Month of prayer

As you will see from the archbishops letter, they have called us to make November in particular a month of concerted prayer.  6pm is identified as a moment when we can all pause for a moment of prayer together wherever we may be.  (Also see Revd Toby’s Newsletter  to find out what more we can do.)

The suggested focus for each day of the week is as follows –

Sunday – family, friends and loved ones

Monday – schools and colleges, children and young people

Tuesday – the elderly, isolated and vulnerable

Wednesday – businesses, the workplace and economic wellbeing

Thursday – the NHS and other keyworkers

Friday – national and local government

And attached here is a leaflet of  some suggested prayers for each day, as recommended by the archbishops.

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Worship on the Sunday before Advent – Feast of Christ the King

 

Greeting

 

The Lord be with you
All        And also with you.

 

Loving God, we have come to worship you.

All       Help us to pray to you in faith,

to sing your praise with gratitude,

and to listen to your word with eagerness;

through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

 

Hymn

Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark how the heavenly anthem drowns,
All music but its own.
Awake my soul and sing,
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King,
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love,
Behold His hands and side,
Those wounds yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky,
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye,
At mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of peace,
Whose power a sceptre sways,
From pole to pole,
That wars may cease,
And all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
And round His pierced feet,
Fair flowers of paradise extend,
Their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
All hail Redeemer hail,
For Thou hast died for me,
Thy praise shall never never fail,
Throughout eternity.

 

 

 

 

Prayers of penitence

All       Most merciful God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

we confess that we have sinned

in thought, word and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy

forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;

that we may do justly,

love mercy,

and walk humbly with you, our God.

Amen.

 

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

Have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness

and keep you in life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

First Reading
Ephesians 1:15-23

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Second reading
Matthew 25:31-46

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

‘Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?”

‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

‘Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was ill and in prison and you did not look after me.”

‘They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or ill or in prison, and did not help you?”

‘He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’


This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Sermon

 

Affirmation of faith

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

 

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

 

Hymn

When I needed a neighbour
Were you there, were you there
When I needed a neighbour were you there?

And the creed and the colour
And the name won’t matter,
Were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty,
Were you there, were you there,
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?

I was cold, I was naked,
Were you there, were you there,
I was cold I was naked, were you there?

When I needed a shelter,
Were you there, were you there,
When I needed a shelter, were you there?

When I needed a healer
Were you there, were you there,
When I needed a healer, were you there?

Wherever you travel,
I’ll be there, I’ll be there,
Wherever you travel, I’ll be there.

And the creed and the colour
And the name won’t matter,
I’ll be there.

 

Prayers of intercession

Lord sometimes you speak in wonders unmistakable, and clear mighty signs to prove your presence overcoming doubt and fear.

Lord you sometimes speak in whispers, still and small yet scarcely heard; only those who want to listen catch the all-important word.

Lord you sometimes speak in silence through our loud and noisy days; we can know and trust you better when we quietly wait and pray.

Lord you often speak in scripture, words that summon from the page, shown and taught us by your spirit into fresh light in every age.

Lord you always speak in Jesus, always new yet still the same. Teach us more of our Saviour, make our lives display his name.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

At Advent time Lord we thank you for your promise to return to this world, not as a tiny baby but as a triumphant king. Keep us watchful against temptation and joyous in your service for your name’s sake.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

Heavenly Father as we prepare for Christmas, especially in these troubled times we are living through, help us in all the business of these days to find time to think of what Christmas really means; for your love for the world of the coming promised Redeemer, of the wonder of the world made flesh. May we, like Mary, treasure these things and ponder on Christmas Day, when hopefully we can all be together and ready to join in the joyful worship of the church and give glory to your name.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

Heavenly Father we thank you for our homes and family, for our food and clothing and for all the happiness that parents and children can share. We ask that your love may surround us, your care may protect us and that we may know your peace at all times for Jesus sake.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

Teach us good Lord to serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward, except that of knowing your will, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

Oh God the source of life and health, we pray for those who are ill. Give doctors and nurses skills to make them well again and grant that, during their illness, they may learn more of your love and care, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

 

Be with us Lord as we go out into the world. May our lips always speak the truth; may our ears which have heard your word listen only to what is good; and may our lives as well as our worship be always pleasing in your sight, for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A moment of silent prayer

 

Collect

God the Father,

help us to hear the call of Christ the King

and to follow in his service,

whose kingdom has no end;

for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, one glory.

All       Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…

 

Hymn

Jesus is King and I will extol Him
Give Him the glory and honor His name
He reigns on high enthroned in the heavens
Word of the Father exalted for us

We have a hope that is steadfast and certain
Gone through the curtain and touching the throne
We have a Priest who is there interceding
Pouring His grace on our lives day by day

We come to Him our Priest and Apostle
Clothed in His glory and bearing His name
Laying our lives with gladness before Him
Filled with His Spirit we worship the King

O Holy One our hearts do adore You
Thrilled with Your goodness we give You our praise
Angels in light with worship surround Him
Jesus our Savior forever the same.

