David's Update from 15th May:

Dear Friends

Stay Alert - these two words have caused a strange mix of confusion, anger, parody, frustration and relief since our Prime Minister used them to alter the key messages about our collective response to the Coronavirus pandemic.  A similar phrase is used in scripture

8 Stay alert and be of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  1 Peter 5:8-9

The passage reminds us of the reality of evil in this world and our need to be vigilant.  As we continue to live under the dark shadow of Covid-19 the verse prior to the ones above is a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness.

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

With Love and prayers


Family Fun Night

A huge thank you to Sergeant Phil Marshall (the Rufford one) for the brilliant family fun night on Friday 8 May. 

We planning to have another quiz/family fun night on 29 May at 6.30pm, hosted by Matron Phil Marshall (the Rufford one). The evening will have NHS/care worker/key worker theme and once again we encourage folk to dress up in fancy dress/themed costume for the event.  The evening will include a quiz, first aid competition (including the toilet roll bandage challenge) and a ‘fun’ medical round!  

Just click this link to sign up - https://stjohnthebaptistburscough.churchsuite.co.uk/events/wytmhmze

Thy Kingdom Come/Pray for the Nation

St John’s is hosting a Thy Kingdom Come/Pray for the Nation prayer meeting on Thursday 28th May at 7.00pm.  Thy Kingdom Come is an international prayer initiative seeking the renewal of God’s Church and praying for Christians to be equipped to be a witness to their faith in the world.  In the midst of the current pandemic it is vitally important that we join together in prayer.  We are opening up the event to other churches in Ormskirk Deanery so that we unite with our brothers and sisters in seeking God’s blessing on his world.  The event will be run via Zoom and sign up is through Church Suite or you can contact David Banbury for the Zoom log in details. 

Just click this link to sign up - https://stjohnthebaptistburscough.churchsuite.co.uk/events/exyakqds


On Wednesday 10th June at 8.00pm we are delighted to be reintroducing ‘The SPACE’, our monthly creative prayer and relaxation gathering.  The SPACE is a wonderful way of relaxing, unwinding, encountering God and experiencing wholeness.  By using creativity, relaxation and time for reflection the SPACE offers the opportunity to take time out from our busy and at times stressful world.  The Space is hosted by Vicki Downey and Sue Hodgkins

Just click this link to sign up - https://stjohnthebaptistburscough.churchsuite.co.uk/events/nwu1zxjk

Please note:  THE SPACE will be running on 10th June in place of our usual 7.30pm Bible Study


Sunday Morning Live Stream Family Worship – 11:00am:

Our ‘live’ worship together is on Sunday morning at 11.00am.  The service will include a sung worship courtesy of YouTube, prayers, Bible reading, and a talk.  There will also be a chance to have a bit of a chat and catch up with one another.  You can access the meeting using the details below. 

If you would like to join us for this time of Worship, please contact me for the Zoom meeting details:

Revd Canon David Banbury:


01704 891640


Wednesday Evening Bible Study – 7:30pm: 

Please note: There will be no Bible Study on 10th June as THE SPACE will be running at 8.00pm   

If you would like to join us for this enjoyable evening of studying and discussing the Bible together, then please contact me for the Zoom meeting details.  All are welcome!

Revd Canon David Banbury:


01704 891640


To ensure the security of all our Zoom meetings we have introduced a number additional measures

  • All our meetings are password protected. 
  • Screen sharing is disabled for everyone apart from the host, so no one else will be able to put images onto the screen or upload media through the chat function.
  • The record function on all our meetings is disabled.
  • As an additional protection, access to the meeting will only be allowed for ten minutes prior to the start time for the meeting and for ten minutes after the meeting has started. Please note after this ten-minute period of time has elapsed the meeting will be locked and you will not be admitted in.  The key message is to ‘get to church on time’!
  • Information about our Zoom meetings/services will only be sent out via our emailed Church Updates and won’t be posted on the website, or on social media.
  • We will also follow a procedure to identify all those attending any Zoom meeting.
  • Finally, please check that you have the latest version of Zoom downloaded, and if not then please upload it as soon as possible. Alternatively just access the meetings through the Zoom website - https://zoom.us/ 

Online Worship Services:

Do continue to follow our Online worship services at www.stjohns-burscough.org/OnlineServices

Live Stream Midweek Worship:

We are also continuing to offer live midweek sung worship through Zoom.  Details of the date and time of the next live worship will be posted on the Worship livestream WhatsApp group. 

To join this WhatsApp group contact Pete or Jennie Short:

Pete Short


Text:  07917 046205              

Jennie Short


Text:  07793 216127


Additional Worship Information:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.

Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.

The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044

Christian Aid

Matthew 25:31-46 reminds us of the importance of caring for those who are vulnerable and in need.  A hallmark of the authenticity of our faith, is demonstrated in the way in which we show compassion towards others. 

Please do support Christian Aid, your support to the world’s poorest people is vitally important at the present moment.  More details are below 

‘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.”. Matthew 25 

Deliver an e-envelope 

We can’t put real envelopes through letterboxes this year, but we can deliver them to inboxes!   A special e-envelope has been developed that you can send by email, as well as share on social media. You can send a personalised message with your envelope. Visit envelope.christianaid.org.uk to start sending your e-envelopes. 

Uganda 2020 Trip Update:

Thank you all so much for your support of our team for the Uganda 2020 trip.  As you already know, we had been baking cakes, running quizzes and Biking for Buikwe, for about two years in advance of our trip in February.

