Here below we have an outline of our service for you to follow at home if you can’t be with us. Choose a quiet reflective space and to make it more meaningful have a cross, bible and candle to make your sacred space.


Good morning everyone, I hope you are well. Today we are celebrating the first Sunday in Advent and will be lighting our advent crown in church.

We had two lovely services last week when we had 18 of our 21 children admitted to Holy Communion (the remaining 3 will be admitted this week). Rev Marcus Bulcock told us some funny stories about his experiences and put the children at their ease; thank you so much for making it special Marcus. Then we had 6 young people confirmed at St. Peter’s Belmont, only 7 were confirmed the other one was Amelia from St. Peter’s, unfortunately one of ours had to isolate so missed out, we will hopefully fit him in somewhere else in the Deanery or wait until next year but we wish him and his family a speedy recovery. The bishop of Bolton led a lovely very personal service and I’m sure it was very special for the families involved, I know it made me quite emotional. I will miss our classes with both groups but feel privileged to help these wonderful young people on their faith journey.

Next week we will be holding a toy service on Sunday and Monday and are asking everyone if they could donate a new toy for Fort Alice, any age of child from babies to teenagers. We are also helping Urban Outreach in “Christmas dinner on Jesus” and we are collecting non-alcoholic Christmas puddings for their hampers. These can be left at the back of church or passed onto your contacts from church.

Our advent study groups started last Monday and continue through advent, tomorrows is at St. Maxentius.


First make your wreath

There are different traditions about the wreath but the basis is a ring of evergreen with 4 or 5 candles placed inside. The four outer candles can be all purple, or three purple and one pink, or all red. The middle candle is always white. You can make yours however you like. Make sure they are secure and in a safe place, especially if children and pets are involved!


On Advent Sunday say a prayer of blessing over your wreath.

Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ. He is the hope of all peoples, and Saviour of every nation. As we wait for his coming, bless this wreath, that it may be for us a sign of our faith, hope, peace and joy this Advent.

Lighting the candles Each candles stands for a different aspect of Advent and links with the readings from the bible. Each Sunday in Advent choose a time to light the candles, listen to the words of scripture and pray for yourself and all those who you love.

Today we light the first candle of the Advent Wreath. The first candle is HOPE (light the first candle)

ISAIAH 64, 4-5

From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.


Eternal God, as we wait for the coming of our Saviour, strengthen our faith in your goodness. Help us to place our trust in you when we find it hard to see the future in our lives, for our community and for the world. Through Jesus Christ, the ground and foundation of our faith. Amen.


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 neighbour 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.


Lord have mercy – Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy – Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy – Lord have mercy


Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

This is the word of the Lord – Thanks be to God


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. Glory to you O Lord

LUKE 21, 25-36

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’  Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and  know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord – Praise to you O Christ


Do you know that feeling when you can only see part of the picture – whether you are watching “CatchPhrase” or maybe sitting high up in the stands and unable to see all the pitch, or you are at a viewpoint but some of the view is obscured for whatever reason. Sometimes our lectionary readings are like this and today is no exception – we only have a short bit of a longer bigger narrative. You might like to read the whole chapter to see what (else) Jesus was saying.

In Matthew, Mark and Luke, we find Jesus telling us what will happen, but using prophetic images, drawn from the Old Testament prophets. The events are linked to at least four things but a bit like a view of distant mountains, it is not always clear which ridge belongs where or what the gap in between is. The disciples will experience 1) the crucifixion and resurrection, 2) they will see the Ascension, 3) some will experience the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans about 40 years later, which will be a terrible event especially for those who cannot escape, and 4) Jesus is speaking about the overall end.

He speaks in prophetic language or rather using images from the prophets: for the Jewish people this is about the total destruction (again) of the temple and the city; it will be catastrophic on a human scale and also on a national scale.

For the first disciples they did see the great events but they also had to live their lives in “this” world, and that is true for us – we know of the great events – Resurrection and Ascension are realities, there are big problems in the world and we wait for and hope for the coming of Jesus in glory, or I hope we do, and in the meantime we live as the ambassadors of the King, as the people of God.

We live with political crises and some live with great suffering from war and destruction; we ourselves live with remarkable peace and stability. The gospel and Jesus are only ever experienced through life and living and in the world. Quite how we discern God in the crises is not easy nor clear; our freedoms are only freedoms if God gives us the spaces to be free.

While much of this is difficult, we can, I hope, grasp that God is both with us in this world and promises hope for our eternal future, in, through and despite what happens. Advent is when we raise our eyes and remind ourselves of the promise and when we commit ourselves to living rightly before God in the now.

If you have not already done so why not join us for the Advent Course, ‘Walking through Advent’ as we take time to ponder, be still, focus, and straighten up before God, as our gospel asks us to do.


 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; 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.


Here we pray for the church, for the world, those in need and those who have died, you can follow your own prayers or these below on today’s theme.

Almighty God, as the new day dawns on this Advent Sunday, we give thanks for the first glimmers of light which remind us of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that your light has the power to overcome all our darkness and pray that throughout the season of Advent we may share in the mystery of your coming into the world.

 Lord in your mercy – hear or prayer.

Loving God we dedicate to you all of the services, study sessions and pre-Christmas activities in our churches throughout Advent – that through prayer, praise and music they may prepare us for a Holy Christmas.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We pray that all who lead and advise in moving our Church forward may be helped by you so that our decisions follow your love and compassion.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We pray for our families, friends and neighbours may be brought into contact with the one, true living God and to know his love for them.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for those who give us support and encourage us and listen to us, make us laugh and share our sorrows. Bless their lives and give them joy.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bless the life and witness of your Churches here in Bradshaw, in the Turton Moorland Team, the diocese and beyond. We give thanks for our priests and deacons, ALM’s and all who declare the work of your churches.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

At the beginning of Advent, we are continuing to support the work of Urban Outreach Christmas Dinner with Jesus – with 60 puddings needed for even more hampers than ever. We pray for the continuing work of the help agencies as they seek to provide for the increasingly needy families and children.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Gracious God, we put before you the ill, the lonely and distressed especially those without hope for the future. We pray for healing, wholeness and hope in their lives and we pray for ourselves.

 We remember those who have died and pray for those who are bereaved – may the light of Christ which eternally shines bring us hope to the dark places and from our book of remembrance, those whose anniversaries this week – remembering Herbert Halliwell.

Greta Fox, Norman Nightingale, Stanley Foster and Arthur Taylor Hamer.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Loving God as we go into our Advent journey in faith, we ask you to minister to our needs. O come, O come Emanuel and fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

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


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. 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 forever. Amen.


Christ the Son of righteousness shine upon us and scatter the darkness before your path; and may the blessing of Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

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