1st November 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 1st November 2020

All Saints and All Souls

Collect (Prayer of the week)

God of holiness, your glory is proclaimed in every age: as we rejoice in the faith of your saints, inspire us to follow their example with boldness and joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen


Revelation 7.9-17

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing,

‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.

They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them,  nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

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

Psalm 34.1-10

Refrain:    O taste and see that the Lord is gracious.

1    I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

   My soul shall glory in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.

3    O magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

   I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

5    Look upon him and be radiant and your faces shall not be ashamed.

O taste and see that the Lord is gracious.

6    This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me and saved me from all my troubles.

7    The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.

8    O taste and see that the Lord is gracious; blessed is the one who trusts in him.

   Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones, for those who fear him lack nothing.

10  Lions may lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.

O taste and see that the Lord is gracious.

1 John 3.1-3

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

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

When the Gospel is announced, we stand:

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew   (5.1-12 ).   Glory to you, O Lord.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And at the end:

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

Reflection (from Rev’d Carol)  The text of Rev’d Carol’s reflection will be available on the website at  http://christchurchlancaster.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sermon_201101.pdf and in hard copy for those to whom this sheet is delivered.


Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:  Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Pat Brooks, Ivy Buckley, Michael Greenhalgh, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Sitar Rose, Thea Harris-Ellis, Helen Rawlinson, Ed Bartosinski, Patrick Hare, Gregory and Adrian Wright.

RIP:  Roy Long, Bill Briggs, Bill Buckley, and Richard Furlong Brown

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  Those who live and work in Bath Street and St Peter’s Road, and our recently elected Churchwardens, officers and PCC members.

Post Communion Prayer

God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things: may we who have shared at this table as strangers and pilgrims here on earth be welcomed with all your saints to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom; 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 6pm: All Souls Eucharist commemorating the Faithful Departed (then uploaded to YouTube)

Rev Carol’s reflection for All Souls can be found here.

Tuesday 4pm: Prayer4 – via Zoom

Wednesday: 11am Eucharist in the Hall

Friday 8.30am Morning Prayer (YouTube)

Saturday 9pm: Compline (YouTube)

(Please note that private prayer in church is suspended until the repair works are completed.)

The Christ Church YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPoAvGj4K9085RV8zo0ZS9Q

As spaces are limited, please remember to “book” for the Sunday morning services in advance via Eventbrite (see COVID NEWS for the links), or contact Jacqueline or Rev Carol, and we will add your name(s). 

All Souls Sunday 1st November 6pm

Tonight’s Eucharist remembers those we love but see no longer and prays for the souls of the faithful departed.  As part of the service, the names of those who have died are read out. They may have died recently, or long ago. If you would like someone to be remembered, please print their name on the sheet at the back of the hall, or write ‘The (surname) Family’ if there are several people. Alternatively, let Rev Carol know their names before the service. Do invite friends and neighbours along too. The service will be uploaded to YouTube afterwards for those at home.  If you plan to be there, please book places via:

https://www.eventbrite.com/manage/events/126470361255/tickets or just let Rev. Carol or Jacqueline know.

Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 3rd November 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)

Advent Course – Living in Hope

This Advent, we’ll be running a 4-session online course on the theme of ‘Living in Hope’. Produced by the York Courses Team, it promises to be a ’chance to have a think about what it means to live well, and to die well.  We are people of history and people of hope.  We look back to the Bible to see where we’ve come from, and we look forward in hope to what lies ahead’. If you’re interested in joining one or all of the sessions, please let Pat/Carol know.  The course will start on 29th November, at 4pm each Sunday.

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

Q.  What did Saint Patrick say when he drove all the snakes out of Ireland?

A.  “Everyone got seat belts on back there?”

Children’s Corner:

Read Matthew 5:1-12

What things has your family been blessed with?

Can you think of any ways in which God has turned difficult things into blessings?

Invisible Ink Using invisible ink (equal parts sodium bicarbonate and water), ask the children to paint a message / picture onto some paper using a paintbrush or even their finger. Wave them around to air dry. It seems like there’s nothing there. Once the ink is dry, hold them over a lamp with a warm bulb, a radiator or hairdryer – experiment at home first!). The message / picture should appear. We can’t always see God’s plan because he knows everything and we don’t, but we are blessed all the time because we are God’s children, part of his kingdom.

Use some images and words (either draw them yourselves or cut them out of magazines) to make a list, picture or poster that shows the many blessings God gives us, many of which we often take for granted or don’t notice. Afterwards, say the following prayer together:

Family Prayer 

Father God, thank you that you bless us in so many ways. We worship you for your kindness and goodness. Amen. 

(There are also colouring and activity sheets at the back of the hall.)

Children’s Gathering

‘Unlikely Heroes’ in the Bible’  is the theme of the new Bible Podlets produced by the team at the Diocese. If you’d be interested in an online family get together to study these together – please let Rev Carol know. https://www.bdeducation.org.uk/podcasts/bible-podlets/

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.

A Call to Pray and Give. 

