22nd November 2020

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 22nd November 2020

Christ the King

Today, we celebrate the patronal festival of Christ the King, in whose honour this church was dedicated 165 years ago!  Please follow the special order of service.

Our preacher today is the Rt Rev’d Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn

Today’s service has been sponsored by Valerie Lawrence in memory of her father, Roy Bragg. She has chosen the hymn, And can it be?

Collect (Prayer of the week)

God the Father, help us to hear the call of Christ the King and to follow in his service, whose kingdom has no end; for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, one glory. Amen.


Ezekiel 34.11-16,20-24

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

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

Psalm 95.1-7

Refrain:    Come, let us worship and bow down.

1    O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.

   Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving and be glad in him with psalms.

3    For the Lord is a great God and a great king above all gods.

Come, let us worship and bow down.

4    In his hand are the depths of the earth and the heights of the mountains are his also.

5    The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have moulded the dry land.

   Come, let us worship and bow down and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

   For he is our God; we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

Come, let us worship and bow down.

Ephesians 1.15-23

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

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

Alleluia, alleluia. You, Christ, are the King of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. Alleluia.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew (25.31-46).      Glory to you, O Lord.

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

And at the end:

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

Reflection from The Rt Rev’d Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn.


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:  Bill Buckley, Richard Furlong Brown, David Bamber and Philip Dodwell, and for our former homeless guests who have died in recent months.

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  Those who live and work in Melbourne Road, Woodville Street, and for the staff and residents at Sir Walter Lyon House.

Post Communion Prayer

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by you be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 10:30am:  Eucharist (via YouTube*, followed by “coffee” at 11:30am via Zoom)

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer (via YouTube*)

Tuesday 4pm: Prayer4 (via Zoom)

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


If you, or someone you know would like to receive this newsletter, either electronically or a

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


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.

Christ Church Telephone Tree

We’re starting up a telephone tree to help keep in touch with one another this winter. If you’d like to make or receive an occasional call for a chat, please let Jacqueline/Rev Carol know, including your preferred ‘phone number (which stays confidential).

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.  Starting next week, at 4pm each Sunday.

‘A Child Shall Lead them’

If you’re looking for a way to pray and reflect at home this Advent, our Diocese has produced a collection of daily readings and meditations. These will be on the Blackburn Facebook page, and Rev Carol has several booklets, free to good homes, so do ask for one

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.

New courses for Christian life and leadership

Ever thought you might like to ‘do a little more’ for the church?  Beginning in January, the Diocese is running an online study course for people who are interested in taking their faith further, and learning more about Christian life and leadership. There will then be a further module available in Lancaster (Children’s ministry, Preaching, Worship leading, or Youth ministry) if there’s a particular area you’d like to put things into practice. https://www.blackburn.anglican.org/authorised-lay-ministry. Do chat to Rev Carol if this might be something you’re curious about or called to!

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 preparation for Advent. Until 29th November, we’re invited to 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. If you are able to make a special Advent donation to Christ Church, please mark your envelope or reference your  bank transfer as “Giftday”.  Account name: Lancaster Christ Church PCC; Sort-code: 01-54-90; Account number: 06309941

Living in Love and Faith

Some of you may be aware that the national Church of England are looking at the changing social attitudes about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage – and how the Church can learn how these questions fit within the bigger picture of humanity that reflects the image of our creator God. Resources have been developed for individual churches to discuss, which aim to build greater understanding of the spectrum of views held by different Christians. The hope is that these discussions will feed into a national church debate about where the Church of England is called to serve in future, and how to heal past wounds. For the full text, see https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/living-love-and-faith/living-love-and-faith-book

More details about Christ Church’s response to follow, and in the meantime if you have any reflections or reactions, please do let Rev Carol know. 

Virtual Coffee

All are welcome for a “virtual coffee” social get-together at 11:30am on Sunday, via the link:

https://zoom.us/j/8751945920?pwd=elBMRFk1K3BXZ2ZlVUdNYnNSakN5UT09   Meeting ID: 875 194 5920

Passcode: 7757

Children’s Church

Matthew 25: 31-end

What have you done to help someone else this week?

How does it make you feel to think that when you help someone, you are actually helping Jesus?

Research the work of your local food bank (https://www.trusselltrust.org/) and find out what sort of things they are currently short of. Put together a donation including some of these things and take a family trip to the food bank to deliver it to them. If you can’t afford to do this, make a card to encourage the food bank volunteers in their work, and take that instead.

Family Prayer

Father God, may our faith grow each day and may we show how much we love you by loving those around us too. Amen.

Craft Bags

Advent begins next Sunday. 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!

Q: Why was the King’s army so tired?

A: Too many sleepless knights.

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 next Sunday, you can decorate for a few days, or for the whole of Advent – it’s up to you. Do post your photos on our Facebook page or send Rev Carol a copy!

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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 this Wednesday, 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.

Thank you!

Grateful thanks to everyone who came to help restore the church on Tuesday morning – the movers, steamers, polishers and hooverers who have done sterling work in getting the building ready for when restrictions lift! Special thanks to Audrey and Julian!


The Evening Drop In (Shelter Update!)

Thanks to Jan and Clive who joined us for our service for Homeless Sunday – 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. 

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/   While the lockdown is in place, there will also be a collection box outside the Vicarage for donations to the Olive Branch – tins and dried foods gratefully received.

Toy Service

This year’s Toy Service will be on 13th December, when we will collect toys for distribution at Lune Park Children’s Centre on Ryelands Park this Christmas. Toys should be either new, or in good clean used condition, capable of being sanitised.. *No* soft toys please! Please leave your gift unwrapped – and donations may also be left at the Vicarage.

Gregson Community Association

The work on its Lend-a-Hand food and poverty project will continue and any requests for help and support should be sent to l.heitzmann@gregson-community-association.org.uk . All requests will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Please get in touch if you are struggling with anything at all.  All offers of non-perishable food will still be accepted by the Corner Shop on Ullswater Road. to Helen and Paul for continuing with this.

Lancaster City of Sanctuary:

Mandy Whitehouse suggests offering each of the 34 refugee and asylum-seeker houses a Christmas hamper, as a token of Lancaster’s welcome and care. If you can offer to fill a few boxes, Mandy will send a list of suggested items for inclusion, and hope also to have one special gift per person (toiletries, stationery, winter clothing, but value below £5). Banana boxes from local supermarkets would be suitable. The filled boxes would be picked up before Christmas and delivered. Please let dorotheawilliamson@hotmail.com know how many boxes you could help with.

Mandy is also collecting artificial Christmas Trees and decorations to distribute to our asylum seeker families and single people, so if you have any spare available, she can collect them or you can them drop off  – contact mandywhitehouselancaster@sky.com.

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

“Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.“      C S Lewis

Eco Group Action for the Week:

During Advent, provide a daily gift to the food bank to help meet extra demand at Christmas.

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

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.