30th August 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 30th August 2020

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

We welcome back the Rev’d Gary Bowness to preside and preach at our Eucharists this morning.

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray and to give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us those good things  which we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of 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.


Jeremiah 15.15-21

O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.

In your forbearance do not take me away; know that on your account I suffer insult.

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; under the weight of your hand I sat alone, for you had filled me with indignation.

Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?

Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.

Therefore, thus says the Lord: If you turn back, I will take you back, and you shall stand before me.

If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall serve as my mouth.

It is they who will turn to you, not you who will turn to them.

And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord.

I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

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

Psalm 26: 1-8

Refrain:    Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

   Give judgement for me, O Lord, for I have walked with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.

   Test me, O Lord, and try me; examine my heart and my mind.

   For your love is before my eyes; I have walked in your truth.

4    I have not joined the company of the false, nor consorted with the deceitful.

Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

   I hate the gathering of evildoers and I will not sit down with the wicked.

   I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord, that I may go about your altar,

   To make heard the voice of thanksgiving and tell of all your wonderful deeds.

8    Lord, I love the house of your habitation and the place where your glory abides.

Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

9    Sweep me not away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,

10  Whose hands are full of wicked schemes and their right hand full of bribes.

11  As for me, I will walk with integrity; redeem me, Lord, and be merciful to me.

12  My foot stands firm; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

Romans 12.9-21

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew        (16.21-28)      Glory to you, O Lord.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

‘For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’

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

Reflection from the Rev’d Gary Bowness.

Prayers                                                (from Jacqueline)

In the power of the Spirit, and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Loving God, give us grace and strength to take up our cross and follow your Son. May we encourage and uphold one another and live together in peace and love.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Everlasting God, we thank you for our church leaders; throughout the world.  We pray for all who preach your word, and who inspire, lead and help us to grow as your disciples as we reach out to those in need in our community and in our world.  We ask your blessing on our Bishops, Julian, Philip and Jill, and especially on Revd Carol and Father Gary, and Pat, our Reader, and all who work for the growth of your Kingdom here.  We ask that we may never be a stumbling block to those we meet in our daily lives.

In our parish cycle of prayer, we pray for those who live and work in Kershaw Drive and Campbell Drive, and for those preparing to begin or return to school this week, and especially for the staff finding ways to make teaching and learning safe and effective in these challenging times.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Almighty God, sustain the world’s leaders, and especially the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.  Help them to hear the message of not repaying evil for evil, and bring peace to all areas of conflict and unrest, including Syria, Yemen, Belarus and the protests against police violence in the United States. Guide all responsible for trying to contain the pandemic and to rebuild the economy of communities around the world, exacerbated by the explosion in Beirut, the storms lashing Melbourne, Louisiana and Texas, the wildfires in California, and the floods in this country.  Sustain those who have lost homes and livelihoods, and who are struggling to feed their families. May we extend hospitality to all strangers.  We pray also that a new home may soon be found for the Olive Branch food bank and for the CraftAid shop, so that their invaluable work can continue. 

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Gracious God, strengthen all who work in our local hospitals, health centres, clinics and care homes, or serve as carers for family members;  give them times of respite and relaxation.  Give courage and comfort to all who are housebound and in nursing homes; in hospitals, in the hospice, in recovery and rehabilitation. We bring before you especially: 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 those we know to be in need of your healing touch. Give them patience in their suffering and hold them in your love.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Merciful God, we pray for all departed this life and for those who mourn their passing.  We remember those killed in protests in the US and Belarus, in the conflict in Syria, and locally for Geofry Lowe and John Reeves (priest), and also for our own loved ones whom we see no more.  May they rest in peace and rise in glory.  By your grace may we, like them, be made perfect in your love.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Therefore, rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aidan, Augustine of Hippo, 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

God of all mercy, in this Eucharist you have set aside our sins and given us your healing: grant that we who are made whole in Christ may bring that healing to this broken world, in the name of 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 (in the Hall)

Tuesday 4pm: Prayer4 – on Zoom (see below)

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-113963044534 for the 8:30 Eucharist and

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christ-church-lancaster-1030-eucharist-tickets-113963078636  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)

Children’s Corner:

Read Colossians 3:12-13

The Bible says that we should clothe ourselves with kindness, gentleness, and patience. It says we should put on a forgiving attitude.

As we are careful in choosing what clothes to wear, we must be just as careful about choosing our attitudes.

In the same way we won’t naturally be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient and forgiving – we need to make the effort to ‘put these things on’ every day. 

We need to ask God to help us to have these attitudes and to behave in these ways. We then need to think about these things during the day and try to put them into practice. 
Cut different sizes of heart shapes out of thin craft foam, or card and provide pens, stickers and ribbon. Ask the children to stick the hearts on top of each other in order of size to give a slightly 3D effect. You may wish to encourage the younger children to simply decorate the hearts whilst older children may like to write a message on their hearts as well as decorating them with the pens. Attach a loop of ribbon to the back so the hearts can be hung up. 
Invite the children to think of someone that they would like to give their heart decoration to; this might be to tell the person that they love them or to encourage them in some way. 

(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.   What did the big tomato say to the slow little tomato walking down the road?     A.  Ketchup!

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. Please pray for its deliberations.


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!   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?  Or bring your own copy of the pew-sheet with you (either on a ‘phone or tablet)?

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

God is creating and ordering the universe, but does not do it alone. .                       Barbara Holmes

Eco Group Action for the Week

As you prepare to return to school or work, with all the necessary precautions, remember to reduce waste from your lunch boxes as part of the green recovery.

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