Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
On Wednesday of last week we saw the awful tragedy in which 27 migrants — 17 men, seven women, and three children — drowned when their inflatable boat capsized in the English Channel as they sought a better life for themselves here in the UK. These were 27 human beings each one made in the image of God, mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, this disaster will effect so many people. This was a tragedy that was anticipated and a tragedy that could have been prevented, the whole of Europe, the EEC and ourselves as a nation have failed to deal with the challenge that refuges pose for so long now. I am appalled by the way our leaders in both the UK and France are dealing with this situation at the moment, surely it should be a time for political posturing to stop.
The colour for Advent is purple which signifies that something serious is taking place. Purple is the colour of saying sorry, at Lent, it is the colour of mourning at funeral, it is the colour of reflective watchfulness at Advent. This is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and begins on Sunday nearest to 30th November.
Advent comes from the Latin ‘adventus’ which means coming and it reminds us that the question is not whether Jesus will return to judge the earth, but when. Advent wreaths found in our churches have four candles in a ring that will be lit, one by one, each Sunday so that the light builds throughout the season and on Christmas Day the central white candle is lit. But just as we prepare to celebrate the incarnation at Christmas, so we have to prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus in our lives. Are you ready for the coming of Jesus?
Our lives should be characterised by the lifestyle of Jesus so that God’s reign will come in our own lives so that we can then go out into the world and make a real difference, so that the world changes.
This Advent we are challenged not to blame others, but instead to recognise that the change must come from us as we live the new lives of the Kingdom.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday – 2nd Sunday of Advent 5th December (1st Sun.)
8:00 am BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am Family Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:
- Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
- Be mindful of those who may be less confident, especially those choosing to wear a mask
- Don’t forget Hands, Face Space guidance
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 for the First Sunday of Advent is from St Thomas’ Newcastle, led by Rev Ben Doolan with
Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York preaching.
Watch the service from 9am on Sunday https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland.
You can find out what’s planned for the rest of Advent at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/advent-and-christmas-2021-resources-heart-christmas
Thank you for your support of the Food Bank
As the daylight hours get shorter and the nights colder and Christmas approaches and financial pressures increase more families are beginning to struggle and your donations are so important. At this time oy year Christmas goodies would be welcomed, especially children’s chocs. Donations can be left at all our churches.
New Prayer initiative
Thank you to those who supported the first meeting.
After Gods own heart – a Free Advent booklet available in Church and daily on our Facebook pages throughout Advent
Croston Christmas tree Festival Nov. 27th and 28th. 1 till 4pm.
Bretherton School Christmas Fayre – Thurs. 2 Dec. 15:15-18:00
The usual fun – please do support our village school.
Calamity Dame – A wild West Panto at Mawdesley Village Hall
by Mawdesley Amateur Dramatics Society Thur 2nd – Sat 4th Dec.
Tickets available online at www.madsociety.co.uk
Croston Christmas Fair Sunday 5th December from 12 noon
*Note Road Closure from 12 noon to 5:30 pm* Markets in 4 Venues, 1.30pm to 4pm Santa in his grotto, lights switch on at 5 pm followed by Candlelit procession to Church for Carols with Eccleston Brass Band.
Vintage Tractor and Trailer rides from Bishop Rawstorne car park.
Car parking available at Bishop Rawstorne School will close at 7pm.
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 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 greatly help support our regular income.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
God promises a new member of the family of David, one who will bring justice and righteousness to God’s people.
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
God’s people must prepare themselves for the time when they will meet the Lord Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 3.9-13
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
Jesus urges his followers to read the signs of the times and be ready for the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’
Prayer after Communion
O Lord our God, make us watchful and keep us faithful as we await the coming of your Son our Lord; that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in sin but active in his service and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen