5th September 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 5th September 2021

Climate Sunday

Welcome to Rev’d Canon Professor John Rodwell, our Diocesan Environmental Officer, preaching at the 10:30 Parish Eucharist.


Almighty God,

whose only Son has opened for us

a new and living way into your presence:

give us pure hearts and steadfast wills

to worship you in spirit and in truth;

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. 


Job 38: 4-12

‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

   Tell me, if you have understanding. 

Who determined its measurements—surely you know!

   Or who stretched the line upon it? 

On what were its bases sunk,

   or who laid its cornerstone 

when the morning stars sang together

   and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? 

‘Or who shut in the sea with doors

   when it burst out from the womb?— 

when I made the clouds its garment,

   and thick darkness its swaddling band, 

and prescribed bounds for it,

   and set bars and doors, 

and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther,

   and here shall your proud waves be stopped”? 

‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began,

   and caused the dawn to know its place’ 

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

Psalm 104: 1-15

Refrain:    I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

   Bless the Lord, O my soul.  

O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness!

2    You are clothed with majesty and honour,  

wrapped in light as in a garment.

   You spread out the heavens like a curtain  

and lay the beams of your dwelling place in the waters above.

4    You make the clouds your chariot  

and ride on the wings of the wind.

5    You make the winds your messengers  

and flames of fire your servants. 

 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

6    You laid the foundations of the earth,  

that it never should move at any time.

   You covered it with the deep like a garment;  

the waters stood high above the hills.

8    At your rebuke they fled;  

at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.

   They rose up to the hills and flowed down to the valleys beneath,  

to the place which you had appointed for them.

10  You have set them their bounds that they should not pass,  

nor turn again to cover the earth. 

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

11  You send the springs into the brooks,  

which run among the hills.

12  They give drink to every beast of the field,  

and the wild asses quench their thirst.

13  Beside them the birds of the air make their nests  

and sing among the branches.

14  You water the hills from your dwelling on high;  

the earth is filled with the fruit of your works.

15  You make grass to grow for the cattle  

and plants to meet our needs.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

Romans 8: 18-25

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew (21.33-43)   Glory to you, O Lord.

‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

“The stone that the builders rejected

   has become the cornerstone;

this was the Lord’s doing,

   and it is amazing in our eyes”? 

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.

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

Post Communion: 

Lord God, the source of truth and love,

keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,

united in prayer and the breaking of bread,

and one in joy and simplicity of heart,

in 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, Dorothy Eidsforth, Ann Boss, Ella Patterson, Barry Pickering, Sitar Rose

RIP: Michael Goulding, Stephen Taylor, Mary Kerr, Irene Watson, Elly

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

Those who live and work in Mallside Close and Coleman Drive;  all who visit and work at the auction mart.

Also for Rev’d Leah Vasey Saunders, who will be licensed as the new Vicar of Lancaster at the Priory on Wednesday. 

Prayer and Worship this week: 

Sunday 5th September Thirteenth Sunday of Trinity

8:30am Holy Communion in the Lady Chapel

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

6 pm Taizé Eucharist in the Lady Chapel


11 am Moorside Hall service

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 12 th September Fourteenth Sunday of Trinity

8:30am Holy Communion in the Lady Chapel

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

3 pm Songs of Praise Service – see notice

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

Zoom Prayer

Tuesday 21st September 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)

Today: Climate Sunday

We have a special 10:30 Eucharist for Climate Sunday today, with guest preacher, Rev’d Dr John Rodwell, Diocesan Eco-Adviser, and a newly composed piece by Marlene Phillips, with words written by Joyce Lynch, and performed by the Choir. 

Today’s Hymn

During the 1030 Eucharist, the Choir will sing a specially composed hymn for this Climate Sunday – written by Joyce Lynch and composed by Marlene Phillips. 

The words are: 


How beautiful the world is now, yet lovelier still would be

If wounds and scars were all removed from land and air and sea.

For God created all for us -a place for bird and beast

To feed and shelter , and a land where all can thrive and feast.

Instead of taking just enough to meet our daily need

The human race has plundered all for profit and for greed;

Despoiled the land, destroyed the life of creatures everywhere,

Polluted oceans, over-fished , contaminated air.

CHORUS. The time is now to make a stand, to save our mother earth,

To stop the desecration of the world which gave us birth.

Now humankind is suffering from drought and floods and fire

With millions forced to flee their homes, escaping fates so dire –

No crops to eat, few birds and bees, and land that’s turned to dust

The poor affected most of all by outcomes so unjust

Yet wonders God indeed performs, for given time to breathe

The earth can still restore itself if only we can cease

Our habits of destroying all, of wanting ever more

The time is now to make a stand, to let our voices soar:

© Words: Joyce Lynch/ Music: Marlene Phillips

Thank you all – we look forward to hearing it!

