28th November 2021

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 28th November 2021

First Sunday of Advent

The 10:30 Eucharist is sponsored by Valerie Lawrence, in memory of Roy Bragg. 

President: The Rev’d Ann Boss


Almighty God,

give us grace to cast away the works of darkness

and to put on the armour of light,

now in the time of this mortal life,

in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;  that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen


Jeremiah 33.14-16

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

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

Psalm 25.1-9

Refrain:  Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

1    To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;

O my God, in you I trust;  

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies triumph over me.

   Let none who look to you be put to shame,  

but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.

3    Make me to know your ways, O Lord,  

and teach me your paths.

4    Lead me in your truth and teach me,  

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you have I hoped all the day long.

5    Remember, Lord, your compassion and love,  

for they are from everlasting. 

Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

   Remember not the sins of my youth

or my transgressions,  

but think on me in your goodness, O Lord,

according to your steadfast love.

7    Gracious and upright is the Lord;  

therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.

   He will guide the humble in doing right  

and teach his way to the lowly.

9    All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth  

to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 

Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

1 Thessalonians 3.9-13

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. 

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (21.25-36).    Glory to you, O Lord.

‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’

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

Post Communion: 

O Lord our God,

make us watchful and keep us faithful

as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;

that, when he shall appear,

he may not find us sleeping in sin

but active in his service

and joyful in his praise;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:  Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Ivy Buckley, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Thea Harris-Ellis, Thomas Platt, Janet Ball, Dorothy Eidsforth, Sitar Rose, Heather McFadden, Maddison Crompton, Irene Forrester, Galiba Sijarić

RIP:   Susan Stringer, Betty Hilton

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

Those who live and work in our parish, in Dalton Road, Nun Street; and for emergency services including fire, police, ambulance, coastguard and mountain rescue teams.

And for Lilly Watson and Elliott Watson ahead of their Christening today.

Prayer and Worship this week: 

Sunday 28th November – First Sunday of Advent 

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10.30am Parish Eucharist with Children’s Church (in church then uploaded to YouTube)* 

12:30 pm Baptism

6 pm Holy Communion – St Andrew (Lady Chapel)


4 pm Prayer4 (on Zoom)


5:30 pm Meditation, followed by

6 pm Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)


9:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 5th December

8:30 am Holy Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10.30am Parish Eucharist with Children’s Church (in church then uploaded to YouTube)* 

4 pm Candle-lit Advent Carol Service

(Please note: no 6 pm service.)

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

Zoom Prayer

Tuesday 30th November 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)

Two Guides through Advent 

At the back of church are two books to choose from to help us prepare and pray this Advent. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘arrival’ – as we look for Christ’s coming into our hearts and homes. 

  • ‘After God’s own heart’ – a devotional from the Diocese with a daily Bible verse and reflection. 
  • ‘ Advent for Everyone’ – written by Tom Wright, a reflection on Luke’s Gospel, echoing the readings we will hear Sunday by Sunday. 

Both texts are free – if you wish to make a donation to church funds, please leave this in the box. 

Christmas Tree Festival,  3rd -5th December – all welcome

Please come along to our first Christmas Tree Festival, which promised to be a wonderful event, and bring your friends and neighbours.

We also need help to steward the church and welcome our visitors to the Tree Festival, and help to offer refreshments in the Hall. There’s a sign-up sheet at the back of Church outlining the times during set-up-week, and the festival itself. If you’ve any questions about what’s involved, please see Julie Buckley, Rev’d Carol, or Jane Lippitt.

Tree Flyers and Posters

Before you leave church, please take a poster for the Tree festival to display in a window, or in local shops.

There are also flyers to go out to streets in the parish – please take an area, and deliver to letterboxes this week. 

Advent Carol Service – 5th December

To help us begin Advent, there will be a candlelit carol service at 4pm on Sunday 5th December, with prayers and music helping us to watch and wait for Christ’s coming. Do bring a friend!

Toy Service- 12th December

As part of our 10:30 service on Sunday 12th December, we will be collecting and blessing toys to be  distributed by Ryelands Sure Start Centre to families who would otherwise go without Christmas presents this year. All donations gratefully received. New or good condition used toys (for all ages) welcomed.   Please do not wrap, as they will only have to be unwrapped by the staff and the wrapping will go to waste!  If you wish to drop items off ahead of time, Nick Roberts will be helping in the Vestry on Thursday 2nd December from 4-6pm, and Monday 3.30-5.30pm.

Churches Together Carol Singing – 11th December

Save the Date! Saturday 11th December, from 10am-1230 (with a midway break).  Churches Together will be singing carols in Marketgate. Please bring warm clothing and your own drink – and come for as much or as little as you’re able to! All welcome, song sheets provided. 

Big Band Concert at Christ Church – 14th December

On Tuesday 14th December at 7pm, LRGS’ own Big Band will be performing in Christ Church. All welcome, free admission – with a retiring collection for the Night Shelter. 

