Mike Claridge

website and  resources


On this page you’ll find resources of various types.  These include liturgical (worship) material, topical material during the Covid19 Pandemic, and information for couples planning

their wedding.

Epiphany Box


Video meditations

mjclaridge on Vimeo 

Sunday 22nd March 2020  

Sunday 29th March 2020     

Holy Week 2020

mjclaridge on YouTube 

Easter day 2020 onwards

Advent and Christmas

Advent Verses for the Food Bank (PDF)

Scriptural verses, for each of the three years of the lectionary, linked to donations of items for the local Food Bank.

Nuts about Christmas (versions 1 and 2)  (PDF)

These messages use carefully adapted walnuts to convey the Christmas message.  In version 1 (left), three  walnuts are used containing tinsel, a tiny 'present' and hay.  In version 2 (right), four walnuts are used containing tinsel, a tiny ‘present’, hay and a tightly rolled up Palm Cross or paper cross.

Chocolate Nativity (PDF)

My rewriting of the classic ‘nativity explained with chocolates’ address.  This PDF now contains images of each of the products mentioned.  Ideally accompanied by a tub of chocolates to share at the end.

Epiphany to Lent

Candlemas "Candle" (PDF)

A "colour in" sheet for The Presentation of Christ in the Temple linking Christmas/Epiphany to Lent/Easter. 

Epiphany Box (PDF)

A simple to make box that enhances the message of Epiphany at All Age worship.

God so loved the world (Valentine)

(Link to video on Vimeo)

Short video animation of John's Gospel, Chapter 3,verses 16 and 17,  with accompanying music (Stainer's 'God so loved the world') with a Valentine's Day theme.

Holy Week and Easter

Meditations on the Passion 

(left) Symbols of  the Passion (PDF)

Five short meditations for Holy Week entitled; The Meal, The Whip, The Crown, The Cross and The Nails.

(right) Simon of Cyrene: A face in the crowd (PDF) A short meditation on Simon of Cyrene who helped to carry Jesus' cross.

See also: The Passion in Art and Music
Originally written as a Lent Course in 2015.  This uses images in paintings and music
from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St Matthew Passion.  With reflections and study sheets.
Click here.

Various Liturgical Resources

Dedication of a War Memorial
Order of Service for a new memorial
at Knighton Foods, Staffordshire

Black Country Circuit Prayer (PDF)

Prayer written for the inaugeration of the Circuit on 6th September 2015.

Breaking of Bread (PDF)

A simple service to use at home while unable to meet for Holy Communion together. May 2020

Welcome Service Prayers (PDF)

Intercessions written for my Welcome Service as Minister of The Cotteridge Church on Thursday 23rd March 2017

Welcome Service Liturgy (PDF)

Compiled for my Welcome Service as Minister of The Cotteridge Church on Thursday 23rd March 2017

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

(Anon, but sometimes attributed to H. G. Wells).

Telephone Bereavement Pastoral Ministry Support 


Church of England Birmingham has set up a dedicated phone-line offering 1-2-1 pastoral support and prayer for bereaved people.

This faith based/CofE Birmingham ministry is specially for anyone whose loved one has died recently in hospital, in residential care or at home - a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour, or someone who has been cared for through work.

We can also offer this spiritual pastoral support to those who are anxious about relatives who are gravely ill, especially if there is no option of visiting them in person.

To access this ministry, please dial: 0121 426 0405

You will be asked to leave us a message with your name and telephone number.

A member of our pastoral care team will call you back as soon as possible. We aim to respond within 24 hours.

Pathways for accessing support in Birmingham
For a variety of sources, and types, of support available click here. 

Being Admitted to Hospital?
A sheet listing essential or useful items to put in a hospital bag 

A Service of Spiritual Communion
A service for individual or family use focussing on our communion with Christ and each other even when we are deprived of access to the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Unable to attend a funeral?
A service for use at home by those unable to attend a funeral service.  Ordinary print (left) and large print (right).

At a time of Anxiety and Stress:  The Jesus Meditation.
Written by Rt Revd Duleep DeChickera, former Bishop of Colombo,
Sri Lanka.  Click image on right.  See more items from Duleep


Important Note regarding The Cotteridge Church

Marriages of a Man and Woman

Marriages of a Man and a Man, or a Woman and a Woman 

The Cotteridge Church is a partnership of The Methodist Church, The Church of England, and the United Reformed Church.

