This week’s Worship

Sunday 17th January 2021 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (3rd Sunday)

       9:15 am     Holy Communion – Croston
11 am       Holy Communion – Mawdesley

Wednesday 10:00 am Holy Communion, Croston

** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **

The week of Prayer for Christian Unity
begins on Monday 18th January

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
The anticipation and excitement of Christmas and New Year are well behind us now and on Sunday its only 342 days to Christmas 2021 and I am sure we are all hoping things are a little more normal.  But equally I suspect we are also a bit wary because whilst we have hope on the horizon now we are just not sure what the future will bring!  That is true for all aspects of our life, whilst we may feel comfortable, secure, safe, healthy … we don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring.  When I also look at my life of faith that is also true, whilst I was baptised as a child and grew up in a Christian family it was in my 30’s before I made a more personal commitment to follow Christ when I was confirmed, but I had no idea where that would lead – becoming a priest in the Church of England wasn’t anywhere in my thoughts.  But as I look back whilst the invitation to follow came from Christ it has been the support of family, fellow Christians and friends that has carried me through the adventures of life.  When I played football for Croston Sports Club back in the 80’s I never imagined being here as Rector.  We will all have our own journeys to reflect upon, there will have been times of great fruitfulness and satisfaction but I expect there will have also been more arid and challenging times as well.  Jesus invites us all to “Come and see” what he has in store for us and as we follow in faith it won’t always be easy, but be in no doubt he is always with us to give us strength for the journey.
Most of us will have seen the poem ‘Footprints in the sand’ where a person who sees two pairs of footprints in the sand, one of which belonged to God and another to him or herself.  But then they become troubled and ask a question.

“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered,
“My precious child, I love you and will never leave you,
during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

It’s so important for us all to remember that our Lord is always there for us and especially so in times of trial or trouble, even when we may not feel or fully know that support.  So many at this time I know are missing coming into our church buildings to worship and feel the physical support of your fellow Christian brothers and sisters.  Please be assured of our support wherever you are, for many it is right and proper to avoid Public worship but our Lord is still there with you at home.   There is a lovely little Pamphlet, ‘Abiding in Christ’, attached with this bulletin, it comes from the Churches together in Britain and Ireland, please do delve into it at home and I hope you find it helpful.

So in this week ahead try and ‘Simply “be” in this place (wherever you may be) and be carried by the prayer and the reality that it is God, in Christ and through the Holy Spirit, who carries us and accompanies us. Always.              May you all remain a safe and well.

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






Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:

Vera Ayre, Mildred Duff,
Barbara Hughes and James Hughes

Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †

Resources – 2nd Sunday of Epiphany
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for the Baptism of Christ
3)       Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
4)       Week of prayer for Christian Unity prayer pamphlet

Sunday 24th January 2021 3rd after Epiphany (4th of the month)
          9:15 am        Holy Communion – Croston
11 am            Holy Communion – Bretherton

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
This year is from 15th – 24th January and the Lancashire Service for the County will take place via zoom on Sunday January 24th at 7pm.
You can register via Eventbrite here:






The pamphlet attached is a resource that can be used anytime at home not just during this week ahead – I hope you enjoy using it.


  • It is not an obligation to attend its ok to worship from home.
  • If you join us for Public worship you must not socialise with people who are not from your household or bubble.
  • People should stay at home as much as possible
  • You cannot meet other people indoors or in your garden, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
  • You can meet with one person not in your household or support bubble in a public space for exercise.






 If you are isolating at home this resource may be helpful especially if you do not access the services online



This resource may be helpful for those who are unable to return to church services at the moment, or for anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely and who doesn’t have access to the internet.
There are also the daily prayer resources on the Church of England Website where you can download apps at:




Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship celebrates the Baptism of Christ and is led by Fr Shaun Baldwin from St Aidan’s Bamber Bridge and St Leonard’s Walton-le-Dale and can be accessed from 9 am via:

This weeks Church of England worship is from St Alban’s, Fulham  is led by Rev Matt Hogg, this online service celebrates the Second Sunday of Epiphany.  You can find and follow the order of service at

We are looking to livestream some services in the future if anyone can offer any advice please contact Revd Michael.

Coronavirus Village support groups
       Croston      COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley   Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton   Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)


Christingle – support for Childrens society

I have to confess that I was very late making my own donation to the childrens society this year because as I had to go online rather than just pop it in an envelope at one of our Christingle services.  We normally raise over £700 to support the work of the work of the Childrens society but this year donations are much lower.  I may not be the only one who forgot!  So if you can help, and I do realise some will be finding it very tough financially, please visit our local fundraising page at:

Please do support the important work that they do fighting for the hope and happiness of young people when it’s threatened by abuse, exploitation and neglect.  If you would like a collection box to support them throughout the year please contact Diane Marston (Croston) or Rosemary Leigh (Mawdesley).



Please do continue to support the Food Banks
All the food brought into the3Chuches is taken to the ecumenical food bank in Skemersdale, supported by the Trussell Trust.
In Croston – You can leave donations in St. Michael’s Parish Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10 to 4pm or bring them to 32, Westhead Road or to 19, Highfield Road.
In Bretherton – You can leave donations in St. John the Baptist Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 9:30 to 3:30 pm or in the box at the gate at 154 South Road.
In Mawdesley – You can leave donations in St. Peters Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10:30 to 4:30 pm or monetary gifts in sealed envelopes please to Robin Hood Cottage, Blue Stone Lane (Opposite Nook Lane).

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.

As our Churches once again close this will affect us greatly at what is traditionally a busy couple of months in the build up to Christmas.

Any donations you could make will be greatly received and one off donations or regular giving can be made by using ‘Online banking’ facilities, the bank details you will require to do this for each church are:

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 greatly help support our regular income.

The Collect
Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end: bring us with the whole creation to your glory, hidden through past ages and made known in Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                                                                       Amen

First Reading
Samuel doesn’t recognise the voice of the Lord calling him. When Eli realises it is the Lord, he teaches the boy how to respond.
1 Samuel 3:1-10

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.
Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down.
The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.  The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.  Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Second Reading
The one being in all of heaven and earth who is worthy of opening the mysterious scroll is both the Lion of Judah and a slaughtered lamb.
Revelation 5:1-10
Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’
And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it.  And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’
Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.  When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  They sing a new song:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign on earth.’

The Gospel
Jesus engages in conversation with Nathanael and reveals both his knowledge of Nathanael and something about his own identity.
John 1:43-51
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’  Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’
Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’
Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’  Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’
Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?  You will see greater things than these.’
And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

Prayer after Communion
God of glory, you nourish us with your Word who is the bread of life:

fill us with your Holy Spirit that through us the light of your glory may shine in all the world.  We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen




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