Listen to The Jesus Story

That’s how we could truly describe Jesus Christ.

For two thousand years he has been a central figure in the history of our planet. Today over 2 billion people would call themselves Christians.

But who was Jesus Christ?
What did he say?
What did he do?
Why is his death important?
Why do people say he’s still alive?

Let us discover the answer through the songs of The Jesus Story. They were recorded at the performance on 19th April 2015 at Corby Glen.


Jesus was born a Jew, a member of an oppressed people. At that time Rome ruled the world, and the Jews were part of the Roman Empire.

But they hadn’t lost hope that one day someone would come to set them free.

A new day would dawn. Dayspring!

Dayspring, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley


Jesus was born at Christmas.

Christmas! Is it magic or mayhem?

Most of us, young and old, enjoy the excitement of this season.

Our singing of Christmas Carols enhances the goodwill and joy of this special time.

Some carols are lullabies sung to the new babe of Bethlehem. Others help us to understand something of the meaning of his birth.

The next two songs tell the story of how baby Jesus was visited by the angels, the shepherds and the wise men.

Come and Worship

Come and Worship, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

Here is Love

Here is Love, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Baptism of Jesus

We don’t know much about the growing up years of Jesus.

We do know that he grew up as the son of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter.

He was an adult when his baptism took place.

Baptism or Christening marks the beginning of the Christian life and today children and adults are welcomed into the family of the Church when they are baptised.

For Jesus, his baptism marked the beginning of his work of teaching and healing as the Son of God.

In our next song, Jesus hears the voice of God speaking to him from Heaven:

You are my son, the beloved one. I am pleased with you.
Yes, you are my son, the one I love. I delight in you

The Baptism of Jesus, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Time in the Wilderness

What Sort of Saviour?

Jesus was a man with a mission.

But before he began, he took time out to pray and to work out his approach.

In the wilderness he rejected the wrong path, suggested by the devil.

Forty days without food is no joke, but at the end of his fast Jesus knew the way he had to follow – the Way of Love.

In the song ‘What Sort of Saviour?’ the words of Jesus are sung by a soloist and the choir represent the words of the devil.

What Sort of Saviour?, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Teaching of Jesus

The Beatitudes

The Gospels give us much of the teaching of Jesus.

The next song is based on a famous passage in the gospels called the Beatitudes.

These teachings were given by Christ, and they point us to those whose lives show the blessing of God.

Some of these sayings may be familiar to you. For example: ‘How blest are those whose spirits are open to God, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them’.

The Beatitudes, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Prodigal Son

Jesus often used stories, called parables, to get across his message.

Some of them are very funny, with pictures from everyday life. Others, we find more difficult to understand because Jesus was trying to make his listeners think.

The next song is based on the parable of The Lost Son, known to many of us as The Prodigal Son. In this story, we see loving parents who long for the return of their wilful, selfish child.

Jesus is showing us a picture of a caring and loving God, who offers forgiveness to his children.

The Prodigal Son, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Miracles of Jesus

The Sea of Galilee

The extra-ordinary spiritual power of Jesus was demonstrated by his miracles.

The next song paints a musical picture of Jesus calming a storm on Lake Galilee. It starts off really calm and slow and gets louder and faster as the storm reaches its climax.

The Sea of Galilee, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Healing of Ten Men

Next is a song about the healing of ten men who had leprosy. Ten were cured but only one came back to say thank you.

The Sea of Galilee, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Entry into Jerusalem


After three years of teaching, preaching and healing, Jesus came to the capital, Jerusalem.

His popularity and his fame had grown over the years, and he was given a rapturous welcome by the people.

He chose to enter the city, humbly on a donkey, to show that, although he was a king, he didn’t need a warhorse and an army.

He came in peace.

The crowd shouted Hosanna.

Hosanna, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The ministry of Jesus was hugely popular with ordinary people. But many of the religious leaders took offence at it.

For one thing, he associated freely with people whom they considered to be unacceptable, such as prostitutes, and tax collectors for the hated Romans. And he was scathing in his criticism of their spiritual leadership.

He also made spiritual claims for himself which outraged them – for example, to have authority to forgive sins and to add to the law of Moses.

Finally, by riding into Jerusalem and accepting the applause of the crowd, he was claiming to be the long-awaited King of the Jews. This claim they saw as blasphemous and politically dangerous.

Jesus had to go!

Celebrating the Passover

The Last Supper

Jesus came to Jerusalem knowing that he was going to be killed.

