Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Please do keep Revd Janet and her family and our Reader Stan and his family in your prayers at this difficult time for them both.  Stan has been supporting and caring for his wife Sandra for some time as she has been undergoing treatment at the hospital but it is now looking unlikely that she will be able to continue with that.  They are being supported by their family, district & Macmillan nurses and the specialists at the hospital.   Revd Janet and the family are dealing with the difficult news that her son in law Paul has been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma and not surprisingly this has come as a great shock to Janet and the whole family.  Both Janet and Stan will be taking leave from their duties with us to concentrate on supporting their families, so please remember them all in your prayers.

 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

We intend to open for public worship this coming week starting with our Wednesday morning communion service at Croston at 10 am, and we will continue with that service every Wednesday.
Next Sunday the 26th July we would have a 9:15 am service at Croston and that will be followed by an 11 am service at Mawdesley (note the change of time for the 4th Sunday of the month). The timetable of services across the 3 churches will not be following the normal pattern through o the end of August and possibly for a longer period.

Just because we are opening for public worship we do not expect that everyone will be returning all at once – you all have to assess your own particular circumstances and the risks that you and your families face.  We do not want to make people feel guilty if they feel that it isn’t the right time for them to return just yet.

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 that you will:

  • 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
  • Understand that you may not be able to sit in your preferred place, or close to friends who do not live in your household or who are not part of your ‘Bubble group’.

Bishop Julian said earlier this week ‘that none of us want a gathering of Christians to be the source of a new outbreak’.

So whilst I am excited at the prospect of restarting public worship in the week ahead it is tinged with a concern that we do it in a safe way to protect one another, our families and our communities.  Of course we can encounter God anywhere and at any time but our church buildings matter, and coming together as Christian’s matters. Our families and friends have come to these buildings at significant moments in their lives for many years.   They are places are soaked in the Holiness of all the prayers that have gone before us, and they are cared for, loved and needed by our communities.  They are a very visible sign of the love of God in and for our communities.  These are the places where we come together as Christians to hear the word of God, to receive the sacraments, and to show support for one another, for it is together that we are the body of Christ in these communities.

I look forward to gathering together with some of you in the days and weeks ahead as we bring our buildings alive once again with the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within in us.

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

Tony Gallagher

Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord may he 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

These are subject to change once churches reopen for public worship

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 for the3churches 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 is led by people training for ministry who explore the hope of the Christian faith, in light of the tragedy of the past.

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/join-us-church-online/weekly-online-services/suffering-not-final-word

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

Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord.        Amen

First Reading            

We are witnesses to God’s hand on our history.

Isaiah 44:6-8

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it, let them declare and set it forth before me.  Who has announced from of old the things to come?  Let them tell us what is yet to be.  Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it?  You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
There is no other rock; I know not one.

Second Reading       

The Spirit bears witness within us that we are in fact children of God and co-heirs of the kingdom with Christ.

Romans 8:12-25

Brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’  it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.  I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.  For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

The Gospel

Whilst good and evil exist together in our present world, evil has a limited span of life and God’s victory is in God’s hands, in God’s time.

Matthew 13:24-30. 36-43

Jesus put before the crowd another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away.
So when the plants came up and bore grain then the weeds appeared as well.  And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?”  He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?”  But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them.  Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’   Then Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’  He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!’

Prayer after Communion

God of our pilgrimage, you have led us to the living water: refresh and sustain us as we go forward on our journey, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen

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