24th January 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 24th January 2021

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Epiphany 3)

Collect (Prayer of the week)

Almighty God, whose Son revealed in signs and miracles the wonder of your saving presence: renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your mighty power; 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 14.17-20

After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,

‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’

And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.

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

Psalm 128

Refrain:    How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

1    Blessed are all those who fear the Lord, and walk in his ways.

2    You shall eat the fruit of the toil of your hands; it shall go well with you, and happy shall you be.

How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

3    Your wife within your house shall be like a fruitful vine; your children round your table, like fresh olive branches.

4    Thus shall the one be blest who fears the Lord.

How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

5    The Lord from out of Zion bless you, that you may see Jerusalem in prosperity all the days of your life.

6    May you see your children’s children, and may there be peace upon Israel.

How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

Revelation 19.6-10

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out,

‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready;

to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure’— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

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 John   (2:1-11)          Glory to you, O Lord.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

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

Post Communion Prayer

Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.  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, Sue Taylor.

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

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Crag Road and Guidern Park,  and the work of Churches Together in Lancaster.

Prayer and Worship w/c 24th January

Sunday 10:30am: Eucharist (on YouTube*) followed by Zoom “coffee” (https://zoom.us/j/92076612292?pwd=OGJzMFJiaVlsUklSNm5DcFZnakVFdz09)

Sunday 6:00 pm Eucharist for the Conversion of St Paul (on Zoom  https://zoom.us/j/92062839983 Meeting ID: 920 6283 9983)

Sunday 24th January 7:00 pm Churches Together – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service via Zoom (see separate flyer)

Wednesday 6:00 pm Evening Prayer via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/99756144246?pwd=c3YxNVRlTFkrL251UHNpMjZFdFJSdz09 Meeting ID: 997 5614 4246 Passcode: 370844 (then uploaded to YouTube*)

Friday 9:30 am Morning Prayer (on Facebook **

Sunday 31st January 10:30am: Eucharist (on YouTube*) followed by Zoom “coffee” (as above)

Sunday 31st January 6:00 pm Evening Prayer via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/92062839983 Meeting ID: 920 6283 9983

*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

Christ Church on Zoom

Evening Prayer will continue to be uploaded to YouTube as now, but you are also most welcome to join the services live via Zoom, at 6 pm: https://zoom.us/j/99756144246?pwd=c3YxNVRlTFkrL251UHNpMjZFdFJSdz09

Meeting ID: 997 5614 4246 Passcode: 370844

You’re equally welcome to join in the “virtual coffee” on Zoom at 11:30 am on Sundays:

https://zoom.us/j/92076612292?pwd=OGJzMFJiaVlsUklSNm5DcFZnakVFdz09 Meeting ID: 920 7661 2292

Passcode: 865469

And also to share in ….


Perhaps you’ve found yourself praying more during lockdown? Tuesday 2nd February 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)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 17-25 January

Lancashire Churches Together are hosting a service to mark the end of the Week of Prayer on Sunday 24th January at 7 pm on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83311577014?pwd=cGN6TEF2clo2UnNYa1Q1c1VTMkJPdz09

Meeting ID: 833 1157 7014 Passcode: 831897. They ask you to let them know you’re coming via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/134771831175

Holocaust Memorial Day

Lancaster and Morecambe will commemorate the week of Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January) as follows:

Sunday 24th 6:30 pm Lancaster Priory will live-stream a short service of Evening Prayer at https://lancasterpriory.org 

Monday 25th 7 pm Living through the Holocaust, a film about the memories of Stephen Breuer, Lancaster-based Holocaust survivor will be shown via a watch party on More Music’s Facebook page at  facebook.com/More.Music1

Tuesday 26th 6 pm Stand Up to Racism Holocaust event underlining the importance of opposing antisemitism and fascism facebook.com/StandUTR

Wednesday 27th 7-8 pm UK Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony will be streamed online at hmd.org.uk/uk-holocaust-memorial-day-2021-ceremony/

Wednesday 27th 8 pm Light the Darkness.  Light a candle and put it in your window to remember those who were murdered for who they were and stand against prejudice and hatred today.

Thursday 28th 6:30 pm More Music’s live Zoom event hosted by Pete Moser at moremusic.org.uk

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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.

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. 

If you’d like to apply, or know someone who should: https://pathways.churchofengland.org/search/category-blackburn/page-1

Children’s Corner

Write the word ‘Blessing’ down on a piece of paper and ask the children to think of something they are blessed with for each letter of the word. Go on a scavenger hunt to find one item that begins with each letter of the word ‘Blessing’.