He also knew that his death would carry a huge spiritual importance.

It was the time of the Passover Festival when the Jewish people remembered their miraculous escape from slavery in Egypt.

Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, but gave it new meaning by linking it with his imminent death on the cross.

The Last Supper, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley


During the Last Supper Jesus spent time reassuring his disciples that despite his death and physical departure from them, he would leave them his presence through the Holy Spirit.

Peace, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

Gethsemane and beyond

The Moon Shines

When the supper was ended, Jesus took Peter, James and John to an olive grove called Gethsemane.

Knowing the awful death that awaited him, Jesus suffered a time of agonising prayer.

The song ‘The Moon Shines’ portrays the loneliness of Jesus as he struggles to come to terms with what he has to do.

It was shortly after this that he was betrayed by Judas’s kiss.

The Moon Shines, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

Peter’s Denial

Jesus was arrested and taken to the High Priest’s house.

All the disciples deserted him, but Peter and John followed and gained access to the High Priest’s courtyard.

Peter had boasted that he would never deny his Lord, but Jesus had predicted that before a cock crowed he would deny him three times.

Peter’s Denial, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Crucifixion

Lord, What Have They Done?

Jesus was put on trial before the religious leaders.

The High Priest asked him if he was the Messiah, the Son of God. When Jesus said I am, the whole Council condemned him to death.

As they did not have the authority to execute the sentence, they brought him to Pilate, the Roman Governor. They accused Jesus of being a threat to Roman rule.

Pilate was not convinced but, swayed by the crowd, agreed that the death sentence should be carried out.

Jesus was to be crucified.

The song ‘Lord, What Have They Done?’ imagines someone looking at Jesus on the cross and thinking “What a waste”. The third verse, which you’ll hear sung as a duet, gives the reply of Jesus.

Lord, What Have They Done?, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Resurrection


Everybody thought that Good Friday was the end of Jesus.

But on the following Sunday something wonderful happened – God raised Jesus from the dead.

Over the next few weeks he appeared to his family and friends on a number of occasions.

The next song, Hallelujah, celebrates the risen Christ.

God has spoken, death is broken – Christ has woken from the grave.
Christ is risen from his prison – Christ is risen from the grave.
Sing and shout now, tell it out now – Jesus is Lord!

Hallelujah, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley


We See Christ

The song ‘We See Christ’ reflects on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It invites us to experience his living presence as we journey through life.

We See Christ, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

Follow, Follow

Christians believe that Jesus Christ has rescued us from the power of sin and promised to be with us always.

He still feeds the hungry and heals the lame through those who follow his example.

This is Good News indeed, and we are glad to share this Good News with others.

Our final song is entitled ‘Follow, Follow’ and is a challenge to us to follow Jesus Christ.

Follow, Follow, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

Hallelujah Reprise

Hallelujah Reprise, from The Jesus Story by Richard Rice-Oxley

Woodbine Willie – musical reflections

These poems, from The Unutterable Beauty by G. A. Studdert Kennedy, have been set to music by Richard Rice-Oxley, who has also recorded them.

  1. The Spirit
  2. Prayer before an Attack
  3. Paradise
  4. Solomon in all his Glory
  5. The Suffering God (omitting verses 2–9)
  6. A Mother Understands
  7. To Stretcher-Bearers (read)
  8. A Song of the Desert (On the Hindenburg Line, 1918)
  9. Waste
  10. The Comrade God
  11. Marching Song

The Spirit

When there ain’t no gal to kiss you,
And the postman seems to miss you,
And the fags have skipped an issue,
Carry on.

When ye’ve got an empty belly,
And the bully’s rotten smelly,
And you’re shivering like a jelly,
Carry on.

When the Boche has done your chum in,
And the sargint’s done the rum in,
And there ain’t no rations comin’.
Carry on.

When the world is red and reeking,
And the shrapnel shells are shrieking,
And your blood is slowly leaking,
Carry on.

When the broken, battered trenches
Are like bloody butchers’ benches,
And the air is thick with stenches,
Carry on.

Carry on,
Though your pals are pale and wan,
And the hope of life is gone.
Carry on.

For to do more than you can
Is to be a British man,
Not a rotten also ran
Carry on.

