This week’s Worship

31st October 2021 All Saints Sunday (5th Sun.)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion, Croston

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

Wednesday 10 am   Holy Communion Croston
Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Christian teaching about life after death can to some sound like a mindless optimism that refuses to face reality.  We cannot bear to think of life without the people we love, and so we simply invent a comforting story that allows us to believe that, even after death, we can still be together!  But actually, the Christian belief in life after death is not so much based on what we would like to believe about ourselves, but on what we believe to be true about God.
The people who are sitting and mourning the death of Lazarus have begun to know something of God’s power, as they have seen Jesus perform astounding healing miracles and Mary, at least, firmly believes that if Jesus had been there when Lazarus was ill, Jesus would have been able to save him.  But many who are keeping her company are openly sceptical, they see Lazarus’ death as a sign that Jesus’ power is either waning, or perhaps was never as great as people made out. Perhaps Jesus really isn’t all that special.
Certainly, Jesus seems very vulnerable and shaken as he faces the death of a friend.  He is no different from the rest of us in feeling the awful feeling of separation and loss.  But then he speaks to Mary with absolute confidence, and acts so decisively, but still we are told that he is “greatly disturbed”.   Even Martha and Mary, two of Jesus’ most ardent supporters, do not believe that he can do anything for their brother now that he is actually dead.  So perhaps all they can expect nothing from Jesus other than him sharing their grief.
But moved and saddened as he is, Jesus still steps up to Lazarus’ tomb and calls his friend back to life, and instantly, Lazarus responds.  This is, after all, the voice that called all creation into being.
It is hard not to envy Jesus his power to bring his friend back to life. How we have longed to be able to do the same for someone we love. But Jesus tells Mary that he is doing this so that she – and all the watching crowds – “would see the glory of God”.  Jesus knows that soon enough he himself will face death, and that his ordinary human relationships will change for ever.  The raising of Lazarus shows the power of God and that there is no end to the love of God, this is the God that is life and nothing, not even death itself, can separate us from the overwhelming life and love of God.
So the Christian belief in life after death is a belief in the never-ending vitality, the life and love of God.  It is not a sentimental and unrealistic desire to maintain our precious human relationships, but a realisation that our love for each other is a small and imperfect symbol of God’s love for all creation. We can trust this God absolutely with those we love.  But as the COP26 climate change conference begins this week the question we all face is can God trust us with the creation that he loves so dearly.

ps: don’t forget to put your clocks back an hour before bed on Saturday night.

With love & prayers.         Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email:

Next Sunday – 3rd Before Advent (1st Sun.)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion, Croston

11:00 am      Holy Communion, 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: or on their facebook page
This week’s Church of England online worship comes from Whalley Abbey and is led by the Bishop of Lancaster Jill Duff.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.

Thank you for your support of the Food Bank
As more families are beginning to struggle these donations are so important.  If you are able, please continue to support this worthy enterprise. Donations can be left at all our churches.

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

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †






Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Elsie Hunter, James Benjamin (BEN) Westby
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †

The One Voice Community Choir with Bretherton School Choir
Concert in St. Michaels Church on Saturday 20th November 6pm
Tickets are just £5 for adults – children free.
There will be a raffle and refreshments available.
Tickets available from Kathryn 01772600768 or
email  Also available on the door.
This promises to be a joyful music event to celebrate interfaith week.

Croston Church Tapestry Pew Cushions
There are a number of tapestry pew cushions that have not been in use since the reordering of church which is such a shame that they are not being displayed.  After consultation with a number of people we are planning to remove the stuffing, sew them back up and use them on the back of some pews, where they will be available for all to enjoy.  We hope to start work shortly if you would like any further information or could help please contact Juliet Taylor or Liz Brown.

Mawdesley Mothers Union meeting
Wednesday November 3rd
Meet in the Parish Room (behind the Church) at 2 pm.
Stan Hazlewood will share some of his prison stories. All welcome.

The Collect
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those inexpressible joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,                                          Amen

First Reading
In this bridge between the Old Testament and the New, the writer foresees eternal life at peace for those who trust in God in the face of suffering.
Wisdom of Solomon 3.1-9
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.  For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt-offering he accepted them.  In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble.
They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever.
Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.

Second Reading
John’s vision of a new world contrasts the anguish of mourning with the joy of marriage as God prepares an eternal home for mortals.
Revelation 21.1-6
I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.   And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’
And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’  Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.’

The Gospel
Jesus begins to weep when he sees the suffering of his friends, and in raising Lazarus he relieves their present grief and also illustrates his dominion over death.
John 11.32-44
 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’   When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.  He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’   Jesus began to weep.   So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’   But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’   Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.  Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.’   Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’   So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me.   I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’
When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’   The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

Prayer after Communion
God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things: may we who have shared at this table as strangers and pilgrims here on earth be welcomed with all your saints to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.                     Amen 

CategoryBretherton, Mawdesley
Write a comment:


Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2021 Built by Hedjam