8th November 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 8th November 2020

Remembrance Sunday

Today’s service has been sponsored by Valerie Lawrence in memory of her late husband, Ian.  She has chosen the hymn “Bread of heaven, on thee we feed.”

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Ever-living God, we remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war into the peace of your presence; may that same peace calm our fears, bring justice to all peoples and establish harmony among the nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Amos 5.18-24

Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord! Why do you want the day of the Lord?

It is darkness, not light; as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake.

Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?

I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.

Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

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

Psalm 70

Refrain:    Come to me quickly, O God.

1    O God, make speed to save me; O Lord, make haste to help me.

2    Let those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; let them be turned back and disgraced who wish me evil.

   Let those who mock and deride me turn back because of their shame.

Refrain:    Come to me quickly, O God.

   But let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;  let those who love your salvation say always, ‘Great is the Lord!’

5    As for me, I am poor and needy; come to me quickly, O God.

   You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.

Refrain:    Come to me quickly, O God.

1 Thessalonians 4.13-18

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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 (25.1-13).      Glory to you, O Lord.

‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

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_201108.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, and David Bamber.

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  Those who live and work in Mill House Mews, St Peter’s Mews, and our Evening Drop-In Coordinators, guests and volunteers.

Post Communion Prayer

God of peace, whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom and restored the broken to wholeness of life: look with compassion on the anguish of the world, and by your healing power make whole both people and nations; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 10.00 am:  Eucharist (via YouTube)

Sunday 10:55 am: Act of Remembrance (at the War Memorial in the churchyard)*

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer (via YouTube)

Wednesday 6pm Evening Prayer (via YouTube)

Friday 8.30am Morning Prayer (via YouTube)

Saturday 9pm: Compline (via YouTube)

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

(Please note that private prayer in church is suspended until the repair works are completed and the church has been deep-cleaned.)

Sunday 8th November – Act of Remembrance

The YouTube Eucharist will be available from 10 am this Sunday so that those who wish to will have time to share that service online and then gather at the war memorial in the churchyard at 10:55 am for a short socially-distanced Act of Remembrance and wreath-laying at 11 am.  After which, all are welcome to join us for a “virtual coffee at 11:30 am via Zoom.  To join:

https://zoom.us/j/95670192798?pwd=dzRxWE54UlBQUU45NExLbGFveXJNdz09  Meeting ID: 956 7019 2798.  Passcode: 424157. Or dial in on  +44 203 481 5240

Sunday 15th November – change in arrangements

Rev Carol is preaching at Lancaster Priory at their 10:00 am service (streamed live on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/pg/lancasterpriorymusic/videos/?ref=page_internal and also to view thereafter). At 11:30 we shall gather over Zoom to share a time of prayer and intercession, followed by a “virtual coffee” social get-together.

(Please note that private prayer in church is suspended until the repair works are completed and the church has been deep-cleaned.)


The latest lockdown has halted public worship for the time being. We will return to online YouTube services, with some gatherings on Zoom too – to which all are warmly welcome! Funerals can be held in church, and once we have restored order after the building work – we may be able to open for private prayer too.

If you, or someone you know would like to receive this newsletter, either electronically or a paper version – do let Jacqueline/Rev Carol know and we will endeavour to keep in contact with people.

The order for Spiritual Communion (to follow at home, along with the Sunday service) is available on the church website – and if there are other prayer resources, books or websites which you would find helpful, please say. The Daily Hope phone line continues – 0800 808 8044

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 Archbishops of Canterbury and York have also called on the nation to pray each day at 6 pm during November.  Prayers for each week and themes for each day can be found at


This is the prayer for the coming week (9-15 Nov), for example:

Loving God, at this time of crisis when so many are suffering, we pray for our nation and our world. Give our leaders wisdom, our Health Service strength, our people hope. Lead us through these parched and difficult days to the fresh springs of joy and comfort that we find in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 24th  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, and a booklet will be delivered to you.  The course will start on 29th November, at 4pm each Sunday.

The Real Advent Calendar

If you would like a Real Advent Calendar (or two!!) with Fairtrade chocolate, and a story booklet about Christmas – there are still a few left. Please contact Julian and Audrey Davies.

