10th January 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 10th January 2021

The Baptism of Christ (Christmas 3)

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; 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.


Genesis 1.1-5

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

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

Psalm 29

Refrain: The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

   Ascribe to the Lord, you powers of heaven, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2    Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

   The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon the mighty waters.

The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

   The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation; the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice.

   The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6    He makes Lebanon skip like a calf and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

   The voice of the Lord splits the flash of lightning; the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

   The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare; in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’

9    The Lord sits enthroned above the water flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king for evermore.

10  The Lord shall give strength to his people; the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Acts 19.1-7

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.

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

When the Gospel is announced the reader says:

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Mark   (1: 4-11)            Glory to you, O Lord.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased

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

Post Communion Prayer

Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son: by the power of your Spirit complete the heavenly work of our rebirth through the waters of the new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:


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, Thomas Platt, Lis Dey, Roger Mumford.

RIP:  Jessie Crawley, Jen Shepherd, Barrie Leck, Jean Moffatt, and Edward Thistlethwaite.

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Lingmoor Road and Patterdale Road, and those working to provide us with clean water and to protect our water courses.

Prayer and Worship w/c 10th January

Sunday 10:30am Eucharist (on YouTube*) followed by Zoom “Virtual Coffee”


Sunday 6:00 pm Celtic Evening Prayer (via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/92062839983 )

Wednesday 6:00 pm Evening Prayer

Friday 9.30 am Morning Prayer (live-streamed on Facebook **

Sunday 17th January 10.30am: Eucharist (on YouTube*)

Sunday 17th January 6.00 pm Evening Prayer,

with prayers for wholeness and healing (via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/92062839983 )

Monday 18th January 10:15 am Funeral for Barrie Leck (in church)

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

** The Christ Church Facebook page (you don’t need to sign in) is www.facebook.com/christchurchlancaster

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Zoom Prayer

Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 19th January s 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)

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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.

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.

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

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.

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 music

Our very own composer, Marlene Philips is featured in this month’s Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland’s Hymns for Advent and Epiphany – do take a look at their website and have a listen!  (Marlene’s composition is the hymn for 15th December.) https://hymnsocietygbi.org.uk/resources/hymn-of-the-day-advent-2020-to-epiphany-2021/

Children’s Corner

(Activity sheet also available in church)

Read the story of Jesus’ baptism in Mark 1: 4-11 Show the children pictures of different people of all ages being baptized, and the different ways of being baptized. You might also like to show them some of the items that are used at a baptism service in your church. Talk together about what is happening in the baptism pictures and what the objects are used for. If they have been baptised, do the children know anything about their own baptism, or have they been to a baptism of someone else? Share your stories.

What does it feel like when you say sorry?

Do you find it hard or easy to say sorry and really mean it?

Father God, we come before you saying sorry for the things that we have done wrong this week. Help us to learn from our mistakes and do better nest time. Thank you for always offering us your love and forgiveness. Amen

Craft Bags

Rev. Carol is offering children’s craft bags, with puzzles, colouring, decorations, and things to grow – all looking at the Creation story.  Ages 3+ (owing to some small parts).  Some adult supervision will be needed.  Please let Rev. Carol know if you would like one or more for your children.

Giggle (or Groan) of the weeksuggestions welcome!

As raindrops say, two’s company, three’s a cloud.

Prayers for our new appointment!

Thanks to the generous funds provided by the Nile Street Trust, the Gregson Institute, and our own diocese, we are advertising for a Children, Youth and Families Co-ordinator, who will work for 20 hours a week in the parish, beginning after Easter. We hope they will help us reach out and welcome more children and their families into the church, and will work with Rev Carol to nurture their spiritual growth. Please pray for the right person to come and join us, for all those involved in the appointment process, and for yourself – whether you might be able to help out in some way.  

Confirmation: preparation

If you, or someone in your family, would be interested in being confirmed this year, please let Rev. Carol know by the 18th January, along with your preference for day and time for classes via Zoom.  By all means

have a chat with Rev Carol. Children need to be in Y6 or above.  Confirmation is a special service – of receiving God’s affirming Spirit, of declaring your own faith and desire to follow Jesus, and, for some, preparing to receive Holy Communion for the first time.

