Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Things are changing so quickly now with lockdown restrictions being eased almost on a daily basis so some will be eagerly awaiting these steps back towards a new normality whilst others will be rather fearful. It’s all about assessing the risk and making difficult judgments about what we can and cant do to stimulate the economy and give us back some personal freedom without being too cavalier and setting off a 2nd spike in infections, I don’t envy the government one bit. We have seen the best of human nature in so many ways during these last 3 months with communities pulling together to support one another and care for those most vulnerable. Our local shopkeepers have done amazing jobs, as have those who work in our care homes, hospitals, schools and those who keep us safe.
Sadly now we are beginning to see the other less palatable side of human nature, the selfishness and lack of respect some people have not only putting their lives at risk but they also risk the lives of all of us should there selfish gatherings kick start the dreaded 2nd spike! Whether it be gathering at illegal raves, on overcrowded beaches or celebrate their team being crowned premier league champions, their selfish actions put us all at risk. It’s made even worse by the complete disregard for the government guidance, law and order and the disgraceful mess that they leave behind for others to clean up!
This selfishness is at the heart of so much that is wrong with the world and must be so heart breaking for all those who have risked their lives to save others during this pandemic. All this does make me so angry and I find it hard to love these selfish people – but as a Christian we are called to love people – even those we may dislike. So much of Jesus’ teaching is aimed at selfish behaviour as he seeks to encourage people to put others before themselves, without expectations of reward other than knowing that we are doing Gods will. St Ignatius of Loyola prays that he might “give and not… count the cost… toil, and not… seek for rest… labour, and not… ask for reward – except to know that I am doing your will”. It’s so hard though to put that into practice and we may fail, but we do need to keep on persevering because doing God’s work is a reward in itself, and Jesus promises that our self-giving gestures and acts of true altruism will earn us something infinitely more fulfilling than any material gain.
Archbishop Justin offered these words of hope in his thought for the day reflection earlier this week where he was hoping for a better future:
‘This new future requires of us the ability to receive as gift, with wonder and gratitude, the gift of each other with our differences, the gift of creation, supremely the gift of God. Those are the gifts with which to rethink, to rebuild the future. Repentance, forgiving, conversion of heart and of morals, gifts given and received of love: these are the greatest tools to build the greatest hope for the greatest future.’
Gathering together once again for worship
It is good news that as from the 4th July we are able to gather again for worship in our church buildings, this is an important moment, however we must think carefully about when we feel it is the right time for us recommence public worship together. It has all come about so quickly, as we have only just been able to open our doors for private prayer and now we are told we can gather for public worship again. During lockdown we’ve explored and found new ways to walk together with Jesus and love and serve our neighbours. So over the next few days we will determine when we will start public again in our 3 churches and we will communicate that to you.
Please do be mindful that whenever we do gather together some will be carrying burdens of grief and anxiety whilst others will be filled with hope and excitement. But again in the words of Justin Archbishop of Canterbury whenever we do gather together ‘we do not gather just by ourselves. We are gathered in the embrace of God who holds our grief’s, fears and hopes, and who walks with us into this new and uncertain future, lighting our path along the way.’
So please pray for us as we seek to determine when and how we will return to our beloved buildings, that we will make the right decision.
Please also remember in your prayers the recently departed soul of:
Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord may she rest in the peace of Christ and rise in his glory.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile: 07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Church opening times on Wednesdays & Sundays from 24th June.
Bretherton 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Croston 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Mawdesley w Bispham 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Coronavirus Village support groups
Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
This week’s worship video will be available from 9 am
Join in personal daily prayer using the resources on the Church of England Website at:
Or you can download the ‘Daily Prayer’ App to your phone or tablet.
The Church of England posts on Facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this week’s service explores the welcome that God offers us to experience His love, and features contributions from St Martin-in-the-Fields and Holy Trinity Platt, and reflections on welcome and hospitality from a Bristol University student and a team manager of nine churches in Gloucestershire.
The3churches YouTube Channel
We now have a YouTube channel for the3churches.
Access the videos by searching for ‘the3churches youtube’ on your search engine or the3churches directly on YouTube or follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdXC7P9kQ3xEk_kKf5JZE-A
Bretherton WI Scarecrow Festival Sat. 27th June to Sunday 5th July
Coffee Day Eccumenical Worship 1 pm Saturday 4th July
Even though we have had to cancel our normal walk of witness and village celebrations there will be an Eccumenical online service to mark the day.
On our Facebook and YouTube Channel and the Methodist website as well.
Mawdesley Tea Party Weekend Saturday 11th July
The normal Tea Party day that brings everyone together in a Walk of Witness and Celebration of our Community has been cancelled this year.
Following on from the VE day celebrations Revd David Reynolds has kindly agreed to work with others as he says: ‘to explore how we can celebrate Tea Party in other ways. Picnics in your garden or other favourite place with family and allowed circle of friends, making your own walk around the village, watching our online worship singing our usual familiar hymns Onward Christian Soldiers and The Church’s One Foundation!!