 

Final prayer

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people,

That they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,

May be you be plenteously rewarded,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Blessing

Christ the king make you faithful and strong to do his will,

That you may reign with him in glory,

and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son

and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you always.

 

All        Amen!

 

 

Copyright

Common Worship is (c) Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England

Biblical texts are from the Holy Bible New International Version Anglicised (NIV-UK) is (c) Copyright Biblica, Inc

When I needed a neighbour by Syndey Carter is (c) Copyright 1965 Stainer & Bell Ltd

Jesus is King by Wendy Churchill is (c) Copyright 1981 Authentic Publishing, admin by CopyCare

Copyright songs reproduced under CCL licence 206171 and streamed under CCL licence 71318

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Weekly  and other donations – how can we still contribute?

Some of you who usually make a donation in the weekly envelops have enquired how you can donate during this difficult time. One easy way to continue supporting the work of our church (especially during lockdown) is to give through this easy to use online giving page.

You can also use this method if you just wish to make a one off donation to cover the ongoing church costs during this COVID crisis.

Everyone’s support is appreciated as it still costs almost as much to maintain the ministry and the building as normal, yet our church income is reduced.

The church remains very grateful to those who are continuing to support our work, and towards meeting our ongoing costs.

 

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Dear Friends,

4 November 2020

These are deeply challenging and difficult times for us all. When we are surrounded by fear and suffering, it can be hard to feel hopeful. This coming winter feels like it will be longer and darker than usual.

There is a story in the Bible where Jesus and his disciples are caught in a storm. The disciples are understandably terrified as the wind and waves threaten to overpower them. ‘Why are you so afraid?’, Jesus asks. This year, we too have been caught in a storm which often feels overwhelming. And yet we can look to Jesus, in the boat with us, who calms the storm and comforts us in our fear.

We are writing to share our belief that whoever you are, and whatever you happen to believe, you are loved by God. Beyond measure. We also want you to know that we are praying for you, particularly asking that Christ’s love will comfort us, calm our fears, and lead our nation and our world through this terrible pandemic. Starting this week, we have asked every church to pray each day at 6pm. We invite you to join with us. You’ll be able to find simple resourceson the Church of England website and social media channels.

There are three other responses that we want to encourage everyone to consider –

First, let’s be calm. By only buying what we need and not hoarding, or by reaching out to our neighbours as we did during the first lockdown, we can be stronger together in ways that are impossible if we go it alone. When things go wrong – as they always will with such complex challenges – let us look for good and right ways forward together.

Secondly, let’s be courageous. There are many reasons to be fearful at the moment, but the story of Christ calming the waves calls us to give our fears to Jesus and have faith in Him. The British willingness just to get on with things is one of our very best characteristics – let us not be paralysed by fear. We will all need each other’s courage in the months to come.

Thirdly, let’s be compassionate. So many of us are holding so much pain – our own and the pain of those we love. We will need to be gentle, kind and patient with each other. In the first wave we showed we are a nation of compassion and kindness. Let’s dig deep and keep that love for our neighbours strong in this second time of struggle.

Even though there is much darkness around us, there are also many points of light in the weeks ahead.

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This Sunday is Remembrance Day. As we remember the courage and sacrifice of those who gave everything for this nation in war, we are also reminded of the possibility for hope after destruction, of new life after suffering. In the coming weeks, there are great religious ceremonies. For Hindus, Sikhs and Jains there is Diwali, the festival of light. Sikhs will celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak. The Jewish community will observe Hanukkah. Many Muslim communities have just celebrated Eid-e-Milad, the anniversary of the birth of Muhammad.

Soon it will be Christmas. At his birth Jesus was also called Emmanuel. It’s a word that appears in lots of carols. It means ‘God is with us’. And this is the message of Christmas: in Jesus, God is with us, sharing our darkness and our struggles, bringing comfort and joy. It is the source of our hope. As the Bible says: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Let us shine in the darkness of this winter.

May God bless you and keep you, and all those you love.

The Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby The Most Revd & Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of Canterbury Archbishop of York

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Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church Street, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5HT
tobywebber@btinternet.com   (01254) 384321

 

November 2020

Dear friends

I write as we enter another ‘national lockdown’.  It is not as intense, and is designed not to be as lengthy, as that which marked our spring and early summer.  But it comes at a time when many of us are ‘fed up with the whole thing’ and just wish it away – and in a season of the year which is less hopeful and more melancholic.  We are conscious that this time around our region is the worst affected with our local hospitals already caring for many patients with severe Covid infections.  You may have seen the CNN news report from the Royal Blackburn(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj6xddWmKpo) – it makes for very powerful viewing.  There are things to be thankful for, though, particularly the improvements in therapy for Covid patients, and initiatives like the virtual Covid ward reaching out to patients in the community, preventing deterioration and helping them recover.  We must do all that we each can to make the lockdown, with all its pains, as effective as it can be in reducing the transmission of the virus.  We want to keep our own loved ones and community safe, and to help those working so incredibly hard in our hospitals.  Hospital Chaplain Revd David Anderson writes on the ELHT website, ‘Many of us have not recovered from what we went through last time and sometimes knowing what is to come can make it worse. One senior doctor said to me, “The virus is just as strong, but right now I feel weaker.”’

Amongst the pains of the lockdown will be the closure once again of our church buildings for public worship.  As before – and indeed as has continued throughout – we will do what we can to join together through the help of modern technology.  You will be able to view our Sunday services and our Friday Praise each week – either live or on catch up.  And we are continuing to offer Night Prayer daily (except Fridays) at 9:30pm.  Many people have found this to be a helpful moment for quiet reflection, intercession and focus on God at the end of the day.  Don’t forget, you can access all this without needing a Facebook account – just head to www.facebook.com/allsaintsclayton .  And if you’re not on-line why not try ringing the Daily Hope freephone number on 0800 804 8044?

Month of prayer

As you will see from the attached letter, our archbishops have called us to make November in particular a month of concerted prayer.  6pm is identified as a moment when we can all pause for a moment of prayer together wherever we may be.  And Thursdays are identified as a day which we can dedicate as a day of focussed prayer for our NHS and carers.  One ancient and biblical discipline of the church is to fast as a way of devoting ourselves and our prayer more deeply to God.  We are encouraged to fast in some way on these Thursdays – perhaps we can give up one meal, or our snacks, or give up meat and dairy.  Or perhaps give up something different – tv and social media.  Not for its own sake, but to help us to focus on what really matters.  I hope that the people of All Saints’ and St James’ will be wholehearted in making this lockdown month a time of prayer.  For we know how much our community, our nation and our world need our prayers at this time.

There is a suggested focus for our prayers each day (for more details seewww.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches/call-prayer-nation:

Sunday – family, friends and loved ones

Monday – schools and colleges, children and young people

Tuesday – the elderly, isolated and vulnerable

Wednesday – businesses, the workplace and economic wellbeing

Thursday – the NHS and other keyworkers

Friday – national and local government

Saturday – all who are grieving, and all suffering with physical and mental ill-health

Looking to December

As we approach December we will respond to whatever ‘happens next’ in terms of regulations and guidance.  Hopefully it will be possible to have church services taking place during Advent and Christmas.  The decision has in any case been taken to have the busiest and most song based services on-line.  Christingle will be shared on zoom on Friday 18th December at 6:30pm.  The carol service will be premiered on Facebook on the afternoon of Sunday 20th December.  And the crib service, including contributions from All Saints’ School, will premiere on Facebook on Christmas Eve at 4pm.  We hope to be able to distribute CDs of the carol service to those unable to access the internet.  Look out, too, for the Advent Calendar Windows which will light up around the community during December.  One will be unveiled/lit up each day and you will be able to go and find them, or view them on Facebook.  More details on all this will follow in due course.

The food bank was very grateful for everything collected as part of our harvest celebrations through church and school.  In this time of high demand, please don’t forget that this is a very practical way of helping those in urgent need.  If you can, please continue to drop off food or other items at the Baptist Church on Sparth Road, or the collecting points including the Co-Op and Champs.

The church remains very grateful, too, to those who are continuing to support our work, and towards meeting our ongoing costs.  If you would like to give by standing order or a one-off bank transfer during these times, we can happily let you have the details. However one easy way to continue supporting the work of our church (especially during lockdown) is to give through this easy to use online giving page. Everyone’s support is appreciated as it still costs almost as much to maintain the ministry and the building as normal, yet our church income is reduced.

I write this as we prepare for Remembrance Day and just after we have celebrated All Saints’ Day.  This time of year always reminds us of both the preciousness and the fragility of human life.  It also reminds us that with God’s help people have endured much before and have shown great courage and resilience.  May we, like them, keep the faith.  May we, like them, be good comrades, looking out for each other, and especially the vulnerable.  May we, like them put our trust in ‘God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter in the stormy blast and our eternal home.’

Yours in Christ ,

Toby

 

This service in church has been cancelled due to the new COVID restrictions.

2:00pm Family Praise Service

Our family service this month will have a remembrance theme. Because of limited space in church at the moment, if you wish to attend please book on line here to ensure a place.
Thank you

Remembrance Day

For those who have died

Almighty and eternal God,
from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted,
either by death or life:
hear our prayers and thanksgivings
for all whom we remember this day;
fulfil in them the purpose of your love;
and bring us all, with them, to your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

REMEMBRANCE DAY –

We have sadly had to cancel our planned services (both 10am and 2pm family praise), as during lockdown there can no longer be any services in church.

A special remembrance day service will stream from 10:15am. Then you can watch the two minutes’ silence at 11am streaming live from the War Memorial in Mercer Park. You might also like to stand at your doorstep at 11am to share this time of national silent remembrance.

 

Remembrance Day

All Saints Day Remembrance Service

 

As well as the usual 11:00 am service Sunday service, there will also be an afternoon service where we remember our loved ones we have lost. If you want to attend this service it is important that contact the Vicar by email or phone asap, as under our present COVID restrictions have limited capacity; but we hope we can accommodate everyone that wishes to attend.

Also  please contact us if you would like a loved one remembered, so their name can be added to the list.