Lancashire Sings Christmas – 16th December

Hope for all at Christmas – Thursday 16th December 2021 From Radio Lancashire and at venues around the County, including Trinity URC, Bowerham. 7.00pm – 8.00pm (Tune in from 6pm) 95.5 FM, 103.9 FM or 104.5 FM. DAB.  Join voices with the whole of Lancashire!    Live from the Radio Lancashire Studio Blackburn. Join in and sing your Christmas socks off!

School Fair

Christ Church School (on Derwent Road) have invited us to their Christmas Fayre on Monday 6th December, between 2.30-4.30pm, with stalls, refreshments and a visit to Santa

Children’s Church

Children’s Church continues to meet regularly during the 10:30 Eucharists on Sundays (or in Christ Church: All Together services).  We look forward to seeing you and your children/grandchildren there!

Tiddlers Group

The Tiddlers group runs each Friday,  All pre-school-age children and their carers (parents/grandparents, etc.) are very welcome to come for activities, a chat, etc., at 10:30 am in the Hall.  Please contact Julie Tinnion for more details.

Christ Church: 70 trees for the Treebilee

The Eco-Group are encouraging each of us to sponsor or plant a tree as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. You can either arrange your own sponsorship, through organisations such as the National Trust or Woodland Trust: for £5 per tree  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/plant-a-tree; or £6 https://www.treesforcities.org/get-involved/donate.  Or become a member of the Woodland Trust, which will count as five trees or buy membership as gifts.  For those who just want to put their donation in the box next to the tree, add a leaf, and the church will buy a tree from the National Trust for every £5 donated.  There will be a display at the back of church to show how many trees have been planted in the name of Christ Church – so if you make your own arrangements, please add your name to it!

Advent Calendars

The Real Advent Calendar is on sale at church – it contains Fairtrade milk chocolate, and also a story book to help get ready for Christmas. Suggested donation: £5? each. 

Eye’ll Be Seeing  You

A support and friendship group for blind and visually impaired people. Mondays  11.00 – 12.30 at the Marsh Community Centre, Willow Lane, Lancaster   Information – Katie – 07868314807, katie.schad@hotmail.co.ukLancaster Priory Community Worker

Chair-based exercise

Thursdays at 10.30am at St Thomas’ Church, Penny Street, Lancaster. Improve your mobility and make friends Gentle routine with friendly, qualified instructors  No charge, but donations welcome to help with costs jeanette@st.tees.org.uk 07486 985 357 

Always Hopeful – Lancaster Methodist Church

Are you in, or recovering from an abusive relationship? Do you wonder where God is in all this? You are not alone, there is help.  Always Hopeful is a 13-week programme for Christian women who have experienced or are still experiencing domestic abuse. Whether it’s emotional, financial, spiritual, or physical abuse. Nobody will tell you what you should believe, how you should feel or how you are supposed to respond to your partner. Rather the programme creates space and offers support for you to work stuff out and recover alongside other women of faith who “get it”.  For more information about when or where the course is running, or to book a place, or just for an informal chat about whether it might be right for you please email alwayshopesally@gmail.com or phone Sally 01524 840027

Do you have a pre-paid funeral plan?

Or do you know someone who does? If you would like your funeral to be taken by a Vicar/parish priest, please check that this is clearly stated in your wishes, whether for a church service, or at the crematorium or graveside. There have recently been issues where a ‘Christian ceremony’ has been misinterpreted by funeral directors. If you have any queries (or if the company tries to charge you extra for this) – please contact Rev’d Carol who is very happy to discuss things further. 


The next PCC meeting is on Wednesday 15th December when we will be further discussion the vision plan for the church and where we’d like to be in 5 years’ time. If you have thoughts or suggestions – please let Rev’d Carol or Julie Buckley know. 

Christ Church Crafting: 

… will meet next on Tuesday 14th December at 11:30am in the Hall – all welcome! Bring your own craft project, ormake a pennant for the community bunting. We will be looking at creating decorations/hangings for one of the Advent Christmas trees on 4th December, so bring ideas too.  Future meetings will be on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the same time. Contact Marion Cowan for further details.

Taps Twinned!

Thank you very much to the pupils of Christ Church Primary School, who kindly sponsored and  twinned the church taps, with two in Zambia and Afghanistan. Like Toilet Twinning, the scheme supports Tear Fund as they try to give access to clean water and safe sanitation to the 1 in 4 people worldwide who don’t enjoy such blessings https://www.toilettwinning.org/tap-twinning/

Recycling Sunday 

Please bring your blister packs, used dental products (brushes, toothpaste tubes, etc) and crisp packets on 5thDecember, ready for recycling.

Presence art exhibition – until 9 January 2022

Cathy Wilson has two paintings in a new exhibition at the “Presence” exhibition at the UpFront Gallery, Unthank, Penrith. This group show of work by several artists from around the country. Open every day 10am-4pm every day except Monday, until 9th January 2022.  (Poster attached separately.)

