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Buckerell Christmas Fayre announced  ***  Parish Office opening hours are now Tuesday & Friday mornings onl

Worship for Trinity

The Twentieth Sunday after Trinity – 17th October 2021

Reflection  –  Mark 8:27-38

It seems to quite a common experience to find that when somebody dies, we realise that what we knew about them was only a part of the whole person – the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in a way.  However close we were, there seems to be a depth of things that were never a spoken part, at least, of our understanding of them.  Every person is essentially a mystery, known fully only by God.

So perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that Peter, having only known Jesus for a couple of years or so, doesn’t have a very accurate picture of who Jesus is!

In this morning’s Gospel reading, he seems to have a brief moment of clarity. Just fleetingly the clouds part and he speaks from the heart: “You are the Messiah.” The conclusion of one who has followed, asked, watched, and questioned.

As our story unfolds, however, we realise Peter still knows almost nothing about the implications of his declaration. Those words, ‘You are the Messiah,’ are like a seed of truth: they are true, but he has no comprehension of how that seed of thought is going to develop.

In his own lifetime, Jesus’ identity was widely debated. The disciples are like a snapshot of the world around them: everybody is guessing.  Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, a prophet of old. These answers  tell us how much everyone is struggling to cram all they see and hear about Jesus into constantly breaking boxes. Jesus casts people’s minds back to someone recently murdered (John the Baptist) and to legends of old (Elijah and the prophets). All they really know is that Jesus is someone very different.

Having said that, none of them seems to have a clue just how different Jesus really is.

It will be quite a process to put flesh on Peter’s bare-bones insight. There is still a long journey of discovery and learning ahead of him.  For the disciples Peter’s declaration implies political freedom, armies, war, riches, power. God’s Messiah, they believe, will set Israel free from the clenched fist of Rome. Readers of Mark’s Gospel  will soon read about an argument over who is the greatest; a little later they’ll hear  a request for positions on Jesus’ right and left. And they, like the disciples before them, will start to discover that power and position have a very different place in the Kingdom of God.

At the point where we see them this morning, the disciples have in their minds’ eyes a king, a court, and multiple thrones.

Jesus has a monumental task ahead of him!   He needs to enable them to redefine their expectations.  They need a whole new interpretation of the word ‘Messiah’ if they are going to understand him more fully.  And he doesn’t delay.  He speaks plainly, right away, of suffering, rejection, death and resurrection. Peter cannot believe him, and boldly offers a correction. No one will follow into battle if Jesus talks like this. They expect blood to be shed.

No one, however, even momentarily imagines that it will be the Messiah’s blood!

Over the next couple of chapters Jesus speaks this way three times (Mark 8:31, 9:31, and 10:33-34). His words are clear but, with the exception of Peter’s rebuke, each time the disciples have nothing to say.  Why not?  The only explanation we are given is  “…they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask…” (Mark 9:32).

I imagine though that they can feel the paradigm shifting.  Their picture of a Messiah is being challenged and redrawn.   This is a foreign, strange, and completely unexpected path to victory. They hear the words but they simply have no categories for a Messiah who suffers.

After all, it is so unexpected. The whole world – as the disciples see it – operates from a firmly set paradigm that has no room for such an act.  This is a complete reversal of all that they have looked for and expected.  So, slowly, but starting right away, Jesus has to open for them a space in which he can reveal the suffering heart of the God behind all that is.

That’s the process we watch in the rest of the Gospel.  It’s also the process we go through in our own discipleship!

Over the remainder of this gospel these men will gradually come to see that God’s way is more radical than they ever dared to dream. 

The challenge for you and me is to allow God to progressively reveal his ways to us too, in all their radicalness, as we journey on as disciples day by day.

I’ll leave you with three questions that have come to me while I’ve been pondering this passage:

How closely do you identify with Peter’s bafflement over the concept of a suffering Messiah? Are you ever tempted to move quickly past the suffering and death of Jesus to the resurrected Jesus?