The Mawdesley FaceBook pages have been brilliant during lockdown.
Why not dig out ANY old or recent photos of family in the past or present (weddings, baptisms, Waking Days, anything really). Tell us the stories that go with them. Let us create a sense of community by doing this. We will start posting photos the week before and that would build up excitement for the Day.
After or during the day post your pics and tell us how you celebrated.’
Please check out the Mawdesley facebook pages for more up to date information in the build up to the big day and please do join us to celebrate.
Facebook pages: St-Peters-Mawdesley-w-Bispham, Mawdesley – Help each other out, Mawdesley Memories
Please continue to support the Food Banks
Please to continue to support our foodbanks being as generous as you can be with your donations they are much appreciated by the foodbanks and especially by the growing number of people who depend upon their support.
In Croston Please leave your donations at either 19, Highfield Rd or 32, Westhead Rd. There are regular runs to the Food Bank.
In Bretherton – The box will remain at the gate, 154 South Road.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date!
In Mawdesley – we have been giving donations of money rather than food which gives the foodbank flexibility to buy what they need at specific times. Any donations can be dropped at Robin Hood Cottage, Bluestone Lane, Mawdesley, L40 2RG (opposite Nook Lane), cheques should be made payable to ‘Ormskirk Food Bank’ these will then be delivered to the Food bank on a regular basis. Eggs are also available from Robin Hood Cottage (thanks to Rosemary & the hens of course)
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 in the plate or in weekly planned giving envelopes.
As good stewards, although at present we are unable to meet together in our church buildings, but we are still the church and together we share the privilege and responsibility of ensuring that the ministry can go on and we can continue to be a symbol of God’s presence in our local communities.
Even though the doors of our buildings are now open again we cannot yet take collections of money. Donations or regular giving can be made by using ‘Online banking’ facilities, the bank details you will require to do this are given below for each church:
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 will be far easier for us ensuring that we will have a more regular income.
Order Of Service
Music ‘This is the Day that the Lord has made’
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit
This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving,
to hear and receive God’s holy word,
to pray for the needs of the world that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God.
As we look back over the last few days we acknowledge our weaknesses and faults… as we say together:
We are sorry that we have forgotten Your teaching, Lord.
We have thought and said and done wrong things.
We have hurt others, and have not done the good things that we should have done.
Lift our worries and fears from us and help us to begin again, starting today.
May the God of love bring us back to Himself,
forgive us our sins and assure us of His eternal love,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Jubilate – a Song of Joy Psalm 100
O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before His presence with a song.
Know that the Lord is God;
it is He that has made us and we are His;
we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and bless His name.
For the Lord is gracious; His steadfast love is everlasting,
and His faithfulness endures from generation to generation.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
The Word of God
some verses from Matt. 10
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages,
teaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God…
Jesus spoke to His Apostles.
He gave them authority to cure every disease and every sickness.
He sent them out to proclaim the good news that, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’
Jesus also said, ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
(God, our Heavenly Father)
St. Theresa of Avila 1515-82
Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ’s compassion to the world,
yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good,
yours are the hands with which He is to bless people now.
We believe the grace of God is for the healing of all the world,
and so we rejoice to declare our faith…
We trust in God, the Father,
who has shown love and kindness to us,
and in His mercy saved us,
not for any good deed of ours but because He loves us.
We trust in Jesus, who gave Himself up for us,
to free us from our sin so that we may follow His example every day.
We trust in the Holy Spirit, whom God pours out on us generously, so that we might have eternal life.
Music ‘Be Still for the Presence of the Lord’
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, (We usually sing this one)
Our Father, in Heaven, Holy is Your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done,
On Earth, as in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Holy is Your Name…
Forgive us our sins as we forgive others.
Holy is Your Name…
Lead us not into temptation –
Deliver us from evil…
For the Kingdom, the Power,
the Glory are Yours,
Now and forever, now and forever.
Blessing & Grace
May the Father,
from whom every family on earth and heaven receives its name,
strengthen us with His Spirit,
so that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith…
The Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all now and forever.
Music ‘Jubilate, everybody’
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Jeremiah is face to face with his opponent, Hananiah, who, in the previous verses, has flatly contradicted Jeremiah’s message. Hananiah is reminded that the test of a true prophet is found when his or her words turn out to be true.
Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfil the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.’
In this reading we are told plainly that wrongdoing of every sort is destructive and to be avoided. The essence of life with God is living a good life. So we are to turn away from sin and constantly turn to God.
Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If we are sensitive to God’s servants, realising who they are and welcoming their message and the quality of life within them, we will not miss out on our reward.
‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
Prayer after Communion
O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining and whose power we cannot comprehend: show us your glory as far as we can grasp it, and shield us from knowing more than we can bear until we may look upon you without fear; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.