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Epiphany Gifts

As usual at this time of year, we ask you to consider making a donation towards the cost of the supplies we use at our services in church all year round.   The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; it would be great if you could contribute towards the cost of the incense, candles, votive lights, Communion wafers, etc., which are all part of our worship.  Please sign up on the list at the back of church, or contact Jacqueline if you have any questions.

Vacancy: Caretaker with cleaning responsibilities

(Temporary – initially for 3 months) Part-time – 12-16 hours per week (negotiable) (some weekend and evening work will be required)

The Cornerstone, a partnership of Lancaster Methodist Church Closing date for applications: 10th December 9am For further information and an application form please contact the Centre Manager: Phil McGrath phone – 01524-840027,  email – philcornerstonecafe@gmail.comwww.thecornerstonelancaster.org.uk

Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary 

With Christmas approaching asylum seekers will feel very isolated and being separated from family and friends at this time is especially hard.

Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary is organising Christmas Hampers as a token of the welcome and care from the generous people of Lancaster. The boxes were very well received last year and brought much joy and gratitude to our community.  We will send a list of suggested items and hope to also have a small gift for under £5 for each person (toiletries, stationery, winter clothing).  Banana boxes from a local supermarket could be suitable and donors are welcome to decorate their box. The filled boxes will be picked up and delivered to each house in the week before Christmas.

We have men, women and families from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Kuwait etc living in 40 houses in and around Lancaster and there are between four and eight asylum seekers in each house.   Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary welcomes your kind support and we look forward to hearing from you. Dorothea Williamson


Across the Generations

We are on a recruiting drive to find more participants for our ‘Across the Generations’ project. We will be renewing our funding from Lancashire County Council for a further two years. The project is changing slightly and is now open to anyone in the community who would like to get to know asylum seekers and refugees. Also, there will be more meetings where all project participants and volunteers will be invited such as the recent open air vegetarian bbq at Claver Hill. Mostly meetings are in threes, or triads, at the home of the project participant: an asylum seeker or refugee volunteer, a UK volunteer, and a project participant. The frequency of the meetings is variable but generally fortnightly. Those involved in the project are really enjoying it.  Hilary Hopwood, Co-chair, East Meets West M: 07767 626891 FB East Meets West Lancaster.     eastmeetswest6@gmail.com

LDHAS Winter Appeal

Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service are making their Annual Winter Appeal. Cheques payable to LDHAS can be sent to Edward Street, Lancaster, LA1 1QH, or bank transfers to LDHAS, 40-52-40, 00031967 (reference ‘Shelter2021’) Thank you. 

The Olive Branch Foodbank 

… is in particular need of tins – including meat, fish, vegetables and pies., as well as donations of rice (not pasta or baked beans).  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/

Legacies at Christ Church. 

Gifts in Wills are an important part of Christian stewardship, and dedicating a gift is one way to 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.

Church Repair Fund

Our Church Repair Fund helps 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

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.

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

Two goldfish are in a tank. One says to the other, “Do you know how to drive this thing?”

Thought for the week

Advent invites us to a commitment to vigilance, looking beyond ourselves, expanding our mind and heart in order to open ourselves up to the needs of people, of brothers and sisters, and to the desire for a new world.                                               Pope Francis

Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week 

Please ditch the glitter, buy charity cards and be creative with your Christmas wrapping, use scarves, hem squares of material or make fabric bags. Visit https://www.vera-bee.com/collections/all-christmas-gift-wrap for ideas or purchases.

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Meeting up

The clergy are available for pastoral support and spiritual direction, please don’t hesitate to be in in contact.  If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time or is seriously ill, please let us know as soon as possible, to arrange prayers, home communion, a hospital visit, or anointing of the sick. 

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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Services over the Christmas period

Sunday 19th December: 

8.30am Holy Communion

10.30am Parish Eucharist

2.30pm Messy Church for families in the Hall

4pm Christingle Service

No 6pm Service. 

Monday 20th December 

2.30pm Carol Singing at Moorside Hall (please bring warm clothing as we may be outside)

Carol sheets provided

Wednesday 22nd December

5.30pm Meditation and Evening Prayer

Christmas Eve (Friday 24th)

9.30am Holy Communion

4pm Crib Service

11.30pm Midnight Mass

Christmas Day (Saturday  25th)

8.30am Holy Communion

10.30am Parish Eucharist

Boxing Day (St Stephen’s Day Sunday 26th)

10.30 Parish Eucharist with Carols

(No 8.30am or 6pm service)

Wednesday 29th December

No 5.30pm Meditation or 6 pm Evening Prayer

New Year’s Eve (Friday 31sDecember)

No 9.30 service

Sunday 2nd January (Epiphany)

8.30am Holy Communion

10.30am Parish Eucharist

No 6pm Service

Normal services resume thereafter: 

Wednesdays 5.30pm Meditation and 6pm Evening Prayer

Fridays 9.30am Holy Communion

Sundays 8.30am Holy Communion, 10.30am Parish Eucharist and 6pm Evening Prayer

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