This week’s Worship
2nd Sunday of Advent 5th December (1st Sun.)
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 am Holy Communion Croston
Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
There is so much preparation that goes on at this time of year isn’t there, at home, in church and in our schools. The government also face the challenge of preparing responses to the pandemic, and earlier this week new restrictions came into force relating to the wearing of face masks once again in some settings, shops and schools in particular. The Church of England has now reviewed the latest advice and we are now following their recommendations and asking people to once again wear facemasks when worshipping at Church. We are doing this because we care about ourselves and one another so we ask for your understanding and support in the the approach we are taking.
There’s no substitute for preparation, if we want a successful outcome it is usually dependent on thorough preparation, anyone who has decorated a house will know that you will only get an excellent finish if you have done some good preparation. Preparation is an essential part of the end product – and that’s where John the Baptist comes in as he had a significant role in the story of Jesus.
Luke emphasises three things about John: he was called by God in the wilderness; he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and he was the one who prepared the way for the Lord.
John’s ministry is a direct result of the word of the Lord coming to him, echoing the activity and authority of the prophets of old.
John uses baptism as a symbol of repentance – a turning-round; the change of heart and mind which opens us up to receive the message of Jesus. Through the act of baptism we are welcomed into the body of Christ and through the presence of the Holy Spirit, we grow in faith.
John is essentially the “preparer”, the one who goes before, he is the one who gives the wake up call to the people and he makes sure they are ready to receive the message of Jesus.
We are all aware of the need for practical preparations for Christmas, but what about our spiritual preparation? The season of Advent offers the opportunity to look at ourselves and our behaviour in the light of God’s love. This should encourage us to prepare for the coming of Jesus by refocusing our hearts and minds on him and the love that we see flowing out of all that he is and does. The preaching of John the Baptist challenges us to look beyond the immediate and to be alert to the qualities which really matter and which can transform our lives and the world.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email: email@example.com
Next Sunday – 3rd Sunday of Advent 5th December (2nd Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston (Family worship now 19th)
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:
- We are following the Church of England Advise and asking people to wear a face mask when coming to worship in Church
- Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
- Be mindful of those who may be less confident, especially those choosing to wear a mask
- Don’t forget Hands, Face Space guidance
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4GsctW6SLc or on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlackburnCathedral
This week’s Church of England worship explores the Christingle with The Children’s Society. You can watch the service from 9am on Sunday https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland.
You can find out what’s planned for the rest of Advent at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/advent-and-christmas-2021-resources-heart-christmas
Thank you for your support of the Food Bank
As Christmas approaches and financial pressures increase more families continue to struggle and your donations are so important.
At this time of year Christmas goodies would be welcomed, especially children’s chocs. Donations can be left at all our churches.
The last day for bringing Christmas goodies is Sunday 12th Dec.
Thanks to everyone who supported Bretherton School Christmas Fayre earlier this week.
Croston Christmas tree Festival
Thanks to everyone who supported this event and special thanks to the team of volunteers who worked so hard to make all this happen.
Well done to Trinity St. Michaels whose tree was voted the best.
Well Done Mawdesley St. Peters
Who were the winners of our MP Katherine Fletchers Christmas Card Competition and their winning design was our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson earlier this week in the House of Commons.
Christmas Tree Stockings to be distributed to 350 people.
These will include chocolates and a message of love from our Churches. Recipients will include the staff and residents of Croston Park, Marsh House, staff of Croston and Bretherton Primary Schools, Rainbow House, the Women’s Refuge in Leyland, and some to St Catherine’s Hospice.
Thanks to our friends at the Methodist Church for organising this.
We have Cancelled the Christingle Service Scheduled for 4pm Sunday 12th December at St. Peters Mawdesley.
We will review the Christmas Eve Christingle services planned for Bretherton and Croston nearer the time.
Croston walking Nativity – Sunday 19th December 9:15 am.
We are holding our first walking Nativity this year in conjunction with Trinity Methodist Church, we will commence at 9:15 am in St. Michaels and we will finish the walk at the Methodist Church.
Note this will replace the usual family worship for December which would be on 12th Dec. which will now be Holy Communion.
Croston Christmas Fair Sunday 5th December from 12 noon
*Note Road Closure from 12 noon to 5:30 pm* Markets in 4 Venues, 1.30pm to 4pm Santa in his grotto, lights switch on at 5 pm followed by Candlelit procession to Church for Carols with Eccleston Brass Band.
Vintage Tractor and Trailer rides from Bishop Rawstorne car park.
Car parking available at Bishop Rawstorne School will close at 7pm.
After Gods own heart – a Free Advent booklet available in Church and daily on our Facebook pages throughout Advent
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.
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 transfer funds 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.
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
God’s messenger is coming to prepare the way. He will act as a refiner and purify the descendants of Levi.
See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Paul gives thanks for the Philippians, and prays that that their faith will bear fruit and enable them to come safely before Christ’s judgement.
I thank my God every time I remember you.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.
John the Baptist, God’s messenger, breaks into the ongoing history of the world.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”’
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