We were really fortunate to have some money left over from our fundraising, and as a result we have been able to send an additional £5,300 to International Needs in support of their work in Uganda.  Specifically, they are encountering two acute issues during the Coronavirus crisis, this money will support both needs:

1)   Supporting the medical centre through purchase of protective equipment for medical staff, fuel for the ambulance, and assistance with medical bills where individuals suffer from lack of income.

2)   Child sponsorship – schools are currently closed and many parents have lost their sources of income. As a result, some parents are now unable to pay fees. This, coupled with the fact that children are now not able to receive school meals means that there is a risk of children going hungry. In addition, there are some sponsors who have had to withdraw their support, and that leaves children unsponsored.  International Needs have set up a fund to assist in supporting these children through the current circumstances.

We feel hugely privileged to be able to help out with both of these immediate needs.  Please join us in sending our prayers along with this money, so that our friends witness measurable change in Uganda.

ChurchSuite Profile Pictures:

For all who are signed up to My ChurchSuite, can we kindly encourage you to upload a profile picture of yourself (if you haven’t already) to your church profile, so that both the staff team and other church members can put faces to names.  This would be particularly helpful to our new members of staff and congregation who are still getting to know people.  To do this, simply login to your My Church Suite account and click on My Details, where you should be able to either take a photo or upload one from your device. 

For more information, or if you require assistance with this task, please contact Jennie Short who will be happy to give you a call back to run through it. 

Jennie Short:



Dave Emmett, is our new Pastoral Ministry and Social Action Coordinator. 

Dave is also a part time tutor at St Mellitus Theological College in Liverpool and he has a wealth of experience in Church leadership.  Prior to joining the congregation at St John’s he was part of the Leadership team at King’s Church in Manchester.  Dave and his wife, Philippa, also worked as missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo serving the thousand Pentecostal churches in the Kasai provinces.

Dave and Philippa enjoy walking, especially when they can do a good coastal path. They also love cooking together and enjoy spending time with their family.  Dave is also a long suffering Birmingham City supporter.


Elliott continues to search for his next post, please continue to pray for him Jo and the family.

Chris Neilson, our new curate, is due to begin working in the parish from 30th June.  He will initially begin work as a licensed Lay Worker and will be ordained at a later date (tentatively set as Sunday 27 September but subject to change).  As to what happens about house moves for Chris and his family this is currently very much up in the air!  Please do pray for Chris, Laura and their family.


Finance Update:

After a month of lockdown, we are now in a position to assess the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Church finances.  The overall picture is reasonably positive; because so many people give through standing orders or by direct giving we haven’t seen a huge drop off in giving income.  Where income has dropped has been in three areas i) loose plate giving (cash put on the church collecting plate) ii) envelope giving (money placed in a planned giving envelope and placed on the collecting plate) iii) rental income from Church Hall lets.  These three areas amount to a drop off of about £8,000 pounds in a month.  While this is a significant amount of money we are able to cope for some time with this loss of income.

There are number of actions that I would ask members of the congregation to consider.

  • If you give by envelope or putting money on the plate, please move to giving by Standing Order if at all possible
  • If you give by envelope or by simply putting cash on the plate it would be helpful if you could move to giving by Standing Order, or send a cheque for your giving or bring your ‘backdated’ envelopes/cash to church when we reopen for worship.
  • If you are a tax payer, please Gift Aid your giving. We gain and extra 25% at no cost to yourself. 

I recognise that for some members of our Church the pandemic has had a significant effect on personal finances.  I want to assure everyone that if as a result of pandemic it is necessary to alter your giving to church then we will understand the need for this. 

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to Church finance and giving please don’t hesitate to contact me or Pete Short our Parish Treasurer.

Mr Peter Short                                   


Revd Canon David Banbury:


01704 891640


Magazine update:

With an epic effort we did manage to distribute the April copies of ‘The Bridge’ magazine.  Because of the lockdown we have not produced a May edition and we will not be able to produce a June edition either.  The suspension of production gives us a fresh opportunity to evaluate the best ways that we can communicate with people.  I am conscious that a number of people have paid subscriptions to the magazine and we will consider the best way of ensuring that people have these subscriptions honoured. 

 Margaret Miles who has done a sterling job compiling and editing the magazine for a number of years has indicated her desire to step down from the role at some point in the near future.  If you have thoughts about the best way of communicating with the church and the parish, including thoughts about the magazine I would be very grateful to hear them.  I would also love to hear from anyone who would have an interest in compiling and editing parish communications such as the magazine.

Revd Canon David Banbury:


01704 891640

Online Church Planting Course with Bishop Ric Thorpe 

The Centre for Church Multiplication are organising an online Church planting day conference on Thursday 25 June 2020.  The Zoom conference will feature an online experience to equip, stimulate and inspire people thinking about church planting. The organisers are bringing together movement leaders and speakers from England and further afield, as well as testimonies from church planters who are breaking new ground.   We are considering booking ten places on this conference so if you are interested in being part of this event please contact:

Revd Canon David Banbury:


01704 891640 

Good News Stories:

We have created a 'Good News Page' on the website (https://www.stjohns-burscough.org/GoodNews/) and so we would love to hear from you if you have an encouraging story to tell, no matter how small or insignificant you might think it is, we want to hear it!

Please send your good news stories to -

Stuart Ashcroft


Recent Funerals

Please pray for the family and friends of the following people who have recently passed away.

Leonard Caunce

Joan Spencer

Vivienne Thompson

Richard Gardner

Joy Rainford

Alice Suffell

Annie Houghton

John Stringman

Ronald Cheetham

Nora Davies

Trevor Bridge


Our verse for 2020: Love one another as I have loved you - John 13:34