Prayer before an Attack

It ain’t as I ’opes ’E’ll keep me safe
While the other blokes goes down,
It ain’t as I wants to leave this world
And wear an ’ero’s crown.
It ain’t for that as I says my prayers
When I goes to the attack,
But I pray that whatever comes my way
I may never turn me back.
I leaves the matter o’ life and death
To the Father who knows what’s best,
And I prays that I still may play the man
Whether I turns east or west.
I’d sooner that it were east, ye know,
To Blighty and my gal Sue;
I’d sooner be there, wi’ the gold in ’er ’air,
And the skies be’ind all blue.
But still I pray I may do my bit,
And then, if I must turn west,
I’ll be unashamed when my name is named.
And I’ll find a soldier’s rest.


When machine-guns start to play
At the ending of the day,
And the sun’s last burning ray
Bleeds and dies.

When the sable warp of night
Is first cleft by silver light,
With its sudden curving flight
Of surprise.

It is then that England calls
From its cottages and halls,
And we think of four dear walls
And her eyes.

When the children’s prayer is said,
And they lie tucked up in bed,
And the fire is burning red –

Solomon in all his Glory

Still I see them coming, coming
In their ragged broken line,
Walking wounded in the sunlight,
Clothed in majesty divine.

For the fairest of the lilies,
That God’s summer ever sees,
Ne’er was clothed in royal beauty
Such as decks the least of these.

Tattered, torn, and bloody khaki,
Gleams of white flesh in the sun,
Raiment worthy of their beauty
And the great things they have done.

Purple robes and snowy linen
Have for earthly kings sufficed,
But these bloody sweaty tatters
Were the robes of Jesus Christ.

The Suffering God

The Suffering God (omits verses 2–9)

If He could speak, that victim torn and bleeding,
Caught in His pain and nailed upon the Cross,
Has He to give the comfort souls are needing?
Could He destroy the bitterness of loss?

Father, if He, the Christ, were Thy Revealer,
Truly the First Begotten of the Lord,
Then must Thou be a Suff’rer and a Healer,
Pierced to the heart by the sorrow of the sword.

Then must it mean, not only that Thy sorrow
Smote Thee that once upon the lonely tree,
But that to-day, to-night, and on the morrow.
Still it will come, O Gallant God, to Thee.

Swift to its birth in spite of human scorning
Hastens the day, the storm-clouds roll apart;
Rings o’er the earth the message of the morning,
Still on the Cross the Saviour bares His heart.

Passionately fierce the voice of God is pleading,
Pleading with men to arm them for the fight;
See how those hands, majestically bleeding,
Call us to rout the armies of the night.

Not to the work of sordid selfish saving
Of our own souls to dwell with Him on high,
But to the soldier’s splendid selfless braving,
Eager to fight for Righteousness and die.

Peace does not mean the end of all our striving,
Joy does not mean the drying of our tears;
Peace is the power that comes to souls arriving
Up to the light where God Himself appears.

Joy is the wine that God is ever pouring
Into the hearts of those who strive with Him,
Light’ning their eyes to vision and adoring,
Strength’ning their arms to warfare glad and grim.

So would I live and not in idle resting,
Stupid as swine that wallow in the mire;
Fain would I fight, and be for ever breasting
Danger and death for ever under fire.

Bread of Thy Body give me for my fighting,
Give me to drink Thy Sacred Blood for wine,
While there are wrongs that need me for the righting,
While there is warfare splendid and divine.

Give me, for light, the sunshine of Thy sorrow,
Give me, for shelter, shadow of Thy Cross;
Give me to share the glory of Thy morrow.
Gone from my heart the bitterness of Loss.

A Mother Understands

Dear Lord, I hold my hand to take
Thy Body, broken here for me,
Accept the Sacrifice I make,
My body, broken, there, for Thee.

His was my body, born of me,
Born of my bitter travail pain,
And it lies broken on the field,
Swept by the wind and the rain.

Surely a Mother understands
Thy thorn-crowned head,
The mystery of Thy piercèd hands –
The Broken Bread.

To Stretcher-Bearers

Easy does it – bit o’ trench ’ere,
Mind that blinkin’ bit o’ wire,
There’s a shell ’ole on your left there,
Lift ’im up a little ’igher,
Stick it, lad, ye’ll soon be there now,
Want to rest ’ere for a while?
Let ’im dahn then – gently – gently,
There ye are, lad.  That’s the style.
Want a drink, mate?  ’ere’s my bottle,
Lift ’is ’ead up for ’im, Jack,
Put my tunic underneath ’im,
’Ow’s that, chummy?  That’s the tack!

