This week’s Worship
5th Sunday of Easter – 15th May (3rd Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
From the reserved sacrament
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Wednesday 10:00 am Holy Communion, Croston
Friday 9:00 am Morning Prayer, Mawdesley
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Jesus is telling his disciples to love each other as he has loved them, so what does that look like? Well, he spent most of his time with them, forgave and healed them, got cross and wept and feasted with them. Jesus taught them with stories and through his example – he washed their feet and, rather than run away, he went to his death in Jerusalem with them still following on.
The Gospel passage today is very short but full of urgency – Jesus tells them he’s only got a little while longer with them and that they cannot come with him. The new commandment is not just to love in an airy-fairy way but “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34b). That’s what the love has to be like – like the love Jesus has shown them. This love has been a tough love – with both joy and anger, feasting and fasting, forgiving and healing, leading and serving. It has not been a gush of emotional feeling, but a purposeful and costly relationship of being together so that nothing is hidden away.
Living by the commandments of God is tough when you take time to explore them more deeply and may sound odd to some people, since love is often a feeling and we can’t always feel such things to order.
God’s commandments lead to abundant life, life in all its fullness. Today’s reading from Revelation offers the underlying truth that God’s desire is for a new heaven and a new earth without mourning or crying or pain, and that death shall be no more.
In Acts, Peter’s anxiety about keeping the food laws almost means that non-Jews would have been excluded from the Gospel if Peter had not listened carefully to the vision God gave him: “What God has made clean, you must not call profane” (Acts 11:9). Peter’s decision about whether non-Jews could be included in God’s kingdom came not from a common sense decision but from a renewed understanding of God’s love for the whole creation which God had made clean. He had begun to show the love of Jesus by eating with non-Jews, just as Jesus had eaten with those considered to be outside the love of God, and then saw God’s loving action pour the Holy Spirit on these same people.
God’s commands bring new life to the whole creation in Revelation, to gentiles as well as Jews in Acts, and it all comes from the beloved wisdom of God who dwells with humanity.
So keeping God’s commands is not a tick list of things to achieve, but a way of life to bring abundant life not just to ourselves, but to our communities and ultimately the world. Jesus’ tiny community of twelve plus the women who travelled with them had to show commitment to that community and to its well-being. The Church as it came into being was known for its loving care. The command to love pulls it all together because it makes sure we don’t just offer one another or the world fine words, but instead offer the actions of Jesus who feeds and washes, encourages and gets angry sometimes, and goes to the bitter end and beyond for love of the world.
Jesus is the Word who goes beyond words to show love to us all and he calls each one of us to do the same.
Tel: 01772 600548, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday – 6th Sunday of Easter – 22nd May (4th Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
We welcome Fr. Neil Kelly our Area Dean
9:30 am Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
We welcome Revd Andrew Holliday, Rector of Standish
Confirmations 2022 6:30 pm Sat. 14th May at Croston
Please pray for those confirmed on Saturday.
Alexander, Connie, Martha, Matty, Ruby & Sophie
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Winnifred Spencer & Winnifred Taylor
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Winnifred Taylors Funeral – Tues. 17th May at 1:00 pm in Croston
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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 weeks Church of England worship comes from rom All Saints Kings Heath, South Birmingham.
Assistant Curate, Rev Tariro Matsveru, will be leading the service alongside Vicar of All Saints, Rev Canon David Warbrick, who will be preaching on ‘Learning to cherish.’
You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
Dates for Annual Vestry & Parochial Church Meetings
These are important meetings in the life of our 3 Churches were we elect our Churchwardens and PCC members and we also receive the annual report – see notices in each Church.
Croston Tuesday 17th May 7 pm (Vestry)
Mawdesley Thursday 26th May 7 pm (Parish room)
Revd Janet Taylor
As you know Revd Janet has been taking leave of absence from her duties as Assistant Priest here in our United Benefice to support her family through a very difficult time with illness.
It is good news that her son in Law has responded well to his treatment and so things are hopefully beginning to settle down for the family.
Janet has been reflecting on her future ministry and after discussion with our Bishops she has now decided to seek a transfer of her licence to another Parish closer to where she now lives.
When Janet was licensed to our United Benefice she lived in Croston and the grandchildren went to local schools, whereas now Janet lives in Whitestake and the grandchildren attend local schools there.
Janet during her time with us has contributed so much to the life of our three parishes and also our schools, I have asked her to think about how we can formally say thank you to her and wish her every blessing for her future ministry.
It is clear that Janet has not taken this decision lightly, she has thought and prayed about this for some time, do continue to keep Janet and the whole family in your prayers during this important time.
