23rd August 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 23rd August 2020

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Collect (Prayer of the week)

God of glory, the end of our searching, help us to lay aside all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom, and to give all that we have to gain the pearl beyond all price, through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Isaiah 51.1-6

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.

For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.

I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be for ever, and my deliverance will never be ended.

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

Psalm 138

Refrain:  Your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever.

1    I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praise to you.

2    I will bow down towards your holy temple and praise your name, because of your love and faithfulness; for you have glorified your name and your word above all things.

3    In the day that I called to you, you answered me; you put new strength in my soul.

Your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever.

4    All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

   They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.

6    Though the Lord be high, he watches over the lowly; as for the proud, he regards them from afar.

Your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever.

7    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will preserve me; you will stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand will save me.

8    The Lord shall make good his purpose for me; your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever; forsake not the work of your hands.

Your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever.

Romans 12.1-8

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew        (16.13-20)      Glory to you, O Lord.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

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

Prayers                (from Pat, our Reader)

Son of Man, you build your church on both the strength and frailty of your disciples. Pour out the riches of your grace, that with diverse gifts your church may further your kingdom.

We pray for our diocese, our bishops Julian, Philip and Jill, and archdeacons Mark and David; 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 all the young people in our community who have received exam results, and those who are still anxiously waiting, that you will support and guide them as they choose their future paths.

In our parish cycle of prayer we remember all who live and work in Guildern Park, Dutton Drive and Grab Lane, and also the volunteers and families at Claver Hill Farm.

Make our lives a living sacrifice.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Son of Man, before you nations are humbled. Remove the fear that leads to oppression and diminishes human worth. We pray for those parts of the world ravaged by war, poverty and hunger, remembering particularly the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We pray for the people of Lebanon, especially the sick and injured as health services there are overwhelmed. We give thanks for the ceasefire in Libya, and pray that it may be sustained, and we pray that peace with justice may come to other troubled lands, remembering the people of Belarus and Mali.

We pray for all refugees, especially those driven to attempt dangerous sea crossings. Inspire political leaders to help them find safe havens.

Help and sustain all those who are working for peace and justice.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Son of Man, you bring hope and new life. Be with all who long for relief from their suffering.

We pray for all who are suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, and the economic consequences, especially people who have lost their jobs, and those who now fear homelessness.

We pray for all who are sick, or suffering in body, mind or spirit, in hospitals and hospices, or at home, and ask you to bless and strengthen those who care for them. 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 and Sitar Rose; and we name in our hearts those known to us who need your healing touch…

May all who call on you know the consolation of your love.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Son of Man, your glory is revealed in your death and resurrection. We entrust to your loving care all who have died. We pray for the soul of Abdulfatah Hamdallah, the refugee who drowned last week trying to cross the Channel, and for the souls of Brenda Kendall, David, Geofry Lowe and John Reeves (priest). We ask your blessing upon all our loved ones departed. Raise us, with them to eternal life in your kingdom.

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

Reflection  (from Revd Carol)

The text of Rev’d Carol’s  reflection will be available on the website at http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Sermon_200823.pdf  and in hard copy for those to whom the newsletter is delivered.

Post Communion Prayer

Lord of all mercy, we your faithful people have celebrated that one true sacrifice which takes away our sins and brings pardon and peace: by our communion keep us firm on the foundation of the gospel and preserve us from all sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 8:30am:  Eucharist

Sunday 10.30am:  Eucharist (then uploaded to YouTube)

Sunday 2-4pm:  Private Prayer in Church

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

Monday 6pm:  Eucharist for St Bartholomew (YouTube)

Wednesday 10-11am:  Private Prayer in Church

Wednesday 11am:  Eucharist in the Hall

Wednesday 5.30pm: Meditation

Wednesday 6pm:   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 of service, 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.

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 at the Sunday Eucharists are limited, we ask you to “book” in advance. You can do this on Eventbrite via the links:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christ-church-lancaster-eucharist-830-am-tickets-113963042528 for the 8:30 Eucharist  and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christ-church-lancaster-1030-eucharist-tickets-113963076630 for the 10:30 Eucharist.

Please select the date(s) for the Sunday or Sundays 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.