Guess we’d better make a start now,
Ready for another spell?
Best be goin’, we won’t ’urt ye,
But ’e might just start to shell.
Are ye right, mate? Off we goes then.
That’s well over on the right;
Gawd Almighty, that’s a near ’un!
’Old your end up good and tight,
Never mind, lad, you’re for Blighty,
Mind this rotten bit o’ board.
We’ll soon ’ave ye tucked in bed, lad,
’Opes ye gets to my old ward.

No more war for you, my ’earty,
This’ll get ye well away,
Twelve good months in dear old Blighty,
Twelve good months if you’re a day.
M.O.’s got a bit o’ something
What’ll stop that blarsted pain.
’Ere’s a rotten bit o’ground, mate,
Lift up ’igher – up again,
Wish ’e’d stop ’is blarsted shellin’,
Makes it rotten for the lad.
When a feller’s been and got it,
It affec’s ’im twice as bad,

’Ow’s it goin’ now then, sonny?
’Ere’s that narrow bit o’ trench,
Careful, mate, there’s some dead Jerries.
Gawd Almighty, what a stench!
’Ere we are now, stretcher-case, boys,
Bring him aht a cup o’ tea!

Inasmuch as ye have done it 
Ye have done it unto Me.

A Song of the Desert

On the Hindenburg Line, 1918

I’ve sung my songs of battlefields,
Of sacrifice and pain,
When all my soul was fain to sing
Of sunshine and of rain.

Of dewdrops glist’ning on a rose,
Cloud castles in blue skies,
Of glory as God’s summer grows,
And splendour as it dies.

Of blossom snowed upon the trees,
And fresh green woods that ring
With music of the mating birds,
Love’s miracle of spring.

Of summer night in velvet robes,
Bedecked with silver stars,
The captive beauty of the dawn
That breaks her prison bars.

The rustling sigh of fallen leaves
That sing beneath my feet
The swan-song of the autumn days,
So short, so sad, so sweet.

An exile in a weary land,
My soul sighs for release,
It wanders in war’s wilderness,
And cries for Peace – for Peace.


Waste of Muscle, waste of Brain,
Waste of Patience, waste of Pain,
Waste of Manhood, waste of Health,
Waste of Beauty, waste of Wealth,
Waste of Blood, and waste of Tears,
Waste of Youth’s most precious years,
Waste of ways the Saints have trod,
Waste of Glory, waste of God, –

The Comrade God

Thou who dost dwell in depths of timeless being,
Watching the years as moments passing by,
Seeing the things that lie beyond our seeing,
Constant, unchanged, as æons dawn and die;

Thou who canst count the stars upon their courses,
Holding them all in the hollow of Thy hand,
Lord of the world with its myriad of forces
Seeing the hills as single grains of sand;

Art Thou so great that this our bitter crying
Sounds in Thine ears like sorrow of a child?
Hast Thou looked down on centuries of sighing,
And, like a heartless mother, only smiled?

Since in Thy sight to-day is as to-morrow,
And while we strive Thy victory is won,
Hast Thou no tears to shed upon our sorrow?
Art Thou a staring splendour like the sun?

Dost Thou not heed the helpless sparrow’s falling?
Canst Thou not see the tears that women weep?
Canst Thou not hear Thy little children calling?
Dost Thou not watch above them as they sleep?

Then, O my God, Thou art too great to love me,
Since Thou dost reign beyond the reach of tears,
Calm and serene as the cruel stars above me,
High and remote from human hopes and fears.

Only in Him can I find home to hide me,
Who on the Cross was slain to rise again;
Only with Him, my Comrade God, beside me,
Can I go forth to war with sin and pain.

Marching Song

I can hear the steady tramping of a thousand thousand feet,
Making music in the city and the crowded village street,
I can see a million mothers with their hands outstretched to greet,
For the army’s marching home.

I can see a million visions that are dancing overhead
Of the glory that is dawning where the sky is burning red,
Of the Britain to be builded for the honour of the dead,
For the army’s marching home.

I can see the broken women choking back their scalding tears,
Oh! The barren, empty greyness of their lonely, loveless years!
But their duty’s to the living and they’ll only give them cheers,
As the army marches home.

I can see a crowd of children on the crest of yonder hill,
I can hear their little voices cheering, cheering loud and shrill,
’Tis that they may grow to beauty that our flag is floating still,
As the army marches home.

There’s a crowd of wooden crosses in the wounded heart of France,
Where the cornfields used to glisten and the blood-red poppies dance.
Can’t you hear the crosses calling us to give the Christ a chance.
Now the army’s marching home?

O! We’ll build a mighty temple for the lowly Prince of Peace,
And the splendour of its beauty shall compel all wars to cease.
There the weak shall find a comrade and the captive find release,
When the army marches home.

Of men’s hearts it shall be builded, and of spirits tried and true,
And its courts shall know no bound’ries save the bound’ries of the blue,
And it’s there we shall remember those who died for me and you,
When the army has marched home.

St Paul: the man and his message – songs

Love is Patient (from ‘St Paul – the man and his message’, written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Listen to songs by Revd Richard Rice-Oxley about the teaching and life of St Paul, sung and played by Tom Nicholls.

Part 1: The Teaching of St Paul

You know the Grace

You know the Grace (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
though he lived with God in heaven
yet he came down to this earth for us
that we might be lifted to heaven.

Grace and mercy flow from him
Let everybody praise his holy name

You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
though he was rich
yet he became poor for us
that we might be rich through him.

Grace and mercy flow from him
Let everybody praise his holy name

You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
though he was without sin
yet God made him sin for us
that we might be God’s righteousness.

(2 Corinthians 8:9; 5:21)

Humbled and Exalted

Humbled and Exalted – version 1 (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)
Humbled and Exalted – version 2 (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Think the way that Jesus thought
though he was in the form of God
he emptied himself,
took the form of a slave
born in human likeness
he humbled himself
accepting death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has lifted him
given him the name above all names
that every knee will bow
at the name of Jesus
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God, God the Father.

(Philippians 2:5–11)

The Body of Christ

The Body of Christ (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Nobody’s a no no, nobody’s a zero
Nobody’s a reject in the body of Christ.
Everyone is precious, everyone is special
Everyone is needed in the body of Christ.

We are the church, members of Christ’s body,
inspired by the Spirit, sent from above.
So let’s join together, united in that body,
as we serve one another, we’ll grow in love 

If one member suffers, all hurt together
Everyone cares in the body of Christ.
If someone is honoured all cheer together,
for everyone shares in the body of Christ.

We are the church, members of Christ’s body,
inspired by the Spirit, sent from above.
So let’s join together, united in that body,
as we serve one another, we’ll grow in love 

Some heal the sick, and some preach the Word,
The Spirit gives to all in the body of Christ.
Some are generous givers, some are encouragers,
All have a gift in the body of Christ.

We are the church, members of Christ’s body,
inspired by the Spirit, sent from above.
So let’s join together, united in that body,
as we serve one another, we’ll grow in love 

(1 Corinthians 12)

The Fruit of the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

The fruit of the Spirit is
love that flows
joy that glows
peace that shows
the presence of God in a stormy world.

The fruit of the Spirit is
patience that forbears
kindness that cares
goodness that shares
the presence of God in a wayward world.

The fruit of the Spirit is
faith to endure
gentleness that’s pure
self control to secure
the presence of God in a violent world.

[Repeat verse 1]

(Galatians 5:22)

Love is Patient

Love is Patient (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Love is patient, love is kind.
Love’s not boastful, love’s not blind
Love is faithful, love is true,
Love keeps smiling, love wins through

Love doesn’t think of itself
is not quick to take offence.
Love keeps no score of wrongs
doesn’t gloat over others’ sins

There’s nothing that love cannot face
There’s no limit to its endurance
Its faith and hope will never fail
Love will never come to an end

Faith, hope and love, these three
will last for ever
But the greatest of them all
is love, so make love your aim.

(1 Corinthians 13)

Rejoice in the Lord always

Rejoice in the Lord always (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Rejoice in the Lord always
Your good humour apparent to everyone’s gaze.
Don’t fret and don’t fuss, the Lord is near
hand over your worries, to him you are dear.

Whatever happens, remember to pray,
let your requests be made known to God,
and as you thank him for all he has done,
his peace will guard your hearts in the Lord.

Whatever is true, whatever is good,
what is just, pure and worthy of praise,
whatever is excellent, and what is fine,
think of these things all of your days.

The lessons I taught you, the tradition I passed on,
all that I said, all you saw me do,
keep in mind, follow my lead,
and the God of peace will go with you.

