This week’s Worship

Sunday 28th March 2021 Palm Sunday of Lent (4th Sunday)
            9:15 am      Holy Communion – Croston
9:30 am      Family Worship – Mawdesley
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton

Palm Crosses will be blessed and available at all our churches on Palm Sunday throughout the day, please pop in and pick one up.

 Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston

Thursday      7 pm Maundy Thursday Holy Communion Croston

Good Friday  10 am Morning Worship at Bretherton & Mawdesley
2-3 pm The Last hour at Croston

** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Thankfully this year we will be able to gather together for worship during this Holy Week and for Easter day, I never imagined when I was ordained that we would be prevented from meeting together on Easter day.  But the circle of life continues and the seasons in the church as well as in nature come round ever so quickly.  When we look back the last year has been full of so many unpredictable twists and turns, but we take one day at a time and look forward with hope.
The life of Jesus was also full of unpredictable twists and turns which are reflected in this week that lies ahead of us.
There is a lot going on this week and we hear about so much of that in the Passion narrative, where the people who surround Jesus during this week are fascinating.  These characters act out what it is to be human, we see mistakes made, frustrations with each other, but in the midst of this there is God in the person of Jesus.   We see Jesus’ provocative and triumphant ride into Jerusalem; the throwing of palms at his feet, the precious ointment being placed on the feet of Jesus; Judas’ betraying Jesus; the disciples coming together for the Passover meal; the last supper, Jesus’ foretelling the actions of the disciples during his trial and crucifixion; his exhaustion; praying alone and so on.  The Gospels are full of stories about people’s actions and deeds, they are after all merely human.
As we reflect on this young man’s death, we realise it is not the years of his life which interest us, it is what he accomplished in those years.
Poet Philip James Bailey wrote:

We live in deeds
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-beats. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
And he whose heart beats quickest lives the longest:
Lives in one hour more than in years do some
Whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their veins.
Life’s but a means unto an end; that end,
Beginning, mean, and end to all things — God.
The dead have all the glory of the world.

We know that Jesus did not live to a ripe old age, but his deeds gave and still give life to the world.
Even in this last hectic week of his life, in the midst of all his challenges, Jesus still gives time for people, time to let a woman anoint his feet; time to share a meal with his closest friends, and time to pray to his Father.
As a contrast to the weakness of humanity shown by so many of those who Jesus encounters during this week, his own life is a model for us which we are all called to imitate Christ in our lives.  In contrast, the actions of those who surround Jesus teach us many things about our human condition.  We learn about frustration, limited understanding and essentially what it is to be human and make mistakes, or simply not understand.  Within the Gospels we encounter the highs and the lows of human life; but we also learn about what we could become if we can come close to God.   If we can walk and draw close with Jesus during this week, through the reading of scripture and prayer we will gain insight into the way of God.  Sometimes our actions may not be popular, they might involve personal sacrifice, we might not fully understand why we are following a particular path, but if we can trust and follow Jesus, we will come close to God, and we will find redemption.  Jesus calls us to be reconciled to himself so we might be reconciled to each other.

Wishing you every blessing during this most Holy of weeks.

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

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:

Brian Laithwaite, John Waring

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 4th April 2021 Easter Day (1st Sunday)
            8:00 am      BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:30 am      Family Worship – Bretherton
9:15 am      Holy Communion – Croston
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship comes from comes from Morecambe Parish Church and is led by the Revd Chris Krawiec. This will be livestreamed at 11.00am from the parish website which is here.
It can also be viewed later on the Diocesan YouTube channel.

This weeks Church of England worship also comes from our Diocese and will be led by the Revd Rebecca Aechtner and Canon Anderson Jeremiah, featuring liturgy from the Church of England and the Church of South India.  You can join in from 9am on Sunday morning at;  https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/church-online/weekly-online-services

Or from 11am on the diocesan YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMZ_3qPsmiiP4-StDmTXrIw

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Passiontide & Holy Week resources

  • ‘Read Mark and Learn’ reflections continue daily on each of our churches facebook pages.
  • Walking the way of the cross Sign up for the Podcasts from Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, Dr Paula Gooder and Bishop Philip North launched here:
    https://cofe-way-of-the-cross.captivate.fm/listen

 

 

 

 

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

We will shortly be writing 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. We now have a small store of supplies in Croston (Contact the COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group if you know of someone in need.)

The ‘main’ Foodbank is 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

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer/subscribe-our-prayer-podcasts

 

 


The Collect
True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah: grant us the faith to know you and love you, that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory.
Amen

First Reading
The servant of the Lord faces up to violent opposition with God on his side.
Isaiah 50.4-9a
The servant of the LORD said:  The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.  Morning by morning he wakens – wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious,  I did not turn backwards.  I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.   The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.  It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?  All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

Second Reading
The reign of Jesus Christ as Lord is based on his willingness to undergo human suffering and death.
Philippians 2.5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.   Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Gospel
The events of Holy Week unfold to their terrible conclusion.
Mark  15:1 – 39
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.  Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’  Then the chief priests accused him of many things.  Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’  But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.  Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.  So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.  Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’  For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.  But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.  Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’  They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’  So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort.  And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.  And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’  They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.  After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.  Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).  And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.  And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.  The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’  And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself.  Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’  And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’  Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

Prayer after Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant, and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation: give us the mind to follow you and to proclaim you as Lord and King, to the glory of God the Father.       Amen

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