This week’s Worship

7th Sunday of Easter – 29th May (5th Sun.)
                    9:15 am        Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton

    ***11 am Holy Communion Mawdesley CANCELLED***
Wednesday 10:00 am      Holy Communion, Croston
              Friday morning Prayer at Mawdesley
cancelled for next 2 weeks

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

In this weeks Gospel Jesus prays that we may be at one with each other and the Father and Jesus, and hopefully we would all want to be part of that kind, loving, harmonious community?  Being one in God was fundamental to the message of Johns Gospel, but John’s persistence in writing about unity hints at problems and difficulties that existed for the Christians of his day in making it a reality.  John’s Gospel, more that any other, reminds us that the story of Jesus has spoken to many down the centuries.  Although it is one that was born from the needs of a particular group of people, their struggles mirror ours.
We see this in the verses just before our reading when Jesus, having prayed for his disciples and asked God’s help for them as they carry his task forward, suddenly shifts his focus to praying for those who will believe in him through their work.  We, too, need Jesus’ prayer if we are to be united.
We see it again a few chapters later when Thomas, having touched Jesus’ wounds, declares his faith. Jesus says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
These places where the story of Jesus and his disciples breaks away for a moment to address the needs of the people of the day are unique to John, and though we will never know exactly what was going on, they suggest a group of people struggling with their faith, and maybe struggling with each other.
So we see in the Gospel two sides of the coin of unity; on one side the imperative for the Christian community to reflect the unity of God and humankind, and on the other their difficulty with making this a reality.  And if we are honest we know this is still the case?
Through John, Jesus reminds us how important unity in God is – how important that we love one another – but there is also a hint that it is never easy to achieve.  And perhaps, we fear it just a little – and with some reason.  Changes in society often come about from someone breaking away from the norm.  Those who call for unity often have the most to gain from the system staying just as it is.  Add to that in today’s society difference is celebrated, or at least tolerated. We don’t all worship in the same way, and it’s good that we don’t.
But that fundamental, amazing truth is still there: that Jesus healed the rift between God and us, and this wholeness should be seen in our relationships to one another.  Our challenge is to take Jesus’ call to unity and love seriously.  We need to work out how to avoid both differences that mar the image of God, and also an air-brushed kind of unity that silences voices that need to be heard.  This will never be an easy path for us to tread, but we must face up to and take on the challenge, for it is one that will take us closer to the heart of God.


Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email:

Next Sunday – Pentecost & Jubilee – 5th June (1st Sun.)
                     9:15 am                Holy Communion, Croston
10:30am               Joint worship, Bretherton
at Congregational Church
11:00 am               Holy Communion, Mawdesley

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Richard Keith Ashcroft, Mary Cobley & Ron Kearton
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: or on their facebook page

This weeks Church of England worship comes from St John’s, Sharow, with Rev Ruth Newton, who will explore the journey from Ascension to Pentecost. You can view this from 9am on Sunday at or via

Joint worship with the Congregational Church at Bretherton
We have decided to restart our pattern of joint worship with our Brothers and Sisters at the congregational Church.
Sunday 5th June 10:30am Pentecost and Jubilee worship
at the Congregational Church

Sunday 26th June Feast of John the Baptist 11 am
Joint worship at St. John the Baptist then we walk down to the Congregational Church for food, fun and fellowship.

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!

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.

The Collect
Risen, ascended Lord, as we rejoice at your triumph, fill your Church on earth with power and compassion, that all who are estranged by sin may find forgiveness and know your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen
First Reading
An act of mercy results in harsh treatment and imprisonment for the Christian missionaries, but their rescue leads to a household’s conversion.
Acts 16.16-34
One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling.
While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.‘  She kept doing this for many days.  But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.‘  And it came out that very hour.  But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place before the authorities.  When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, ‘These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.‘  The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods.  After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely.  Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.  When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’  The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.  Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’  They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’  They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.  He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

Second Reading
We have the glorious assurance that Jesus will come, and all human thirst will be quenched.
Revelation 22.12-14,16-17,20-21
I, John, heard a voice saying to me: ‘See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.  It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches.  I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’
The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’  And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’  And let everyone who is thirsty come.  Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.   The one who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.  Amen.

The Gospel
Jesus prays about the relationships that will enable the world to know the truth about the Father’s love.
John 17.20-26
Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed: ‘Holy Father, I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.  As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me.
I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

Prayer after Communion
Eternal God, giver of love and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom: confirm us in this mission, and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen 

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