Are there questions you are afraid to ask of God? What do you think holds you back from confessing these wonderings and doubts?

Can you ever ‘feel the paradigm shifting’ between you and God? Are there moments when you sense that you are moving to a deeper understanding of the ‘Upside-Down’ kingdom?

Revd Sue

ZOOM:  Worship is available on the internet using ‘Zoom’, and on the telephone, using a conferencing facility. 
If you would like to know more about joining in with either, please contact either
Revd Sue  (01404 42925 or email Sue) or Julia Barrett (email Julia)

ZOOM:  Our Worship on the internet using ‘Zoom’, will be suspended during October as Rev Sue is on holiday.
For arrangements in each parish, please see their web pages.
Zoom services at 1100 and 1830 will resume on Sunday 7 November

click here for an order of service for you to use.

Because of copyright restrictions, we have introduced a password to enable this document to be opened only by our congregations. 

If you would like a copy and need the password, please email us.

Physical services have restarted:

Said Eucharist – 11 am at St Paul’s

Places are limited and booking is essential – please contact the Parish Office if you are interested in finding out more or getting involved.

Also, see the pages for the village churches.

“Around the Parishes”

The October edition is here!

Download the PDF by clicking here

Future events:

This Sunday

November is the month of remembering

November is the month of remembering.
We think especially of Remembrance Sunday, this year on 14 November, when we remember all those who have given their lives sacrificially in war, not least in the two great wars of the last century. However, just as October tips into November, the Church also marks the Feast of All Souls, a time when we remember all who we have loved and who we see longer. All Souls will undoubtedly have a particular poignancy this year as we think of all those who have died in the past 20 months of Covid-19. Having said that, it makes little difference whether the people we remember died many years ago, or only very recently; as those whom we have love and who have loved us, they remain uniquely precious to us.
Perhaps you have been bereaved in the last year? Of maybe less recently? Undoubtedly your memories of the loved one you have lost are still strong and precious. That’s why, this year St Paul’s Church is opening it’s doors to the community on the afternoon of Sunday 7 November from 1430-1630 for ‘A Memory Afternoon’. Everybody who wants to is warmly invited to drop in. There will be a cheerful welcome, an opportunity to light a candle on the altar in memory of your loved one, and also to add a photo or some written memories – or just a name – to the memory display which will be beside the altar. At the same time, afternoon tea will be served (free of charge, of course!), and clergy from St Paul’s will be available to listen and to chat with you. The display will remain in place until the following Saturday, and can be visited at any time when the church is open during that week.
Everybody is most welcome.

Exeter Cathedral

You may also be interested in Music and Worship from the Cathedral. Link to their pages here.

Video material from the Diocese . . .

Because of copyright restrictions, our downloadable documents are password-protected to be opened only by our congregations. 

If you are need the password, please email us.

We produced a Prayer leaflet for your use during the Coronavirus emergency. This has been combined with the simple form of Worship for use at home that we introduced at the start of lock-down. 

I encourage you to stop each Sunday morning at the time of your usual church service, and use this service, worshipping at home, but as part of the Body of Christ, and its local expression in your community.  I will of course be praying it in solidarity with all of you. 
With my love and blessings,  Sue

Download your PDF copy here

Resources to use at home

Celebrate Together Team at St Paul’s Honiton

We continue to make videos every week and post them on YouTube  on Fridays.

We are very sad about not being able to meet up like we used to, but want to continue to make a difference for you all with our Celebrate Together Videos.

Click here to go to Rev Ann’s page where you will find links to all the videos.

Lots of love from the Celebrate Together Team.

Take part

Resources for children, families and young people

Exeter Diocese have developed a huge range of resources and activities for children of all ages.

