This week’s Worship
The Presentation 30th January (5th Sun.)
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Communion by extension, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Wednesday 10 am Holy Communion Croston
Friday 9 am Morning prayer, Mawdesley
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Forty days ago we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and now Candlemas marks the end of the Christmas/Epiphany season as we recall the day on which he was presented in the Temple. Epiphany has been all about the revelation of just who Jesus is and what he is about. This emphasised in the extended preface used in our Holy Communion services:
‘In the coming of the magi the King of all the world was revealed to the nations.
In the waters of baptism Jesus was revealed as the Christ, the Saviour sent to redeem us.
In the water made wine the new creation was revealed at the wedding feast.
Poverty was turned to riches, sorrow into joy.’
This season comes to an end this week when the infant Jesus was offered to the Father and shown to his people. This week we find ourselves looking back to the day of his birth but also forward to his passion. Be in no doubt that Jesus was a real person just like each one of us, and like us throughout his life he experienced love but also pain, which is the flip side of love. Faithful old Simeon was so close to God that he was able to tune into God’s voice that seems to have nudged him to go to the Temple. As soon as he set eyes on the baby, Simeon immediately knew that all the hopes and expectations of Israel were gathered within this child. But he was also aware that the baby’s passage through life would not be easy. After his song of praise and joy, Simeon warned Mary that “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:34-35).
Mary and Joseph were obeying the Law of Moses when they took their son to the Temple as they express their thanks to God in a very special way. The birth of a new baby into any family is a time for great rejoicing and excitement, but Mary and Joseph discovered quite soon that bringing up children is fraught with anxiety and pain amidst all the love and happiness. This worry and agony intensifies once Jesus started on his ministry, culminating in the anguish of the crucifixion. Raising children is never easy and sometimes parents’ hearts are pierced by swords, because love is always accompanied by some degree of pain. But, as Mary and Joseph showed, unconditional love is the greatest gift that parents can give to their children. Jesus shows us all his unconditional love through the pain and suffering of the Cross. And God showed in raising Jesus from the dead that love will always have the last word.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday – 4th Sunday before Lent 6th February (1st Sun.)
8:00 am BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am Family Worship, Bretherton Cancelled
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon him, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.
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Covid Guidance; we are still experiencing high infection rates
- Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
- We are no longer required to wear face masks but please be mindful of those who may be less confident and choose to wear a mask.
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 Church of England worship can be viewed from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
St. Michaels Church Croston Saturday 12 Feb. from 10 am – 2pm
A Big & Little Trains show presented by
Chorley & District Model Railway Club
Please do continue your support of the Food Bank
Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we all hear in the news financial pressures are increasing and more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will continue to make a real difference to people’s lives
Exciting News at St. Michael & All Angels!
Starting again on Sunday 6th March is our Childrens Sunday Club. Please see the below poster for more details.
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 would greatly help support our regular income.
Lord Jesus Christ, light of the nations and glory of Israel: make your home among us, and present us pure and holy to your heavenly Father, your God, and our God. Amen
The prophet foresees the coming of God’s messenger on a day of judgement that will be hard to withstand. There will be judgement on all who defy God’s commandments and purification for those who serve God by offering him sacrifices.
Thus says the Lord God: See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight – indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.
Jesus became like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he understands what it means to be fully human. Because he understands us so well he is merciful towards us and helps us in our times of struggle and temptation.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
When Jesus is brought to the Temple an old man, Simeon, recognises him as God’s Messiah. He speaks of him as the revelation and salvation of God offered to all people, but also foresees the suffering that is to come for the baby and his mother.
When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon and Anna, who lived to welcome the Messiah: may we, who have received these gifts beyond words, prepare to meet Christ Jesus when he comes to bring us to eternal life; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen