2nd May 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Fifth Sunday of Easter


Risen Christ, your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life: give us compassion and courage to risk ourselves for those we serve, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Acts 8.26-40

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.

In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.’

The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

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

Psalm 22.25-31

Refrain:    Be not far from me, O Lord.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation; I will perform my vows in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord shall praise him; their hearts shall live for ever.

Be not far from me, O Lord.

27  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth bow down in worship, or those who go down to the dust kneel before him  

Be not far from me, O Lord.

30  He has saved my life for himself; my descendants shall serve him; this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation, to a people yet unborn, declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

Be not far from me, O Lord.

 1 John 4.7-21

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John (15.1-8).    Glory to you, O Lord.

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.  ‘

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

Post Communion:

Eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life: grant us to walk in his way, to rejoice in his truth, and to share his risen life; who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. 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, Leslie Fisher

Parish Cycle of Prayer: 

Those who live and work in Alfred Street and Shaw Street;  our farmers and agricultural workers.

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week:

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)

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

Friday 9:30 am Holy Communion (in the Lady Chapel)

Saturday 9pm: Compline (on YouTube*)

Sunday 9th May  8.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 10.30am Parish Eucharist, with guest speaker from Christian Aid (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


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Election results are in!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the APCM. Please pray for your newly elected representatives, who are:

Our Churchwarden is Jacqueline Stamper

Our new Deanery Synod Representative is: Pat Allen (joining Jacqueline Stamper)

Our PCC members are: Jane Lippitt, Julie Buckley, Julie Tinnion, Paul Thompson, Jacqueline Park, Joyce Lynch, Cathy Wilson.

With Andrew Neal co-opted as Treasurer, Jane Lippitt co-opted as Safeguarding Representative and Electoral Roll officer.

The next PCC meeting will be on Wednesday 19th May, so if you have ideas or concerns which you’d like to raise, please let Julie Buckley or Rev Carol know.

Christian Aid Week

Is the 10th-16th May. We look forward to welcoming Ruth Platt at the 1030 service on Sunday 9th May, who will be sharing what Christian Aid are doing to tackle climate change, especially with their partners in Kenya. Please take an envelope home (there is a supply at the back of church) and return it by Sunday 16th May, or alternatively give online at https://www.christianaid.org.uk

Christian Aid Week 2

Lancaster Christian Aid Group are running a street collection, including some streets in our parish. Can you help deliver 40 envelopes to the houses in Wyresdale Gardens? This year, it will only be to deliver envelopes, due to Covid, people will be invited to drop off their donation envelopes at a variety of collection points (local shops and a pop-up collection point at Scotforth Road). There would be no requirement to knock on doors to collect them back in. The envelopes would need to be delivered on Sunday 9th May or Monday 10th May. Please contact jenniecharman30@gmx.com if you can help.

Thank you for the Rain

Five years ago, Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer, started to use his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the damages of climate change. When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together, we see him transform from a father, to community leader to an activist on the global stage.

Watch Party on Zoom: Tuesday 4th May at 7.30pm – all welcome. (90mins).

https://zoom.us/j/8069459310  Meeting ID: 806 945 9310

Or if you want to see the film at another time, please email Rev Carol for the link.

The Eco Group will host a discussion of the film at their zoom meeting on the 11th May at 7.30pm – all welcome

Children’s Corner:

Read today’s Gospel story (above)

What happens if a branch doesn’t stay connected to a tree or vine?

What good fruit do you produce as a family for God?

As a family, make a fruit salad together using some of your favourite fruit. Whilst you are doing this, notice that lots of fruit contain pips or seeds. Jesus modelled for us what it looks like to show love, to have joy, to be patient and kind, and lots of other good things too. When we accept Jesus into our lives, God plants those seeds within us and they begin to grow!

Pray together:

Loving God, help us show others your love by teaching us your ways and growing us as your children. Please help us to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our day to day lives. Amen

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

Did you hear about the little grape who didn’t want to be made into wine?
Unfortunately, he was pressed into service!

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.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Plea from St Bernadette’s

At St Bernadette’s church in Bowerham we are undertaking a project to settle a refugee family in the Lancaster area. We are presently at the stage of finding accommodation for a family. If you know of anyone who might be willing and able to rent a house to such a family (hopefully for 2 years), please can you let me know. The rent should not, hopefully, be too excessive because we are limited regarding what is affordable. We are also looking to take on more volunteers to help settle the family. If you are interested, please contact me. Thanks, God bless, Paul Wyre wyrepaul@gmail.com

Job opportunity – Let’s Be Friends

Let’s Be-Friends is a new organisation, set up during Covid that links those just off the street or still homeless to people who have been through the same experience.  The volunteers befriend, support and help people when they are just starting a new life and really need to see a way through all the challenges it involves. We need a paid co-ordinator who supports, helps train and enable the volunteers to do that great job.   We are already seeing fantastic results but our co-ordinator has to move away.  It would be great to have people come forward from the local Christian community who would like to be considered to take on this role. The co-ordinator will make a huge difference in the lives of both homeless people and our volunteers. 


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

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.

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. 

Accommodation sought:

Accommodation wanted for professional female from June 2021. ESOL teacher and working from home on-line, friendly, musical and helpful. Looking for annex, house share, family house or with a couple. Thank you, Sarah. sarahadams0208@gmail.com

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.

Recycling empty blister packs

These can be taken for recycling to the Superdrug Pharmacy in town.  Alternatively, bring them to church on the first Sunday of the month, starting on 6th June, and the Eco group will recycle them.  

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

Cross Bay Walk

Rev Carol is planning a sponsored walk across Morecambe Bay on Saturday 5th June to raise funds for church repairs. Places are very limited – but if you’d like to join me – please let me know asap!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thought for the week

Real prayer is union with God, a union as vital as that of the vine to the branch.      Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Eco-Group Action for the Week

Water Aid is our church’s nominated international charity. Please support this by buying a book from our stall at the back of church and help to achieve clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene for all.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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