David's Update from 3rd July:

Dear Friends

There is a wonderful scene in the Wallace and Gromit film ‘The Wrong Trousers’ where Gromit, riding on a fast moving model railway, frantically lays track as the train rushes along.  That scene captures brilliantly how a lot of decision making feels as we move out of lockdown.  We are having to make important decisions very quickly in the face of changing and challenging circumstances. 

In this newsletter you will find details of provision for worship in our churches.  We are preparing to open up our churches for worship but we are also working hard to do this within the constraints of government regulations and guidance from the Church of England.  We are having to act quickly, but we are also committed to doing so safely and wisely.  Our overall desire is to offer worship in a variety of forms and to offer people a range of opportunities to connect with God in worship.  We will begin by offering two services in our churches on Sunday and then review the experience and then decide on our next steps.  We will also continue to offer worship online via YouTube at 11.00am and also ‘After church brews’ online via Zoom at 11.40am.

We are also exploring options for creating ‘Housegroup social bubbles’ and considering what options are appropriate for creating other worship/fellowship opportunities.  Please be patient with the Staff Team, Wardens and PCC as we navigate our way through the easing of lockdown and as we endeavour to ‘lay track’ in a timely and safe way!

With love and prayers


Church Open for Worship - Sunday 5th and 12th July and Tuesday 7th and 14th July

You may be aware that lockdown restrictions for churches are further easing on 4 July. 

We will start to conduct worship services in our Churches this Sunday 5th July and Tuesday 7th July.

We will have to operate under the relevant regulations and there are some restrictions which we will need to have in place.  For the first few Sundays we are going to be cautious in the provision we offer but once we have got a few Sundays under our belt we hope to expand the provision we offer.

Continued Online Sunday Worship

We will also continue to offer Online Worship via YouTube (not Zoom) and this will premiere each Sunday morning at 11.00am.  Our YouTube channel is SJBBurscough.

 Then we will continue to follow the YouTube service with a time of ‘after Church brew and Fellowship’, via Zoom.  Contact us for more information and login details.

The services in our church buildings that we are initially able to offer will be as follows:

Sunday 5th July

  • 9.00am Morning Prayer at St John’s (Max 45 people)
  • 6.30pm Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer) at St Andrew’s Crabtree (Max 20 people)

Tuesday 7th July

  • 10.30am Tuesday Service at St John’s (Max 45 people)

Sunday 12th July

  • 9.00am Morning Prayer at St John’s (Max 45 people)
  • 6.30pm Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer) at St Andrew’s Crabtree (Max 20 people)

Tuesday 14th July

  • 10.30am Tuesday Service at St John’s (Max 45 people)

Sign Up Procedure for Attending Church Services

As attendance at St John’s is limited to 45 people (socially distanced), we will be asking people to SIGN UP in order to attend these services and would like to give priority to those who have not been able to access worship online. 

  • IF YOU CANNOT SIGN UP ONLINE - please contact our Church Administrator Mel Critchley on 07395 979929 at your earliest convenience, to inform her that you would like to sign up for one of these services.
  • ONLINE SIGN UP - will then be available from 7.00pm each Thursday, when reserving a space will be open to anyone who would like to attend a service that coming Sunday/Tuesday (up to the limit of 45 People).

You can sign up online for the following services from 7:00pm on Thursday 2nd July, via My Church Suite or via these links: -

You can sign up online for the following services from 7:00pm on Thursday 9th July, via My Church Suite or via these links: -

Please Note:

*  When you sign up, you need to enter ticket information for each person from your household that will be attending with you.

*  In order to be fair and create spaces for as many as possible to attend, please only sign up to ONE SERVICE and don’t sign up unless you fully intend on attending, as you will be denying someone else the opportunity if you don’t turn up!


  • The service at St Andrew’s Crabtree is restricted to those who would normally attend worship there.
  • The numbers attending all services are restricted with a maximum of 45 people at St Johns and 20 people at St Andrew’s Crabtree. If more people turn up than we have capacity for, additional people will not be able to enter the building
  • Everyone must use hand sanitiser prior to entering church.
  • The service will be said and we will listen to worship music but we are not able to sing under current regulations.
  • At the moment we are unable to offer Holy Communion.
  • There is a one-way system in place and people will need to use the relevant entrances and exits.
  • Chatting with people after the service must be socially distanced and ideally happen outside.
  • We will sanitise and clean surfaces between services.
  • We are currently considering whether we are able to open toilets, but it is best to assume that toilet facilities won’t be available.
  • We are unable to serve refreshments after our services
  • People may wish to wear a face mask/face covering in church, but this is an individual choice

We recognise that the news that we are able to worship in church will delight some people and cause anxiety to others.  We fully respect people making their own decision about how they will engage in worship and we recognise that some people will choose to attend a service in church, while others will continue to access online worship.

Please be aware that plans to have church open for private prayer and worship may change if government regulations change.

Church is also now available for funerals services.


Brian Abraham’s 20th Anniversary of Ordination


On the 5th July I will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of my Ordination, which took place on a hot summer’s evening at St. John’s. The Assistant Bishop of Liverpool, Bishop Jim Roxburgh officiated at this service which was very special for me and my family especially as Bishop Jim insisted that Sue stood by my side as he said “you are a team and you will serve Him together.”

Over the last twenty years I have had the privilege of serving at St. John’s, Crabtree Mission and the former Hoscar Mission – getting alongside people and sharing with them in their celebrations of life, their challenges and sometimes their sadness.  I have sought to minister to people and bring them to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His love for them.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all who have travelled this journey with us, for your love, encouragement and prayerful support.  I am grateful to God for His love and grace enabling me to fulfil my ministry in the power of His Holy Spirit and my prayer is that he will continue to use me for His work.

This passage from 1 Timothy I have held close to my heart: 

"I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him" – [1 Timothy 1:12 – GNB]

God bless


Hello from Chris Neilson

It’s great to finally start my curacy with you at St Johns. Thank you so much for the many messages and cards that people have sent.  Your warm welcome and prayers have been a great encouragement to me and my family.  Some of you will have seen a little video I did to introduce myself, which is on St John’s YouTube channel youtube.com/SJBBurscough.  It was also great to speak with people at the Zoom welcome party last Sunday.  

I’ve come to ministry in the Church of England after working with a number of community projects and church plants in Manchester and Oldham. I also worked for the diocese of St Albans supporting community engagement. Presently I live in Formby with my wife (Laura) and three sons Barny (15) Caleb (13) and Ben (10), but we will be moving to join you in Burscough when we can.

I love Jesus, because he is faithful to us, whatever we do, he sticks with us and carries us through. I love to see when people grow in faith and step out to be and do what the Holy Spirit is guiding them to do.  My favourite biblical character is Barnabas; he’s a quiet encourager who is a huge strength behind the growth of the gospel and an important figure in helping Paul step out in ministry.

Over the next few months and years I hope to know you better, as we journey together with God. You’ll find out my passion for football, Star Wars, cheesy music and silly films, but I pray we become friends and family as we worship, pray and proclaim Jesus together.  


The Space

Our monthly creative service will be taking place on Wednesday 8th July at 8.00pm via Zoom.  Once again Sue and Vicki will be leading our session and we will have the opportunity to relax, unwind and distress through reflection and meditation.  In the midst of a busy life it’s good to give yourself SPACE.

To register and to receive the Login details, go to My Church Suite or click this link.


 Please email or text your questions to -Get to know the St John’s Newbies – Send in your questions!

As you will be aware we have had some fantastic people who have either recently joined our staff team (Dave Emmett and Diane Taylor-Harrison), or will soon be joining us (Chris Neilson), but we understand that it is difficult for the congregation to properly get to know them in these unusual times, so we thought it would be good to put them on the spot and throw some quick fire questions at them from the congregation.  Your questions can be as sensible or silly as you like; maybe about their new roles in St Johns, what they like to do in their personal lives or something else completely random like a ‘would you rather?’ and we would love to get all sorts of different questions from a range of different ages.  Once we have enough questions we will video their answers and include it in one of our upcoming Sunday services.

Jennie Short:  07793 216127


Text Messages:  Intelligently Praying for One Another

The Book of James (James 5:16) tells us that our prayers have great power.  The sentence just before that he encourages us to pray for one another.  St John’s Church has for some time now been sending out text messages or emails for urgent prayer requests for our members.  Those who are signed up for them receive texts or emails from time to time, with a few details of some fellow church member(s) in need of prayer.  Praying like this is a wonderful way of bearing one another’s burdens.

If you would like to be a part of this and receive such texts or emails, please text me on 07931 576 546 and include your email address.  I will then add you to the list of those receiving requests for prayer via text or email.

Many thanks.

Dave Emmett

07931 576 546


Previously Circulated Information: 

MAF Mission Update from the Parkers:

Many of you will know the Parker family who are currently serving the Lord out in Uganda and working for the charity MAF who fly aid and supplies to remote areas in poor countries.  In current times, where the whole world is affected by Covid-19, their work is even more vital than usual, so please continue to pray for them and the fantastic work MAF do.

Click here for an update about some of the things they have been getting up to recently and the many challenges the family continue to face in Uganda. 

Live Stream Midweek Worship:

Jen and Pete Short are also continuing to offer live midweek sung worship on a Tuesday evening at 8pm, The video will remain on the YouTube channel, so if 8pm doesn't work for you, you can watch it at your convenience.

The livestream can be accessed from 7.50pm each Tuesday, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG_h0eWr_oUB5GtQLDHsDbQ

Subscribe to this YouTube channel to receive alerts as new videos are posted.

Online Bible Study via Zoom

Don’t forget we continue to offer an online Bible Study every Wednesday night at 7.30pm.  Login details can be found via the events pages on Church Suite or contact any of the staff team.

Recent Funerals

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

Leonard Caunce

Walter Steen

Joan Spencer

Vivienne Thompson

Richard Gardner

Joy Rainford

Alice Suffell

Annie Houghton

John Stringman

Ronald Cheetham

Nora Davies

Trevor Bridge

Vera Evans

Margaret Forshaw

Margaret Jackson

George Finch

Alma Hope

Bryan Perret

Cicily Caunce


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