This week’s Worship

3rd Sunday of Advent 12th 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
The Christingle Service scheduled for 4pm on Sunday 12th Dec.
at St. Peters Mawdesley has been cancelled.

Wednesday 10 am    Holy Communion Croston
Friday 9am             Morning Prayer at Mawdesley

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Over recent months we seem to have moved from one government climb down to another, back in November we saw Boris Johnson trying to defend Owen Paterson when he repeatedly broke lobbying rules.  This last week we have had the ‘Downing Street’ party or ‘business meeting’ fiasco, which is now being investigated by officials, but only after the leaking of that embarrassing video.
Time and time again we have investigations where we are told that lessons will be learnt and in an attempt to put things right, new systems and processes are introduced to ensure that good practice is upheld.   We will have to wait and see what happens this time.
John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of God’s kingdom, he was advocating that it wasn’t new systems that were required but rather hearts and minds that needed to be transformed.
Although  Luke tells us that John is preaching “good news”, his initial impact was to disturb his listeners, as he calls the crowd a “brood of vipers”, and speaks of God’s imminent, inescapable judgement.
It seems that people get the message as John offers a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”.
John, is inviting people into Gods kingdom, giving them the opportunity to bring their lives in line with his will while there is still time to do so. John brings a message of hope as he urges his hearers to prepare for the ultimate coming of Emmanuel – Jesus, God among them.
John’s message in reality is very simple, God’s faithful are called to act in love, honesty, integrity and generosity in all that they do and say, they are to put the needs of others’ above personal greed.
This message of a prophet in the Palestinian wilderness two thousand years ago is still relevant for us today and Advent provides us with an opportunity to attend to putting our own lives in order.
These last 2 years have shown that many of us do want to care and support others and there have been countless examples of simple acts of kindness that show clearly how much we care for one another.
We may feel that whatever we can do is very small-scale, but just imagine what it would be like without such kind actions, which can be seeds and signs of the Kingdom to come.
The simple holiness of lives lived for Christ can be a powerful witness to his kingship that we pray will spread throughout the world.

With love & prayers.

Michael   (Rector)

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

Next Sunday – 4th Sunday of Advent 19th December (3rd Sun.)

9:15 am       Walking Nativity, Croston – starting at
St. Michael’s and finishing at Trinity Methodist

11:00 am      Carol Service, Bretherton
11:00 am      Carol Service, Mawdesley

Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:

  • We are following the Government & Church of England Advise which requires people to wear a face mask when attending worship in Church
    (Masks may be removed for singing)
  • 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.
  • Don’t forget the 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 you are invited to our national online carol service from Sacred Trinity Church in Salford – there will be BSL interpretation in-vision and manual subtitles throughout. Watch the service from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland and find out what’s planned for the rest of Advent and Christmas at cofe.io/ChristmasServices

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.

Well Done Mawdesley St. Peters
Who were the winners of our MP Katherine Fletchers Christmas Card Competition and their winning design was shown to our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson in the House of Commons.
https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Mawdesley-w-Bispham-442669382795886/

Baptism Enquiries
We have been made aware of a problem with forms for baptisms being submitted via our Website, we are looking into this and trying to resolve the difficulties.  If you have submitted a form via the website and have not heard from us please accept our apologies and if you received an acknowledgement email at the time you completed the form could you please forward that email to revmwoods@gmail.com.

Croston Christmas Fair
Thanks to everyone who supported this event as we welcomed many people into church throughout the afternoon.

Christingle Services
The Christingle Service Scheduled for 4pm Sunday 12th December at St. Peters Mawdesley has been cancelled.
We are still planning to hold the Christmas Eve Christingle services planned for Bretherton and Croston but numbers may be restricted.
We will review this in light of any further guidance from government.

Christmas Services

  • Sunday 19th December 9:15 am -Croston walking Nativity
    Starts at St. Michaels and will finish at the Methodist Church.
    11 am Carol services at both Bretherton and Mawdesley
    4pm Carol Sing up at Croston Trinity Methodist Church
  • Christmas Eve 24th December
    3:45 pm Christingle service, Bretherton
    5 pm Christingle service, Croston
    6:30 pm Eucharist of the Holy Nativity, Mawdesley
    8 pm Eucharist of the Holy Nativity, Croston
  • Christmas Day 25th December
    9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
    11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
    No service at Mawdesley
  • Boxing Day 26th December
    9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
    11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
    No service at Bretherton

There will not be a 9 am Morning Prayer service at Mawdesley
on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

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 would greatly help support our regular income.


The Collect
God for whom we watch and wait, you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son: give us courage to speak the truth, to hunger for justice, and to suffer for the cause of right, with Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                                                                                            Amen

First Reading
A powerful and apocalyptic vision of the approaching day of the Lord.
Zephaniah 3.14-20
Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!  The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.  On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.  The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  “The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; they are a burden and a reproach to you.  At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered.  I will give them praise and honour in every land where they were put to shame.
At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home.  I will give you honour and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the LORD.

Second Reading
Paul encourages the Philippians to rejoice, not to worry and to have faith in the peace of God, which passes all understanding.
Philippians 4.4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone.
The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel
John the Baptist preaches to the crowds and baptises them with water. He prophesies that Jesus will baptise them with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Luke 3.7-18
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptised by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.  John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”  Tax collectors also came to be baptised. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”  “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.  Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”  He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.”
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.

Prayer after Communion
We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts; kindle in us the fire of your Spirit that when your Christ comes again we may shine as lights before his face; who is alive and reigns now and for ever.             Amen

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