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.

 

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.

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Worship on this second Sunday of  Lent

Greeting

 

The Lord be with you
All        And also with you.

Opening Prayer

God of revelation,
unveil your Kingdom in our midst.
Show us who we truly are in you:
expose the illusions that distort our vision,
deliver us from temptations that contort our living,
open our eyes in this time of trial –
that resistance may be the secret of our joy
and our joy a sign of your shalom.

All         Amen.

 

Hymn

From ashes to the living font
your Church must journey, Lord,
baptised in grace, in grace renewed
by your most holy word.

Through fasting, prayer, and charity
your voice speaks deep within,
returning us to ways of truth
and turning us from sin.

From desert to the mountaintop
in Christ our way we see,
so, tempered by temptation’s might
we might transfigured be.

For thirsting hearts let waters flow
our fainting souls revive;
and at the well your waters give
our everlasting life.

From ashes to the living font
your church must journey still:
through cross and tomb to Easter joy,
in Spirit-fire fulfilled.

 

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
Genesis 17:1-16

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’

Abram fell face down, and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’

Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner – those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’

God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’

 

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God

 

Psalm

Psalm 22:23-31

Praise the Lord, you that fear him;  ♦

O seed of Jacob, glorify him;

stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.

24  For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor;

neither has he hidden his face from them;  ♦

but when they cried to him he heard them.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation;  ♦

I will perform my vows

in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied;  ♦

those who seek the Lord shall praise him;

their hearts shall live for ever.

R Be not far from me, O Lord

27  All the ends of the earth

shall remember and turn to the Lord,  ♦

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s  ♦

and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth

bow down in worship,  ♦

or those who go down to the dust kneel before him  ♦

R Be not far from me, O Lord

30  He has saved my life for himself;

my descendants shall serve him;  ♦

this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation,

to a people yet unborn,  ♦

declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

Refrain:    Be not far from me, O Lord.

 

 

 

 

Second reading
Mark 8:31-38

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.’

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.

 

Prayers of intercession

 

Heavenly Father draw near to us as we draw close to you in this time of worship. Open our hearts to receive all you have to give us, and graciously accept all we have to offer you.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, you have called your church to proclaim your gospel in all lands, help us in obedience to your call to participate in active Christian Mission in our country and overseas, by what we are, what we say and what we do for others.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for our neighbours and for the people around us with whom we share our daily lives. We pray for the old and the lonely, those isolated from their families and those who find it difficult to make friends. Show us what we can do to help and teach us to be good neighbours.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, whose eternal perfect love can shine even in our fragmented relationships, bless all those to whom we are bound by ties of kinship and affection. Bind us to one another and to you, through him in whom dwells the fullness of your love.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

 

God of love, we pray for our children as they grow up in our family circles; we think especially for parents ‘home schooling’. Give us understanding of their needs and show us how best we can help them face their problems and prepare for life in the world.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

God of all grace we pray for any known to us who are sick. We ask that your blessings can be upon the work of doctors and nurses in the hospitals and nursing homes of this area; strengthen them for their tasks, give them the joy of knowing that they are furthering your own purposes of love and healing.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for those we love who are now at rest in your presence. Today we remember especially …, we thank you for the lives they have lived and the examples they have left behind. We praise you that death can never finally separate those who love Jesus, and that at the last we shall be reunited in the Father’s house and be ever with the Lord.

 

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Lord teach us the practice of recollection, the habit of thankfulness and the art of praise. May we deal generously with others as you Lord deal with us, for Jesus Christ’s sake.

 

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

 

Collect

Almighty God,

by the prayer and discipline of Lent

may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,

and by following in his Way

come to share in his glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All       Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…

 

Hymn

Take up thy cross, the Savior said,
if thou wouldst my disciple be;
deny thyself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up thy cross, let not its weight
fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear thy spirit up,
and brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
to save thy soul from death and hell.

Take up thy cross then in his strength,
and calmly sin’s wild deluge brave,
’twill guide thee to a better home,
it points to glory o’er the grave.

Take up thy cross and follow Christ,
nor think til death to lay it down;
for only those who bear the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

To thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
all praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
the heavenly life that knows no end.

Blessing

Christ give you grace to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him, 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

From ashes to the living font by Alan J Hommerding is © Copyright 1994 World Library Publications, c/o Calamus

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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.

We are hosting a free online family fun quiz night on the 16th February at 7:00 – a fun way to keep in touch with each other and our wider church community. Join Zoom Meeting using the link below.Topic:

All Saints’ Shrove Tues Quiz
Time: Feb 16, 2021 07:00 PM London

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85335869496?pwd=QnF2TTFjSUVJS2JPRlFXVWREazNvUT09

Meeting ID: 853 3586 9496
Passcode: 955912

Hope  you can make it!

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.