This week’s Worship

Sunday 18th July 2021 7th Sunday after Trinity (3rd Sunday)
             9:15 am     Holy Communion, Croston

11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Wednesday   10am Holy Communion, Croston

** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
We are about to enter a period of great change as the Government releases restrictions that have affected our lives for so long now, we will all need some time just to assess what it will all mean for us.   What is clear is that the Pandemic has not gone away in fact quite the reverse as a new wave of infections continues to rise towards perhaps an all-time peak.  The hospitalisations and death rates are thankfully much lower than the previous waves, however they too are now beginning to increase.  It is clear that the government is now asking us all to take personal responsibility, but that isn’t easy as our circumstances may all be different and we may need to adopt different strategies in different places.  Church is no different and we are now looking at the guidance to determine how we will adapt, but I think it’s safe to say we will maintain some of the restrictions as we seek to operate in a safe manner.
In our reading from Mark’s gospel this week we read that Jesus saw the crowd and he regarded them as ‘sheep without a shepherd,’ so he has compassion on them.  When Mark says that Jesus had compassion, the word which he uses means more than Jesus just felt sorry for them, rather he was moved with pity from the deepest part of his being.  One reason why Jesus felt so moved for these people was because those who were supposed to help them were just looking after themselves. The sheep were without a shepherd and sheep with no shepherd are in danger, they can be attacked and they can get lost, they are vulnerable to predators.
So at this time of great change please remember that we are not alone, Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit is with us and will guide and direct us if we allow him the space to do that.
It is easy when government tells us to close down churches or even restrict numbers for certain activities.  Now we will all need to look with compassion towards one another as some of us will be eager to ditch rules and get back to some degree of normality, whilst others will be very nervous and still want to take precautions.  So please be sensitive to one another’s needs and concerns, and through it all, let’s delight that once more we can open our hearts and our voices and sing the praises of God, our Rock, who even in testing times is faithful to us, we will get through this together.

With love & prayers.  Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Sunday 25th July 2021 8th Sunday after Trinity (4th Sunday)
             9:15 am     Holy Communion, Croston

9:30 am     Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
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 week’s Church of England worship celebrates God our shepherd and will be led by Rev Carla Vicêncio Prior.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
John Mayor
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon him, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.

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Removal of the Government restrictions
We are currently reviewing the government advice regarding the removal of all restrictions on the 19th July, especially in light of the very high transmission rates in this area and across the country.  It is highly likely that some restrictions will remain in place during worship.  Please do let us know your feelings with regard to this.

Notice of Croston Graveyard Inspection – August 2021
We are required to conduct an annual inspection of the headstones in our graveyard, this will be undertaken during August and the inspection will follow the relevant Diocesan procedures. If you would like to speak to someone, would like to give us your contact details or have any concerns please contact Revd Michael at the church or by emailing revmwoods@gmail.com

Croston St. Michael and All Angels
The grounds around church and our graveyard are always so well maintained and a delight for all who visit.
If you can spare a few hours each week to help with the mowing and general maintenance and tidying up please contact:
Derek Alty – tel. 600584 or derek_alty@sky.com

St. Peters Mawdesley w Bispham
Do you have time to help keep YOUR Graveyard tidy at St. Peters
If so please ring DAVID 07919558259

Do you have time to help clean the brasses in Church?
If so please contact the Churchwardens.

Baptisms
We have been overwhelmed by requests for baptisms and at the moment the Rector is waiting to plan a two week break so it is taking us some time to respond to all enquires, we apologise for the delay.
Please email: revmwoods@gmail.com for further details.

Faith reference cards for school applications
Whilst Covid 19 restrictions remain in place across our churches, as they have done since the start of this pandemic we will treat all requests for a faith reference as full attendance.  The Government Roadmap currently indicates that the earliest that all restrictions will now be lifted is 19th July.  It is very unlikely now that we will monitor attendance before the start of the new term in September. This will be reviewed over the summer.


The Collect
Generous God, you give us gifts and make them grow: though our faith is small as mustard seed, make it grow to your glory and the flourishing of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen

First Reading
God will replace Israel’s corrupt and faithless rulers, reunite his scattered people and set a wise and just king over them to bring peace and prosperity.
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD.  Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.  Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.  I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.  And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’

Second Reading
The crucifixion of Jesus makes possible the uniting of a divided humanity; this unity in Christ is evidence of God’s presence among all peoples.
Ephesians 2.11-22
Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’ – a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands – remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.  He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.  So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.  In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

The Gospel
The crowds prevent Jesus from finding time alone with his disciples, whilst his compassion ensures that, wherever he is, no one is turned away.
Mark 6. 30-34. 53-56
The apostles returned from their mission.
They gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.  He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.  And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.  Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat.  When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.  And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Prayer after Communion
Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands that have taken holy things; may the ears which have heard your word be deaf to clamour and dispute; may the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit; may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love shine with the light of hope; and may the bodies which have been fed with your body be refreshed with the fullness of your life; glory to you for ever.               Amen

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