This week’s Worship

Sunday 11th April 2021 2nd Sunday of Easter (2nd Sunday)
            9:15 am      Family Worship – Croston
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Monday        1:30 pm – Funeral – Kathleen Farrington, Croston

Wednesday   10am Holy Communion, Croston

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Yesterday the official statement from Buckingham Palace was issued: It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.  Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’   That was followed by a day filled with tributes from across the nation, the Commonwealth and the world, as all sorts of people have begun to pay their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh and express their condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal family.  At times like this we all share the deep sadness of someone who served his country with great dignity and loyalty for more than 60 years as he stood alongside, so often one step behind, the Queen.  Perhaps his greatest legacy will be the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, which provides vital opportunities to young people across the nation and beyond.  Prince Philip, has been a rock and confident to the Queen and his life is marked in service and duty both to her and to this nation, this was indeed his calling. He faithfully put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury; ‘he provided an outstanding example of Christian service.’   However he was human like the rest of us and his life could not have been easy, constantly being in the public eye, but he kept on going, and throughout his life his faith was a source of comfort and strength to him.  It seems to me that he had a healthy questioning faith and the former Archbishop of York John Sentamu joked, affectionately yesterday, saying he will ‘greatly miss his old sparring partner’.  They shared a birthday and Prince Phillip often enjoyed entering into debate questioning the Archbishop after his sermons.
On this 2nd Sunday of Easter Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection as they were grieving his death and despite their fear and grief, mostly they recognise him and rejoice.   However Thomas doesn’t just go with the flow, and I just love Thomas for his honesty in admitting his doubts and questions because so many of us have a similar experience too.  We go throughout our lives holding doubt and faith together which is why we call it faith not knowledge.
Thomas is also a great example of faithfulness as he kept going with his faith in the midst of questions and doubts, and just as Jesus stepped through the locked doors, so he stepped through Thomas’ doubt.  Let us be like Thomas – honest before God and others, questioning faith and seeking truth, and ready to bow down in worship of the God who meets us just where we are.  May we all remain faithful through all the challenges of life and may we always be able to declare, just as Thomas did, “My Lord and my God!”

May the risen Christ comfort and strengthen Her Majesty the Queen, the wider Royal family and all those who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time, and may they know that peace that passes all our understanding.

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

Resources – Easter Week
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for 2nd Sunday of Easter
3)       Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets

Sunday 18th April 2021 2nd Sunday of Easter (3rd Sunday)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Mawdesley

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

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
Kathleen Farrington, Arline Yvonne O’Hara, Brian Laithwaite,
Anne Rawstorne, Laurence Rawstorne

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

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HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021
8 days of official mourning have been declared following the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 9th April aged 99. A bell was tolled in all three churches yesterday at 12 noon as a mark of respect. Please do keep Her Majesty the Queen and all the members of the Royal Family in your prayers at this time of great sadness for them.
If you would like to leave a message of condolence you can do so online at:
https://www.churchofengland.org/remembering-his-royal-highness-prince-philip.

Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship comes from Holy Trinity church in Tarleton and is led by Fr Mark Soady. This will be livestreamed at 10.30 am on their Facebook site which is here.  The service will also be on the Diocesan YouTube channel.
https://www.youtube.com/user/blackburndiocese

 

 

This weeks Church of England worship will be online on Sunday morning at;  https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/church-online/weekly-online-services or
https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland/

Baptisms to Recommence after Easter
We will be restarting baptisms after Easter but we will be complying with Covid-19 restrictions and numbers will be limited.  We will mirror the restrictions placed on Weddings which are:
No earlier than 12th April: limit 15 people excluding workers
No earlier than 17th May: limit 30 people excluding workers
No earlier than 21st June: hopefully all restrictions lifted

Note: dependent upon the government guidelines being confirmed
Apologies it has taken longer than anticipated to write to all who had baptisms cancelled since the start of Covid and those who have recently made enquiries.


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 believers put their faith in the testimony of the apostles and share their possessions.
Acts 4:32-35
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.  With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.  They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Second Reading
Walking in the light of God and confessing our sins we have an advocate in heaven.
1 John 1:1 – 2:2
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us – we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.  We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Gospel
The risen Jesus reveals himself among the disciples and banishes Thomas’s doubts.
John 20:19-end
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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