Bishop Julian has written to all the churches in our Diocese of Blackburn, inviting us to a time of prayer and giving from the 12th-29th November, in preparation for Advent. Evening Prayer will be shared online at 7pm each day, as well as special times of prayer for young people and children. We will pray for God’s guidance as we seek to rebuild from the pandemic. Bishop Julian asks each of us to consider making a one-off, sacrificial gift to the church in this time of crisis to help support this and other churches in need and to glorify God – and a special envelope will be available for this. 

APCM Results

Thank you to everyone who shared in the APCM last week.

Our Churchwardens were re-elected – Jacqueline Stamper and Paul Thompson

Our Deanery Synod Representative is Jacqueline Stamper

Our PCC representatives are:  Julie Buckley, Jacqueline Parks, Olwyne Thompson, Jane Lippitt and Joyce Lynch. (Others can be co-opted as the year progresses).  The PCC also appointed Andrew Neal as Treasurer and Julie Buckley as PCC Secretary.

The next PCC meeting will be on the 18th November 2020. If you have ideas or items which you would like discussed, please let Julie Buckley/Rev Carol know.

The next APCM will be on 25th April 2021 – save the date!

Thank you – and ceiling update

A massive thank you to everyone who came to help move furniture, tidy and dust-sheet the church last Monday! Scaffolding went up on Tuesday, and plastering work will begin on Monday. We hope that the work will be complete, and the scaffolding down within a fortnight. It will take a while for the dust to settle and to clean the building and restore everything to normal – so we hope to begin worshipping in church once again on our Patronal Festival – Christ the King on 22nd November, when Bishop Julian will join us at our 10:30 Eucharist.

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Church Cleaning:

The next cleaning morning is likely to be on 16th  November.  There will be a great deal to do after the repair work to the ceiling, so we’ll need a bumper effort, please, probably with some extra sessions!

The Evening Drop In (Shelter Update!)

Thanks to Jan and Clive who joined us for our service for Homeless Sunday a fortnight ago – and for their update on what’s happening with the Night Shelter this winter. We cannot open for guests to sleep overnight – as Covid restrictions prevent multiple people sharing accommodation. However, we plan to open from 8:30-9.30pm each evening, offering hot drinks and food, as well as a warm welcome and space for guests to chat and receive support, in a Covid-safe way. This will evolve as the restrictions change – so please keep the team in your prayers.

Lancaster City Council assure us that they will accommodate anyone who is homeless over the winter months (01524 582257 (9-5 M-F) /67099 (out of hours). Edward Street continue to provide support 10am-2pm Mon-Fri, and the Ark are running on Friday 4-5pm, also based at Edward Street. 

Donations of the following tinned/packaged goods would be gratefully received: 

macaroni cheese; meatballs; chilli/curry – meaty ones; hot dogs; meaty soups; beans with sausages (but we have loads of baked beans!); biscuits, cake, crisps;  rice pudding.

And a plea from Edward Street: 

 ….who are beginning an appeal for their Christmas Shelter and general funds as they prepare for the winter season and their work with homeless people in Lancaster. They are very grateful for past support and donations of food. If you are able to give financially: cheques payable to LDHAS, or bank transfers to 40-52-40, 00031967. If you can Gift Aid your donation – details from LDHAS, Edward Street, Lancaster, LA1 1QH. 


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/

Covid-safe lifts?

Might you be willing to offer someone a lift to church? This may be occasionally, or weekly – and always subject to restrictions in place at the time. Please speak to Jacqueline Stamper if you’re interested. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

The Real Advent Calendar

If you would like to order a Real Advent Calendar (or two!!) with Fairtrade chocolate, and a story booklet about Christmas – there is a sign-up sheet at the back of the hall – and catalogues for other Fairtrade items.

Fundraising plans

A. Julie Tinnion has set up a bonus ball draw sheet on the Facebook page, at a cost of £1 per number per week, payable monthly in advance. If all 59 numbers are taken up (your choice!), the weekly prize would be £30, with £29 going to church. 

B. If crafters, bakers, etc., could possibly offer something (COVID-safe) that could be sold in a Twelve Days of Christmas Online Fair starting on 24th November.  Pre-ordered goods, etc., would then be available for collection on 6th December.

C. We’d be very grateful for promises of raffle prizes for a Christmas Draw (to take place on 20th December), so we can print the draw tickets, please.

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Thought for the week

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”         Nelson Mandela

Eco Group Action for the Week:

Think about making some Christmas gifts yourself which are more personal and save money. 

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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

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

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.

Pastoral Support

Rev. Carol is still able to offer pastoral support, especially in times of emergency, now that further restrictions are in place. Please contact her by phone or email in the first instance (details above). 


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 the sermon, are on the Christ Church website*), using the day’s readings and prayers.


Repairs on the church ceiling have now started,  but we shall be continuing to worship in the Hall and online** in coming weeks.


Please note the following Covid- precautions:  

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 use the NHS Covid-19 app, please scan the QR code to check in.

 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
The Hall, and all items that have been touched will be cleaned and disinfected between use.

Booking places for services

As spaces are limited, we ask you to “book” in advance. You can do this through Eventbrite via the links:


for the 8:30 services and


 for the 10:30 Eucharists. 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). 

** Recorded services are available to view on our YouTube channel:



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. 

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 – and if you’d like to join the rota for November, please let Rev Carol know.   

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. 

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.