If you’d be interested in helping with Confirmation preparation, either as a one off or for the whole course, Rev Carol would love to hear from you! 

Routes of Faith

This course, for lay people who want to learn more about their Christian faith, restarts in January. The module ‘Following Jesus through the New Testament’ starts on Tuesday, January 12, via Zoom, and will run for five weeks.  More details of the course and the programme leaflet are on the Diocesan website at


and you can book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/routes-of-faith-following-jesus-through-the-new-testament-tickets-131895592267

Looking ahead to the New Year

What a winter season it has been! But after winter comes the spring, when we begin to see things grow again. The same is true for Christ Church – please have a think and pray about what you would like to see grow in coming months and years here, whether in your own Christian life, or in what Christ Church does, and how we share community together. The PCC will send out a questionnaire in coming weeks, so that we can share ideas and begin to plan for the future.


The next PCC meeting is on 13th. January.  If there are things which you think the church council should be doing or discussing, please let Rev Carol or Julie Buckley know. 

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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

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Readings and Prayers?

If you’d like to help with reading or with the prayers of intercession in coming months, or if you might be interested but would like more information, please let Valerie, Rev Carol or Pat Allen know. Full (and fun!) training will be given.

Request for Welcomers!

We really need more people to join our team of sides-people for the 8.30 and 10.30 Sunday services when we are able to resume worship in church. This would  involve greeting people at the door as they come in, making sure they have signed the Track and Trace form, and then guiding them to the pews. During Communion the congregation will be guided to take Communion to ensure a flow around church that maintains social distancing. After the service, the pews need to be wiped with a cleaning spray.  The commitment would be once every 4 or 5 weeks (or even less frequently depending on how many people volunteer). You would always be doing it with another person.   If you think you could help with this important ministry of welcome in the future, please ring Jane Lippitt on 07930979503 or e-mail her at lippittjane@gmail.com    Many thanks.  Jane

Epiphany Gifts

Each year, we invite people to make a gift of items for the sacristy, including candles, bread, wine and incense for services. A list is at the back of church, and Audrey will place an order ready for Epiphany – all contributions gratefully received, as soon as possible, please. 

Christian CND

You may be aware that later this month the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was agreed by the United Nations in 2017, will enter into legal force following the 50th state joining in October 2020.

To mark the occasion, Christian CND is joining other Christian Peace Groups to hold a couple of events:

On Tuesday 12th January at 12 noon we are hosting a briefing on Zoom where you can find out more about the Treaty and what it will mean for the UK. 

On Friday 22nd January we will be gathering to celebrate the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with a short Thanksgiving Service hosted by the Network of Christian Peace Organisations. It will take place on Zoom at 11:30 am and we hope to finish with bells ringing in celebration of nuclear weapons being banned. Please see the website, or email for the Zoom details.  Russell Whiting, Development Manager, Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament  Email: ccnddevelopment@cnduk.org Web: http://christiancnd.org.uk/


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/  

During the latest lockdown, there will be a container for goods for the Olive Branch at the Vicarage front door during daylight hours.

Knitting for Syria

The Eco-Group are planning to use the pandemic restrictions 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.

Smalls for All

If you’re planning a spring clear out, please consider www.smallsforall.org, who collect good quality, clean second-hand bras, and new pants (all sizes) to send out to countries in Africa, where women and girls are at higher risk of rape if they are not wearing such items. They will also take donations of men’s pants (new packets only). I’m not planning a church collection (!) But if you’d like to donate, please post your smalls to Smalls for All, Five Sisters Business Park, Westwood, West Calder, EH55 8PN

The Evening Drop In (Shelter Update!)

Our Evening Drop-in reopened on Monday following the Christmas break, for anyone who is homeless or vulnerably housed, to come for a hot drink, hot meal, supplies of food and clothing, and a warm welcome, every evening 8:30 – 9:30 pm.  Edward Street continues to offer daytime support 10am-1pm

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). 

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Thought for the week

Don’t shine so others can see you.  Shine so that through you, others can see Him.       C S Lewis

Eco Group Action for the Week:

Cows have the most impact on our climate in comparison with other forms of livestock, by releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases in the form of methane. Pledge to eat less beef and bulk out meals with extra vegetables such as lentils and beans.

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Key contacts:

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE

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.