2nd August 2020

(Note: the newsletter can also be downloaded as a PDF.)

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 2nd August 2020

Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven and became poor for our sake: when we prosper save us from pride, when we are needy save us from despair, that we may trust in you alone; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Isaiah 55.1-5

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,    for he has glorified you.

This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 145.8-9,15-22

Refrain:    Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

8    The Lord is gracious and merciful, long-suffering and of great goodness.

9    The Lord is loving to everyone and his mercy is over all his creatures,

15  The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all those who are bowed down.

16  The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season.

17  You open wide your hand and fill all things living with plenty.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

18  The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving in all his works.

19  The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully.

20  He fulfils the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

21  The Lord watches over those who love him, but all the wicked shall he destroy.

22  My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

Romans 9.1-5

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

This is the Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew    (14.13-21)       Glory to you, O Lord.

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

Reflection (from Revd Carol)

The text of Revd Carol’s reflection will be available on the website at http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Sermon_200802.pdf and in hard copy for those to whom the newsletter is delivered.

Prayers                                (from Pat, our Reader)

Jesus, living bread, we come to this meal as your guests. Unite all whom you invite to be one body, and forgive and heal the divisions of our making. We pray for our diocese, our bishops Julian, Philip and Jill, and for our parish of Christ Church: for Rev Carol our vicar, our churchwardens, and all who worship and serve you here. We pray for our Muslim sisters and brothers celebrating Eid ul-Adha, that this may be for them a time of blessing and joy. In our parish cycle of prayer, we pray for those who live and work in Lytham Close, Wentworth Drive, and we remember those who find work and leisure along the canal. Nourish us with the food that leads to eternal life.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Jesus, living bread, you ensure that none go hungry from your banquet. Inspire the leaders of the nations to change the structures that impoverish and lead to destitution.

Teach us all to live more simply and sustainably. We pray for those parts of the world ravaged by war, and for all refugees and displaced people. We ask your blessing on aid organisations bringing relief to all who are suffering from the effects of war, hunger and disease. Help and sustain all those who are working for peace and justice.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Jesus, living bread, your healing touch reached out to the sick. We pray for all who are sick, or suffering in body, mind or spirit, in hospitals and hospices, or at home, and bless and strengthen all who care for them. We pray for the people of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Pendle, Burnley and all communities most severely affected by COVID-19. In our parish we pray especially for: Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Pat Brooks, Bill and Ivy Buckley, Michael Greenhalgh, Angie Topham, Richard Impey, Stephen Gardner, Eddie Barandino, Ann Gilbride, Sitar Rose, and Jill; and we name in our hearts those known to us who are in special need at this time. Lift up all who are bowed down.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Jesus, living bread, restore us by your gift of eternal life. Hear our prayer as we remember those who have died, and all who mourn. We pray especially for the souls of Alan Jones, Brenda Kendall, David, and Geofry Lowe. Grant us to share with them in the eternal banquet of your love.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Therefore, rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, we commend ourselves and all creation to Your unfailing love.

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

Post Communion Prayer

Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands that have taken holy things; may the ears which have heard your word be deaf to clamour and dispute; may the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit; may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love shine with the light of hope; and may the bodies which have been fed with your body  be refreshed with the fullness of your life; glory to you for ever. Amen.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

The 1030 Communion service will be recorded each week and uploaded to YouTube (so it will be available later that day).

Other YouTube services will continue as before:

Sunday 6pm                       Evening Prayer

Wednesday 6pm              Evening Prayer (available on YouTube slightly later that evening)

Friday 8.30am                    Morning Prayer

Saturday 9pm                    Compline (Night Prayer)

Holy days this week:

Thursday 6th August 6pm Eucharist (YouTube):

Feast of the Transfiguration.

If you are shielding, or unable to join the Eucharist for whatever reason, you may wish to follow the Spiritual Communion service at home (the order, and a sermon are on the website), using the day’s readings and prayers.

Returning to Worship

We will be worshipping in the Hall in coming weeks, as we await investigation and repair works on the church ceilings. Should you wish to come to a service, please note:

If you have Covid symptoms, or have been told to isolate because you’ve had contact with someone who has, or are feeling unwell, please let someone know and don’t come to church.

If you can, you are strongly encouraged to wear a covering over your nose and mouth.

Please gel your hands before and after the service, and before receiving communion. 

You will be asked to record your name and contact number on the sheet for traceability – we’re required to do this by law. This will be kept confidentially for 6 weeks.

If you come as a couple, family or household – you may move the seats to sit together. However, solo seats have a 2 metre distance around them.
Children are very welcome to attend the service, but we cannot offer Children’s Church for the time being.

Please continue to make your offering by Standing Order wherever possible. There will be an offertory box for cash or cheque donations, but no collection will be taken.
Communion (bread alone) will be received standing, with a non-touch blessing for those who prefer
There will be no refreshments after the service, and any conversations must happen outside from a sociable distance in small groups. The Hall, and all items that have been touched will be cleaned and disinfected between use.
As spaces are limited, we ask you to “book” your place(s) in advance. You can do this through Eventbrite via the links:


for the 8:30 Sunday Eucharists,   


for the 10:30 Sunday Eucharists, and


for the Wednesday 11 am Eucharists.

Please select the date(s) for the Sunday(s) or Wednesday(s) you would like to come.  Alternatively, just contact Jacqueline (64083, 07808 765364 or email as below) or Rev Carol, and we will add your name(s).

*Face coverings in worship

Now that face coverings are mandatory in shops, etc., and encouraged in all enclosed spaces, this is what we have received from the Diocese and the National Church: 

‘We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, … remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.”

Worshippers are therefore encouraged to try to keep their face covered (children and those with particular health conditions exempt) during the service, removing carefully by the ties/loops only to receive communion. If you have any questions or concerns, please let Rev Carol know.  Rev Carol herself will follow the Church’s guidance on priests’ wearing of face coverings, especially during the administration of communion.

We continue to pray for all those affected by this outbreak – and for the church as we begin to grow again, giving thanks for all who have sustained the prayer and community at Christ Church in recent months. We continue to hold Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Hyndburn in our prayers during the outbreaks there. 

The national prayer for this outbreak:

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy.

Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

Church Open for Private Prayer

Christ Church will also be open for private prayer, and the opportunity to light a candle this and forthcoming Sunday from 2pm-4 pm, and Wednesdays 10am-11am. Thank you to all the volunteers who are making this happen! If you are able to help ‘church sit’ in coming weeks, please let Rev Carol know. Please see below at “Volunteers needed for church opening”

Help, Prayer and Support:

If you need a hand with shopping, medicines collection etc in coming weeks, or would like a friendly phone call, or if you are able to help others in the parish out, please contact help@christchurchlancaster.org.uk, or contact us via our Facebook page.

We will be praying daily for all who are suffering in the current crisis. If you would like us to pray for you, or for someone you know, for any reason, please email your request to prayer@christchurchlancaster.org.uk or text the Prayer Chain on 07980 351855. Please ask the person’s permission if you’d like them included in the weekly notices.

Our Diocese of Blackburn, and the national Church of England also have YouTube Channels where worship is regularly offered.

Children’s Corner:

This week we will consider that, as followers of God, we are described as one body! The key Bible passage is from 1 Corinthians 12, and we will look at the importance of everyone playing their part from the oldest to the youngest; from the weakest to the strongest.

If you can, play a game of Twister – and think about how many bodies work together as one!

God has placed the parts of human body together; each part cannot function on its own. He has also placed us together in the same churches and groups. He has given each of us special skills to contribute. It’s important that we take care of all the parts of our bodies. Similarly, this passage reminds us that we need to take care of each other too; if one person is suffering, the rest of the group suffers too.

Think about all the people who contribute to making the group happen. Remind them that there are many people involved in the church/group who aren’t seen at the front but who carry out important roles behind the scenes. What would happen if some of these people didn’t contribute what they do?

Ask your children to think of a specific job relating to the church or a particular group that they are involved in; cleaning, making the coffee, tidying the garden, etc. Challenge them to find out who does one of these jobs and to make a special effort this week to thank them for what they do. By doing this you will encourage that person as they carry out their team work!

(There’s also a YouTube story for this week on Christ Church’s YouTube Channel)

Giggle (or Groan) of the week – suggestions welcome!

“Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That’s not a miracle. That’s tapas.” (This was voted one of the best jokes at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015).

Our Offering

The pandemic has affected us all in different ways. The work of the church looks very different now to three months ago, not just at Christ Church but also across the church family, to which we offer our prayers, time, skills, and also our money. Support is still needed – both in the upkeep of Christ Church, and to help churches in poorer areas of our diocese continue God’s mission. You may need to give a little less to the church because of current money pressures – that is fine. You may be able to give a little more – even for a short time – to help with ongoing costs and to weather the absence of groups using our buildings. Whatever is given is gratefully received with thanks, please have a word (in confidence) about what may be possible for you.

Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 4th August is the next meeting of Prayer4 – 30 minutes of prayer, at 4pm every fortnight. There’ll be a short Bible reading, some music, some stillness, and space to pray for the people and places on your heart – all from the comfort of your own sofa. Zoom details: https://zoom.us/j/8069459310?pwd=TlV6QUQ5UVdiK0p1M0Q0cE0vRXIvUT09

Meeting ID: 806 945 9310 Password: ChristChch

Dial in: 0208 080 6591  Meeting ID: 806 945 9310 Password: 310771 (any queries see Rev Carol)

Lifts to church services?

Might you be willing to offer someone a lift to church? This may be occasionally, or weekly – and subject to restrictions lifting. Please speak to Jacqueline Stamper if you’re interested in offering or if you need a lift. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Pastoral Visiting

Now that restrictions have lifted to allow sociably-distanced meetings outside, it’d be lovely to meet more of you and get to know you better, although I appreciate that shielding rules are still in place for many. If you’d like to talk, and if there’s a convenient time and place, please let me know.   Rev Carol.

Church Cleaning:

The next cleaning morning is likely to be on 8th September (tbc) – all welcome.

Volunteers needed for church opening

Would you be able to spare an hour in August or September, to be in church for an hour to make visitors who come for private prayer welcome? Wednesdays 10-11am and Sundays 2-4pm – please let Rev Carol know, especially if there are dates you’d prefer.

Learn the recorder or piano

Now is the perfect time to learn a new instrument. Marlene has offered to give individual lessons via Skype or Zoom in recorder or piano in exchange for a donation to church funds. Please contact her on marlenephillipsmusic@gmail.com

Drains Update

This week there’s been a lot of work done around the Hall to repair the drains, and things are now, finally, in good order! As ever, please don’t flush hand towels or sanitary waste to keep things flowing nicely.

Pleas of the week:

The Olive Branch and Morecambe Bay Foodbanks are especially desperate for donations in the school holidays: please help if you can, either by putting food and toiletries in the collection boxes, or giving money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/ or https://morecambebay.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/

Administrator needed!

Our local Methodist Circuit is looking for a new administrator, working 15 hours per week and based at the Cornerstone. More details from Ruth Champley (Circuit Steward) on 417031 or ruth787@btinternet.com – closing date 7th August.

Volunteers needed – Foundation Governors

Dolphinholme VC Primary School are looking for new Foundation Governors. If you are interested, or would like to find out more, please contact Rev Cindy Rigney (Vicar of the United Benefice of Dolphinholme, Quernmore and Over Wyresdale), revcinders@gmail.com

Face Coverings

So far we have received over £700 in donations. Many, many thanks to Julie and to Marion who have sewn hundreds of beautiful masks, and also to others who have donated fabrics.   If anyone wants masks made, let Julie know. Donations can be made via PayPal to PayPal.me/ JBuckley321

Thought for the week:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Eco Group Action for the Week

A great activity for school holidays is to get to know the wildlife in your garden or nearby park. Record and research what you find. You could also check out this link for the Big Butterfly Count which finishes on 9th August. https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/ 

Virtual Coffee (…. or something stronger?)

Thanks to all who responded to the question about alternative timings for online social get-togethers.  It has been suggested that this happen usually on a Monday evening or occasionally on a Thursday at 7:15 pm.  The first such “gathering” will be on Thursday 6th August, , and the next on Monday 10th August.  The link for both is: 

https://zoom.us/j/97427736489?pwd=ZEJacGg4WDNoRGtOSDNmVitjMTYrZz09   Meeting ID: 974 2773 6489 Passcode: 939093

Key contacts:

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

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 07890 351855

Christ Church School  Ms Emma Simpson 60955 head@christchurch-lancaster.lancs.sch.uk