This week’s Worship
5th Sunday of Lent – 3rd April 22 (1st Sun.)
8:00 am BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am Family Worship, Bretherton
Followed by Easter crafts
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
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
We will all remember the fairy tales such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella”, or “Sleeping Beauty”, which are all stories about knowing specialness and beauty, recognising reality and seeing the potential within us all. Perhaps they are so popular because they appeal to our hope for transformation, the promise of new life, and to our idea of ordinary people living out this vision. They encourage us to imagine life differently, to look for life in the midst of mundane or challenging surroundings, and to reach out for life-giving transformations. This weeks readings set out a vision for the transformation creation and ourselves. Forgetting what lies behind us – all the successes and failures, deserts and valleys, journeys and crises, who we are and where we happen to find ourselves – Paul urges us to fix our eyes on the vision God has prepared for us, salvation in Christ and life in God’s kingdom. This vision was the secret of Paul’s life for Christ, for all that he did, was and would be for Christ. It was also the vision that captured Mary, the woman who had listened deeply to Christ, who had recognised the profound value and timing of his presence, and loved him extravagantly with passionate service and devotion. Mary offered herself sacrificially as Christ’s disciple.
What a contrast this is to Judas! Here was a man who had spent many hours and days, even years, in the presence of Jesus, heard his teaching on the kingdom of God, seen his miracles at first hand, been part of his chosen team of companions. But Judas had not even begun to recognise the power and love of God in this man Jesus, God’s Messiah. Judas pretended only to see the conflicts and needs of the “now”, he could not, or would not see just who Jesus was, and who he would be. The vision of God’s dream – the prophecies, Jesus’ life and words, the new life of God’s kingdom – had not touched him. But we must not forget that most of the disciples needed the evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus to begin to understand, and the coming of the Holy Spirit to begin to know God’s life.
But Judas’ heart was so untouched that he would plan to betray this innocent man for a handful of silver. The one who complained at Mary’s extravagance chose to gain from the jealousy, hatred and legalism which led to Jesus’ death, the death for which he had accepted Mary’s loving anointing.
Mary and Judas present us with typical contrasting responses to Christ, which we should be able to relate to today.
God’s call all to come and get to know him, but yet so many of us miss the point, and need to be reminded, time and time again.
Christ’s call all to come to him and live within the kingdom, where we can begin to see that which has come and is yet still to come. We are called to loook around us and recognise Christ in our neighbours, in creation and in ourselves, and to live and work for the growth and glory of his kingdom. To do this we must open our hearts, minds and eyes. Mary shows us openness as she lets her love for her Lord mould her and what she does. Are we prepared to let the Love of our Lord mould us and shape us so that we can walk with the needy, lift up the weak, feed the poor, speak gently in all aspects of our lives.
If we can our lives and the lives of those we love will be transformed.
Judas on the other hand shows us the truth of living with a divided and loveless heart, which ultimatley leads to destruction and death.
As God’s people we are called to be open to God’s promise, hope and transforming presence in our world, which response will we choose?
The way of Mary’s devotion or Judas’ betrayal?
May God’s kingdom come in us and around us; may Jesus and his life inspire us, as we live in, and live out, the promised life of God, knowing his presence with us always.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Services across the3churches
Palm Sunday 10th April
9:45 am Croston Eccumenical gathering outside Church,
with Donkeys for the blessing Of Palms followed
by a joyous procession to the Croft Field
10:30 am Eccumenical Worship at Trinity Methodist
11:00: am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00: am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Holy Wednesday 13th April
10:00 am Midweek Holy Communion, Croston
Maundy Thursday 14th April
7:00 pm Maundy Holy Communion, Croston
Good Friday 15th April
10:00 am Family Worship, Bretherton
10:00 am Family Worship, Mawdesley
2 – 3 pm The last hour, Croston
Easter Day, Sunday 17th April
8:00 am BCP, Holy Communion (TBC)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Mawdesley Prayer Group, Tues. 12th April 10:45 for 11am start.
Meet at Robin Hood Cottage (Bluestone Lane, opposite Nook Lane) Hope you can come and join us. Please bring a Bibles and the “signs of life” booklets which we’ll be using as a basis for study during Lent.
Please be Vigilant
Flagstone thefts from churches in the Northwest
Please keep an extra watch over the churches
and report any suspicious activity to the police
immediately, also take a note of number plates.
Daily Lenten devotions
Signs of Life – Follow us online each day during lent as we journey with Jesus through Johns Gospel, booklets are also available in church.
Google – #LiveLent 2022: Embracing Justice
Offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a prayer, as well as a practical challenge linked to the week’s theme. An accompanying child’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together.
- Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
- We are no longer required to wear face masks but please be mindful of those who may be less confident and choose to wear a mask.
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.
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 Coventry Cathedral.
The Revd Canon Kathryn Fleming, leads the service, and the Bishop of Coventry, is preaching on ‘Justice in the Shape of a Cross.’
You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
St. Michael & All Angels
Childrens Sunday Club every 1st and 3rd Sunday
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Ella Snape, Roy Worthington
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Dates for funerals
Ella Snape 1:45 pm, Monday 11th April, Croston Parish Church
St. Peters School Lenten Crosses
The Children at St. Peters School are trying to keep ‘Lenten Promises’ and have made and decorated some cross cards, please do take one and pray for our young people that they may keep their promise.
A prayer for Ukraine:
Almighty God, seated above all the affairs of humankind
and sovereign over nations and leaders,
hear our prayer for Ukraine at this time of war,
that lives may be spared,
that national boundaries be respected
and that forces of aggression be restrained.
Grant, Lord God, peace in your world in our time.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Also pray for the people of Russia
that they may be freed from this ruthless dictator.
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.
Gracious Father, you gave up your Son out of love for the world: lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion, that we may know eternal peace through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
God tells his people not to dwell on the past, for something new is about to happen. God promises to make a way through the wilderness, protecting and refreshing the people.
Thus says the LORD,
who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honour me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.
Paul regards his impressive credentials as dross compared with the value of knowing Jesus. He puts the past aside as he reaches for the goal of fully knowing Christ.
If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.
More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus’ feet with precious, perfumed oil. Recognising her love and devotion, Jesus defends her against Judas’ criticism.
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him.
Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.
Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’
(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’
Prayer after Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for you: give us the will to be the servant of others as you were the servant of all, and gave up your life and died for us, but are alive and reign, now and for ever. Amen