This week’s Worship

Sunday 13th September (2nd of the month)

9:15 am        Family Worship, Croston
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am       Morning Prayer, Mawdesley
Wednesday 16th Sept. 10 am Holy Communion, Croston
Friday 18th Sept. 9:00 am Morning Prayer, Mawdesley

We are still allowed to continue with Worship.

Face masks are now compulsory in church unless you are exempt

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This pandemic just won’t go away and this week our government introduces some further restrictions aimed at controlling the virus and so now we are getting used to ‘The Rule of 6’ and just what that means for all of us in our daily lives.  Thankfully our normal Church services can continue including weddings and funerals so long as we follow the existing guidelines regarding sanitisation and social distancing that we have become used to in recent months.

However we too must be vigilant and if we gather outdoors to talk after worship we must stay in groups of six or less and not mingle with other groups.  So please do remember:

†        Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell
or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms
in the past seven days

†        Limit contact with other people
and do not gather in groups of more than 6 people

†        Keep your distance from people not in your household
staying 2m apart where possible or 1m+ with a face mask

†        Wash your hands regularly

But it’s not all bad news, in the midst of all these ongoing difficulties it has been good to see our schools welcoming children back and whilst many were nervous beforehand it seems that all the hard work has paid off and new routines in bubbles seem to be working well.  All the children I have spoken to seem to be so pleased to be back with friends and enjoying their school time.  In the middle of a game of Mousetrap with his dad this week my own grandson paused and said ‘I really miss school when I am not there’ – which says a lot.
I think we have to be careful not to stigmatise any particular group as the virus continues to spread and we all have a responsibility to educate and care for one another, that’s what being community requires of us.  This week’s Gospel reminds us all that we are to reflect Gods love and generosity, Peter thought he was being very generous suggesting it might be as many as seven times that he should forgive but Jesus tells him that we must forgive seventy times seven!  Which really means to unimaginable lengths or in the words of Buzz Lightyear, ‘to infinity and beyond’! Jesus wants us to know the boundless nature of God’s mercy, and having known that infinite divine grace and mercy, we too must learn to forgive others, ‘to infinity and beyond’!  Jesus showed us the extent of his Love for us all on the cross but he also gave us a prayer that reminds us all about Gods generosity and how we are to mirror that each day no matter what challenges we all face.  So do not lose hope the future can and will be good if we stay safe and continue to love and look after one another.

RIP Sandra Hazlewood, keep Stan and the whole family in your prayers at this time as they prepare for her funeral on 22nd September.

May the Lord grant Sandra eternal rest and peace in his nearer presence and may he hold Stan and all the family in his loving arms at this time.

With love & prayers.  Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile: 07960309005, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

The Rector is now on holiday

Thanks to our Reader Janet Maggs and Revd David Reynolds for covering our services whilst he is away.  If you need to speak to a member of the clergy please do contact Revd David on 01704 821684.

Sunday 20th September (2nd of the month)
  9:15 am          Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am           Morning Prayer, Brethertron

11:00 am           Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Harvest celebrations in all three churches will take place on the last Sunday in September the 27th .

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Church opening times on Wednesdays & Sundays

Bretherton                      9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Croston                        10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Mawdesley                     open via the side door most days

Coronavirus Village support groups
        Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group

Mawdesley     Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.

Bretherton     Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
email bethertoonwi@btinternett.com

Facebook Pages
As there is worship in all our churches this weekend we will share the worship from Blackburn Diocese which is led this week by the Board of Education who support our 190 Church of England Schools and Academies and work alongside churches and parishes in their children and youth work. It can be found on the Diocesan YouTube Site from 9am on Sunday:

https://www.youtube.com/user/blackburndiocese/videos

In addition there will be worship from Blackburn Cathedral, also from 9am on Sunday on their YouTube channel.

Our facebook pages are:

https://www.facebook.com/St-John-the-Baptist-Church-Bretherton-439088266487676/

https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelAllAngelsChurchCroston/

https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Mawdesley-w-Bispham-442669382795886/?ref=bookmarks

The Church of England posts on Facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this week’s service is to be led by All Saints Kings Heath, in south Birmingham.  The service reflects on the theme of forgiveness and includes contributions from Professor Nicola Slee, poet and theologian.  Like the CofE page to watch from 9am on Sunday.

https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online

Church Attendance records for school applications
The cards for the Autumn term, starting 6th September are now available in each church, please return your last record for the Spring term. If you want to register please complete a form and take a copy of the guidance notes which are available at Church.

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer/subscribe-our-prayer-podcasts

Please continue to support the Food Banks
Please to continue to support the foodbanks being as generous as you can be with your donations they are much appreciated by the foodbanks and the growing number of people who depend upon their support.

They need all the usual tins & packets, such as:
Cereals & cereal bars, Little bags of sugar (500g)
Instant mash, Tinned carrots, Laundry tablets/pods

In Croston Please leave your donations at either 19, Highfield Rd or 32, Westhead Rd, or bring to church.
In Bretherton – The box will remain at the gate, 154 South Road.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date!
In Mawdesley – please bring to church

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our local food banks and all the other good causes at this time.

Could you make a donation to support Church?
All our churches rely upon the generous donations of our parishioners to provide the financial support that both maintain our buildings and provide care and support to all those in the local community.  Although some use standing orders or other methods of online giving, many donors use cash, either on the plate or in weekly planned giving envelopes.

Even though we can now meet again for public worship we cannot hand a plate round for our usual collections, so we just leave a plate at the back of Church.

Donations or regular giving can be made by using ‘Online banking’ facilities, the bank details you will require to do this are given below for each church:

 

 

Bretherton – St. John the Baptist
St. Johns Bretherton PCC Account, No: 10031333, Sort code: 16 17 41

Croston – St. Michael & All Angels
St. Michaels PCC Account, No. 11215462, Sort Code 16-17-41

Also if you have no facility to pay electronically, envelopes can be dropped off with our Treasurer Derek Alty, 12 Lostock Road, Croston.

Mawdesley w Bispham St. Peter
Mawdesley PCC Account, No 87032805, Sort code 60 24 02.

If you decide to make a donation electronically you may be given the opportunity to set up a standing order, which will be far easier for us ensuring that we will have a more regular income.

The Collect
Almighty God, whose only Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence: give us pure hearts and steadfast wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.     Amen

First Reading
Joseph forgives his brothers, recognising that God can bring good out of evil.
Genesis 50.15-21
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’  So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, “Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him.  Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’  But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?  Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.  So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Second Reading
Paul urges members of the church in Rome to respect the opinions of others and leave judgement to God.
Romans 14.1-12
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions.  Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.  Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.  Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall.  And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.  We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister?  Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God.  For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.    

The Gospel
Jesus teaches that our forgiveness of others should be as limitless as God’s forgiveness of us.
Matthew 18.21-35
Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’  Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.  For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.  So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.”  And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.  But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.”  Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.”  But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt.  When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.  Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?”  And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt.  So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, the source of truth and love, keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, united in prayer and the breaking of bread, and one in joy and simplicity of heart, in Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen

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