This week’s Worship

Sunday 19th September 2021 16th Sunday after Trinity (3rd Sun.)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion, Croston

11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Baptism with Communion, Mawdesley

Wednesday 10 am   Holy Communion Croston

Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley has now restarted

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
The longest journey we make in life is the journey from the head to the heart, and the disciples, despite their closeness to Jesus, were not strangers to this reality.  They had lived with and worked alongside Jesus for a considerable time, absorbing his teaching, witnessing his miracles and sharing actively in his ministry and mission. And yet still they did not get the message, they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.  Instead they end up arguing amongst themselves about which of them is the greatest. Their silence when Jesus asks them what they were arguing about speaks volumes, their petty strivings and jostling for position were falling far short of the model offered them by their teacher.  If only the disciples had ears to hear, they would have picked up from Jesus’ prediction of his Passion and death just how costly this way of life and being were to be.  The way of Christ consistently reverses the values of this world, and in his kingdom there is no place for envy, or concern with one’s place in any pecking order.
Jesus persists and in order to make his point even more forcefully, he gives the disciples a visual illustration: he places a child in their midst. “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
It is hard for us today to realise just how shocking this must have been for the disciples.  Children were not deemed to have anything of value to contribute until they reached the age of maturity, Israelite society considered the individual child to be a non-person, and here was Jesus, saying that the one who welcomed the child welcomed not only Jesus, but also the Father who sent him.
Time and again in the Gospels, Jesus demonstrates to us that the values of the world and those of God’s kingdom are diametrically opposed.  We cannot reverence the true and living God and at the same time fuel those destructive urges of pride, envy and covetousness which lead us to believe we can only be happy if we are better, or have more, than our neighbour.  Jesus points to the child to challenge his disciples to seek the living God in what the world rejects as of no account, and his challenge is as alive today as it was 2,000 years ago.  It is one thing to grasp the message of Jesus with our minds, another to embrace it with our hearts.  Jesus calls us to welcome him in the little, the poor and the powerless of the world.

With love & prayers.         Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email:

Sunday 26th September 2021 17th Sunday after Trinity (4th Sun.)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion, Croston

9:30 am      Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton

Harvest Festivals 3rd October

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:, Jean Killingbeck
Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon her, may she rest in peace and rise in glory. 

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Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
An Act of Worship from Blackburn Cathedral will be available every Sunday from 9am.  You can view this on the Cathedral YouTube channel here: or on their facebook page
This week’s Church of England online worship explores more about following the example of Christ.  Led by the Bishop of Maidstone, this week’s service comes from St Peter’s, Colchester.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.

Who Me? – Could God be calling you to something but you’re just not sure? On Sept 21st @ 7.30pm people in Lancashire have the opportunity to explore God’s call from the comfort of their own home. To book a place email:

Harvest supper on Oct. 2nd (Croston Old School).  Hotpot, dessert, live music and great company.  All for only £10.  Please contact the rector if you would like to join us.

Baptisms – we currently have a waiting list for baptisms and are looking now at dates in December and January, thank you for your patience.

Faith reference cards for school applications
If you would like a Faith reference card please email the Rector.

Help for Asylum Seekers/Refugees
The British Red Cross is the UK’s largest provider of services for support of Refugees
& Asylum Seekers.  They are still working hard to support those people who fled from the Syrian Crisis a couple of years ago, some have still not been ‘settled’ and still need support.
Now, the Afghan situation has compounded the need, 84 families are expected to come to our region in the next few weeks.
They will need a supply of school uniforms, especially shoes – for all ages of children.
If you have any items which your children have out-grown please bring them to: St. Michael’s church on a Wed. or Sun. 10-4pm.

Please do continue to support the Food Bank
Despite the feeling that we are beginning to live ‘normally’, many families continue to struggle.
If you are able, please continue to support this worthy enterprise donations can be left at all our churches.



The Collect
Lord of creation, whose glory is around and within us: open our eyes to your wonders, that we may serve you with reverence and know your peace at our lives’ end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.        Amen

First Reading
The ungodly scheme in vain to bring about the downfall of the righteous.
Wisdom of Solomon 1.16-2.1,12-22
But the ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death; considering him a friend, they pined away            and made a covenant with him, because they are fit to belong to his company.  For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, ‘Short and sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a life comes to its end, and no one has been known to return from Hades.
‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.  He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.  He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange.  We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father.
Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God’s child, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
Let us test him with insult and torture, so that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected.’  Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hoped for the wages of holiness, nor discerned the prize for blameless souls;

Second Reading
A call to turn away from conflicts and covetousness and live in submission to God’s ways of wisdom and peace.
James 3.13-4.3,7-8a
Who is wise and understanding among you?  Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth.   Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.  For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.   But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.   And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?   You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask.   You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

The Gospel
The disciples understand neither the way of suffering love that lies ahead of Jesus, nor the humility which should flow from following him.
Mark 9.30-37
After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee.  He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’
But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’   But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.   He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’  Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them,  ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Prayer after Communion
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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