National Climate Sunday Service

The Nations’ Climate Sunday Service will be on Sunday 5 September, live from Glasgow Cathedral.  It’s an opportunity to celebrate everything you have done as part of the Climate Sunday movement, and everything churches across Britain and Ireland have committed to for the climate in the lead up to COP26.Live online, from 3.30pm. Book your free online ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nations-climate-sunday-service-churches-prepare-for-cop-26-tickets-165258230817

Today: Living in Love and Faith – a process of discernment

We are continuing to join in the national time of discernment, Living in Love and Faith. This encourages us to listen to a rich breadth of stories and experiences of relationships and faith, and to reflect on what Scripture and the Holy Spirit are saying to us about what that means for the future. Across the Church of England groups are sharing in these five sessions, as part of a national discernment of how the church will teach about relationships in future, and what prayer and blessing for couples will look like in years to come. All are welcome to join in the in-person sessions in the hall starting today (5th September) after the 10:30 Eucharists – we want your voice to feed into this exercise on these issues, which we pray will affect how the Church moves forward together in love and faith.  Let us know if there are other times that would suit those for whom after the 10:30 isn’t convenient. There will also be cross-Deanery courses starting on Tuesday 5th October, at Christ Church School.

Help Needed

Can you help on (all or some) of Tuesdays 5th, 12th, 19th October and 2nd, 9th and 16th November from 7.10pm at Christ Church Primary School? A deanery-wide Living in Love and Faith Course is running, and we need a couple of people to welcome and direct people around the building and car park, as well as serve refreshments. You’re very welcome to join the course too – which will run until 9.15pm. 

Today:  Taizé Eucharist at 6 pm

The monthly Taizé Eucharist resumes on Sunday 5th September at 6pm. All welcome for a reflective service of prayers, song and stillness. If you’d like to join the music group for this, there will be a rehearsal from 4.30pm this afternoon – please contact Julian Davies or Rev’d Carol for more info. 

Today:  Recycling Sunday 

Please bring your blister packs, used dental products (brushes, toothpaste tubes, etc) and crisp packets this Sunday, 5th September, ready for recycling. 

Children’s Church

Children’s Church is taking its summer break and starts again today!  Looking forward to seeing you then!

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

Q. Why shouldn’t you tell secrets in a cornfield?

A.  There are too many ears.


If there are things which you’d like PCC to discuss on September 22nd – if there are things which concern you, or you’d like to see the church do, please speak to Rev’d Carol, Julie Buckley, or one of the PCC members. 

Baptisms and Confirmations 2021

If you are interested in being baptised and/or confirmed, or know someone who would like to be, please let Rev’d Carol know. There will be a confirmation service with Bishop Jill on Sunday 21st November, with preparation classes beforehand. Confirmation is a public declaration of faith in Christ, and the Bishop represents the whole church in giving the gift of the Holy Spirit. It may (but not necessarily) be a time to begin receiving Holy Communion. Children may be in Year 6 or above. 

Concert 8th September 2021

Steven Moore, percussionist, will be giving a concert of Preludes and Encores at Christ Church on Wednesday 8th September at 7.30pm. The concert will be on a ‘pay what you can’ basis – with funds raised being split with the church. Music will include pieces by Bach, Piazzolla, Sejourne and others. 

Next Sunday: Songs of Praise Service

Sunday 12th September at 3pm – Songs of Praise Service – all the hymns and worship songs you’ve wanted to sing for the last 16 months! There’s a request sheet at the back of church.

Save the date: 25th September Christ Church Camino

Everyone’s welcome to join our parish walk on Saturday 25th September, which will pause at different points around the parish boundaries to pray. It’s part of a nationwide prayer movement ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. If you’d like to join all (or part) of the walk, timings are as follows: 

11am- Leave Church and walk through Scotch Quarry

1120 – Walk along the Canal and over to Sainsbury’s

1140- Begin walking along the river path

1215 – Denny Beck Lunch Stop

1pm – M6 motorway bridge

1.20pm Lancaster Prison/Cemetery

1.40pm Standen and Grab Lane, heading to the abattoir

2pm Return to Church. 

Please bring stout shoes, waterproofs, and plenty of water, suncream, snacks, and lunch. Dogs welcome. 

Pray and fast for the climate

Please join in praying for climate justice and climate action ahead of CoP26 in Glasgow in November.  A global movement of Christians is praying and fasting on the first Sunday of each month for climate justice.  As well as theChrist Church Camino, we hope to hold a vigil here sometime in October, ahead of the Glasgow summit.  You can find out more at https://prayandfastfortheclimate.org.uk

Legacies at Christ Church. 

Gifts in Wills are an important part of Christian stewardship, and dedicating a gift is one way tho thank God for blessings received. If you’re considering writing a Will and leaving a gift to the church, there is a lilac leaflet available near the offertory box which explains more. The PCC have recently passed a Legacy Policy to ensure that gifts are used well to support Christ Church’s mission and ministry, whilst taking into account a donor’s wishes. If you wish to speak to Rev’d Carol or Jacqueline Stamper in confidence, or for further details, please see www.churchlegacy.org.uk.

Meeting up

I’m able to meet more people in the parish again, and to 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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Heritage Open Weekend – Help Needed

Can you spare an hour (or more) on the 11th, 12th, 18th or 19th September, between 10am and 4pm to be in church to welcome visitors? We’re taking part in the national Heritage Open Weekend, as it’s a lovely opportunity to welcome guests who may never have seen the church before, and show off the beautiful building and stained glass. More details from Rev’d Carol.

The Olive Branch Foodbank 

… is in particular need of tins – including meat, fish, vegetables and pies. They have sufficient pasta and rice – but all other items, including toiletries, are also gratefully received! 

Or you can give money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/

Co-op soft plastics recycling

Co-op stores now recycle soft plastics (in particular, bread bags, crisp packets, pasta bags, fruit & veg wrappers, pizza wrappers).

Supporting Christ Church 

If you would like to support Christ Church’s work and worship regularly, or you already do – please consider giving by Direct Debit. Christ Church is now taking part in the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows us to offer direct debit as an option. This national Scheme takes a lot of hassle out of claiming gift aid, and ensures that any donation is covered by guarantees. It also allows you to easily review how much you give depending on circumstances. There are no costs or overheads to the parish. For more information, the QR code takes you to our page on the scheme:

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Online at www.parishgiving.org.uk

By telephone 0333 002 1271 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm

Postal forms available on request.

For any of these methods our PGS code 030603240 ensures that your gift goes to our church.

Church Repair Fund

We recently launched our Church Repair Fund to help keep our buildings in good condition so that they can continue to be used for ministry and outreach in the years to come. There are several big projects on the Porch, East Wall, and Hall, which are in need of urgent work.  If you’d like more details about what is going on, please pick up a leaflet – and if you are able to make a donation there are envelopes available. If you’re able to give of your time and talents to plan or help with some fundraising events – please keep an eye on the notices for more details!

You can also contribute online via the Give a Little website: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/1c7889a9-7ef8-4730-a84a-2d434726c909

Christ Church Crafts:

Begins on Tuesday 14th September at 11:30am in the Hall – all welcome! Bring your own craft project, or share in the work on the new banners. Future meetings will be on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the same time. Contact Marion Cowan for further details.


Many of the apples in the church orchard are ripe, much earlier this year. We are planning an Apple Festival on the 9th October so if you are able to gather the windfalls and either store, preserve or freeze them ahead of the 9th – that would be gratefully appreciated!

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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 climate crisis always generates more serious humanitarian crises and the poor are the most vulnerable regarding extreme weather events.  A solidarity founded on justice, on peace, and on the unity of the human family is needed.   Pope Francis

Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week

The theme for this Creation Season is A Home for All, renewing the OIKOS of God. To ensure that the planet is “Home for all,” reflect on how our lifestyles affect the environment. Commit to live more simply so that others may simply live.

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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 reader@christchurchlancaster.org.uk.

Churchwarden: Ms Jacqueline Stamper 64083 churchwarden@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

Parish Safeguarding Officer:  Ms Jane Lippitt 07930 979503 safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

Children, Youth & Families Coordinator: Mrs Julie Tinnion 07749 489623 children@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

COVID-19 – latest update from Rev’d Carol

Now that regulations on Covid precautions have changed, much advice has been issued by the government, national church and local health authorities, with each Vicar being responsible for plans and arrangements in each church building. After discussion at PCC on Wednesday 21st July, Christ Church asks that everyone continues to: 

  • Wear a face covering within the building, unless medically exempt
  • Keep a safe distance – with some pews remaining closed to help this  
  • Use the Track and Trace code, or the paper sign-in sheet for each service
  • Use hand gel on arriving in the building, and before receiving communion

In addition: 

  1. – At the 1030 service, communion will now be received from the rail; please kneel or stand to receive. Afterwards, please return to your seat via the Lady Chapel – The common cup (chalice) may be shared *if desired*. If you wish to receive, please remain at the rail after receiving the bread. The person administering will wear a face covering, and please *do not* touch the chalice with your hands, and *do not* intinct your wafer (dip it into the wine). The chalice will be wiped with an alcohol sanitiser between use.
  2. Congregational singing will restart at the Sunday 10:30 Eucharist, with other services remaining said. 
  3. The 10:30 Service will continue to be recorded for those who wish to watch and worship at home.
  4. Face-to-face gatherings can resume, outdoors where possible and with ventilation/face coverings in situ where not. 

As a church community, we are called to act for the benefit of all, and especially the most vulnerable. We wish our church community to be safe, accepting and welcoming for all, regardless of health, or vaccine-status. Although regulations have lifted, I strongly encourage everyone to continue to take precautions and continue the good habits we have got into in recent months. 

All of us will feel differently about the lifting of regulations – some ecstatic, some anxious. I’m more than happy to listen and hear your own views on this, and talk through what will help you feel safe and continue to be part of the church in coming weeks. There is a range of quieter and busier services at Christ Church so you may also wish to consider something different to your usual pattern. Please be mindful that some may not be as ready to be as close-up as others, and that is absolutely fine, so please don’t be afraid to say, ‘Please may I have space?’ if you need it, knowing that no questions will be asked.