St Mary's is open every day from 9.30am - 4pm,
and everyone is invited to come and light a candle in prayer.
During the active coronavirus period the services and activities listed below have been suspended. We look forward to the time when we can retore them for us all. In the meantime we can pray for each other from our homes and share contact by phone, text and internet.
On the first Sunday of the month we have All Age Worship at 9.30am followed by a Communion Service at 11.15am.
Morning Prayer is said every weekday at 8.30am.
There is a short service of Holy Communion on Tuesdays at 10.30am. We call this Quiet Communion as there are no hymns.
Tuesday Teas takes place between 2 and 4pm every Tuesday, when tea, coffee and cake are served.
Smiley Faces, our Toddler Praise group, takes place on Fridays in term time between 1.45 and 3.15pm.
Coffee, tea, juice and biscuits are served after the 9.30am service every Sunday, and after Quiet Communion (10.30am) on Tuesdays.
Who's who at St Mary's: contact
How to find us: map
St Mary's Church, Kirk Lane, Embsay, North Yorkshire, BD23 6SF
Regular services: services
A wheelchair and ramps are available to assist access. Please ask a member of the congregation.
Monday 30th March 2020
Revd Canon Marion Russell becomes our new Vicar
We are delighted that Bishop Helen-Ann was able to “collate” and license Marion as the Vicar of St Mary’s on Monday, although not as originally planned! Despite the coronavirus restrictions, the service was held on-line by Zoom video, with the bishop in Ripon, Marion in Embsay and clergy, friends and St Mary’s people in their own homes. Some thirty people participated in the first of these licensing services in the Leeds diocese. It was a happy occasion and marks the beginning of Marion’s ministry in these villages. We offer her our warmest welcome.
The service was recorded on video. If you would like a copy and have not received the link please contact Liz Roodhouse or Peter Edwards, using the details from the Who’s Who tab at the top of this page.
This week's readings 29th March 2020 - Ezekiel 37 :1-14, Romans 8 :6-11, John 11 :1-45
Next week's readings 5th April 2020 - Matthew 21:1-12
5th Sunday of Lent - 29th March 2020
Our Gospel Reading and reflection -
The Death of Lazarus
11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Reflection on the Gospel reading John 11 v 1 – 45 from Glennis Hobbs, Embsay Methodist Church Steward and Local Preacher. Sunday 29th March 2020 was to be a united service at St Mary’s.
What a strange week this has been. Every day it seemed the restrictions increased. The number of people who have died keeps rising. NHS workers put their lives in danger every day to care for the sick and dying. This story from John’s gospel is very appropriate as many folk are fearful and wonder what awaits them round the corner.
16 years ago this weekend, my husband died in his sleep. We had only recently moved into the village and hardly knew anyone. I had only God to turn to. I said to him “well, it’s over to you now God for I can’t do anything” and at that moment I felt a soothing peace flood my body. I was sure that he was safely in the arms of Jesus. I was still hurting but my faith in a God of resurrection was strengthened. That tangible peace was with me the whole year.
This morning one of my Bible readings was psalm 116 and in verse 15 I read
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
And now here we have this amazing story about Lazarus and encouraging words from Jesus
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”
Mary, Martha and friends were in mourning – their brother Lazarus was dead. And even worse their friend Jesus hadn’t done anything to save him. He’d stayed away just when they needed him most. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Yet Martha is not without hope. She believes that God will give Jesus anything he asks for. The outcome was better than her expectations.
The time at Lazarus’s tomb is full of tension – tears and hope. Can you imagine what it was like to be there? Jesus’s command to open the tomb – the fear of the stench of death – then Jesus commanding Lazarus to come out and the amazing appearance of his body still wrapped in the grave clothes. And the wonder and joy as they welcomed Lazarus back to life.
As a result of this many of their friends who had come to mourn put their faith in Jesus.
This is a timely reminder that Jesus has defeated death. It is a foretaste of what he did on that first Easter morning when his resurrection announced forever the defeat of death. At a time like this people are looking to Christians to see how they respond to the threat of Covid 19 and possible death. Paul tells us that we should not be people without hope for we believe in the resurrection. We know that death is not the end but a glorious new beginning.
James Dobson wrote
The final heartbeat for the Christian is not the mysterious conclusion to a meaningless existence. It is the beginning of a life that will never end.
Mary and Martha’s friends believed in Jesus when they saw what he did. Maybe our friends will believe in Him too when they see how we act and react. It is possible that more folk will be open to the good news of the gospel in these dark times. Easter isn’t a once a year occasion but an everyday assertion that Jesus is alive and lives in us. May God give us courage to live out our faith day by day and so bring hope and comfort to those who observe us.