(Philippians 4:4–9)

Part 2: The Life of St Paul


Conversion (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

(God said) You’ll be my witness, the one that I choose
to bring to the Gentiles this wonderful news:
My son is living, raised from the dead,
sin and death slain by the blood he has shed

As a Pharisee I was aflame with the zeal
of one who thought only he knew what was real,
defending the faith I had learned as a child,
so those who questioned it made me go wild!

On my way to Damascus, those Christians to find,
I was struck by a light which made me go blind.
I heard a voice saying: Why d’you persecute me?
You’re rejecting the way that will set you free.

Who are you Lord? I cried out in my pain,
I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you disdain.
But go to the city, your men will lead you,
it’s there you’ll be told what you have to do.

A man Ananias laid hands on me,
scales fell from my eyes – once again I could see.
I received a commission, the Gospel to share,
that people might know we belong in God’s care.

(God said) You’ll be my witness, the one that I choose
to bring to the Gentiles this wonderful news:
My son is living, raised from the dead,
sin and death slain by the blood he has shed

(Acts 9:22,26)

Take my Mind

Take my Mind (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Take my mind, Jesus, 
Take my mind, Jesus
Take my mind and I’ll think for you
Think Jesus, speak Jesus, act Jesus, live Jesus now.

Take my mouth, Jesus, 
Take my mouth, Jesus 
Take my mouth and I’ll speak for you
Think Jesus, speak Jesus, act Jesus, live Jesus now.

Take my will, Jesus, 
Take my will, Jesus
Take my will and I’ll act for you
Think Jesus, speak Jesus, act Jesus, live Jesus now.

Take my life, Jesus, 
Take my life, Jesus,
Take my life and I’ll live for you
Think Jesus, speak Jesus, act Jesus, live Jesus 
Think Jesus, speak Jesus, act Jesus, live Jesus now.

Weak and Strong

Weak and Strong (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

My grace is enough for you
this is what you must seek.
Yes my grace is sufficient for you,
my power is most strong in the weak.

God gave me a vision,
when caught up on high,
a sight beyond compare,
and he spoke to me when
I was in Paradise
in words too sacred to share

But then came Satan’s torment
a stake in the flesh
to stop me from spiritual pride.
Three times I asked God:
Please take it away
But each time this is how he replied

My grace is enough for you
this is what you must seek.
Yes my grace is sufficient for you,
my power is most strong in the weak.

So now I will boast of my weaknesses,
the power of Christ is my song.
Pain and persecution I accept
when I’m weak, it is then that I’m strong.

My grace is enough for you
this is what you must seek.
Yes my grace is sufficient for you,
my power is most strong in the weak.

(2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

I’m Sure

I’m Sure (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

I’m sure that the Father is reigning in heaven
I’m sure that Christ is living here on earth
I’m sure that the Spirit is working good in all things
I am sure of Him.

Though the storms of life may assail me
Though the skies may be threatening and grim
Though the winds of change may buffet me
I am sure of Him.

Though my heart may be breaking with sorrow
Though my body may ache in every limb
Though my mind may be troubled by my enemies
I am sure of Him.

In the wonder of new life all around me
In the splendour of joy that is born of pain
In the fervour of hearts tried by fire
I am sure of Him.

The Race of Faith

The Race of Faith (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

Let’s run the race God sets before us,
the race of faith we run each day
looking to Jesus, our guide and leader,
who, by his life, has shown us the way.

Let’s run this race with perseverance
though, through suffering, the going may get tough,
strengthened by training in Christian living
to tackle the road that’s steep and rough (Repeat)

There are times as we run when our steps will falter
hampered by the sin which tries to make us fall.
With God’s protection, help and guidance
we can press forward, following his call (Repeat)

In the Olympics each race has a winner,
only one athlete gains the gold.
If we keep the faith, right to the finish line,
a winner’s medal we’ll all of us hold (Repeat)

I have known

I have known (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

I have known your hand on my life (x3)
Lord, keep me seeking your hand on my life (x2)

I have felt your love in my heart (x3)
Lord, keep me seeking your love in my heart (x2)

I have found the truth in your word (x3)
Lord, keep me seeking the truth in your word (x2)

I have seen your joy in my friends (x3)
Lord, keep me seeking your joy in my friends (x2)

I have known your hand on my life (x3)
Lord, keep me seeking your hand on my life (x2)

The Grace

The Grace (written by Richard Rice-Oxley; sung by Tom Nicholls)

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God our Father,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.

(2 Corinthians 13:13)

Listen to Peter – the Rock

Welcome to Peter – The Rock! We hope that you will enjoy this musical.

You will hear the story of a man who was the leading apostle of Jesus Christ, yet in a spectacular fall from grace, denied all knowledge of him not once, but three times.

But that wasn’t the end. He was forgiven by Jesus, and took his place as a leader in the Early Church.

The life of St Peter is an encouragement to us all. Failure need not be final. If we fall, God can restore us too, and use us in his service.

Follow, Follow

Peter! He was one of the first followers of Jesus Christ. He was a leader in the early Church and eventually a martyr. He was a man who reached the heights and plumbed the depths. He became the Rock on which Christ built his Church. This is the story of St Peter.

We know nothing at all about Peter’s childhood and growing up. We first meet him as an adult in the Gospels, when he was already married. He was a fisherman living on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. At that time, before he met Jesus, Peter was called Simon.

The bible tells us that it was Peter’s brother Andrew, who brought him to Jesus. Then there was probably a period of time when Peter got to know Jesus, before he made his decision to leave fishing and to give his life to following Him.

Follow, Follow, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

What Sort of Man?

From the outset Peter was the leading apostle and their spokesman. He is always mentioned first by the gospel writers. Jesus appointed the Twelve Apostles to be with him, to proclaim the message, and to heal the sick. In these early days, Peter would have been mightily impressed by Jesus – the authority of his teaching, his compassion for those in need, his disregard for the stuffy, conventional attitudes of many religious leaders, and above all his extraordinary miracles of healing.

All of this had a profound effect on Peter. Our next song imagines him musing on his experience.

What Sort of Man? from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-Law

Very early on Peter experienced the spiritual power of Jesus which touched him personally. His mother-in-law was ill with a fever. Let’s hear her tell the story…

The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-Law, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Confession of Faith

A story in St Matthew’s gospel gives us an insight into Peter’s character. While the disciples were on a lake in a boat, Jesus walked towards them on the water. The other disciples were paralysed by fear, but Peter had the courage to get out of the boat and walk towards Jesus. However, seeing the strength of the wind, his courage failed him and he had to be rescued by Jesus.

Some time later Jesus wanted to see how much his apostles understood. He took them to Caesarea Philippi, a city far to the north and away from the crowds, where he put a vital question to them. Our next song tells us the question, Peter’s reply, and the response of Jesus.

Confession of Faith, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Jesus Shines!

What happened next is quite a shock! It is clear that Peter’s understanding of who the Messiah was, fell short of the truth that was revealed by Jesus. Jesus told the disciples that he was going to suffer and die at the hands of the Jewish leaders. When Peter protested: ‘This mustn’t happen to you’, he received an immediate rebuke from Jesus. It seems that Peter still had a lot to learn!

Despite this, Jesus had sufficient confidence in his three closest disciples, Peter, James and John, to entrust them with a remarkable vision of his glory. Our next song ‘Jesus Shines!’ tells the story of the Transfiguration.

Jesus Shines! from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

How Many Times?

It is clear from the bible story that Peter didn’t find it easy to forgive! Our next humorous song is about forgiveness and teaches us all a lesson for life!

How Many Times? from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Foot Washing at the Last Supper

After three years of ministry in Galilee, Jesus came to Jerusalem for the important Festival of the Passover, when the Jews celebrated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. During the Last Supper, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to demonstrate humility. Because Peter thought so highly of Jesus, he impulsively refused to let this happen. Let’s see how that conversation went…

Foot Washing at the Last Supper, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley


Before the group of disciples walked over to the Mount of Olives, Jesus predicted Peter’s threefold denial, but also told him that his failure would not be the end of the story. When the Chief Priests’ men came to arrest Jesus, Peter showed his fierce loyalty by cutting off the ear of a slave of the High Priest. When Jesus rebuked him and healed the man, Peter fled with the other disciples. Our next song is a moving account of what followed.

Denial, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Restoration; Peter’s Song of Thanksgiving

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Peter was in need of forgiveness. This happened on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which was the place where Peter had first heard the call of Jesus. St John’s gospel recounts the painful and yet empowering encounter between the two of them. Our following two songs tell us this story and Peter’s reflection on the extraordinary change in his life – from despair to hope, from failure to a new commission as healer, evangelist and pastor.

Restoration, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley
Peter’s Song of Thanksgiving, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Sing to the Lord

When Jesus ascended to his Father in Heaven, the joy of the resurrection stayed with the disciples. We are told that they frequently visited the Temple and were full of praise for God. They may well have used the words of Psalm 100, which was sung by worshippers attending the Temple. We invite you to join in as we sing a setting of this psalm.

