This week’s Worship
6th Sunday of Easter – 22nd May (4th Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
9:30 am Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
Wednesday 10:00 am Holy Communion, Croston
Friday 9:00 am Morning Prayer, Mawdesley
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
“What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of,” goes the song made popular in the 1960’s by Jackie DeShannon. But love is a much-used and little-understood word. In this weeks Gospel Jesus says “Those who love me will keep my word”, and he doesn’t seem to mean just preserve it in a glass case to be viewed occasionally but never used. Jesus’ followers “kept his word” by active witness to the world, often at the cost of their own lives. Now, as Jesus is getting ready to leave his disciples, it is this basis in love that he wants them to understand. When the disciples, out of obedience and love, keep Jesus’ words, they will find that they are sharing in the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who will come and “make our home with them”. The disciples will only be able to keep Jesus’ words because they know that they are loved by Jesus, just as Jesus is able to carry out his earthly mission because he knows he is the beloved Son of the Father. Jesus calls his disciples friends, not servants, because they act with him, out of shared love and understanding, not just out of blind obedience. And always with them is the Holy Spirit, the Advocate. St Augustine calls the Holy Spirit “the bond of love”, the one who makes love real, strong, a force that can hold people together, even in hardship, adversity and death.
Jesus does not promise that this will make everything easy for his disciples. In fact he is perfectly frank in telling them that they may well be called to share his own fate. Is there, perhaps, a touch of irony as he tells them that the peace he is giving them won’t bear much resemblance to the kind of peace that the world offers?
If you want a religion of prosperity and harmony, one that will lead you to a quiet and revered old age, one that will allow you to view the world with quiet detachment and enjoyment, don’t choose this one, Jesus seems to be saying! The peace Jesus offers is the peace of loving companionship every step of the way, and the peace of knowing that they are doing the will of the Father, just as Jesus himself did.
We must never forget that we are friends, not slaves, we are all called to witness to the love of God in Christ Jesus, and we do this not only with words but also with our lives, and particularly with our lives together, in our friendship, shared and offered. We live as people with whom God has come and made his home. We don’t have a manual for mission, or a set of forms to complete, but a life to live in God’s world. And everywhere we go, we take our own strange peace, which the world won’t always understand, unless it longs for friendship with God, and catches a glimpse, in us, of what it is like to be at home.
So let us give thanks to the God who gives us everything – even his presence with us always.
Tel: 01772 600548, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday – 7th Sunday of Easter – 29th May (5th Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Alexandra Crook, Ron Kearton, Sandra Norris, Winifred Taylor
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.
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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 Lambeth Palace chapel for a service for Thy Kingdom Come. Rev Canon Chris Russell, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser for Evangelism and Witness, will be preaching and leading the service. You can view this from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
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, by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples: help your Church to obey your command and draw the nations to the fire of your love, to the glory of God the Father. Amen
In a vision, Paul sees a man of Macedonia appealing to him “to come over and help us”. He immediately responds, and thus begins to preach the Gospel in Europe.
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’
When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’
And she prevailed upon us.
John has a vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, whose temple and source of light is God himself.
Revelation 21.10,22 – 22.5
In the spirit the angel carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city.
On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.
Jesus warns his disciples of his impending departure, but promises them the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you. ‘If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.’
Prayer after Communion
God our Father, whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life: may we thirst for you, the spring of life and source of goodness, through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen