On-line giving

Many of you give through the weekly church envelopes, which obviously is not an option at the moment. Others may feel they wish to make an extra donation towards the continual running costs of the church. If you would like to do so, an easy way in the current circumstances is click here  and it will take you to use our on-line giving link.

The church remains very grateful to those who are continuing to support our work, and towards meeting our ongoing costs, which are still ongoing even though the church is closed.
Thank you.

 

Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Liturgy of Good Friday

You can access the main services  online here

 

 Our service today opens with a period of quiet prayer. 

The minister then prays the collect

Almighty Father,
look with mercy on this your family
for which our Lord Jesus Christ
was content to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

First Reading

Isaiah 52:13-53:end

See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Video with words from Psalm 22

 

Second Reading

Hebrews 10:16-25

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.  I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty

conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Hymn

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts no pow’r no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

 

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
according to St John

 

The Sermon

Hymn

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to His blood

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul my life my all

 

Solemn intercessions

After each bidding

Lord hear us

All Lord, graciously hear us

 

Lord’s Prayer

All  Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory
are yours, now and for ever.  Amen.  

 

Hymn

My song is love unknown,

my Saviour’s love to me:

love to the loveless shown,

that they might lovely be.

O who am I, that for my sake

my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne,

salvation to bestow;

but men refused, and none

the longed-for Christ would know:

But O, my friend, my friend indeed,

who at my need His life did spend.

 

Sometimes they strew his way,

and his sweet praises sing;

resounding all the day

hosannas to their King:

then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath,

and for his death they thirst and cry.

 

Why, what hath my Lord done?

What makes this rage and spite?

He made the lame to run,

he gave the blind their sight.

Sweet injuries! Yet they at these

themselves displease

and ‘gainst him rise.

 

They rise, and needs will have

my dear Lord made away;

a murderer they save,

the Prince of Life they slay,

Yet cheerful he to suffering goes,

that he his foes from thence might free.

 

Here might I stay and sing,

no story so divine;

never was love, dear King!

never was grief like thine.

This is my friend, in whose sweet praise

I all my days could gladly spend.

 

Final prayer

Most merciful God,

who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world:

grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

 

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

How deep the Father’s love for us by Stuart Townend is © Copyright Thankyou Music

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOLY WEEK

                                                                                      2021

 

 

Palm Sunday – 28 March

9:30am Family Communion at Altham Church – no booking

10:45am Family Worship – online only

11am Holy Communion at All Saints’ Church – no procession this year either before or after the eucharist – no booking.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week I shall offer a biblical reflection followed by compline.  These will take place in All Saints’ Church at 9pm on each of those evenings, and you can attend in person or watch on-line.  Holy Communion on Wednesday 10am as usual.

Maundy Thursday there will be the Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30pm followed by the stripping of the altar.  This year there won’t be any foot-washing though, so no fear that you’ll be asked to volunteer!  In All Saints’ and streamed online – no booking.

Good Friday                                                                                                                                                     10am Service for families (c.30 mins) at All Saints’ Church – book via Eventbrite  (Now full up – no more booking please, but you will be able to view it on line.) 

11am Morning Service at All Saints’ Church – no booking – also online

2pm Hour at the Cross at Altham Church – no booking

 

Easter Eve

10am Morning Prayer – online only

9pm Vigil of readings – online only

                                                                                                                                                                             

 

 

Easter Day – 4 April

6:30am – Dawn prayers in All Saints’ Churchyard – no booking – also online

8am – Holy Communion in All Saints’ Church – no booking

9:30am – Holy Communion in Altham Church – booking required – sign-up in church or contact Les Moore

10:45am – Family Worship – online only

11am – Holy Communion in All Saints’ Church – booking required – sign up in church or contact the vicar Very few places left  also online

Easter

 Tuesday 23rd March  

National Day of Reflection

 

The Marie Curie charity has organised a National Day of Reflection this coming March 23, including a minute’s silence, to acknowledge grief and loss over this very difficult last year.

The Church of England nationally is one of several organisations supporting the day. Our church will be taking part too  –

  • Church will be open on  Tuesday 23 March between 10:30am to 12 noon and from 3pm to 5pm.  Anyone who is free at those times is very welcome to come and sit in church to reflect and pray.
  • At 12 noon, as with many churches around the country, the bell will toll in remembrance of the many victims of this virus.
  • At 5pm there will be evening prayer with special prayers.  You will be able to attend this service in person or watch it on-line.

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

The Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church Street, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5HT

(01254)384321    tobywebber@btinternet.co

March 2021

Dear friends

Return to in-person worship

As you may already be aware, both churches have now resumed for public worship on Sunday mornings (Altham at 9:30am as usual and All Saints’ at 11am and Wednesdays at 10am).  11am services will continue to be livestreamed on facebook.com/allsaintsclayton and be available to watch later. Friday Praise will continue to be online only (termtime) until further notice.  Night prayer continues to be shared online nightly (except Fridays) at 9:30pm.  You can also find Sunday services from a different church each week and midweek messages, along with material for children and youth, on the diocesan Youtube channel.

We are yet to hear when small groups of singers will be allowed to lead worship again, or when we may expect congregational singing to resume.  However, it is great that – as I hoped – we will be able to be in church again for Holy Week and Easter.  Don’t forget that for now all the same guidance applies as before.  Sanitise your hands on entry, wear your face covering, avoid the pews which are marked as out of use and keep a safe physical distance from anyone outside your household or support bubble.  We need to be particularly careful not to mingle together for conversation before and after church, particularly indoors.  Do be aware that although rates of transmission are much reduced there are still cases of illness occurring in our own parish community.

I have already taken a good number of Baptism bookings from July onwards.  Do be in touch before too long if you would like to discuss the baptism of a child in the forthcoming months.

A year into lockdown

As I write, we have already passed the anniversary of the first death in this country from Covid-19 and soon we will mark the anniversary of the initial spring lockdown.  In that time approximately 125,000 people have died having tested positive for coronavirus.  A massive number.  Over that time 450,000 people have been ill enough to require hospitalisation.  And there have been over 4.2 million confirmed cases – to which could be added all the cases never confirmed by test during the first wave.  At the same time a cumulative total of 11.2million jobs have been ‘furloughed’ under the job retention scheme.  Others’ jobs have been lost entirely.  Everyone has lost out massively in terms of social contact – and in particular those in care homes have been deprived of visits by their loved ones.  For two substantial periods schools have been closed to all but a minority of children, and in between many suffered the disruption caused by classes having to self-isolate.

One year since the initial ‘stay at home’ order seems to be an appropriate time to and take stock, a very important thing to do before we begin to move forward with the next steps of ‘unlocking’ and moving forward.  Marie Curie have taken the lead in promoting 23rd March as a ‘National day of reflection’.  We are supporting this and would encourage everyone to share in the day in a way that is appropriate to you.  And if you yourself have lost loved ones to covid, or your own health has suffered, or your circumstances strained to the extreme, then I hope that you will know that everyone’s thoughts are with you, more than ever, on this day.

Church will be open for times during Tuesday 23 March – 10:30am to 12 noon and from 3pm to 5pm.  Anyone who is free at those times is very welcome to come and sit in church to reflect and pray.  At 12 noon, as with many churches around the country, the bell will toll in remembrance of the many victims of this virus.  And at 5pm there will be evening prayer with special prayers.  You will be able to attend this service in person or watch it on-line.

Holy Week and Easter

Last year Holy Week was entirely ‘online’ (or the provision on TV and radio) and had a very particular character in the depth of the first lockdown and at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.  Only the most pessimistic back then anticipated all that we’ve been through since and the fact that we still need to keep social distancing and forbear from song.  This year Holy Week will still feel far from normal.

Whether you join online or in person, or a mixture of both, we come now to the central celebration of the mystery at the heart of our faith, of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.  Jesus indeed was delivered over to death for our sins – and he rose again for our justification.  In him is our only hope and our only salvation, now and in the day of judgement.  From all our apartness let us be united with one another and with Christians around the world as we journey to the cross and the empty tomb.

See the programme of Easter week services here.

God bless you this Passiontide and Easter

Toby

 

 

 

 

 

Lent course

There will be a Lent course ‘Looking out in Lent’ on five Thursdays beginning 25 Feb – 7:30pm on Zoom.

Log on details are Meeting ID: 853 1090 9313   Passcode: 243096 .

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85310909313?pwd=S0xtZ0NQaVdzVEsrRlFrb1BXWGxEUT09

If you’ve not used Zoom before do give it a go.  You can download the Zoom app to your computer or simply go to zoom.us/join and enter the meeting ID – and then when prompted enter your name and the passcode.  We’ll be looking at passages from St Mark’s gospel, watching a video talk each week from one of the bishops or archdeacons and discussing what its all about in a smaller ‘breakout group’.

Everyone is most welcome.

 

Church to reopen on 17th March.

 

Some services in church to resume, these will be as follows –

Wednesday  10:00am service.

Sunday 11:00am service.

The same safety procedures will be in place as before this present lockdown. The services will continue to be steamed on line.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again.

 

We are resuming the short children’s service starting this Sunday – as before it will be just before the main Sunday service starting at 10:45am. You can watch the service here.

Hope you can join us.

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

The Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church Street, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5HT

(01254)384321    tobywebber@btinternet.com

February 2021

Dear friends

If you’ve a garden, or if you’ve been out for a walk, you’ve hopefully seen some snowdrops out by now.  In fact, there are also a few crocuses out in the churchyard and one primrose in our garden began flowering in mid-January, very prematurely!  Snowdrops are a flower beautiful in their simplicity and in their role as the first herald of the new growth of the spring that lies ahead.  They are also remarkable for their resilience in the midst of ice and snow.   One of their traditional names is Candlemas Bells – a lovely link to this time of year and to the feast we celebrated this Tuesday of Jesus’ presentation in the temple.  The light of Jesus our Emmanuel shines in the darkness even yet.

We’ve needed every sign of hope and every encouragement to resilience over this last month of renewed lockdown.  After such long restrictions, and coming in midwinter, it’s been the hardest one to cope with for many people.  Please God, though, it will be the last one. With vaccines reaching more and more people – 10 million already have had their first doses, including many of our older parishioners – and with better weather not too far off – we can be hopeful.

As part of all this, thank you for bearing with church being closed for physical services.  As you will be aware, this wasn’t a legal requirement this time – but was the right thing to do, especially in response to the plea from the director of public health for Lancashire.  We will keep this decision under review and as it seems appropriate will begin to offer ‘in person’ services again.  At the very latest I pray that we’ll be back in church by Easter Day.

As well as worship, one thing many have missed is the social side of church.  To help with this, we’ve begun holding a ‘coffee and chat’ zoom meeting after the service each Sunday morning at around 11:55am.  Those who log on spend half an hour or so having a catch up, which is very welcome.  Why not give it a try?  The Mothers’ Union also have a weekly zoom meeting each Tuesday – Jaqui Houlker can let you have the log on details for that if you’re interested.

Shrove Tuesday (16 Feb) gives us a chance for a bigger social gathering.  We’re having an online quiz!  Join us on Zoom at 7pm – Meeting ID: 853 3586 9496   Passcode: 955912.  There will be a round especially for children as we hope this will be something families will join in with.

Ash Wednesday follows on 17th Feb and there will be an online service at 7:30pm.  Do join if you can and begin Lent with a joint act of worship.

Our focus this Lent will be on St Mark’s gospel.  I would strongly encourage you to join people around the diocese in reading a little of it each day.  And – if you can – to read it all through at the beginning and end of Lent as well.  It’s by far the shortest and simplest to read of the four gospels.  Our diocese has produced a booklet ‘Read, Mark and Learn’ with a reflection to accompany each day’s reading. Find it at www.blackburn.anglican.org/seasonal-resources  or I have copies available – please just ask and I can drop one off.

What of Lent groups? Well, of course we can’t meet in each other’s houses or at the back of church.  So instead, we will use Zoom.  Apologies to those who are on this or similar platforms for a lot of the day, but there is little alternative at the moment.  Each Thursday evening, beginning 25th February, we’ll meet together in this way.  The title is ‘Looking out in Lent’ and through the lens of Mark’s Gospel we will explore what it means to look outwards in sharing the good news, teaching the faith, tending to human need, transforming society and caring for creation.  There will be a video to watch and we will share in discussion, splitting into smaller groups for this.  We will end with a short time of worship which will replace night prayer on these Thursdays.

Whether or not you have previously joined in Lent groups or courses, do think about joining this one.  It is an opportunity for us all to continue to grow in faith, to share in fellowship, and to begin to think outwards and upwards.  Lent is always a time for preparation and opening ourselves to God’s re-creative love.  This year let us pray that it will be a time when we can especially be prepared through it for all that God has in store for us as individuals and as a parish as the lockdown eases, more of life returns and new opportunities arise.

At the present time we are very conscious of those who grieve – the families of the 100,000 lost to covid-19 and the many others who have lost loved ones where they have not been able to visit them in hospitals or care homes and where funerals have been reduced to a short service with limited attendees and no chance to socialize afterwards.  A run of recent deaths in our own church families – Jessie Ireland, Mildred Birtwistle and Ian Mimnagh – brings this home.  Do continue to keep all the bereaved in your prayers.  You might like to use this one, issued by the Church of England.

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.  Amen.

Finally, before Christmas I received a note from the Rev’d Brian Stevenson, who has helped so much in our parishes in the past, especially during the last two vacancies.  He writes,

“Dear friends, I realize that I must seem to have disappeared from the radar screen (as they say), so I thought I ought to bring you up to date.  Many of you know that at the beginning of 2019 Marian and I moved to a flat in Whalley.  At the time I thought I was just feeling the effects of the trauma of moving, not realizing that I wasn’t very well.  Within days of moving, I had to see my ‘new’ doctor in Whalley, the result being that I am being ‘sorted out’ medically and am now ‘taking the tablets’!  The end result is that at 86 and with ill-health I am not ‘fit for purpose’ and have not renewed my Permission to Officiate from the bishop.  In short, I have finally retired from retirement ministry which I have enjoyed these last nineteen years, much of which has been in your parish.  I write simple to thank all of you for your support and to Vicar Toby for inviting me to help.  23 Vale House Close, Whalley, BB7 9TY tel 824229.”

I pray that this Lent – as nature renews itself from its winter slumbers – God may renew us in faith in our salvation, in devotion to Christ and in service of others in His name.

Love in Christ, Toby

 

 

 

ASH WEDNESDAY 
A day of prayer, fasting and penitence at the beginning of Lent.
If you are able do join one of our times of prayer and worship online
10am Morning Prayer and Litany (BCP) – livestreamed
7:30pm Ash Wednesday service – pre-recorded
9:30pm Night Prayer – livestreamed