Have a look at what they have to offer here

also there are some craft ideas here

In love for a world undergoing crucifixion and awaiting resurrection

Baptisms & Weddings

As you will know, the Government has said that there can be no weddings or baptisms during the current situation.  We appreciate that this will cause much sadness and disappointment.  However, we really hope that you will get back in touch with us once we are out of this pandemic, and that you will want us to play our part in sharing in your celebrations. 

If you want to get in touch in the meantime to talk about your plans or hopes , you are so welcome to do so.


Funerals will continue to take place during the current situation.  However, only a limited number of family and friends will be able to be present. Please check the current restrictions with your Funeral Director.  Preparations for the service will be made by telephone and email contact where possible.   

These restrictions will, inevitably be incredibly sad and difficult for everyone concerned, and we will do our best to support you in whatever way we can.  We will of course, be delighted to help you to arrange a service of Thanksgiving or a Memorial service once the restrictions are fully lifted.

On this page:
Worship  –  Events  –  Safeguarding

The Honiton Mission Community seeks to communicate God’s love and to reach out to others by encouraging people through pastoral care, participation and worship.

The Churches in our Mission Community

Our Mission Community website

If you are expecting to see the St Paul’s, Honiton website at this address, then let’s explain.

The domain name “HonitonCofE.org” feels more appropriate to the whole of the church in the Honiton area. So we have decided to make this the page that will cover all the activities that involve and affect all the parishes and churches in the Honiton Mission Community (HMC).

Each church’s individual page(s) can be linked by:
 * clicking on the appropriate image,   or
 * by selection from the menu,   or
 * direct from your browser using the format www.HonitonCofE.org/{church} (eg. www.HonitonCofE.org/Awliscombe)

We hope that you like the result and we look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions on how we can keep this important resource up-to-date and relevant.

Sue Roberts, Team Rector
Charles Pegman, Website Coordinator


Revd Sue Roberts

Team Rector

[email protected]

Julia Barrett
Licensed Lay Minister (Reader)

[email protected]

Mission Community Worship

Mission Community Events


Find out more about what the Church can offer for Christenings, Weddings and Funerals.

These are general presentations. When you are ready to make specific arrangements, please contact us via the Parish Office.

 + Christenings & Holy Baptism

 + Weddings

 + Funerals 


Safeguarding is the responsibility of each church in our Mission Community.
Please see the appropriate parish page (from the menu below) for more detail:

AwliscombeBuckerellCombe RaleighCotleighGittishamHoniton

SAFEGUARDING in the Honiton Mission Community – Promoting Safer Churches

The parishes of Awliscombe, Buckerell, Combe Raleigh, Cotleigh, Gittisham and Honiton (which make up the Honiton Mission Community) are committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk to worship and grow in Christ safely.
Concerns about children, young people and adults at risk will be diligently and promptly responded to according to our procedures, recognising the sensitivity it may hold for those involved.
As a Mission Community (group of parish churches) we have adopted the House of Bishops ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ policy and the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, incorporating the House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. 
All our PCCs (Church Councils) have formally adopted this and signed a Safeguarding Policy Statement Promoting a Safer Church and a copy of this can be found on each church’s page on this site. 
We have also displayed the Promoting a Safer Church poster prominently within each church.
All those working with children and adults at risk have undergone safer recruitment, received safeguarding training and support.
If you have a concern about the safety of someone or the actions of someone working with children or vulnerable adults, please speak to the appropriate contact for your church – see the list or visit the church’s page on this website:

You could also contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at https://exeter.anglican.org/resources/safeguarding/safeguarding-team/

If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, you can call Childline on 0800 11 11.

Honiton Mission Community Safeguarding

Parish Contacts



Combe Raleigh




Specific parish contacts are listed on their respective pages. For general enquiries and to book Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, please contact:


The Parish Office
St Paul’s Church
High Street
Honiton  EX14 1PG

01404 44035     [email protected]

“Around the Parishes” is the monthly newsletter of the
Honiton Mission Community.

Download your copy here.

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