22nd March 2020

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Mothering Sunday


We are all asked to take precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and the pressure on the NHS. 

As you will know, national church leaders have suspended all public worship services, so for the foreseeable future there will be no public Sunday or weekday services.   

The Eucharist will continue to be celebrated, and Morning and Evening Prayer will be said daily in Christ Church, on behalf of the whole parish. The church building will be kept open as often as possible as a place for all to pray or just to be quiet in a beautiful building – ALL are welcome.

Please continue to pray for those affected by Covid-19, for those at risk and/or in fear of catching it, and for those in the NHS and the emergency services charged with caring for those who are suffering.  Please also be aware of your neighbours who may need practical support if they are self-isolating and offer help if you are able and it is safe to do so.

We will be sending out regular newsletters (digital or paper – just let us know which you’d prefer) to keep people informed and in touch with one another, and with offers of and requests for help.  We’ll also be posting prayer resources, etc., on the website, and via the newsletter

The national church prayer during the pandemic.

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York (and other church leaders) have called us all to a national day of prayer and action on Sunday 22nd March. As one action, they have asked everyone to place a lighted candle in their window that day at 7:00 pm, as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.

Please also remember in your prayers:

Those who are ill:  Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Len Fletcher, Ernie Wilson, Pat Brooks, Freya de Lysle, Bill and Ivy Buckley, Michael Greenhalgh

RIP: Josef Pidliswyj, , Ogie de Ruerda, Aida Reyes, Robert Calti, Sister Barbara Maud OHP, Elizabeth Warren, Joan Ross, Barrie Ratcliffe

And within the parish, we pray for those who live and work on Mannin Way, Caton Road, Langdale Road


The public service for the Rev’d Carol Backhouse’s Institution and Induction as Vicar of Christ Church has had to be cancelled in line with the Archbishops’ announcement.  Carol will however be licensed in a service with no congregation at 7 pm on Monday 23rd March.  Please hold Carol in your prayers as she starts her ministry here in these challenging circumstances.    We know you will warmly welcome and support her.   After Monday, Carol will be available to all by telephone or email (see below), including for pastoral support, home communions, funerals, emergency baptisms, etc.


The Archbishops and other church leaders have called for a day of prayer and action on Mothering Sunday, particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services.

As one action, they have called on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.

Thank you also to those who helped make up the posies yesterday – we are leaving them on random doorsteps around the parish and outside church as a token of the Church’s care and the hope of Christ! 


In these especially difficult and uncertain times, people at risk are in even greater need of support from the food banks.  Please continue to be generous in supporting the work of the Olive Branch by putting long-life foods, dry goods, tea coffee, soap, etc., in the container at the back of church.  (If the church doesn’t happen to be open when you pass by, just leave your donation close to the main church door or the door to the vestry (or in the collection boxes in local supermarkets)


This  has had to be cancelled until further notice, with great regret, for public health reasons. 


We are committed to making our local church a safe space for all and ensuring that everyone understands that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.  That is why Church of England churches across Lancashire, which collectively make up the Diocese of Blackburn and of which our church is a part, are participating in a comprehensive safeguarding review known as ‘Past Cases Review 2’ or ‘PCR2’ for short. The PCR2 work is ‘survivor-focussed’ as it is important the church continues to listen and respond to the voices of survivors of abuse.   Anyone seeking to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church-related abuse is encouraged to make direct contact with our Parish Safeguarding Officer: Ms Jane Lippitt safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk 07930 979503 , or with the Diocese of Blackburn’s Safeguarding team on a dedicated phone line or email: 01254 503093 and   pcr2@blackburn.anglican.org

Recognising this may not feel safe for those with a direct experience of abuse from within the Church, if you would prefer to speak to someone else in the first instance contact: The Police by dialling 101 or online at www.lancashire.police.uk/contact-us; Lancashire Victim Services on 0300 323 0085 or online at www.lancashirevictimservices.org/contact or contact the NSPCC on 0800 80 20 20.   You can also find this contact information on our parish website http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk where you will also find a link to the dedicated PCR2 website page at www.blackburn.anglican.org with a host of PCR2 resources, information, FAQs and more.

Collect for the Day and  Readings

Sunday 22nd March 2020

God of compassion, whose Son Jesus, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Exodus 2.1-10

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because’, she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’

2 Corinthians 1.3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

John 19.25b-27

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Key contacts:

Vicar: W.e.f. 23 March 2020

Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

Before 24 March, please contact one of the Churchwardens or Canon Brenda Harding – details below.

Associate Priest: Canon Brenda Harding 66071


Lay Reader:  Dr Pat Allen 39552.

Churchwarden: Dr Paul Thompson 34949

Churchwarden: Mrs Jacqueline Stamper 64083 churchwarden@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

Parish Safeguarding Officer:  Ms Jane Lippitt 07930 979503 safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

Children’s Church: Mrs Liz Mills 67005

Nightshelter Co-ordinator: Ms Jan Norbury 07547 717 060   coordinator.nightshelter@gmail.com

Hall Bookings hallchristchurch@btinternet.com 

07980 351855

Christ Church School Ms Emma Simpson 60955