Dear Church Friends,
I hope all the recent sunshine is cheering everyone up. Thank you to Janet S for sending me this lovely photo of our church with the cherry blossom at its best. It was good to be able to welcome so many people to our reopening service last Sunday and I should like to thank Rev Jim for his uplifting service.
It has been quite a week of mixed emotions for Royal Family. Last Saturday, the Queen and her family said goodbye to Prince Philip in a very moving service. On Wednesday the Queen reached her 95th birthday and on Friday one of the Queen’s Great Grandson’s, Prince Louis, celebrated his 3rd birthday.
Outside, new life is appearing in the natural world. I have seen baby moorhens on the ponds opposite the Grand and the robins seem very busy feeding their young. The cherry blossom everywhere is superb, although I hope we don’t get strong winds so that we can appreciate it for a while longer. Apple and pear blossoms are slowly appearing and our garden is a mass of blue and white English bluebells on the sunny side, with more bluebells emerging on the shadier side. I think the collared doves’ young may have hatched as the adults don’t seem to be on the nest all the time and are seen finding food for themselves on the lawn. To begin with they feed their young with ‘crop milk’, a fatty substance secreted from the lining of their crops. Subsequently they feed them a diet of grain which has been softened in their crops. One adult seems to sit on the nest overnight. We don’t hear any noise and we can’t see any sign of chicks, but time will tell. Nature always gives us hope, calms our minds and helps us through the unhappy times.
As well as the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, Friday 23rd April was also St George’s Day. I recently came across the following in a book:
The classic legend has St George as a knight in armour, saving a beautiful, innocent young maiden from a marauding dragon. It’s a noble and stirring image, but knights in armour are history while dragons are, happily, mythological creatures.
Another version of the story, perhaps more grounded in reality, has George being a Roman soldier at a time before Christianity was adopted by the Empire. Seen as a traitor for refusing to acknowledge the Emperor as God, he was imprisoned and tortured for his Christianity. The beautiful and innocent thing he “saved” was his faith which he refused to deny and eventually died for.
Not much more is known about him but his sacrifice was enough to inspire England, Georgia, Malta and Gozo to adopt him as their patron saint.
If you would honour St George today, on his national day, then don’t go looking for dragons to fight. Instead, choose to stand for something worthwhile and defend it steadfastly.
Some words of encouragement by Elizabeth Gozney
Seek a fresh goal every day, look on all things new,
Show a smile along the way, let happiness shine through.
Don’t give up, if plans may fail, make another start;
Keep a trust if hope is frail, find faith within your heart.
Set aside a time to care and then you’ll find it’s true,
A kindness passed around to share will be returned to you!
A young clergyman was talking to a group about his early working life. He recalled that one morning he was on his way to conduct his first hospital service in a ward of elderly patients. He was feeling very nervous and as he was walking towards the beds, he felt himself slipping on the polished floor. He lost his balance, fell backwards and skidded several feet along the floor, eventually coming to a stop to a chorus of ‘Oohs’ from the patients. On his feet again and feeling very embarrassed he said” would someone like to suggest a hymn we can start with”. “Stand up, stand up for Jesus,” suggested a voice from the end bed.
Following the mention of kaleidoscopes last week, Peter F decided to create kaleidoscope pictures using the outside of the Church. Thank you Peter for sharing these with us
Some words seen on boards outside churches.
Seven days without prayer, makes one weak!
Life is fragile. Handle it with prayer!
Our Worship on Sunday 25th April will be led by Rev Terry Hudson.
Please book by 6pm on Saturday 24th April.
Our Worship on Sunday 2nd May will be led by Rev Martin Graham and will include Communion. If possible, please bring your own individual portion of bread and wine (squash or water) for communion services. There will be some individual prepacked cups with wafers available for anyone who forgets.
Please book by 6pm on Saturday 1st May
A few reminders for those attending services.
A Steward will show you to a seat. To avoid contamination, do not change seats.
Always maintain social distancing (2 metres). People in your household/social bubble may sit together.
After you have been shown to a seat please do not wander. Please do not stop to chat as this will hold up others coming into the service.
All should remain seated and not move about.
At the end of the service, follow the stewards’ directions as you leave your seat, and exit quickly, observing safe social distancing.
Link for Sunday 25th April Morning Zoom Worship at 10:30am which will be led by Rev Janet Calderley.
Lancashire West Missional Partnership Zoom Coffee Morning / Communion on Tuesday 27th April at 10am. Daleen invites you to join her. Join Daleen’s Zoom Meeting
Let us pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
We give thanks for those involved in the administration of the Covid vaccinations. Many of us are fortunate to have received our second vaccination, whilst others are waiting for their turn. Thank you for the skill and dedication of those who worked tirelessly to develop the various vaccines. We pray for those families in India who are suffering during their unprecedented and intense second wave of Covid and ask for your love and blessings on them. Please be with us in the weeks to come as things slowly return to a more ‘normal’ way of life. Thank you for your grace which has sustained us through the long difficult months and give us your strength and love for every day as we move forward. Thank you Jesus, Amen
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all