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.

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.

Prayer and Support

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.

Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 1st September  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)

A note about Benediction tonight (Sunday 23rd)

In our Eucharist, we hear Jesus’ words ‘This is my body, given for you’ spoken over the bread we offer. Benediction is a service where we press ‘pause’ on this holy moment of the Eucharist, and spend time in Jesus’ presence.  It is a time of worship, adoration, and prayer – followed by a blessing on our lives and on our world. All are welcome – the service lasts around 30 minutes.

Children’s Corner:

Read Luke 17:11-19

Nine of the men are distracted by their healing and just one man returns to say thank you to Jesus.  What about us? 
Do things distract us from continuing to run the race of being a Christian? 
Jesus was obviously really pleased that the man went back to say thank you. Everyone needs encouragement! 
How often do we stop to remember to say thank you to God? 
How often do we stop to encourage other people?

Ask the children to close their eyes and think of someone who is perhaps finding things tough at the moment. Maybe they know someone who is sick or lonely, etc. Think about how we can talk to God about any of our problems. How can they make sure that the person they are thinking about who is finding things difficult knows that too?

Challenge the children to be silent for a moment every day this week, perhaps when they get up in the morning or before they go to bed at night. Ask them to think about someone special to them or someone who has a specific need/problem at the moment. Encourage them to pray asking God to be close to that person.

(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.           Why was the sedimentary rock extra cheap?

A.            Because it was on shale.

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 No. 06309941.  Please ask Jacqueline (in confidence) if you’d like a Standing Order and/or Gift Aid declaration form. (Gift Aid allows the church to claim 25p for every £1 given by a UK taxpayer.)

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.

Vestry Hour

In September, we’ll restart welcoming families and couples for Christenings and Weddings. If you’re free and able to offer an occasional Sunday morning 9.30am-10am to help welcome our visitors and to take bookings at Vestry Hour, please speak to Rev Carol or Jacqueline Stamper. Full training will be given.

Starting in September!

‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ says Jesus. We’ll be looking at some of the people of the New Testament, to find out more about them and see what Jesus’ friends, family and disciples can teach us about what it’s like to live with Jesus. All welcome – to one or all! 4 sessions, beginning with Evening Prayer in the Hall at 6pm and then following on with study – join us on zoom or in person from the 6th September.


The PCC meets next on 23rd September and the Standing Committee on 7th September – if you have suggestions for the agenda, please let Revd Carol or Julie Buckley know.


The next Church gardening day will be on the 29th August – all welcome to come and help, for as much or as little time as you’re able. Please bring your own gloves, secateurs, trowels etc, and keep a sociable distance from other gardeners. More info from Liz Mills. 

Rambling the Boundary

On Saturday 12th September, Rev Carol (and Bonnie) will be walking the parish boundaries – 7.5 miles around and along river, canal, country lanes and local estates. If you’d like to join them for all (or part) of the way, meet at Church at 11am, and bring a packed lunch, waterproofs and sturdy shoes. Sponsorship donations welcome for church funds.

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).

Centre Manager

Lancaster Methodist Church is seeking to appoint a Centre Manager (35-40 hours per week), for three months in the first instance (permanent once funding is secured). The post will primarily be focussed at The Cornerstone to assist groups and projects to adjust to the post-Covid19 context. Closing date: 12 noon 31st August.  Please contact Simon Stewart for further information and application form: simoncornerstonecafe@gmail.com

Caretaker/cleaner wanted

Lancaster Baptist Church are looking for a caretaker/cleaner, working 16-20 hours a week, £9/hour. More details, and to apply, please contact Karen Ness, Church Secretary, officw@lancasterbaptistchurch.org.uk by midnight Tuesday 1st September

Retreats for NHS workers

Bursaries are available for people who work for the NHS to go on retreats. If you’d like to know more  – see Rev Carol.

Thought for the week

We can look upon the face of anyone or anything around us and say—as a moral declaration and a spiritual, cosmological, and biological fact: You are a part of me I do not yet know. —Valarie Kaur

Eco Group Action for the Week

Plan a plastic free picnic with family or friends.  Make your own food and take all your litter home. Take a spare bag to pick up any other litter on the way. 

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