16th May 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 16th May 2021

Seventh Sunday of Easter/

Sunday after Ascension Day


Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.    Amen. 


Acts 1.15-17,21-26

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’ 

So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

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

Psalm 1

Refrain:    The Lord knows the way of the righteous.

   Blessed are they who have not walked

in the counsel of the wicked,  

nor lingered in the way of sinners,

nor sat in the assembly of the scornful.

   Their delight is in the law of the Lord  

and they meditate on his law day and night.

3    Like a tree planted by streams of water

bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither,  

whatever they do, it shall prosper. 

The Lord knows the way of the righteous.

   As for the wicked, it is not so with them;  

they are like chaff which the wind blows away.

5    Therefore the wicked shall not be able to stand in the judgement,  

nor the sinner in the congregation of the righteous.

6    For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,  

but the way of the wicked shall perish.

The Lord knows the way of the righteous

1 John 5.9-13

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John (17.619).    Glory to you, O Lord.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

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

Post Communion: 

Eternal God, giver of love and power,

your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world

to preach the gospel of his kingdom:

confirm us in this mission,

and help us to live the good news we proclaim;

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, Janet Ball, Stephen Taylor, Dorothy Eidsforth, Jenny Lawrence.

RIP:  HRH The Prince Philip, Leslie Fisher

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

Those who live and work in Edward Street and Wyresdale Gardens;  for Castle View and Christ Church Primary Schools.

Prayer and Worship this week: 

Sunday 16th May 

8.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

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

Sunday 6pm: Evening Prayer (Lady Chapel)

Wednesday  5:30 pm Meditation, followed by

6 pm Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)

Friday 9:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Saturday  9pm: Compline (YouTube*)

Sunday 23rd May Pentecost

8.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

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

6:30pm Joint Evensong with Lancaster Priory, streamed via their Facebook page**

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

** The Priory Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/lancasterpriorymusic/

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


Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

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Zoom Prayer

Tuesday 18th 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 

‘Stay 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

Thy Kingdom Come

.. is an international wave of prayer across the nine days from Ascension (13th May to Pentecost (23rd May). We pray for the coming of God’s Holy Spirit, to stir individuals and churches to faith and service. There are some free prayer booklets available at the back of church to use at home, (including a children’s version). At 4pm each day, prayers will be offered on the Diocesan YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMZ_3qPsmiiP4-StDmTXrIw/videos, and also here in the parish. Do set aside 5-10 minutes to pray for people you know to come to know God’s love in their lives. 

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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Children’s Corner:

Read today’s Gospel story (above)

Think about a task that someone has passed on for you to complete. How good were you at carrying it out? 

How do you feel about the invitation to pass on God’s words to other people? 

Write a list of the places they have been this week. They can even include places they have visited digitally (e.g. a zoom call). How might they talk about Jesus in some of those environments? Remember that when they do, they aren’t alone – God is with them. 


Lord Jesus, as followers of you, show us how to continue the work that you have started. Help us to stand out in this world as someone that is working for your glory. Amen 

Restarting Children’s Church!!

Now that lockdown restrictions are lifting, we’re aiming to restart Children’s Church after half term. Thanks to Julie Tinnion for helping with this! To make this possible, we need a minimum of two adults in the Hall. If you can help (whether every week, every month – every little helps!), please have a chat with Rev Carol or Julie Tinnion. 

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

What did the panda say after looking at his GPS?

“Give me a second to get my bearings!”

Tiddlers – babies, toddlers and parents/carers

We would really like to reopen our group for babies and toddlers with their parents and carers.                                                                                                                                                     The group will meet at 10am in the Church Hall on Fridays. The session will finish at 11.30 for now, although in the future we would like to provide a simple lunch at 12noon.  If you could help us with: setting up at 9:30 am; or welcoming people at 10 am; or making teas and coffees; or chatting to parents/doing song time with the children; or tidying up at the end of the session; please contact Jane Lippitt on lippittjane@gmail.com or on 07930 979503. 


Welcoming people to the services at Christ Church is a really valuable role.  If you would like to join the rota of sidespeople, either at the 8.30 or 10.30 services, or if you would like to know more about this role, please contact Jane Lippitt on lippittjane@gmail.com or on 07930 979503. 

Christian Aid Week

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for and supported Christian Aid Week this year. It was good to hear from Ruth Platt who spoke about work in Kenya to build dams to enable farmers to survive extreme weather and climate change. The campaign postcards (in the back of the prayer booklet) – have already begun to make an impact on the government, so please fill yours in and add to the voices calling for change! If you’re using a red envelope to donate, please return this by next Sunday, or if you prefer to give electronically via the Lancaster Christian Aid Group:  https://envelope.christianaid.org.uk/envelope/lancaster

PCC meeting 

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. 

New Noticeboard

The new church noticeboard is now installed beside the main gate, with many thanks to a generous donor and funds from the Gregson Trust. The new board, with 2 display cabinets, shows details of what’s on at Christ Church, and hopefully will help to welcome people here. 

Children, Youth & Families – further advertisement

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:

https://pathways.churchofengland.org/search/category-diocese-of-blackburn/page-1 (Closing date 3rd June) 

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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.

Looking ahead!

On 3rd December, we’ll be holding the first ever three-day Christ Church Christmas Tree Festival! The church will be filled with trees, which will be decorated by local groups to represent and celebrate our community. There’ll be music, refreshments – and we look forward to welcoming lots of people over the weekend.  If you can help – with planning, publicity, community links, or nearer the time – please let Julie Buckley know. 

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. 


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. 

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.ukwhich 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.


Blister packs, plastic bottle tops, dental products (toothpaste tubes, plastic toothbrushes, heads off electric toothbrushes and dental floss containers).

There will be boxes at the back of church for these to be collected loose which will be collected and taken on the first Sunday of the month starting 6th June. We are still collecting empty crisp packets which can be left in plastic bags.  They can also be taken for recycling to the Superdrug Pharmacy in town.  

Cross Bay Walk

Rev Carol is planning a sponsored walk across Morecambe Bay on Saturday 5th June to raise funds for church repairs. There’s a sponsorship form at the back of church if you’d like to support the walk.

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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

The whole of history since the ascension of Jesus into heaven is concerned with one work only: the building and perfecting of this.                    Augustine of Hippo

Eco-Group Action for the Week:  

During the pandemic we have all used more water to reduce infection and keep safe.  Think of ways you can now save water inside the house, and outside by installing a water butt in the garden.

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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.