Third Sunday of Advent 15th December 2019

The West Norfolk Priory Group


Third Sunday of Advent

15th December 2019



Our Hymns today

11 O Come O Come Emmanuel                     12 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry                    9 Lo He Comes with Clouds descending        


God for whom we watch and wait,

you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:

give us courage to speak the truth,

to hunger for justice,

and to suffer for the cause of right,

with Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our readings


A reading from the prophet Isaiah

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
   the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
   and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
   the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
   He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
   He will come and save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
   but it shall be for God’s people;
   no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
   but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35. 1-10

A reading from James’ Letter


Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

James 5. 7-10

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew                              

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.                   Matthew 11.2-11

Please include in your prayers: Those in our prayer basket, those who are ill or housebound: Rebecca, Tony Marie, Philippa Jamieson, Mick Collins, Dilys Garland, David Colby, Margaret Gardner, Samantha Clark, Lynne Watton, Frederick Ali, Josie, Shaun Caley, Roger, Philip, Carole, , Debra, John, Christine, Tony Porter, Kath, Sam, Ken Martin

Those who have died – The families of Gillian Roads, David Fogg, Bethany, Winnie Howlett

December Services

*Sunday 22nd December 11am Tottenhill    Advent 4 Morning Prayer lay-led

*Christmas Eve

*Watlington 4pm Watlington Crib and Carol Service Revd. Dr. David           

*11pm Marham Midnight Christmas Communion

*11.30pm Shouldham Midnight Communion

*11.30pm Fincham Midnight Communion

*Christmas Day

* 9.30am Shouldham Thorpe Family Service                                                          

*11am Stowbridge Christmas Communion     

*Sunday 29th 11am Watlington Favourite Carols Pat Blyth


Please continue to give to the King’s Lynn foodbank through the box at the back of Watlington Church. Non-perishable items (food and toiletries) always wanted.’

To contribute to, or receive a copy of this newssheet, contact Barbara Church 01553 810584,

Thank you £514.23 raised at Christmas Fayre 7th December


Mission Administrator Louise Vigus email

The office is open Monday to Thursday 10am-noon 07596 707469 Address: Church Office, 27/29 Bridge Street, Downham Market PE38 9DW.


Crib and Carol Service with 5 lessons and carols

4.00 pm 24th December 2019

St Peter and St Pauls Church, Watlington

Children are invited to come along

with their teddy bears

Bring your favourite Teddy or any other cuddly toy and dress them up either as shepherds or angels or if you have a toy sheep or donkey, please bring them along too so that we can make up a Nativity scene during the service.

We look forward to seeing you all there.


Meg Maxwell – some of you will have known Meg who died earlier in the year. There will be a short 15 -minute service at the graveside on 4th January 12noon 2020 when her ashes will be interred. There will be refreshments afterwards at the Angel.


From Church of England website

Living out our Faith

The Christian Life is shaped around loving God and loving our neighbour

Christians believe that love is at the heart of God’s will for our lives – love for God and love for others.

Jesus was once asked to name the greatest commandment. His reply - known as the 'Summary of the Law' - was this:

The first commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.