Advent Windows (and Doors)

Advance notice for all crafters and creatives to create an Advent Window or Door this year. The idea is to decorate a front window, or your front door (or both!) to create a whole advent calendar around the parish, that can be seen by passers by on dark evenings. Stars, nativity scenes, angels, lights, wreaths – the theme is up to you!  Starting from the 29th November, do post your photos on our Facebook page or send Rev Carol a copy!

PCC meeting

The church council meets next on 18th November – if there are any issues or items you’d like discussed, please let Julie B/Rev Carol know.

Children’s Church

Matthew 25:1-13

Game: Bear and Honey.   One child is the ‘snoozing bear’ with her/his ‘honey pot’ (a bowl with keys or bells in it) close by. The bear sits on the floor and pretends to be asleep, with the bowl behind them. The other children must creep up, with the aim of getting the keys. The bear can wake up at any time and turn around. The other children freeze. If any of them are seen to be moving by the bear, they must go back to the start. If no-one is moving, the bear goes back to sleep. The winner is the first to get the keys without being caught by the bear. Who was the best at waiting and being ready?

When are the times when we find it difficult to wait? How do we feel when we have to wait?

How can we help each other to keep our friendship with God strong and healthy?

Family Prayer

Place a Bible, a drawing of your church and some praying hands (made from modelling clay for example) on a table. Use these to remind you of the things we can do to help keep our faith alive while we wait for Christ to return. Read a little bit from the Bible (e.g. Matthew 25:1-13) and pray:

Father God, help us to keep our faith alive and strong while we wait for Jesus to come back again. Amen.

Forest Church (online)

Our neighbours at Dolphinholme are hosting a monthly online Forest Church on the second Saturday of each month. More details on their website and Facebook pages. https://dqowbenefice.co.uk.

Craft Bags

Advent begins on the 29th November this year. The time of watching, praying and waiting for Christ feels especially apt this year. We have craft bags available for primary aged children with lots of things to help get ready – please email/Facebook me with your address and we’ll deliver them. Suitable for ages 3+ as there are some beads/split pins.   Rev Carol.

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/

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

Teacher: Where are the Andes?

Child: At the end of my armies

Church ceiling update

The plastering and painting are complete, and the scaffolding will down next week.   Alleluia!

A date for Church cleaning and the restoration of furniture will be announced – as soon as lockdown rules allow!  

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. 


Bonus Ball

Julie Tinnion is organising a this to help raise funds for the church. The idea is that you pick and pay for a number, and if your number is picked each week in the National Lottery bonus ball, you win £30. Other funds go to church funds. email julie.christchurch@googlemail.com or phone Julie T on 07854 844394

Twelve Days of Advent – Make and Bake Sale

From the 24th November, we will be holding a twelve day sale of made and baked goods. We will advertise items on our Facebook page, with a catalogue available too. Reserve your items, and then come and collect them from the makers on Sunday 6th December – in aid of church funds. If you would like to donate made or baked items – please let Julie Buckley know: buckleys@live.co.uk

Christmas Raffle

This year, we will be holding a Grand Christmas Raffle to raise funds for the church. If you wish to donate a prize, or would be willing to ask a local business for a voucher, please chat with Julie Buckley. We’ll sell the tickets in advance, and will draw it on December 20th.


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/

Knitting for Syria

The Eco-Group are planning to use lockdown creatively and are going to make a woollen quilt to send to Syria where many refugees are living in tents and are exposed to the winter cold . The aim is to use any spare wool to knit 6-inch squares which will be crocheted together to form a blanket or blankets. The squares can be any colour, stitch type or thickness of wool as long as they are roughly 6 inches square. Help from anyone in the congregation would be much appreciated Do contact Margaret Lyth on 60387 to help or to offer donations.

CraftAid Christmas gifts and cards

Normally we would have had a FairTrade stall to sell Christmas gifts, cards, biscuits, socks, tea, coffee, etc. The CraftAid shop is closed down, owing to the work on St Thomas’ Centre, but Corina Redmore is still selling on a ‘phone and Covid-safe collect basis from her home in Portland Street. Please ring Corina on 37565.

Thought for the week

The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.      Czeslaw Milosz

Eco Group Action for the Week:

Buy charity cards and Fair trade goods to make your gifts count twice.

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

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.

Pastoral Support

Now that further lockdown restrictions have been imposed, I’m still able to offer pastoral support, especially in times of emergency. Please contact me by ‘phone or email in the first instance. Rev Carol.

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.