Our three churches all officiate at marriages of a man and woman.  Only two however, The Methodist Church and The United Reformed Church, can currently carry out marriages of two men or two women (Same Sex Marriage).

As our partnership here involves The Church of England, The Cotteridge Church is restricted legally and can  currently only host marriages of a man and a woman.  If however you wish to enquire about a same sex marriage we would be happy to advise.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you for thinking of using our church for your special day!

We hope that the resources here will help you to plan your day.

Most of the material on here is relevant for weddings under either Church of England or Methodist/URC procedures.  However the 'preliminaries', the legal things you need to do well  before the day, vary.  When we talk I'll explain what you need to do depending on which procedure you follow.

If you haven’t yet booked your wedding.

If you have dropped in on this page by chance, or from one of our other websites, and are thinking of getting married but haven’t yet contacted us, you can do so now by calling 0121 433 5176 or email me at here.

Church of England procedures or Methodist/URC ones?

The Cotteridge Church is part of The Church of England, The Methodist Church and The United Reformed Church.  As it's Minister I represent all three denominations and I can therefore officiate using the procedures and liturgy (form of service) of any of those three churches. The wording of the service is much more flexible under Methodist or URC for example.  Much of the C of E service is fixed by law but it does allow your choices of hymns, music and readings.  There are also differences in 'preliminaries', the legal things that have to be done well in advance of the wedding day.  We will discuss all this together. 

How much does it cost?

The fee for a wedding at The Cotteridge Church is available on request. There is usually a very slight increase in the fee each year.  Fees are usually set in November for the year following.

What happens when?

Once you’ve booked the date you’ll have a lot to do in addition to the church.  We’re happy to go at your speed as far as arranging the service is concerned.

We’re happy to talk about arrangements at any time.  We can also advise you on hymns, music, readings and the prayers of the service (also see the details below).

You can pay the fee, either complete or in stages, whenever you want.  We do however prefer it at least a couple of weeks before the service.  You can pay by BACS, by Debit Card, in cash, or by cheque payable to The Cotteridge Church.

There will need to be a rehearsal, usually during the week before the wedding, and we can advise you as to who ideally needs to be at that when we arrange a time.

Above all else remember to stay in touch with us, ideally by coming along to our Sunday Service occasionally.  We meet every Sunday and have services at 9am, 10.30am and 6.30pm.  All are friendly congregations and our members will help make your day a success.

Choosing hymns and readings.

The Church of England has prepared an excellent Wedding Planner website.  You can listen to, and read the words of, favourite wedding hymns.  Suitable readings can also be found there.  There’s a lot of other stuff there too, both about your wedding day and also thinking about issues to get the best from your marriage in your future together.

To visit the site click on the image opposite.

What you’ll say in the service.

One of the first questions we’re often asked is, “What do I have to say?”  To be honest there isn’t a lot for you to say and you don’t have to learn anything by heart.

We’ve prepared a sheet, based on the Church of England service, showing the main parts.  It contains The Preface, which is the introduction to the service, and also the parts that you have to say - including The Vows.  The Vows are usually said with you each repeating a line that is said by the Minister.  To find out what you’ll be saying, download the document by clicking opposite.

Printing an Order of Service.

Many couples just use the church’s hymn books but, if you prefer, you can have a special Order of Service.  Some couples prepare this themselves and others use a specialist Wedding Stationery printer.

An Order of Service usually contains just the headings of parts of the service and, of course, the words of the hymns.

We’ve prepared a template that you can use and it can be downloaded by clicking opposite.

Have fun with our Marriage Questions 

Some years ago we prepared a list of questions for our wedding couples.  The idea is that you print two copies of the questions, one for each of you, and then answer them individually.  Then compare your answers.  There will be plenty to laugh about but hopefully some serious discussions too.

The questions cover many aspects of your relationship; from favourite tv programmes to the more intimate aspects of your lives.  So remember: We do NOT want to see your answers, they are just for you two to share.

Download the sheets by clicking opposite.

Marriage is a wonderful invention: then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.   (Billy Connolly)


Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land (1991)
The role of the Church in a refugee community.
Written during a placement with the Vietnamese Roman Catholic
Community at St Francis’ Church, Handsworth, Birmingham.

Redeeming the Fragments  (extract) (1994)
Lessons in Reconciliation from the churches of Sri Lanka
Part of a document written following a study tour in Sri Lanka.
This extract focuses on refugees.

Cotteridge Church 30th Anniversary
PDF of display of photographs prepared for the
30th Anniversary of the LEP at The Cotteridge Church.

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