This week’s Worship

3rd Sunday of Epiphany 23rd January (4th Sun.)
              9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
9:30 am       Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
Wednesday 10 am    Holy Communion Croston
Friday        9 am     Morning prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
This week the news has been dominated by claims and counter claims regarding the heart of government in our nation and this disunity looks set to drag on for some time to come.  But in the church since the very beginning there have been power struggles and disunity which Paul seeks to address in this week’s epistle (1 Corinthians 12.12-31a), there had been claims regarding different spiritual gifts which had begun to lead to divisions and disunity in the Corinthian church.
Paul gives some very clear advice that people are all different and they have different gifts and functions, so he encourages the Corinthians to see that together they are one body with many parts, they need each other, and all have a part to play in the life of the Christian community.  It is important our differences are acknowledged as people are not all the same.  But it is our common life in Christ that unites us, and that gives us our identity, both collectively and as individuals.   The readings today are all about building communities, and that is what we as a church are still about today, and our Diocesan Vision 2026 and our own Mission Action Planning initiatives are all about this.   Paul gets to the heart of building a good, functioning community and he urges the Corinthians to focus on their unity whilst continuing to value their individual diversity, which is still crucial for our society today.  I suspect there will always be divisions in all areas of society and the church is no different.  But we are strongest when we follow Paul’s advice and recognise our unity in Christ.  We need, as a church community, to be open and receptive so that the life of Christ in then speaks out in love and truth to the fractured world we see all around us.

With love & prayers.                   Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email:










Next Sunday – The Presentation of Christ 30th January (5th Sun.)

9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Communion by Extension, Bretherton

Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:

We are following the Government & Church of England Advise

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • Take regular Lateral Flow tests to protect yourself and others
  • Be mindful of those who may be less confident.
  • Don’t forget the Hands, Face Space guidance
  • wear a face mask when attending worship in Church


Faith reference cards for School Applications
The new faith reference cards for the spring term should be available in church, don’t forget to return your card for the Autumn term.

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: or on their facebook page
This week Church of England worship comes from the Chapel at Church House, Westminster.  This service has been manually subtitled and has BSL interpretation.  Watch the service from 9am on Sunday at or via



St. Michaels Church Croston Saturday 12 Feb. from 10 am – 2pm
A Big & Little Trains show presented by
Chorley & District Model Railway Club





RIP Canon Ken Gordon (Mawdesley Memories on Facebook)
Canon Ken and his wife Jessica lived in the former Headteachers house in Hurst Green (next door to St.Peter’s School) at Mawdesley in the early 2000’s.  Revd David has discovered that Cannon Ken died (aged 85) in Aberdeen Hospital last Summer.  For more information see the article on the Mawdesley Memories Facebook page.


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




History has been written!!  A moment to be proud of, Dave Ryding – GB Skier from the mountainous region of Bretherton, ex pupil of TSM School and Bishop Rawstorne in Croston, wins in Hahnenkamm-Rennen Kitzbühel to claim his first World Cup victory and Great Britain’s first ever victory.


Wishing him every success for the winter Olympics.

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 of all mercy, your Son proclaimed good news to the poor, release to the captives, and freedom to the oppressed: anoint us with your Holy Spirit and set all your people free to praise you in Christ our Lord.              Amen

First Reading
When the Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, the walls of the city had to be rebuilt.  Now Nehemiah turns to rebuilding the lives of the people.
Nehemiah 8.1-3,5-6,8-10
All the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate.  They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel.  Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month.  He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.  Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands.  Then they bowed their heads and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’

Second Reading
God gives us the gifts we need in order to fulfil what we are called to do.
1 Corinthians 12.12-31a
Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.   If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.   And if the ear would say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many members, yet one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’  On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this.  But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.

The Gospel
After Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue the atmosphere is electric as he tells his listeners, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Luke 4.14-21
Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.  He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.  He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

Prayer after Communion
Generous Lord, in word and Eucharist we have proclaimed the mystery of your love: help us so to live out our days that we may be signs of your wonders in the world; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

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