This week’s Worship

Sunday 3rd January 2021 Epiphany (1st of the month)
          8 am         BCP Holy Communion – Mawdesley
9 am         Family Worship – Bretherton
9:15 am     Holy Communion – Croston
11 am       Holy Communion – Mawdesley.

Wednesday 10:00 am Holy Communion, Croston
Friday 9 am        Morning Prayer – Mawdesley

Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley resumes on 8th January

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Well what a year that was, we will never forget 2020 and the many challenges that it brought to our lives and indeed the lives of people throughout the world.  It has been a roller coaster of a year, we went on our Annual Ski Trip to Austria at the end of January and delighted in the good weather and Christmas lights which stay up there until 2nd February.  The Coronavirus was beginning to spread at the time and things were starting to get difficult in Italy but within 2 months we were in Lockdown as were other nations with our churches closed.
It lasted longer than the first predictions, we missed Easter in Church, but by June things were looking better and for most the summer brought some respite – thank goodness we were blessed with some good weather.  By the end of September the 2nd wave was on the horizon, followed by a 2nd lockdown, but the news of vaccines brought some hope.  As Christmas approached our hopes for more freedom were dashed as a new virulent variant was discovered and took hold in the South of England and now we start the New Year in the strictest restrictions of Tier 4 – which was a disappointment to so many here in the Northwest.

We must remain vigilant and we must remain hopeful that we will remember 2021 for different reasons as we seek to overcome this virus and regain some of our freedoms that perhaps we took for granted to easily.
Epiphany means ‘manifestation’ where the nature of Jesus is ‘made known’ to the wider world via the Magi who arrived bearing gifts of great significance.  Gold is a gift for a king, Frankincense signifies the Divine nature of Jesus but then there is the Myrrh a spice used in burial.   So these three gifts point to a Divine King who will give his life as an act of God’s love and saving power, for all the world, for all time.  The Epiphany also invites us into the story asking ourselves how we will recognize this child, what we will offer to him; and how we will follow him in our own lives. This is a feast of Thanksgiving for God’s gift to the world, it was a world in need at the time when the Magi arrived – but it will always be a world in need, until all come to know, love and follow, that most precious of all gifts, Christ our King.

May I wish you all a safe and hopeful New Year.

With love & prayers.  Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email:






Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:
Mildred Duff, Eva Disley and Michel Paillusson.

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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Resources – Feast of the Epiphany
1)       The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2)       Prayer and worship at home for Epiphany

Sunday 10th January 2021 Baptism of Christ (2nd of the month)
          9:15 am        Family Communion – Croston
11 am            Morning Worship – Mawdesley
11 am           Holy Communion – Bretherton

What does Tier 4 mean for us?

  • Public worship can continue – but it is not an obligation to attend its ok to worship from home.
  • PCCs cannot meet physical they must be carried out by on an online conferencing platform such as Zoom.
  • People should stay at home as much as possible
  • All non-essential shops, Gyms, hairdressers, etc. must close
  • You cannot meet other people indoors or in your garden, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
  • You can meet with one person not in your household or support bubble in a public space for exercise.
  • People should not leave tier four areas or travel abroad, except for limited reasons (including work and education)

Coronavirus Village support groups
       Croston      COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley   Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton   Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)

Please do continue to support the Food Banks
All the food brought into the3Chuches is taken to the ecumenical food bank in Skemersdale, supported by the Trussell Trust.
In Croston – You can leave donations in St. Michael’s Parish Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10 to 4pm, 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).

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our local food banks and all the other good causes at this time.


Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship is led by Revd Sarah Gill and with the Revd Nick McKee preaching and can be accessed via:

This weeks Church of England worship comes from the UK and the Middle East celebrating the feast of Epiphany, the revelation of the incarnation in Jesus Christ and can be accessed via:

You can follow the Order of Service at


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.
As our Churches once again close this will affect us greatly at what is traditionally a busy couple of months in the build up to Christmas.

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 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 greatly help support our regular income.


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:





Christingle – support for Childrens society

We hope you enjoyed our Virtual Christingle service from Croston over Christmas and we look forward to hopefully returning to the real thing this year in all our Parishes.
We normally raise over £700 to support the work of the work of the Childrens society.

This year we have set up a local fundraising page at:

Please do support the important work that they do fighting for the hope and happiness of young people when it’s threatened by abuse, exploitation and neglect.  If you would like a collection box to support them throughout the year please contact Diane Marston (Croston) or Rosemary Leigh (Mawdesley).

We wish you all
a very safe, peaceful, and hopeful New Year





The Collect
Creator of the heavens, who led the Magi by a star to worship the Christ-child: guide and sustain us, that we may find our journey’s end in Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                                                     Amen

First Reading
Isaiah prophesies God’s light shining in the darkness, while kings from the East bring gifts of gold and frankincense and sing praises to God.
Isaiah 60.1-6
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm.  Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah.  And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense     and proclaiming the praise of the LORD.”

Second Reading
St Paul declares that Gentiles are heirs to all God’s promises just as much as the chosen race.
Ephesians 3.1-12
I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles – Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.  In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.  I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

The Gospel
Wise men from the East follow a star until they find God’s gift of Jesus. They pay homage to the baby Jesus and offer him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2.1-12
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, the bright splendour whom the nations seek: may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light discern the glory of your presence in your Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.                  Amen


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