25th April 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 25th April 2021

Fourth Sunday of Easter


Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep: teach us to hear your voice and to follow your command, that all your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Acts 4.5-12

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is

“the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.”

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

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

Psalm 23

Refrain:    I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

1    The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.

2    He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

3    He shall refresh my soul and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

5    You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil and my cup shall be full.

6    Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

1 John 3.16-24

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John (10.11-18).    Glory to you, O Lord.

‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

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

Post Communion:

Merciful Father, you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd, and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again: keep us always under his protection, and give us grace to follow in his steps; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen


Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:  Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Pat Brooks, Ivy Buckley, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Thea Harris-Ellis, Thomas Platt, Sophia Holden, Janet Ball, Stephen Taylor, Dorothy Eidsforth, Jenny Lawrence.

RIP:  Andrew Crompton, Wilf Barron, Judith Almond, HRH The Prince Philip.

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Factory Hill, Troutbeck Road, and Wolseley Street;  the work of the police and criminal justice system. 

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

Sunday 25th 8.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 10.30am Parish Eucharist, (in church, then uploaded to YouTube*)

Sunday 11:45am APCM (in church and on Zoom)

Sunday 4pm Staying Alert to the Spirit Course (via Zoom)

Sunday 6pm: Eucharist for St Mark (in the Lady Chapel)

Wednesday 5:30 pm Meditation & 6 pm Evening Prayer (in the Storey Chapel)

Friday 9:30 am Eucharist for SS Philip and James ( the Lady Chapel)

Saturday 9pm: Compline (on YouTube*)

Sunday 2nd May  8.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 10.30am Parish Eucharist, (in church, then uploaded to YouTube*)

4pm Staying Alert to the Spirit Course (via Zoom)

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer (in the Lady Chapel)

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

If you would like to book in for the Sunday Eucharists, please use these Eventbrite links:

Sundays: 8:30 am https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/144628127623

Sundays: 10:30 am


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Zoom Prayer

Tuesday 4th May 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)

Stay Alert to the Spirit Study Course

‘Staying Alert to the Spirit’ continues this afternoon at 4pm.  What is God saying to the churches as we emerge from lockdown?  In the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection – how should we live? What does this good news mean for us?  All welcome to join on Zoom at 4pm each Sunday until Pentecost – don’t worry if you have missed previous weeks!

https://zoom.us/j/98903615188?pwd=a01QRFR1LzczM1JHSnZTdWt1WkJ0dz09   Meeting ID: 989 0361 5188

Passcode: 218739

Meeting up

Now that lockdown rules are slowly lifting, I’m able to meet more people in the parish again, and get to know folks. If you’d like to go for a walk, or arrange a garden visit – it would be lovely to meet and chat, please let me know when’s convenient! Rev’d Carol.

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Annual Parochial Church Meeting

This annual review of our church life, and the election of church officers to represent us for the year ahead, will take place today after the 10.30 service in Church and you can also join via Zoom: ( https://zoom.us/j/93668894083?pwd=MjA2OGZTTHFSQ2Q5QlAwUmFJUllWdz09   Meeting ID: 936 6889 4083  Passcode: 154621) 

We will elect two Churchwardens (please note that Paul Thompson is standing down this year, and we give grateful thanks for all his hard work). There will also be eight spaces for PCC members, and a further representative to Deanery Synod – so please think and pray if you are called to serve in these ways, or know someone who might be!

Anyone who is resident in the parish, or who is on the electoral roll is entitled to vote for our Churchwardens, and ask questions or start a discussion about parochial or general church interest – and move to recommend to the PCC in respect of its duties at the Annual Meeting.

Anyone who is on the electoral roll is entitled to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting – to elect our PCC and Deanery Synod Reps; and approve the annual reports.

Annual Review

Not all of us are called to formal, official roles in church – there are many ways in which we give of our time and talents in service of the community, and grow and flourish ourselves. We want to help each other to be active in our church and Christian lives – in ways which value the different gifts and skills each of us is blessed with. Some of this is about how our church community practically works and grows, and it is healthy to review this regularly as this will change over the years. The most important thing is being part of the congregation and family, as we pray, worship, serve, and care for each other and the parish.  There is now a green box at the back of church to collect the green ‘Gifts and Talents’ review forms by 2nd May April – whether you’re a baker, sewer, reader, welcomer, pray-er, we’d love to hear from you! If you’d prefer to fill it in online, you can do so at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/THZ5GWH

Children’s Corner:

Read today’s Gospel story (above)

Jesus’ care for us is often seen through the care that others show us. Can you make a list of all the people that care for you as a family? Jesus’ care is also reflected when we show care for other people. Can you make a list of all the people you care for?

Who are the people who care for you?

How does it feel knowing Jesus cares for you in such a strong way?

Who could you show care to this week and how?


Lord Jesus, you are the good shepherd. We praise you that you know each person here by name, that you care for each person here and that you died for each person here. Jesus, we praise you. Amen

Children, Youth & Families job opportunity!

Christ Church, Lancaster, is advertising for a part-time (20h/week) Children, Youth and Families Co-ordinator to help us grow our ministry and outreach in the parish. We’re looking for someone with experience of working with toddlers to teens, who is able to grow a team of volunteer leaders, and is keen to share the Gospel within and beyond the church walls. We are an inclusive, vibrant and welcoming community in the liberal catholic tradition. For an informal chat please contact Rev’d Carol, or for more details and to apply, please see Pathways: https://pathways.churchofengland.org/job/pathways/2326/christ-church-lancaster-children-youth-and-families-co-ordinator Closing date for applications is 10th May.

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

Q. Where did the sheep get a haircut?

A. At the baa-baa shop.

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The Future of the NHS in the Bay Area.

An important conversation is beginning on the future of the NHS in the Bay area.  This will involve multi million pound investment and will have a major impact on Lancaster and the rest of the Bay area. Do the churches have anything to say?  To find out more please go to: https://newhospitals.clevertogether.com/welcome

Lyrics and Lunch

You have probably heard about Lyrics and Lunch, which is an award-winning church-based project for those living with dementia and their carers. We are re-launching post-Covid to find other churches who would like to start a Lyrics and Lunch group at a Zoom event on Tuesday 4th May at 7.30pm. Bishop Jill Duff is our Ambassador and will be hosting the event.

The link to join the meeting at 7.30pm on Tues 4th May is on the pdf but here it is:


Meeting ID: 885 3610 5710 Passcode: 628651  

People are welcome to email me for more information:  jeanette@st.tees.org.uk

Have you finished the Census?

If you’ve not yet completed yours, or want some help in doing so, Lancaster Library and Lancaster CVS are available to help – either over the phone, or face to face this coming week. Please pass the word on – Census data helps plan for better public services and social care, so the more people who are represented, the more people can be helped.

Help needed

Audrey Davies is retiring from her role as Sacristan – and we are grateful for all the hard work and care she has given over the years in ensuring our worship goes smoothly. If you can help in the preparation for worship and tidying after services, whether on a weekly or on a more occasional basis, please let Rev Carol know. If you’d like to know more about what’s involved, please ask Audrey.

Fundraising Group

If you’d like to help plan some fun social events and fundraisers for the church in coming months (or would like to help on the day) – please contact Julie Buckley

Squares for Syria

Thank you to everyone who has been contributing knitted squares to be sent to Syria – we have made up several blankets – and also to those who have supplied the crocheted squares which have been made into lovely baby blankets.  Margaret Lyth has been given a large quantity of wool to be used for knitting/crocheting more squares, so if you’re able to make more squares – or would like to start helping – please contact her on 60387.

Vaccinaid – Give the world a shot!

Our church leaders are encouraging us to play our part in helping UNICEF deliver 2 billion vaccines around the world by the end of this year, to bring this world-wide epidemic to an end.  Keeping one another safe from COVID is part of living out Christ’s call to love our neighbour.  By contributing to crowdfunding this project on  https://www.vaccinaid.org  we can help the whole world get the protection many of us already have through our easy access to healthcare.

House/flat/room to rent?

Please let Jacqueline or Pat know if you can offer, or know of anyone who has a house or flat to rent that would be suitable for one or two reliable young men.  Marius (our excellent Hall cleaner) and another refugee have each been given notice to leave their present accommodation, and RAIS (Refugee Advocacy and Information Service) is trying to help find them somewhere to live (either together or separately) as a matter of urgency. 

The Olive Branch Foodbank

Donations of tinned pies, curry, meatballs and hotpot especially needed. Thank you for all the donations in recent weeks  –  they gave out 300 parcels last month alone!   Or you can give money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/

Food Futures

An interesting website for Lancaster residents, especially gardeners and allotment holders, is www.foodfutures.org.uk which is a local award-winning sustainable food network. It carries a directory of local food, news and research, but above all an invitation to join in a conversation on shaping our food supply in 2030. This is important as coping with climate change will probably mean reducing our dependence on food coming from afar with all the transport pollution, costs, etc. Well worth a look!

The Christ Church Cookbook: contributions invited

The Eco Church Group has been promoting reducing our carbon footprint by eating less meat.  They are not all vegetarian or vegan, but reducing meat consumption, especially meat from intensive farming, has benefits for both the climate and for animal welfare.  To encourage people to try meatless recipes, a cookbook of our favourite vegetarian and vegan dishes that could tempt even carnivores is being produced, for which contributions of your favourite, tried and tested, veggie and vegan recipes are invited. Sales of the cookbook will raise money for Christ Church funds.  We need to balance starters, mains and puddings, and also vegan/non-vegan recipes, and are limited in the size of the booklet but all contributions are welcome, even if they can’t all be included. Please include metric measurements for ingredients, and send your recipes to reader@christchurchlancaster.org.uk.

Welcomers and Tiddlers’ Group

Jane Lippitt would love to hear from you if you would be willing to join the team of sides-people (welcomers) or to help with the Tiddlers’ Group (pre-school children and their carers) which will be starting up again on Friday mornings as soon as we can resume children’s activities.

Prayers & our Newsletter

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.

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.

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Thought for the week

In most churches, when they have images of the good shepherd, they show Jesus carrying a nice fluffy lamb. Now fluffy little lambs don’t stray from their mommies. The sheep that will stray is the most obstreperous, troublesome one.      Desmond Tutu  

Eco-Group Action for the Week

Easter season brings the promise of new life and hope for the future. Can you share this link to “Wild Christian actions” which may give hope to those feeling overwhelmed by the Climate crisis  https://arocha.org.uk/wildchristian/Easter

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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.