This week’s Worship
Sunday 4th April 2021 Easter Day (1st Sunday of the Month)
8:00 am BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am Easter Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am Holy Communion – Croston
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
Easter day is always a day of great joy. I am looking forward to making the great Easter proclamation; Alleluia! Christ is risen! I am even more looking forward this year to hearing the congregational response of; He is risen indeed. Alleluia! As I type this I can hear your voices responding boldly with great joy. On Easter Day we celebrate that Jesus is alive and always with us, and we live in the knowledge that nothing can ever separate us from his love, not the Coronavirus, not even death itself, for Christ has brought us life eternal. So let us remember that as we come together and celebrate this happy day whether we feel able to return to church or whether we are still staying at home, we will all be united through the abiding presence of Christ our Risen Lord. A few years ago I was told of an easter sermon preached by a bishop, I cant remember where, who went up into the pulpit and proclaimed, Alleluia! Christ is risen! The congregation quickly responded, He is risen indeed. Alleluia! The Bishop said what else can I say? and came down from the pulpit, sermon over, after all it is a great mystery that is beyond words.
We’re not told what Peter and John said to each other as they left the empty tomb that first Easter Day, but I imagine they were scratching their heads wondering what was going on, it was all a bit mysterious. There had been a stone door, and now there wasn’t, there had been a body, and now there wasn’t. This must have seemed all rather strange and odd to say the least, little did they know at that point that this was a moment in history that changed everything.
The Gospel tells us, “as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead”, so perhaps they did walk away scratching their heads and thinking that’s a bit strange!
In fact they were not expecting anything dramatic to happen, on the contrary they were preparing themselves for a future without Jesus. Perhaps they were wondering what the future would hold for them – should they try to carry on the mission without Jesus, or go back to their former lives? At this stage resurrection did not enter their minds, why would it?
But things were different for Mary, for her the empty tomb wasn’t a curiosity but a tragedy. For Mary, the void left by the removal of the stone and the absence of the beloved body was devastating. After the Crucifixion she must have thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it had. It was in her depths of despair, as looked for someone to help, that she found him, he wasn’t the gardener. So when he said her name, just as he had always done, she didn’t respond, “That’s funny,” though it really was. Instead she responds, “Rabbouni,” recognising the master she had followed and loved. She saw instantly the enormous significance of her discovery, however it had happened, Jesus was not dead. In her great excitement Mary then went and told what she had discovered, and the world was changed.
The resurrection occurred in the darkness, hidden away, quietly, that’s where something funny happened, the stone in the wrong place and an empty tomb where things that most people would have thought were just funny or odd.
The resurrection was indeed strange and odd, but it was no accident, it was Gods way of showing the world that his love is able to defeat even death itself. Our creator God does not give up on us at death leaving us languishing in the grave, our loving God will do whatever it takes to give us life for all eternity.
So as we all celebrate the day that changed the world forever, as we hear; Alleluia! Christ is risen! May we all respond boldly and with conviction, He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
May the risen Christ be known among you, in faith, hope and love, this Eastertime and always.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources – Easter Week
1) The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2) Prayer and worship at home for Easter Sunday
3) Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Kathleen Farrington, Arline Yvonne O’Hara, Brian Laithwaite,
Anne Rawstorne, Laurence Rawstorne
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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Sunday 11th April 2021 2nd Sunday of Easter (2nd Sunday)
9:15 am Family Worship – Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship led by the Revd Sarah Gill and Bishop Julian in a service that will also reach out to those of other cultures will be on the Diocesan YouTube channel.
This weeks Church of England worship is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Cathedral and will feature prayer, praise and music from St Martin’s Music You can join in from 9am on Sunday morning at; https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/church-online/weekly-online-services or
Baptisms to Recommence after Easter
We will be restarting baptisms after Easter but we will be complying with Covid-19 restrictions and numbers will be limited. We will mirror the restrictions placed on Weddings which are:
No earlier than 12th April: limit 15 people excluding workers
No earlier than 17th May: limit 30 people excluding workers
No earlier than 21st June: hopefully all restrictions lifted
Note: dependent upon the government guidelines being confirmed
Apologies it has taken longer than anticipated to write to all who had baptisms cancelled since the start of Covid and those who have recently made enquiries.
Could you make an Easter gift to support Church?
Our churches rely upon the generous donations from our parishioners to provide the financial support that both maintain our buildings and provide care and support to all those in the local community.
So thank you to everyone who has been able to continue to support us during the last 12 months which have been very challenging.
Could you consider making a special donation this Easter if so these can be left on the plates at the back of Church during a service or you can also make a donation 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 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.
Please do continue to support the Food Banks
The Food Banks all net-work with each other to reach all parts, including small villages and outlying houses and are in need of items such as;
Food: Long life milk, Long life juice, tinned meat, Sugar (especially the small bags), Coffee (small jars), Tinned veg., Instant mash, Teabags, Tinned fruit
Personal & domestic cleaning: W – up liquid, detergent pods, Kitchen/bathroom spray, Loo Rolls, Toothbrushes & paste, Shampoo, Shaving foam, Razors, deodorant (M & F), Soap, Nappies.
Please continue to bring items to any of our churches (all are open on Sundays & Wednesdays) or:
In Croston – You can leave donations in St. Michael’s Parish Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10 to 4pm or bring them to 32, Westhead Road or to 19, Highfield Road.
In Bretherton – You can leave donations in St. John the Baptist Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 9:30 to 3:30 pm or in the box at the gate at 154 South Road.
In Mawdesley – You can leave donations in St. Peters Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10:30 to 4:30 pm or monetary gifts in sealed envelopes please to Robin Hood Cottage, Blue Stone Lane (Opposite Nook Lane).
Please donate if you can.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the food banks
If you are isolating at home this resource may be helpful especially if you do not access the services online
This resource may be helpful for those who are unable to return to church services at the moment, or for anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely and who doesn’t have access to the internet.
There are also the daily prayer resources on the Church of England Website where you can download apps at:
Church of England Daily Prayer
Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen
In Caesarea, Peter preaches his first sermon to Gentiles.
Peter began to speak to those assembled in the house of Cornelius. ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’
The resurrection of Jesus from death to new life is a pattern for our new life – on earth when we focus on God, and in heaven when Christ comes again in glory.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
Grieving, Mary Magdalene meets the risen Jesus and is given a message for the other disciples.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb.
The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb.
He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.
They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’
She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Prayer after Communion
God of Life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection have delivered us from the power of our enemy: grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen