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0780 801 1234


Kate Pearson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0744 238 2296

Choir Leader

Walter Thomson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 662 0405

Session Clerk

Charles Garland This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0776 290 8343


John Graham This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 667 6331

Gift Aid Donations & Roll Keeper

Hugh Somerville This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0131 466 2446 


Ecotip: Make a positive decision to avoid commercial greetings cards; use electronic ones or make your own.


Social Media

Youth Instagram: the.msyg Scottish Charity Number SC000785


Online Offering

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785


  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe