13th September 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 13th September 2020

Education Sunday/Trinity 13

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty God,who enlightened your Church by the teaching of your servants: enrich it evermore with your heavenly grace and raise up faithful witnesses who, by their life and teaching,may proclaim the truth of your salvation; 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.


Exodus 14.19-31

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. This is the word of the Lord.   Thanks be to God.

Psalm 25:

Refrain:    Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

1    To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.

2   Let none who look to you be put to shame, but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.

  Make me to know your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.

4   Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you have I hoped all the day long.

5   Remember, Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.

Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

6  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions, but think on me in your goodness, O Lord, according to your steadfast love.

  Gracious and upright is the Lord; therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.

  He will guide the humble in doing right and teach his way to the lowly.

  All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

10  For your name’s sake, O Lord, be merciful to my sin, for it is great.

11  Who are those who fear the Lord? Them will he teach in the way that they should choose.

12  Their soul shall dwell at ease and their offspring shall inherit the land.

13  The hidden purpose of the Lord is for those who fear him and he will show them his covenant.

14  My eyes are ever looking to the Lord, for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

15  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am alone and brought very low.

16  The sorrows of my heart have increased; O bring me out of my distress.

17  Look upon my adversity and misery and forgive me all my sin.

18  Look upon my enemies, for they are many and they bear a violent hatred against me.

19  O keep my soul and deliver me; let me not be put to shame, for I have put my trust in you.

20  Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for my hope has been in you.

21  Deliver Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

Romans 14.1-12

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,

‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’

So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew        (18.2135)      Glory to you, O Lord.

Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

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

Reflection (from Rev Carol)

The text of Rev Carol’s reflection will be available on the website at  http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Sermon_200913.pdf and in hard copy for those to whom the newsletter is delivered.

Prayers                                                (from Jacqueline)

Heavenly Father, we bow before you and give you praise.   Give us grace to refrain from passing judgement and to forgive one another, as you forgive us.  Teach us your ways, and guide us to follow them.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Loving Father, we pray for your church throughout the world.  We bring before you the staff and students in theological institutions, teachers of religious studies in schools, colleges and universities, that they may open the minds of those who study to follow your teaching.   We pray especially for our church schools, especially those in this diocese and city, and for all their staff, pupils and families, and for the work of the Diocesan Board of Education.  We thank you for the teaching ministry of Revd Carol and Pat, and for all we learn from one another here at Christ Church.    In our parish cycle of prayer, we pray for those who live and work in Cassidy Drive and Far Moor Lane, and for the volunteers and staff who care for Scotch Quarry and Williamson Park.  We pray also for Nathan Clissold and Miriam Parker as their Banns are published and they prepare for their wedding day, and Henry Buczynski to be baptised today, and James Cowey, to be baptised on 27th September.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Almighty Father, we pray for all victims of modern slavery and people trafficking.  We hold up to you the thousands of migrants left without shelter by the fires at the camp on Lesbos.  Strengthen those assisting refugees and asylum seekers around the world and here in Lancaster.  Support those trying to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the northwest and elsewhere.  Guide those negotiating between the UK and the EU, and may we all strive for peace, reconciliation and social justice.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Creator Father, help us all to learn from the lessons of climate change we see around us and to alter our behaviour to protect your beautiful world.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Caring Father, comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.  Give them courage and hope in their troubles. 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 hold up to you those whom we know to need your healing touch.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Eternal Father, your Son died and lived again; we pray for all who have died, and especially for the souls of John Reeves (priest) and Jack Renninson. According to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal Kingdom.  Comfort those who mourn with the knowledge that Christ is Lord of both the dead and the living.

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

Lord God, the source of truth and love, keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, united in prayer and the breaking of bread, and one in joy and simplicity of heart, in 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 12.30pm: Baptism of Henry Buczynski

Sunday 2-4pm:  Private Prayer in Church

Sunday 4.30pm Study course (via Zoom)

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer in the Hall

Monday: 6pm Eucharist for Holy Cross Day (via YouTube)

Tuesday 4-4.30pm: Prayer4 (via Zoom)

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 preferThere 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-116882971113 for the 8:30 Eucharist and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christ-church-lancaster-1030-eucharist-tickets-112092136598 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.

*Recent changes in Government requirements

You will be aware of the recently announced changes due to come into effect on Monday 14th September, though we expect more detailed guidance from the national Church imminently.  Current advice is:

  • Up to six people from a household may sit together in services with a 2m distance around them.  The capacity of the Hall is 26 people at a service, with a continuation of the existing arrangements for spacing, cleaning, face coverings (unless exempt), hand gel, and keeping a record of names for tracing purposes;
  • We await further clarity on the use of the hall for non-worship gatherings.  For the time being, study and prayer groups will meet on Zoom, and we will continue to stream services via YouTube for those worshipping at home.
  • Do contact Rev’d Carol if you have any queries!

Opening for Private Prayer

Christ Church will also be 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! This week, we will also welcome visitors as part of the Heritage Open Days – on Sundays and Wednesday.

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 15th 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:

Take a glass of water and a dropper containing ink. God is like the clean glass of water – he is perfect and pure, and that is he how he would like us to be. But we do things that hurt God, ourselves, or other people. Invite the children to suggest things that hurt God and drop ink into the water for each thing. Once it’s done, we can’t undo it… but God can help us.

Share a time when someone did something to hurt you. How did you feel?

Now think of a time when someone said sorry and you forgave them. How did you feel then?

Take turns to wash dirty hands with soap (this works best if they’re quite dirty beforehand!) and ask God to forgive you. Then hold (clean) hands and ask God to help you forgive one another. Pray:

Father God, thank you that when we tell you we’re sorry, you forgive us and make us clean. Help us to forgive one another in the same way. Amen.

(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!

Knock, Knock! Who’s there? Hollis! Hollis who? Hollis forgiven, come back home!

Children’s Church meetup

While we’re unable to physically run Children’s Church in current circumstances, if you’d be interested in a Zoom meet-up for families, please let Rev Carol know which days/times you would prefer.

Craft, Story and Prayer*

On Monday 21st September at 3.30pm, there’ll be an hour of family craft, storytelling and prayer in the Hall. A carton of juice and a wrapped snack will be provided. All welcome, but please pre-book on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/manage/events/119611905429/tickets  so we can plan and prepare. Parents and guardians need to stay with their child(ren), and please bring a face covering. Helpers needed too – please see Rev Carol for more details.

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.   Or ask Jacqueline (in confidence) if you’d like a Standing Order and/or Gift Aid declaration form.

Continuing tonight – 13th September!

‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ says Jesus. Every Sunday evening at 4.30pm, we’ll be looking at some of the people of the New Testament, to 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, starting on 6th September, meeting in the Hall and on Zoom: 


Meeting ID: 948 1678 2389  Passcode: 789193

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.


The PCC meets next on 16th September.  Please pray for its deliberations.

APCM and Electoral Roll

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting reviews the previous year (2019) and appoints people to represent the church community  to various key roles, at PCC and at Deanery Synod, has been unable to happen in recent months on account of the pandemic. Plans are in train to hold the APCM by the end of October, so please pray and think about whom you would like to represent you, or if you wish to stand for election yourself.   More details will follow next Sunday, including information about the annual revision of the Electoral Roll. 

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

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 need donations: 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/

Drivers needed to deliver meals

During Lockdown ‘The Ark’ at St Tees, ‘The Mustard Seed’ at The Priory and ‘The Breakfast Shelter’ at New Life, have joined forces with Eggcup to prepare and deliver meals on Tuesdays and Fridays to the formerly homeless.  The food is collected from LDHAS on Edward Street at 5pm and deliveries take 45minutes to 1 hour, depending on the traffic and how talkative the clients are. 

Church Cleaning:

The next cleaning morning is likely to be on 22nd September – all welcome.

Bottles and bottle tops needed

Our Scouts are collecting plastic bottle tops for a local project: www.preciousplasticlancaster.co.uk. Milk bottles, shampoo bottles, washing up bottles – anything! If you can donate, please wash the tops and put them in an envelope. Northern Yarn (6 Kings Arcade) are also accepting donations.

And if you have any 330ml or 500ml clear plastic bottles with lids (e.g. Tropicana-type juice bottles, water bottles) – please pass them on to Rev Carol, by the 20th September please.

Thought for the week

When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.   Dalai Lama

Eco Group Action for the Week

Value God’s creation and those who work the land to provide wholesome food without damaging nature, humanity and animals. 

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