Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We will hopefully be opening for public worship once again very soon and a decision will be made during next week whether that will be the following Sunday (19th) or whether we wait a little longer.  Whenever we do open you can be assured that we will be adhering to the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 in places of worship.  We will have:

  • carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  • cleaning, hand cleansing and hygiene procedures in place, in line with government guidance
  • taken all reasonable steps to help everyone maintain a 2m distance between different users of our church

But there will also be expectations of what  you must do:

  • refrain from entering if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • Take responsibility for your own safety and that of your household and other people by maintaining social distancing and observing all hygiene measures
  • Ensure children are supervised at all times

It was good last week to see the easing of restrictions passing reasonable peacefully, of course we saw some poor examples of social distancing late at night from central London, but on the whole it seems that most people were sensible and followed the guidance.
The scenes in London attract the headlines, but we have to be careful because this was clearly the exception rather than the norm.  One problem with watching the news or reading the papers is that all we tend to hear about is bad news, and that can fuel the flame of our anxiety.  We will all have to readjust to a different way of living for some considerable time and we may never return to what was normal 3 months ago.  It will take time to settle into our new routines and we will need to look out for each other, the simple act of shaking hands to greet people is something I find hard to shake off!  We’re all going to make mistakes and so we will need to be forgiving and loving in our attitudes – but we are meant to be like that anyway.
In today’s Gospel we hear that familiar parable of the sower which acknowledges that we are all different and we all respond differently to situations.    Even though the word of God is proclaimed to all people, it is ignored or dismissed by many, and it is the same with the guidance to this pandemic.  Some will just ignore the advice, some will be too busy, some will be enthusiastic – for a short while and then others will take it to heart.
I wasn’t too keen on the latest government slogan when it first came out, but I am now getting used to it and as restrictions continue to be lifted it does seem to make sense to:

People receive the messages in different ways, some don’t listen at all while others welcome it into their lives.  As Christians we should strive to prepare ourselves for receiving God’s word and the government’s messages but then to sow the seeds of God’s kingdom and the good practice we are called to follow to put down this virus.  Ultimately if we can do our bit we can trust in God to bring those seeds to fruition.

 Please also remember in your prayers the recently departed soul of:

Barbara Emery

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: revmwoods@gmail.com

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Church opening times on Wednesdays & Sundays

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)
email bethertoonwi@btinternett.com

Facebook Pages
This week’s worship video will be available from 10 am on Sunday

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

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

The Church of England posts on Facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this week’s service will be the first for the new Archbishop of York, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell who will offer his personal reflections on prayer and Jesus.

https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland/

https://www.youtube.com/thechurchofengland

Events

Mawdesley Tea Party Video available on their facebook page or on YouTube via the following link https://youtu.be/dt0dkVmytdU

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 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.

Join us in personal daily prayer using the resources 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.

 

The Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified: hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.             Amen

First Reading            

Isaiah speaks of an invitation to abundant life.

Isaiah 55:10-13

Thus says the LORD: For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

 

Second Reading       

Those who live according to the spirit and not the flesh also live according to God’s law.

Romans 8:1-11

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law – indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

 

The Gospel

Jesus warns of the perseverance and commitment which must accompany the spreading of the message of the Spirit.

Matthew 13:1-9. 18-23

Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach.  And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.  But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  Let anyone with ears listen!

Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.  As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.  But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’

Prayer after Communion

Grant, O Lord, we beseech you, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by your governance, that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.             Amen

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