9th August 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 9th August 2020

Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; 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


 1 Kings 19.9-18

At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’

He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.’

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

Psalm 85.8-13

Refrain:    Show us your mercy, O Lord.

8  I will listen to what the Lord God will say,  for he shall speak peace to his people and to the faithful, that they turn not again to folly.

   Truly, his salvation is near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

Refrain:    Show us your mercy, O Lord.

10  Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other;

11  Truth shall spring up from the earth and righteousness look down from heaven.

12  The Lord will indeed give all that is good, and our land will yield its increase.

13  Righteousness shall go before him and direct his steps in the way.

Refrain:    Show us your mercy, O Lord.

Romans 10.5-15

Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that ‘the person who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that comes from faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the abyss?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say?

‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’

(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to  Matthew     (14.22-33)         Glory to you, O Lord.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’

Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

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

Reflection (from Pat, our Reader)

The text of Pat’s reflection will be available on the website at http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Sermon_200809.pdf and in hard copy for those to whom the newsletter is delivered.

Prayers                                (from Jacqueline)

Lord, you are in the sound of sheer silence, not in wind, earthquake, fire or storm.  This past week has seen the fire and cloud of the explosion in Beirut and the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima, devastation in which it can be hard to discern your still small voice.  Grant us your peace and stillness.  We know that you are there in the midst of every tragedy; strengthen us to be your loving hands to hold any in need.  Give us grace to hear and follow your call wherever we encounter it.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Lord, you promise that everyone who calls on your name shall be saved.  Bless your church throughout the world as it seeks to grow your Kingdom and to share your love with all your children.  Guide and strengthen our Bishops, Julian, Philip and Jill, and Archdeacon Mark.  Thank you for the ministry of Revd Carol and Pat, and that of all who love and serve you here at Christ Church. Help us all to be more Jesus-shaped both as individuals and as a church family.  Bless our children and young people, for whom recent months have been particularly difficult. Support those receiving important exam results in these weeks, that they may discern the right way forward and find good advice for their futures. Give much-needed rest and refreshment to head- and other teachers, ahead of the challenges of preparing for schools re-opening safely next month.  In our parish cycle of prayer, we pray for those who live and work in Masonfield Crescent and Redwood Heights, and we bring before you the work of Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service on Edward Street, and our own Night Shelter coordinators.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Lord, you commanded us not to be afraid.  Support those in fear of violence, hunger, injustice and persecution, especially in Syria, and Yemen, and we pray for peaceful and fair elections in Belarus today. Sustain governments and agencies working to  rebuild Beirut and rehouse its people after the tragic explosion, and also those in our own city mopping after this week’s flooding in Hala or looking after the elderly residents evacuated from the sheltered accommodation there.  Give wisdom and creativity to all working to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to find a vaccine, and patience to those who find the necessary restrictions difficult to accept and obey. Help them to understand that, just as you are generous to all, we each share responsibility for one another’s welfare and protection.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Lord, be with all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit.  Comfort the thousands injured in Beirut, those still searching for missing loved ones, all displaced from their homes and in need of shelter, the victims of the plane crash in Kerala, all infected with COVID-19 or fearful of contracting it, and those awaiting treatment or tests.  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 to be in particular need of your calming presence in the storms that beset them.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Lord, you wept for the death of your friend, Lazarus.  We bring before you all who have died recently, especially those in Beirut and Kerala, and John Hume. We also pray for the souls of Alan Jones, Brenda Kendall, David, and Geofry Lowe, and for those whom we love but see no more.  Comfort those who mourn with the confidence that you have the power to raise all to new and eternal life.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Therefore, rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dominic, Laurence, Clare 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

Holy Father, who gathered us here around the table of your Son to share this meal with the whole household of God: in that new world where you reveal the fullness of your peace, gather people of every race and language   to share in the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

The 1030 Communion service, and Wednesday’s 6pm Evening Prayer will be recorded each week and uploaded to YouTube (so they will be available later that day). Other YouTube services will continue as before:

Friday 8.30am    Morning Prayer

Saturday 9pm    Compline (Night Prayer)

If you are unable to join the service 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.

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

Prayers for Healing and Wholeness 9th August 6 pm

Tonight, at 6pm in the Hall, there will be a service of prayers for healing and wholeness. We will offer prayers for individuals, and for our world at this time; and there is the opportunity to receive prayer for yourself. All are welcome.

Meditation & Evening Prayer – Wednesday evenings

All are also warmly invited to spend 30 minutes in Silent Meditation at 5:30 pm and/or to join in Evening Prayer at 6 pm each Wednesday evening.  Both will take place in the Storey Chapel.

The Blessed Virgin Mary Sunday 16th August

Next Sunday (16th August) we will celebrate the Assumption (the Blessed Virgin Mary’s arrival into Heaven). At the 10.30 Eucharist, we look forward to welcoming our new Archdeacon, Ven. David Picken, as our preacher.

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.

Following an expected change in the law, as from 8th August, worshippers should wear a covering over their nose and mouth, unless exempt. (See below.*)

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 are unable 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

From 8th August, face coverings will be legally required to be worn in all enclosed spaces, including places of worship.   “There are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups not to wear a face covering in these settings. In particular, those who are leading services or events in a place of worship, and those who assist them (for instance by reading, preaching, or leading prayer) do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained (i.e. distributing Communion). This exemption does not apply to worshippers, who should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space.”  Other exemptions include children under 11 or those with a health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering, which will of course be respected..

Worshippers should therefore keep their face covered 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. 

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.

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

Christ Church Open for Private Prayer

Christ Church will be also open for private prayer, and the opportunity to light a candle this, and forthcoming Sundays from 2pm-4pm, and Wednesdays 10-11am. 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.

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.

Children’s Corner:

Read Luke 5:17-26

The four men worked together for the good of their friend. God wants us to work together. He doesn’t want us to fight and fall- out. He wants us to treat other people well and to work together for the benefit of others. 

Prepare a circle out of paper or card and cut out lots of oval petal shapes. Ask the children to decorate the petal shapes and write on them the qualities of a good friend, for example, caring, helpful, a good listener, etc. Attach the petals to the edge of the paper circle to create a ‘friendship flower.’ Put your friendship flower somewhere in the house where you can all see it and be reminded of how you can be a good friend to others.

(There’s also a YouTube story for this week on Christ Church’s Channel – and if you’ve not yet got your summer craft bag, please let Rev Carol know)

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

A man tried to walk on water in Egypt. He regretted it, he was very in denile

Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 18th 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)

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.  

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.

Retreats for NHS workers

If you, or someone you know works for the NHS and would like some time to pray and retreat from the daily routine, there are now bursaries available. Full details and application forms are available on our website, www.promotingretreats.org/nhs-bursaries although applications are made through the Retreat Houses at the time of booking. More info – see Rev Carol

Final Drains Update!

This week the work around the Hall to repair the drains is now complete (apart from some making good), 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/

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

Church Cleaning:

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

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

Face Coverings update

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

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 next such “gathering” will be on Monday 10th August at 7:15 pm.  The link is: 

https://zoom.us/j/92876974484?pwd=d3dxd3pQMnJ5bWlnSjNqRFBNQmJsUT09   Meeting ID: 928 7697 4484

Passcode: 353125

Thought for the week

‘Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.’   Meister Eckhart

Eco Group Action for the Week

The collapse of eco-tourism has had a severe impact on critically endangered species. Have a day out at places such as Chester and Blackpool Zoos or Lakeland Wildlife Oasis as they work to prevent extinction at home and across the world.

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