Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When all this lockdown situation started back at the end of March it took a while for us to come to terms with it all because it was so strange – but now it seems that most of us have got into a rhythm or we have just got used to it.  For the first few weeks we had those scenes of packed parks and people flocking to the countryside – some places like Malham in the Yorkshire Dales had their busiest days for years – it was like an extended bank holiday for some.  But then the message seemed to get home to almost everyone and our world and our lives have taken on an eerie sort of silent period.

But now the mood is changing as we are told that we have passed the peak and importantly the ‘R’ value is well below 1 and our government is now beginning to look at how they can begin to relax the restrictions, but as yet we don’t know exactly that will be, but I will be very surprised if that has any major impact in terms of relaxing the restrictions placed on the use of our church buildings.

We must still follow carefully the instructions and guidance of those who are leading us whether that be the government or the church, many of you will be aware that I cannot understand why we can’t film our services in church – but I have followed the instructions from our Archbishops and Bishops as they are my and your shepherds and we trust that they know best and above all have our care and welfare at the forefront of their minds.

Ultimately we all fall under the care of Lord and saviour Jesus Christ who says to us all: ‘I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me.’  (John 10: 14-15)

A few verses earlier Jesus also told us that he is ‘the door to the sheepfold’, which may all seem bit strange at first,  but the sheepfold is the place where the sheep would be safe, it was where they would sleep overnight, the sheep knew that in order to get to this place they had to pass through the entrance – the door the gate.  Jesus says he is “the door” he is the way into safety and security, through him is the only way to God, and when you pass through that door you come into the safety and security of his sheepfold – in a way when we enter through him we come home.  Jesus is not only the door that welcomes us home to the safety and security of eternal life, but the one who leads us and guides us there.  That gentle leading and guiding is the work of a loving and caring shepherd who truly knows his sheep – he doesn’t beat and force them into the sheepfold.  The extent of his love is seen supremely on Good Friday when he gave his life on the cross.

We are all the sheep of his fold and if we truly listen we will hear his voice and we need to have the courage to follow because we surely know that he is indeed our Good Shepherd and wants us to have life in all its fullness.

So we must continue to be obedient to those who care for us all and we have to trust that they have all our interests at heart as and when the restrictions begin to be lifted.

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

 

Please remember the recently departed souls of:

Sheila Hodgson, Ruby Dalton, John Mitchell,
Ged Clitheroe and Derek Sterland.

May they rest in the eternal peace of Christ.

Coronavirus Village support groups

Croston        COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group

Mawdesley    Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.

Bretherton    Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
email bethertoonwi@btinternett.com

Facebook Pages

There will be a Worship Video on Sunday mornings at 10 am.

During the week there will be worship every day at 7 pm using the night prayer resource on the Church of England Website at:

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

Or you can download the ‘Daily Prayer’ App to your phone or tablet.

https://www.facebook.com/St-John-the-Baptist-Church-Bretherton-439088266487676/

https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelAllAngelsChurchCroston/

https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Mawdesley-w-Bispham-442669382795886/?ref=bookmarks

 

Sorry I still haven’t mastered the posting of our worship videos on YouTube or some similar platform for those who have access to the internet but don’t use facebook details will be circulated once it is live.

The church of England posts on facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this Sunday I would highly recommend it as its being led by Paula Gooder who was my New Testament Tutor at Theological College – it will be good.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched Daily Hope, which offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.

The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

This coming Friday we will be marking the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe Day) but it will be very different from the plans that were being made some months ago – for our nation and our villages.  We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to those served in combat and on the home front during the Second World War.  We can still celebrate VE 75 in our homes, windows and on our doorsteps, rather than in parades and street parties.  We can still come together to mark this historic occasion in a new and different way.

Here are some of the national initiatives to look out for

Her Majesty The Queen will send a message to the nation at 9pm on BBC One, the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.  This will be followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’.  We will be encouraged to open our doors and join in with this national moment of celebration.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will read an extract from King George VI’s diary from 8 May 1945.

As part of special BBC programming, extracts from Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech will recreate the moment peace in Europe was announced 75 years ago at 3pm and the Prime Minister will speak about the importance of VE Day.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will record a special reflection and moment of prayer for VE Day.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has produced a template pack so that the public can hold a 1940s style afternoon tea party at home complete with homemade VE Day bunting, original recipes, games, and educational and creative activities for children.

https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/

https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/plan-your-ve-day-party/

 Please continue to support the Food Banks
We need tinned & packet food, Tea, coffee, cereals.
We urgently need long-life (UHT) milk.
Specially needed is ‘instant’ food
– items that can be mixed with boiling water to make a meal.
(mashed potato, couscous, noodles, packet soups etc)
Many people cannot afford to pay for fuel & dare only to boil a kettle.

In Croston – please bring items to 19, Highfield Rd or 32, Westhead Rd.
The next run to the Food Bank is early morning – Monday 20th.
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 will also be available at the above address providing the hens don’t go on strike.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our local food banks and all the other good causes at this time.

 

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