Sing to the Lord, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

And God Said

The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament gives a vivid account of the life of the Early Church after Jesus had ascended into heaven.

Peter quickly assumed a leadership role. He instigated the election of Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot as an apostle. He was present with the other disciples on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended in wind and fire. Our next song describes four stories, two from the Old Testament and two from the New, when the Spirit of God had a transformational effect.

And God Said, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

The Spirit of God Makes a Difference

When the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they praised God so loudly that some people thought they were drunk. Peter addressed the crowd, pointing out that it was unlikely that they were drunk at nine o’clock in the morning! Instead this was a fulfilment of an Old Testament prophecy that God would pour out his Sprit on everyone. He went on to link the gift of the Holy Spirit with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

The crowd accepted their responsibility for handing over Jesus to the Romans and Peter reassured them that they could be forgiven, baptised and receive the Holy Spirit for themselves. Three thousand people accepted this offer and joined the Church. Listen to the words of the next song and you will discover how important the Spirit of God is in the lives of Christians.

The Spirit of God, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

There’s No Other Name

The day of Pentecost was followed by a time of great joy, when the believers shared their goods, met together for fellowship and prayer and witnessed miracles being performed by the apostles. Our next song describes one of these miracles and the opposition of the religious leaders.

There’s No Other Name, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley


The religious leaders forbade Peter and John to speak about Jesus, but they continued to do so despite being put into prison and receiving a flogging. Stephen, one of the newly appointed leaders in the Early Church, was stoned to death. This was followed by a more general persecution, which led to many believers leaving Jerusalem.

The Gospel was preached in Samaria and many responded. The Church in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to Samaria. They laid hands on the new believers who then received the Holy Spirit.

While staying in the coastal town of Joppa, Peter had a life-changing experience. He came to see that the Gentiles, whom Jews considered unclean, were welcomed by God when they turned to Christ. Let’s hear this story of Peter’s encounter with a Roman soldier, Cornelius.

Cornelius, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Rescue from Prison

The persecution of the Church continued with King Herod having James, the brother of John, executed. Peter was arrested and thrown into jail. In our next song Peter tells the disciples how he was miraculously rescued.

Rescue from Prison, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

A Time to Build

Having originally restricted their preaching to Jews, Church leaders gradually won more and more converts among people of other races. But some Jewish Christians taught these gentile believers that they needed to keep the whole of the Jewish law as well as following Christ. Even Peter, who had been mixing freely with these Gentile Christians, withdrew his fellowship from them. Saint Paul, who had seen many people of other races come to faith, roundly rebuked him for this.

A meeting of the Church was called in Jerusalem to resolve the issue and Peter was a key witness. He told them about the conversion of Cornelius and urged the acceptance of gentiles as they were. The decision was made only to expect a few basic tenets of the Jewish Law to be kept.

Our next song expresses the spirit of reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles which Peter promoted. Throughout the ages, Christ has broken down the barriers between people of different races and backgrounds.

A Time to Build, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Come to the Lord

Peter seemed to have a special concern for the Christians of Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. In a letter to them, he encouraged them to persevere in their faith, building their lives on the foundation stone of Jesus. These words are an invitation to us today.

Come to the Lord, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Faith Tested

It seems that the Christians in Asia Minor were experiencing persecution for their faith. The same is still happening in many countries across the world. It can be dangerous to worship Christ as Lord. Our next song suggests how we might respond when our faith is tested: ‘Your faith is precious, more precious than gold. When it is tested, rejoice and be bold’. What an encouragement and challenge!

Faith Tested, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley

Kingdom Road; Singing for Jesus

Peter’s letter to the Christians of Asia Minor was almost certainly sent from Rome where the Apostle’s life ended. He probably died a martyr and there are strong historical reasons to believe that his tomb in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, is authentic.

How do we sum up this man? Well, dull, he wasn’t! He was passionate, loyal, impulsive and human like us. We can take heart from Peter’s experience. Failure need not be final. God’s grace can triumph over human weakness. Peter denied Jesus three times, but after Pentecost his witness to the risen Christ was outstanding and he became the rock on which Christ built his Church. Today 2000 years later we can all be on the Kingdom Road.

Kingdom Road, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley
Singing for Jesus, from Peter – the Rock by Richard Rice-Oxley