Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
What a great day it was yesterday when our three villages joined in with the nation to celebrate and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.  It was great to see everyone joining in whilst maintaining social distancing within our communities, and I expect we all got to know our neighbours just a little better.  I visited the war memorials in all three villages during the day and they looked splendid – thanks to everyone who cares for them so well throughout the year, not just the one or two days where they become a focal point for us.  They play an important part in our village life and they are there constantly for us so that we do not forget the significant events of the past.  As Bishop Julian says – ‘The next generation need to know how their present freedom came to be and at what cost it was bought.’  ‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future’. Theodore Roosevelt

The joy is clear to see in the film and photos of that day it must have been such a relief that finally the war in Europe had come to an end.  The price paid to stand up to the aggression was staggering, with between 70 to 85 million fatalities throughout those dark six years.  This was a war that went beyond 2 nations, it spread throughout Europe and across the world, it recorded the highest number of casualties in war that the world has ever seen.   All this came a mere 21 years after the war that was supposed to end all wars, but this war had a great influence on the kind of world we now live in, but we must not forget there are still too many conflicts around the world.

It seems strange that 75 years on the world has almost stood still for these last couple of months as together we fight the common enemy – the Covid–19 pandemic. This weekend we all await the statement from the Prime minster on Sunday (10th) – where we expect him to layout the governments approach over the coming months as they seek to bring us slowly out of lockdown and get the economy moving again.

But I hope we aren’t under any illusions because it will most likely be a slow and incremental relaxing of the restriction – so we will need to be strong and courageous for some time to come.

As Bishop Julian commented we will need the sort of courage that ‘was exemplified by the supreme sacrifice of so many in World War Two’ and ‘something of the same courage we see in our armed forces today and those in our NHS and Care homes, and others in essential services.’

So this fight against Covid-19 won’t be over for some time to come – but we must retain hope that we can and will get through it all together.

If you think things are difficult for us just think about those who don’t have the infrastructure and support we have in our country.  How hard it must be if you don’t have a health service, if you don’t have a home, and if you don’t even have clean water and soap to wash your hands in.  This week is Christian Aid week and there are further details later in this bulletin giving details of how you can support their good work.

Don’t let the current sadness overcome you we must focus on the hope that is the better future that awaits us all – it will come but were just not sure when that will be.

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

Please remember the recently departed souls of:

Ruby Dalton & Brian Bennett.

May they rest in the eternal peace of Christ.

 

 

Coronavirus Village support groups

Croston        COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group

Mawdesley    Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.

Bretherton    Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
email bethertoonwi@btinternett.com

Facebook Pages

There will be a Worship Video on Sunday mornings at 10 am.

During the week there will be worship every day at 7 pm using the night prayer resource on the Church of England Website at:

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

Or you can download the ‘Daily Prayer’ App to your phone or tablet.

https://www.facebook.com/St-John-the-Baptist-Church-Bretherton-439088266487676/

https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelAllAngelsChurchCroston/

https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Mawdesley-w-Bispham-442669382795886/?ref=bookmarks

The church of England posts on facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am this Sunday I would highly recommend it as it’s a celebration of nurses and healthcare workers.  It will be led by Bishop of London and former Chief Nursing Officer Sarah Mullally.  There will be contributions from the current Chief Nursing Officer and many more, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

 The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched Daily Hope, which offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.

The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

Please continue to support the Food Banks

In Croston – Specially needed is ‘instant’ food – items that can be mixed with boiling water to make a meal. (mashed potato, couscous, noodles, packet soups).
Many people cannot afford to pay for fuel & dare only to boil a kettle.

We also need razors & toothbrushes.
Please bring items to 19, Highfield Rd. or 32, Westhead Rd.

The next run to the Food Bank is early – Monday 11th May.
In Bretherton – The box will remain at the gate, 154 South Road.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date!

In Mawdesley – we have been giving donations of money rather than food which gives the foodbank flexibility to buy what they need at specific times.  Any donations can be dropped at Robin Hood Cottage, Bluestone Lane, Mawdesley, L40 2RG (opposite Nook Lane), cheques should be made payable to ‘Ormskirk Food Bank’ these will then be delivered to the Food bank on a regular basis. Eggs are also available from Robin Hood Cottage (thanks to Rosemary & the hens of course)

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

Christian Aid Week 2020

This is usually quite a big week across our three parishes with envelopes collected from churches and schools and distributed to most peope in the villages.  However under the current circumstances, house to house and other face to face events cannot go ahead this Christian Aid Week. However, there is a vibrant, virtual Christian Aid Week that we can all get involved in online from our homes!

Please search for Christian Aid week 2020 or follow the link below:

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/key-appeals/christian-aid-week

Please do join in and be generous with your donations if you can be because ‘as this virus spreads across the world, love rises up in response. You’ve already shown incredible kindness to your neighbours.  Now is the time to reach out to your neighbours both near and far.

Your love protects. From storms, from drought, and now from coronavirus.

Your love protects our global neighbours battling the spread of this illness.

Your love protects.

With soap, clean water and medical supplies.

By supporting us this Christian Aid Week, you can reach out and protect more of your neighbours today.

Please donate now and save lives’.

 And finally this cheered me up this week – Hundreds of schools to sing virtual ‘thank you

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/hundreds-schools-sing-virtual-thank-you-song-goes-viral


The Word of the Lord

FIRST READING : Acts 7.55-end

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

Standing before the high priest and the council, Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them. ’When he had said this, he died.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God 

THE GOSPEL : John 14. 1-14

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

Glory to you, O Lord

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places.

If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.’

 

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you, O Christ.

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