23rd May 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 23rd May 2021

Feast of Pentecost


Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith, 

revive your Church with the breath of love, 

and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 


Acts 2.1-13

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’
But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’ 

The reader says The Lord is here.  His Spirit is with us.

Ezekiel 37.1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’ 

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


The Spirit of God fills the whole world. Alleluia. 

 I will take you from the nations, 
and gather you from all the countries. 

 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, 
and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses. 

3  A new heart I will give you,  and put a new spirit within you, 

4  And I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 

 You shall be my people,  and I will be your God

The Spirit of God fills the whole world. Alleluia.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.   Alleluia. 

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John (15.26-27; 16.4b-15).   Glory to you, O Lord.

‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.’

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

Post Communion: 

Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit
and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal:
open our lips by your Spirit,
that every tongue may tell of your glory; 

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, baby George Hinds.

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

Those who live and work in Moor Lane and East Road; and Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Central Lancaster High School. 

Some suggested hymns you may like to follow at home:

Prayer and Worship this week: 

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**

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 30th May Trinity Sunday 

8.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

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

6pm Eucharist on the Eve of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (Lady Chapel)

*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


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Zoom Prayer

Tuesday 1st June 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 

This afternoon at 4 pm is the last session of ‘Stay Alert to the Spirit’.  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 are welcome to join on Zoom – don’t worry if you have missed previous sessions!

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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Children’s Corner:

Read today’s story from Acts (above)

What do you think it would have been like to be there when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples as wind and fire? 

Can you think of a time when you have relied on the Holy Spirit to help or guide you? 

If you can, watch this time lapse video which captures how long it takes for a balloon to deflate. 

How long does it take balloons to deflate? 4k Time Lapse Experiment – YouTube
Give everyone a balloon to take home and see if they can conduct their own experiment to see it for themselves. Perhaps they could record it by taking a photograph of their balloon every day? We can have the Holy Spirit inside of us but it doesn’t last forever – we deflate over time like the balloon! It’s important that we keep ‘topped up’ by regularly asking God to fill us with His Spirit again and again. 


Father God, fill us with your Holy Spirit and transform us so we can fulfil our purpose and do great things 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!

Q. Who is the coolest doctor in the hospital?

A. The hip consultant.

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. The cash collected amounted to £160, and some donated online.  Thank you also to those who signed the campaign postcards, which have already begun to make an impact on the government.  You can still give online via the Lancaster Christian Aid Group: https://envelope.christianaid.org.uk/envelope/lancaster

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) 



Lancaster Baptist Church, Nelson Street, Lancaster has a vacancy for a permanent Caretaker 

18 hours per week Monday to Friday working with occasional weekend/evenings rate of pay £9.50 per hour. Main duties: Cleaning (including maintaining standards to reduce risk of covid-19 transmission); Preparation of rooms for users; Simple maintenance tasks.  For a full job description and application form please contact office@lancasterbaptistchurch.org.uk  

Closing date midnight 03.06.2021 

Making Disciples Team Administrator

An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Making Disciples team at Blackburn Board of Finance for a part time Team Administrator (20 hours per week). Reporting to the Archdeacon of Blackburn this post will be located within the attractive surroundings of our diocesan retreat house, Whalley Abbey, which has just reopened as a Centre for Christian Discipleship and Prayer.  For further information and to how to apply please visit the Church of England Recruitment site Pathways at https://pathways.churchofengland.org/job/pathways/2414/making-disciples-team-administrator-part-time-20-hours

Legal Clerk to the Diocesan Registry (4 to 5 days per week, total 28 or 35 hours)

This is a wonderful opportunity for a highly skilled administrator/clerk to help set up the new registry within the DBF. Reporting to the new Diocesan Registrar this post will be located at the diocesan offices in Blackburn.  For further information and how to apply please visit the Church of England Recruitment site Pathways at https://pathways.churchofengland.org/job/pathways/2413/clerk-to-the-diocesan-registry-4-or-5-day-week


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.

Save the day!

For an afternoon of music, fun and cream teas at Christ Church on Saturday 3rd July 2.30-4.30pm. More details to follow – please think about who you’d like to invite! 

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. 

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. 

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.


Starting 6th June, and on every first Sunday of the month, clean blister packs, plastic bottle tops, dental products (toothpaste tubes, plastic toothbrushes, used heads from electric toothbrushes and dental floss containers) can be placed (loose) in boxes at the back of church. They’ll then be taken for recycling. The box will be there on the first Sunday only – if you miss that Sunday, please hold onto them until the next month. Blister packs can also be taken for recycling to the Superdrug Pharmacy in town.  


Singers of all ages and abilities/experience are very welcome to come to choir practices every Thursday 7:15 -8:15 pm in church. Please contact Jacqueline for more details.

Cross Bay Walk

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored Rev Carol for her 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. If you’d prefer to give online, there is now a crowdfunding page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/christ-church-repair-fund

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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 giving of God’s Spirit not just about personal empowerment, or an individual experience of God’s presence. …  It is about followers of Christ being empowered to bring God’s resurrection life to the whole of creation, finding our place in the unity of God’s universe.                               John van de Laar

Eco-Group Action for the Week:  

Fresh water is finite and essential to sustain life.  Remember to value it and perhaps consider installing a water meter to encourage you to use less, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

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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.