This week’s Worship

2nd of Sunday of Easter 24th April (4th Sun.)
                    9:15 am        Holy Communion, Croston
9:30 am       Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton

Wednesday 10:00 am      Holy Communion, Croston
Friday                     9:00 am     Morning Prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Even before the first Gospel was written, about forty years after Jesus died, Paul’s letters recorded the widespread belief in the resurrection.   Witnesses were still alive, however, some of their evidence is conflicting, which naturally raised doubts about their accuracy.  This week’s Gospel story is only documented by John, and when taken together with the accounts of the empty tomb, those of the resurrection appearances vary; exactly who went to the tomb and in what order, the number of angels, whether the stone was already rolled away, where and when and to whom Jesus first appeared – all different.  All of this strangely adds to their authenticity and is to be expected as people tend to see details that are particularly relevant to them.  When several witnesses tell exactly the same story, it often indicates that there has been collusion, and it’s less likely to be true!
Each evangelist was affected in different ways by what they saw first-hand or heard from people who were there and John admits that Jesus did many other things, not recorded in his book.  None of the Gospels can possibly be complete accounts of everything Jesus said and did, but each writer would echo John’s declaration that their accounts “are written so that you may come to believe”.
John choses to record the fact that Thomas doubted his colleagues’ account, and this story reassures us that God understands our doubts and does not condemn us for them.   He certainly didn’t condemn Thomas – Jesus came back for Thomas, who went on to spread the Gospel, perhaps as far as India.
Doubts are a vital part of faith: without them, faith may be reduced to blind obedience, but our faith is based on our own personal relationship with Jesus, and relationships change with time.  As we look for Jesus at work in the world today through the witness of other people, in transformed lives, and as we ask Jesus into our own lives, to see him for ourselves, our relationship with him will hopefully grow and change.  Thomas said, “Unless I see, I will not believe”, that glimmer of faith was enough, because Jesus loves each of us so much that nothing will keep him out, as long as we want to see him.
If we really want to see him, he is there: in the Bible, in those around us, in the bread and wine of our Holy Communion, and in our everyday lives.  He breathes his Spirit on us, and when we say, with Thomas, “My Lord and my God”, then we too are sent to bear witness, so that our testimony and our lives may help others to believe.

Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Next Sunday – 3rd Sunday of Easter – 1st May (1st Sun.)
               9:00 am            Family Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am             Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am             Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Mawdesley Prayer Group, Tues. 26th April 10:45 for 11am start.
Note change of venue for this meeting to 5, Tarnbeck.
Hope you can come and join us.  Please bring a Bibles.

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Allyne Clarkson & Jean Rigby
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory. 

Dates for funerals

Jean Rigby 12:30 pm Tuesday 26th April, Bretherton Parish Church

 

 

 

Please be Vigilant
Flagstone thefts from churches in the Northwest
Please keep an extra watch over the churches
and report any suspicious activity to the police
immediately, also take a note of number plates.

Covid Guidance

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • We are no longer required to wear face masks but please be mindful of those who may be less confident and choose to wear a mask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please do continue your support of the Food Bank

Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we all hear in the news financial pressures are increasing and more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will continue to make a real difference to people’s lives.

 

 

 

 

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 weeks Church of England worship A Service for Low Sunday, from The Benefice of Trelawny in Truro Diocese Rev Richard Allen leads this week’s service, and is preaching on The Resurrection.
You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via

St. Michael & All Angels
Childrens Sunday Club every 1st and 3rd Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humanitarian Disaster – ways to support for the people of Ukraine
See our Facebook page and posters in Church for ways to support this locally.  The disasters and emergency committee appeal can be found at: www.dec.org.uk which is an effective way to offer your support.

 

Could you make an Easter donation to 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 would greatly help support our regular income.


The Collect
Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts, that we may seek the good of others and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father.               Amen

First Reading
The apostles declare their obedience to God before the high priest.
Acts 5.27-32
When the temple police had brought the apostles, they made them stand before the council.  The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority.
The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’

Second Reading
John greets the churches for whom he has been given prophecies. He exalts the name of the resurrected Christ, whose redemptive triumph will be sealed in his return and rule.
Revelation 1.4-8
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.  ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

The Gospel
The resurrected Jesus appears twice to his disciples, bringing them peace and joy. On his second appearance he resolves the doubts of Thomas, the disciple previously absent, and blesses those who believe without having physically seen him.
John 20.19-31
When it was evening on the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them.
Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it in my side.  Do not doubt but believe.’
Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.
But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God our Father, through our Saviour Jesus Christ you have assured your children of eternal life and in baptism have made us one with him: deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

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