With older children, challenge them to pick 10 emojis which can be used to tell the story of the Wedding at Cana. Then ask them to choose 10 more emojis which they can use to help them tell a story of something that God has blessed them with.

In what ways do you feel you are blessed, by God or by others?

How can we be a blessing to others?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the many blessings that each of us has been given. Thank you that we enjoy some of them together and thank you for the blessing that is our family. Amen

Giggle (or Groan) of the weeksuggestions welcome!

Every time I take a drink from a bottle, it keeps pouring back.

Must be spring water.

Growing Christ Church

In the life of any church community, there are different seasons. As Christ Church comes out of the Covid-pandemic, Rev’d Carol and the PCC would like to know what you’d like to see grow and flourish in the church community in coming years. Please take a few moments to pray and think about what you’d like to see or do at church, and what you’d like Christ Church to be like in five years’ time so that we can plan for this! You can add your name if you’d like to say more, and all replies (anonymous or named) will be treated in confidence. Please click on https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/L9DPD6R to begin – and do share with friends and family.

Christian Aid Conference

Darren Staunton, our regional Christian Aid Officer, is inviting us to the virtual Christian Aid conference coming up in February; it looks really interesting with a wide variety of sessions and is well worth a look. If you’re interested in supporting Christian Aid locally, Darren himself is running a talk on Tuesday evening Feb 23rd 19:30 – 21:00 (and repeated on the Friday morning at 10 am as well): ‘ ‘Gr Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire Supporter Session’ click the link to book.

A message from the HM Counter-Fraud Team

Criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details. They are sending convincing-looking text messages letting people know they are eligible for the vaccine or phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS, or local pharmacy. Please be alert to these scams!

The NHS will:

NEVER ask for payment – the vaccine is free

NEVER ask for your bank details

NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine

NEVER ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport

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The Olive Branch Foodbank

During daylight hours, there’s a collection box outside the Vicarage door for donations to the Olive Branch, please leave tins, toiletries, and packets and these will be passed on to their distribution centre on the Lansil estate.  Or you can give money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/

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

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.

The Evening Drop In (Shelter Update!)

Our Evening Drop-in has reopened after 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). 

Supplies of tins or pots of rice pudding, and any clean sleeping bags in good condition, are especially welcome at present!

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Let’s BeFriends – Befrienders 

Let’s BeFriends is a new project to create and nurture relationships between individuals who are or have been homeless or in recovery, and those who have a good understanding and/ or lived experience of these pressures and constraints. You need to be 18 years and over, live in easy access to Lancaster and Morecambe area, can offer a minimum of 3 hours a week, able to plan and attend social outings, and understand and agree the non-negotiable boundaries.

For more information, contact Julie directly by email at julieannridgway@gmail.com, or call her on 07515 480280. Alternatively, you can contact Mark or Louise at Lancaster CVS (markwaddington@lancastercvs.org.uk or louisemunro@lancastercvs.org.uk). 

Lancaster District Support Line – Vaccination Drivers 

Lancaster District Support Line, working in partnership with the NHS, has been recruiting volunteer drivers to help people get to their vaccination appointments. These roles are stand-by roles as volunteers will only be called upon if needed, but people do need to be available and will also need a DBS check. Anyone who is interested should contact Mark or Louise at Lancaster CVS as above.

LVP – Vaccination Centre Marshals 

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership (LVP) and the NHS are looking for volunteer marshals to assist at Covid-19 Vaccination Centres across Lancashire and South Cumbria in GP practices, health centres and larger public buildings in more central locations.  New Vaccination Centres will also be added as the vaccine becomes more readily available.  A broad range of volunteer time slots will be offered.  For more information and to apply, https://lancsvp.org.uk/opportunities/covid-vaccination-internal-marshall-3/

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Visions of 2020 Banner

Everyone is invited to share their unique vision of 2020 in a community banner.  We are looking for your lockdown experiences, through text, poems, pictures, family projects etc, which can be incorporated into a design for a textile hanging.   Please send your ideas, thoughts to Marion Cowan:  marion_cowan@hotmail.com  Marion is planning to have small squares 15 x 15cm (plus 1cm margin all round), large squares 30 x 30cm  (plus 1cm margin all round), for anyone who wants to start sewing.

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Thought for the week

Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it.

Joni Eareckson Tada

Eco Group Action for the Week:

New trade deals may increase the supply of food from countries with lower standards than the UK. Pledge to support British farmers who are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint and reverse any negative impacts on biodiversity, wildlife and food nutrition. 

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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

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.