11 August, 2017

Final service

Closure of a worshipping community

Final service

This was a service of Thanksgiving for the past and hope for the future. It was used at the closure of Papakura Parish’s Liturgical Ministry at St John’s Church, Drury. It was part of the process of Tikanga Pakeha gifting the custodianship for St John’s Drury to Tikanga Maori.

It was held at St John’s Church, Drury, Sunday 15th March 2015. The three clergy who regularly officiated at St John’s jointly celebrated in the final service.

A framed photo of St John’s, representing their past, and bone koru, representing hope for future growth, were gifted to each parishioner who wished to receive one.

The basic form of the service came from ANZPB, page 404 onwards. This was the service the congregation was most familiar with.

Informal Welcome

The Servant Song

Call to worship

ANZPB, p404


We have gathered together today, to give thanks for 152 years of worship and fellowship through St John’s Church, Drury. Remembering many happy times spent sharing, giving, caring and learning.

For your continuing presence O God

we pray to you giving joyful thanks for what has gone, and in sadness for what will no-longer be.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, so that we may truly love you and worthily praise your holy name; through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

The congregation sits or kneels for further prayers

Hear the teaching of Christ: a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Spirit of God, search our hearts.


ANZPB, p406-8 (selected parts)


Neither death, nor life…..nor things present, nor things to come…..nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39)


Everlasting God in whom we live and move and have our being, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you; give us purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen

Scripture readings

Psalm 133 – 134
1 Peter 2:4,5,9

HYMN Be Still, for the presence of the Lord


Matthew 10:26-32


Followed by a Time of Remembrance. During this time members may wish to share treasured memories of the connection with this church. Some may ask someone else to speak for them or read out what they have written previously.

Prayer of thanks

Together we pray:

Loving God,
We offer you our memories of this faith community, so dear to our hearts.

We offer you the memories we have heard.

We offer you the memories that we keep deep within ourselves.

We thank you as you have blessed us in the listening and the telling.

We pray that you will continue to bless us as we bring them to mind and share them as time goes by.

We pray for all who will continue to worship here in the years to come.

Our prayers are in the name of Christ, who encouraged and inspired his disciples to continue in the ministry that was theirs once he returned to his Father. Amen

Congregation stands

The Affirmation

Praise to God who has given us life.

Blessed be God for the gift of love.

Praise to God who forgives our sin.

Blessed be God who sets us free.

Praise to God who kindles our faith.

Blessed be God, our strength, our hope.

Let us, the baptised, affirm that we renounce evil and commit our lives to Christ.

Therefore I ask you these questions:

Do you believe in God the Father, who made the world?

I believe and trust in him.

Do you believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, who redeemed mankind?

I believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in his Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God?

I believe and trust in him.

This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God of love, we thank you for our calling to be disciples of Christ. Amen.

Congregation sits or kneels for further prayer


As we gather together in the presence of God, let us pray.

Loving Father, we pray for all who are persecuted for their faith, and for whom following you brings danger.

We pray for those who are new to faith and those who no longer walk with you.

We thank you for the example of those who have gone before us here and the example of faith they showed for us to follow.


We are all your children,

help us grow in love.

This service was on ‘Mothering Sunday.’ We couldn’t follow the ‘Mothering Sunday’ readings, as our task was to have our final service. Readings and hymns were chosen by the people. If you were in a similar situation with an unacknowledged theme of the day, you could include a prayer similar to the following to tie the intercessions into that theme.

Loving Father, on this Mothering Sunday we pray for all the mothering that goes on in this community and for those who crave tenderness and are weary of the struggle to be strong.


We are all your children,

help us grow in love.

Loving Father, there are those here whose families are now in your closer presence; as we remember them with great affection, we rejoice in the lives we shared while they were with us and commend them to your protection for ever.


We are all your children,

help us grow in love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Congregation stands

The Peace

Brothers and sisters, we are the body of Christ.

By one Spirit we were baptised into one body

Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Amen. We are bound by the love of Christ.

The peace of Christ be always with you.

And also with you.

We exchange a sign of peace.

The holy table is prepared. The offerings of the people are presented during this hymn.

HYMN: We Pray Thee Heavenly Father

The presiding priest says:

Blessed are you, God of all creation; through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and for the service of your kingdom.

Blessed be God for ever.

The Great Thanksgiving

Prayer After Communion

Prayers of Letting Go and Words of Assurance

God of peace, let us your people know, that at the heart of turbulence there is an inner calm that comes from faith in you.

We rest in that peace.

Jesus, you showed us how to love our neighbour, and called us to do likewise.

We have done our best to faithfully follow this call.

Thank you for your inspiration that brought to birth St John’s church and the 152 years of ministry here, guided by your Spirit’s presence.

So we now relinquish any anger, regrets, and “old possibilities” we have in the attempt to cling to familiar ways of serving you here.

Give us peace in our time of loss and help us to let our patterns go, so as to be ready to serve you in new ways.

The Closure

Lord, this chapter of our worship is closed and God remains with us.

God, you have shaped our dreams.
We have put our trust in you; may your hopes and desires be ours.

Although we now let go of this cherished place,

You remain with us.

And though we have to make changes in our worshipping lives,

You remain with us.

So we ask that you will give us a new, creative compassion;
a thirst for justice, and a willingness to give of ourselves in the Spirit of Christ.

Praise to you, abundant God, for when we ask, you give; when we seek, you show the way. When we knock, you answer. Praise to you for your unfailing grace. Make us now your faithful people so we continue to put our trust in you the living God, risking disappointment, risking failure, working and waiting expectantly. Amen.

As we look beyond ourselves, we pray for your call to Anglican Ministry here, through the Manukau Pastorate, that our brothers and sisters in Christ will continue to be faithful to your ways as they exercise their ministry from this place. May they receive the riches of your blessings through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Candle lighting

As we take our leave, there is an opportunity to light a candle. A symbol for a prayer of thanks for this church and grounds, or a prayer of sadness for the closure, or a prayer for someone else, or a personal prayer for new vision. Whatever your intention, know that as you light the candle God has heard your prayer so may you leave in peace.

Closing Prayer

God of Ruth the adventurer,

Be with us.

God of Jesus, fearless and faithful one,

Be with us.

Holy Spirit, forming and reforming faith community,

Be with us.


You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

So may Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you and those whom you love, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn: Now thank we all our God