This week’s Worship

Sunday 4th December – 2nd Sunday of Advent
(1st of the Month)

8:00 am       BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am      Family Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Mawdesley.
Wednesday   10:00 am Holy Communion, Croston
Friday           9:00 am Morning Prayer, Mawdesley

Our 3 churches are now open for Public Worship and they will remain open on Sundays and Wednesday’s for private prayer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
It is good to be open once again for public worship in all our three churches but our preparations for Christmas will be different this year.  As we get used to Tier 3 restrictions we cannot hold our usual fairs, festivals and services that draw large crowds for obvious reasons.   But there is good news that the first Vaccines will start to be issued very soon we should all be encouraged that infection rates continue to come down in our areas and across most regions in the country.  Hopefully this will soon feed through to reducing the pressure on the NHS.   But we must continue to be vigilant and even though rules are to be relaxed for a few days of Christmas it isn’t all over so we can’t have a free for all, that would be disasterous.
This week I was particularly moved by a BBC report from Burnley if you have not seen it is worth a look at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-55133081.

It reminded me of the depth of poverty that isn’t far away from us, perhaps even within our own communities.  I remember a visit to a house in my last parish in East Lancs where I went with a local councillor on behalf of a local charity to encourage the householder to apply for a grant.  It was quite a nice area of the town, the houses were only about 15 years old, and the house looked like all the others as we approached, but when we went in I was shocked with the depth of poverty that this mother and her daughter were living in.  It was so distressing, thankfully we were able to help, with furniture, bedding and basic necessities and we shared Christmas dinner with them.
It took a long time but eventually they did get their lives back on track, but it can be so hard to take that first step.
The current situation will get worse before it gets better – we have seen so many job loses this last week and that will have a real impact on the lives on many people who may have been doing so well before this pandemic hit.  People are proud and often we don’t know how much they may be struggling.  Please do continue to support others in the build up to Christmas and beyond, look out around you for people who may be in need, financially or perhaps struggling with the isolation and long dark nights.  It’s ok to ask for help and we have great groups in all our villages who are there to assist in a very personal and confidential way.

We are preparing to celebrate the incarnation at Christmas, when God came amongst us in the person of Jesus to help us all, he didn’t stay away remote hoping someone else would sort it out, he got stuck in and helped directly and what a difference he made.  We can do the same by doing our bit to look out and care for our neighbours, so do be generous with your resources, your time and your talents and help others where and when you can.  You will make a difference.         Amen

Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:
James Wright, Christine Hodge and David Heaton.

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

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

Resources – 1st Sunday of Advent
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for 2nd Sunday of Advent

Church opening times on Wednesdays & Sundays

Bretherton                9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Croston                    10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Service at 10 am on Wednesdays

Mawdesley                 10:15 am – 4:15 pm

Services during the week ahead

Tuesday        10 am Croston – Funeral of Christine Hodge
Wednesday   10 am Croston – Holy Communion
1:30 pm Mawdesley – Funeral of David Heaton
Friday            9 am Mawdesley – Morning Prayer

Sunday 13th December – 3rd Sunday of Advent
          9:15 am  Family Worship – Croston
11 am      Family Worship – Mawdesley
11 am      Holy Communion – Bretherton

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 & YouTube Online Worship
There is no online worship from the3churches this weekend but there is online Diocesan worship led by The Revd Sarah Gill and with a sermon from Bishop Julian’s Chaplain, the Revd Sam Cheesman.
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.
The Church of England posts on Facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am.  This week’s service will mark the Second Sunday of Advent, in partnership with Hope Together the online service will include reflections from Simon Thomas and Rachel Jordan-Wolf.

https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-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:

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

 

 

 

 

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.
Please continue to bring donations – all the usual store cupboard items are needed – also instant foods for those who are struggling to pay for fuel.
As Christmas approaches we’d also like to collect chocolate, biscuits, cake, etc., as extras.  These items must reach us by December 13th at the latest, but the sooner the better!
In Croston – You can leave donations in St. Michael’s Parish Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10 to 4pm, 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.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date!
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.

Advent Resources:

  • Every day in Advent – A child shall lead them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

daily readings and reflections will be posted on our facebook pages.  We also have a number of booklets available which will be in all our churches or if you would like one delivered please contact the Rector on 01772 600548 or email revmwoods@gmail.com

  • Christmas Free for All.Online Carols with comedy, kids and evangelistic message and hosted by our Bishops.
  • Nine Lessons and Carols Service.The traditional Carol service from our Cathedral will be broadcast at 4pm on December 20 on YouTube with a recording available after the live broadcast. Links from the Cathedral webpage.
  • Blue Christmas.This will be a short service for those bereaved and missing loved ones at Christmas.
    Further details of other resources =and confirmation of dates will follow in future updates.

 

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
Almighty God, purify our hearts and minds, that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as judge and saviour we may be ready to receive him, who is our Lord and our God.   Amen

First Reading
Most scholars see this as the beginning of a new section in Isaiah, written to God’s people in exile. The words offer comfort and assurance that God, having judged them, will save them.

Isaiah 40.1-11
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’
A voice says, ‘Cry out!’  And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’  See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Second Reading
The author addresses a real concern in the early Church: Jesus had not returned. God’s time is different from human time, and the passage offers instruction about how to live as we wait.
2 Peter 3.8-15a
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.  The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.  Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?  But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.  Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

The Gospel
Mark does not have a lengthy narrative of Jesus’ birth. Instead, he plunges into the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Everything that follows in his Gospel is an explanation of his vibrant opening.
Mark 1.1-8
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight”’, John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

Prayer after Communion
Father in heaven, who sent your Son to redeem the world and will send him again to be our judge: give us grace so to imitate him in the humility and purity of his first coming that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

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