I understand why Janet has come to this decision and she has my full support, it is important for her now to find what ministry fits best with her current circumstances and I hope to be able to give you further details in the coming weeks.
Bretherton Church and Grounds Maintenance
Can you help with cleaning inside church and/or the maintenance of our churchyard? Please speak to Churchwarden Naomi or the rector if you would like to help – many hands make light work!
Mawdesley House Group [Prayer & Bible Study],
Next meeting on Tuesday 24th May 10:45 for 11am start.
Meets at “Clearview”, Blue Stone Lane, L40 2RU. 10.45 we’re continuing our studies on the Trinity, now focussing on ‘Who is the Father?’. All are welcome, please see Louise with any queries, and bring your Bibles!
Can you help with the cleaning of Mawdeskley Parish Room once per week? If so please call Barbara 01704 822468
Mawdesley Vintage Car Rally Friday June 3rd on the Cricket field.
We hope to run a Tombola and would be very grateful for any prizes you could donate for it. We are also going to sell cakes & reasonable bric-a-brac. Also if you have time to help us with the organising either before or on the day it would be great.
This will help to pay for the heating of the church.
Can you help at Croston Church?
New people are needed to join both the cleaning team on a rota basis, and also to help maintain the church and cemetery Grounds.
Croston Coffee Day (Procession of Witness) returns on 2nd July
Raffle Tickets are now on sale, if you wish to purchase or better still if you wish to help by selling these tickets or helping in any other way please contact Derek Alty – telephone number – 01772 600584
The Jackson Scholarship Fund Invites applications by the 30th June
These are for one off grants from young people (under 25) who have attended Trinity St. Michaels primary school, or if funds are available Bishop Rawstorne Academy. These are to assist them with their studies or trades, full details on the notice boards in Church or contact the rector who can provide more details.
Christian Aid week 15-21 May – https://www.christianaid.org.uk/
Christian Aid exists to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.
You can donate online or in church and help turn hunger into hope.
Please do continue your support of the Food Bank
Despite the feeling that we are beginning to live ‘normally’, many families are even more stressed, as living costs continue to rise.
Please bring food items which need little or no cooking – as power prices soar. (See Notice in church for ideas.)
Also, items for personal hygiene and housekeeping are needed.
You can leave donations in our Church’s when open for services or on Wed. & Sun. from 10 to 4pm in croston & Bretherton.
The side door at Mawdesley is open most days.
Also if you hear of anyone who is particularly financially stressed, please contact us. The Layfield Trust, a local Charity, may be able to disperse funds for needy families who live in the villages of Bispham, Bretherton, Croston, Hesketh Bank, Mawdesley, Rufford and Tarleton.
The Archbishop of York visit to Blackburn Diocese 27 – 29th May
Open air Eucharist – Whalley Abbey 27th May at 7:30pm
Celebration – Blackpool Pleasure Beach– 28th May 7pm
Full details and ticket booking here: https://www.blackburn.anglican.org/news/688/get-ready-to-welcome-the-archbishop-of
St. Michael & All Angels
Childrens Sunday Club every 1st and 3rd Sunday
Humanitarian Disaster – ways to support for the people of Ukraine
See our Facebook page and posters in Church for ways to support this locally. The disasters and emergency committee appeal can be found at: www.dec.org.uk which is an effective way to offer your support.
Could you make an Easter donation to 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.
Risen Christ, your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life: give us compassion and courage to risk ourselves for those we serve, to the glory of God the Father. Amen
Peter criticised for his work with the Gentiles in Caesarea, answers his critics by making clear that what he has done is the will of God. Jesus is for Gentiles – all people – as well as for Jews.
The apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, ‘Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?’
Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, ‘I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision.
There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air.
I also heard a voice saying to me, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” But I replied, “By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.”
But a second time the voice answered from heaven, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven.
At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us.
These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, “Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.” And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning.
And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I
could hinder God?’
When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, ‘Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.’
John sets out his vision of a new creation, a holy city. That city, is a picture of the people of God. It is a vision of a bride ready to be married to Christ. In Christ God is making all things new; he is both the Creator and the goal.
I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’ And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’
Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’
Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.’
The betrayer, Judas, leaves Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, and so only the ‘inner circle’ of his disciples hears Jesus’ parting words that in loving one another – as Jesus has loved them – he, Jesus, will be with them, and in them, always.
During the supper, when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.
If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.”
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
Prayer after Communion
Eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life: grant us to walk in his way, to rejoice in his truth, and to share his risen life; who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen