Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Whilst the plan to gradually reintroduce some children, other than those of Key workers, to schools is still on hold other things seem to be changing very fast. As last week’s bulletin was posted it was immediately out of date when the government surprised us all by announcing that our churches could be opened for individual private prayer from 15th June, bringing forward the date from the 4th July which had been published for some time. This was quickly followed by allowing funerals to take place in church from the 15th June, and then later in the week they have announced that they have brought the date for individual private prayer to the 13th June. Government guidance relating to all of this was still being issued yesterday (12th). Our diocese have urged us to see this as an ‘opportunity not an obligation’, as this is the date from which it is legal to open, rather than a must be open on this date.
So this week we have been assessing our three churches, ordering supplies such as hand sanitiser, and reflecting on how and when we can do this safely for each setting. We will not be in a situation where we can open on the
15th June but we may be able to open our doors about a week later, once we confirmed a date we will communicate this to you.
We are already asking the question about weddings – but as yet we do not have any answers and the situation is the same we cannot conduct them but hopefully we will know something soon. I want to share with you a reflection written for Corpus Christi, relating to the tension around reopening our buildings it is written by a colleague in a similar setting to ours in the North of our diocese.
Re-opening our Buildings – A Reflection by the Rev Nancy Goodrich, Area Dean of Tunstall Deanery
“Our church buildings matter. They are places where the very walls are soaked with prayer and love. People from our communities have come to these places, in some places for centuries, to meet with God at significant moments in their lives. We stand on holy ground.
These are thin places where praying comes easier by the prayer that has gone before us.
Here in Tunstall Deanery, in the far North of Lancashire, we have 22 church buildings, 8 incumbents. Our church buildings are looked after by their communities, they belong to their communities, are funded by their communities, they are loved and needed by their communities.
They are sacramental, they speak to their communities of God, the place of communion with each other and God. I tell local people, “there is a place in your church for you, that only you can fill, and it is waiting for you to come and take your place” and people know it is so.
Place matters. We are dwellers all in time and space. God’s self-revelation in Jesus is given incarnationally, bodily in time and place, understood through stories of homelessness, displacement, and exile.
Our church buildings really matter. We are torn.
Our hearts say “Yes!” Fling wide those doors, let everyone in. God is a God of welcome and invitation, generous and big-hearted and we want our welcome to reflect God’s welcome, loving our neighbours.
But our heads say “No!” The building is a symbol of God’s love and security and we would be heart-broken if it became the cause of infection and illness for members of our community, hurting our neighbours.
We hold this tension today on the feast of Corpus Christi as we long for the physical. To gather, to hold, to see, to taste. We hunger and thirst for the sacred.”
We all hold this tension at a personal level as well in so many ways especially as restrictions begin to be relaxed so please do continue to stay alert as together we seek to control the virus and save lives.
Please remember the recently departed souls of:
Alan Thornbury – St. Peters Mawdesley Friday 12th June 10am
Ernie Ashcroft – Charnock Richard Monday 15th June 10:30 am
Marian Heaton – Charnock Richard Thursday 18th June 11:30 am
The Hearses will be leaving the homes of Ernie and Marian about 30 mins before the crematorium time many may wish to pay their respects at the roadside as they pass through Croston.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile: 07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources – 1st Sunday after Trinity
Attached to this email are:
1) The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2) The Prayer and worship at home sheet for this week
Coronavirus Village support groups
Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
There will be a Worship Video on Sunday mornings at 10 am.
Mid week this week we will have a break from the evening midweek services as the rector will be taking some time off.
Join in personal daily prayer using the resources on the Church of England Website at:
Or you can download the ‘Daily Prayer’ App to your phone or tablet.
The church of England posts on Facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this Sundays worship will be led by
St George in the East (London) from Sunday at 9am. Marking the feast of Corpus Christi, Rev Richard Springer will speak of the agony of the crucified Christ and draw parallels with the pain of those who suffer racism, hunger and homelessness.
The3churches YouTube Channel
We now have a YouTube channel for the3churches – our Sunday services will now be uploaded for 10 am each Sunday.
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
Mawdesley Tea Party Weekend Saturday 11th July
Some people have been asking can anything be done to hold a ‘Virtual Tea Party’ or ‘Tea Party at Home’ this year. The event was, quite rightly, cancelled as lockdown began and we clearly cannot hold anything like a normal tea Party weekend this year. I have spoken with a few people who are keen to do something and Winfred and the committee are behind this and want to support something to bring the village together on this important day for the whole of our community. So if you have any ideas or suggestions please do let us know via our facebook page or by contacting email@example.com and we will try to pull some firm ideas together over the next few weeks.
Is there an appetite for anything similar in Croston and Bretherton this year – although we have less time to prepare there?
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 the buildings are presently closed, there are many ways of giving to support our local churches and we will explore these over the coming weeks. We can make donations or send our regular giving 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.
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Moses has led the Israelites out of Egypt and they have arrived in Sinai. Here God reveals how they can be God’s holy people.
They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.’ So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: ‘Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.
Paul has been explaining that it is faith, rather than good works, that makes people right with God, and now goes on to develop this thought further.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
The twelve are sent on a mission, to proclaim the good news of the kingdom and to make its effects a reality.
Matthew 9.35 – 10.8
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
Prayer after Communion
Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us with these heavenly gifts: may our communion strengthen us in faith, build us up in hope, and make us grow in love; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen