16th August 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 16th August 2020

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty God,who looked upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and chose her to be the mother of your only Son:grant that we who are redeemed by his blood may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom; 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.

Isaiah 61.10,11

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

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

Psalm 45.10-17

Refrain:    Behold our defender, O God, and look upon the face of your anointed.

10  Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear; forget your own people and your father’s house.

11  So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty; he is your lord, so do him honour.

12  The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts; the richest of the people shall seek your favour.

13  The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.

14  She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework; after her the virgins that are her companions.

15  With joy and gladness shall they be brought and enter into the palace of the king.

16  ‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons, whom you shall make princes over all the land.

17  ‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations; therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’

Refrain:    Behold our defender, O God, and look upon the face of your anointed.

Galatians 4.4-7

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

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

Alleluia, alleluia.   My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.   Alleluia.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Luke     (1.46-55).          Glory to you, O Lord.

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

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

At the 10.30 Eucharist today, we look forward to welcoming our new Archdeacon, the Ven. David Picken, as our preacher.

Prayers                                (from Jacqueline)

Heavenly Father,  grant us faith, courage and grace to follow Mary’s example  of obedience to your call, to be willing to step into the unknown, trusting that you will guide, support and sustain us in whatever you ask us to do.  She had to endure the pain of watching her son die a degrading and painful death. We hope that we will never be tested so far, but give us grace to glorify you even when the road is hard and a sword is piercing our own hearts.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Loving Father, bless your Church throughout the world, and especially all churches and communities dedicated to Our Lady, including Lancaster Priory,  Blackburn Cathedral, Our Lady of Walsingham, and Our Lady of Hyning.  Give courage to those Christians around the world who find themselves persecuted simply for following Mary’s example in saying “yes” to your call.  Inspire and strengthen us, who are free to worship openly, to share the good news of your love with those around us in all we say and do.  In our own diocese, send your Spirit on all church leaders, especially Bishops Julian, Philip and Jill, our Archdeacons David and Mark, and here at Christ Church on Revd Carol and Pat.  May all who love and serve you here follow your call to be and to grow your Kingdom in this place. 

Our Father in Heaven, we embrace your call for us to make disciples, to be witnesses and to grow leaders.  Give us the eyes to see your vision, ears to hear the prompting of your Spirit and courage to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Give strength, calm and perspective to students who have just received or await exam results this past and coming week, and your guidance for their next steps.  Guide schools and ministers to a fair resolution where grades are contested, and grant teachers the rest and relaxation they need as they prepare for the new term in challenging circumstances.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Almighty Father, may the world’s leaders follow Mary’s example of humility and selfless service.  You brought down the powerful and lifted up the lowly;  you filled the hungry.   Guide those in power to raise up those in most need, to end hunger, persecution and injustice, so that righteousness and praise spring up in all the nations.  Be with the people of Belarus suffering the violent suppression of protests against last week’s presidential elections, and bring the country to peace and justice for all.  Help us all to work for an end to prejudice and discrimination, and to our own unconscious bias; and teach us to embrace everyone we meet as your child and fellow-heir.   Strengthen the local agencies in central and east Lancashire as they deal with flare-ups in Covid-19 cases, and inspire all to respect the additional restrictions that have had to be imposed to protect communities, families and the NHS.  As we give thanks for Florence Nightingale’s life and example close to the 110th anniversary of her death, sustain all nurses and carers in their special calling, especially valued in these days.   In our parish cycle of prayer, we pray for  those who live and work in St Andrew’s Close, Quernmore Road, Campbell Drive, and the volunteers and families at The Ridge FareShare Food Group.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Creator Father, help us to become better stewards of your beautiful world, protecting and conserving the resources we’ve made scarce through excessive use.  Strengthen the work of the Eco Church group here at Christ Church, encouraging us to serve your Creation.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Nurturing Father, hold close all who are suffering in mind, body or spirit.  Give them courage, patience and strength in their dark times as they feel your loving arms around them. We know that you share their fear, anxiety and pain; may we be faithful and supportive companions for those in distress, just as Mary stayed beside her son at the foot of the cross.   We hold up before you:  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, Jill, and John Reeves, nearing the end of his life; and we name in our own hearts those whom we know to be in any kind of need.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Eternal Father, as Mary wept for Jesus, we pray for all who have died recently, from the coronavirus or other illness, in violence or hunger.  Locally, we pray for the souls of Alan Jones, Brenda Kendall, David, and Geofry Lowe, and for those whose year’s mind falls this week, especially Juliet Thewlis, Paul Emory, David Rowell, and Florence Nightingale.    

Comfort those who mourn with the knowledge that those they have lost are with you in glory, and free from suffering.

Trusting in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and rejoicing in the fellowship of Maximilian Kolbe and all the saints, we commend ourselves and all creation to your unfailing love, joining together to pray:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Post Communion Prayer

God most high,
whose handmaid bore the Word made flesh:
we thank you that in this sacrament of our redemption
you visit us with your Holy Spirit
and overshadow us by your power;
strengthen us to walk with Mary the joyful path of obedience and so to bring forth the fruits of holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 10.30am: Festal Eucharist (then uploaded to our YouTube channel)

Sunday 2-4pm   Private Prayer in Church

Sunday 6pm:      Evening Prayer – Celtic (in the Hall)

Wednesday: 10-11am    Private Prayer in Church

Wednesday: 11am           Eucharist in the Hall

Wednesday: 5.30pm       Meditation and Evening Prayer (in the Storey Chapel, then via YouTube)

Friday 8.30am                    Morning Prayer (YouTube)

Saturday 9pm:                   Compline (YouTube)

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.

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.

Unless you’re exempt, please wear a covering over your nose and mouth.   (This is a legal requirement.)

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” 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).

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

Opening 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 email 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 Acts 8:26-40.

Share the story of Philip running after the chariot to tell the man from Ethiopia about Jesus.

The Bible encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to follow his example. There are many things we can do to help us live our lives in God’s way. We can go to church, read the Bible, spend time with other Christians, pray and make good choices. Sometimes it’s good to stop for a moment and think about what we do every day. Do we think about God and live how He would want us to? Do we help other people? Do we think about what God might want us to do to tell others about Jesus? Challenge the children to persevere and even try extra hard with the things they might feel like giving up on.

(There’s also a YouTube story for this week on Christ Church’s Channel – and colouring and activity sheets at the back of the hall.)

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

Q.           How do groups of angels greet each other?

A.            Halo, halo, halo!

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.  

Should you wish to give via online banking, the bank account is: Lancaster Christ Church PCC, sort code 01-54-90, account number 06309941.  If you are a UK taxpayer, it would be helpful if you could Gift Aid your donation, which enables the church to claim an additional 25p on every £1 you give – at no cost to you.  Please ask Jacqueline (in confidence) if you’d like a Standing Order and/or Gift Aid declaration form, or to know more about what’s involved.

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.

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

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

Tenfold thanks!

…. to Julie and all the mask makers – who have raised over £1000 for church funds in recent weeks! Ten times the amount they set out to raise…Thanks for all the hard work and enthusiasm which has gone into making and distributing them!

Applications for church schools 2021

If you have a child who will be going into Reception/Year 7 in 2021, and you are considering applying on faith grounds to a church school (Christ Church, or Ripley St Thomas), please discuss this with Rev Carol, as the admissions criteria have recently changed following the Covid disruption.

Pleas of the week:

The Olive Branch and Morecambe Bay Foodbanks continue to be desperate for donations to meet the extra demand during school holidays: please help if you can, either by putting food and toiletries in the collection boxes, or by 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. 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

Service sheets and pewsheets

On hygiene grounds, we cannot re-use the service sheets from week to week, but perhaps you might consider bringing your own copy back each week, to save on paper and print costs?  Similarly, if you bring your own copy of the pew-sheet with you (either on a ‘phone or tablet), that also reduces the number of copies we need to print and the spare copies going to the recycling bin.

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 17th August at 7:15 pm.  The link is: 


Meeting ID: 920 8105 7328   Passcode: 086777

Thought for the week

“Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift – there is nothing small about it.”  Florence Nightingale, d. 13 August 1910

Eco Group Action for the Week

Try to visit your local nature reserves in Lancashire and Cumbria as they gradually open, or become  a member to support their conservation efforts. 

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