13th March 2022

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 13th March 2022

Second Sunday of Lent


Almighty God,

by the prayer and discipline of Lent

may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,

and by following in his Way

come to share in his glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Genesis 15.1-12,17-18

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Then he said to him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.’ But he said, ‘O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?’ He said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon.’ He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.     As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.     When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates’. 

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

Psalm 27

Refrain:    The Lord is my light and my salvation.

1    The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?  

The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?

   When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh,  

they stumbled and fell.

3    Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not be afraid,  

and though there rise up war against me, yet will I put my trust in him.

4    One thing have I asked of the Lord and that alone I seek:  

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

   To behold the fair beauty of the Lord  

and to seek his will in his temple.

   For in the day of trouble he shall hide me in his shelter;  

in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me and set me high upon a rock.

7    And now shall he lift up my head  

above my enemies round about me;

   Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness;  

I will sing and make music to the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

   Hear my voice, O Lord, when I call;  

have mercy upon me and answer me.

10  My heart tells of your word, ‘Seek my face.’  

Your face, Lord, will I seek.

11  Hide not your face from me,  

nor cast your servant away in displeasure.

12  You have been my helper;  

leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

13  Though my father and my mother forsake me,  

the Lord will take me up.

14  Teach me your way, O Lord;  

lead me on a level path, because of those who lie in wait for me.

15  Deliver me not into the will of my adversaries,  

for false witnesses have risen up against me, and those who breathe out violence.

16  I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord  

in the land of the living.

17  Wait for the Lord; be strong and he shall comfort your heart;  

wait patiently for the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Philippians 3.17 – 4.1

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke   (13.31-35).     Glory to you, O Lord.

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’

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

Post Communion: 

Almighty God,

you see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves:

keep us both outwardly in our bodies,

and inwardly in our souls;

that we may be defended from all adversities

   which may happen to the body,

and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul;

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, Jacqueline Stamper

Those who have died recently:  Dorothy Stanborough, Mary McDermott

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

Those who live and work in our parish: Willow Grove and Ellwood Square;  for all foster carers.

Prayer and Worship this week: 

Sunday 13th  March –  Second Sunday of  Lent 

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10:30 am Parish Eucharist  with Children’s Church (in church, then uploaded to YouTube)*

12 noon Lent Course (in the Hall)

6 pm Evening Prayer  (Lady Chapel)


5:30 pm Silent Meditation followed by 

6 pm Evening Prayer (in the Storey Chapel) 


9:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 20th  March – Third Sunday of  Lent 

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10:30 am Parish Eucharist  with Children’s Church (in church, then uploaded to YouTube)*

12 noon Lent Course (in the Hall)

6 pm Evening Prayer  (Lady Chapel)

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

Lent Course

Our Lent course, ‘Glimpses of God’, continues after the 10:30 Eucharist today in the Hall. Everyone very welcome!

A Prayer for Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment, and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Zoom Prayer

Tuesday, 22nd March 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.)

Mothering Sunday – Ukraine Appeal

As part of our Mothering Sunday services (27th March), there will be a collection for Shelterbox (www.shelterbox.org), who provide emergency supplies to refugees, including in the Ukraine crisis.  Please give either online via their website or put your donation in an envelope with ‘Shelterbox’ written on it.  The collection on Mothering Sunday will also go towards their work.  Thanks to Jean McCafferty for suggesting the charity.

Festival of Faith in Daily Life

There will be a Festival of Faith in Daily Life at Blackburn Cathedral on Saturday, March 19. Rev’d Carol is going – so if you’d like a lift, please let her know!

It will be a time to reflect on how we can all be confident disciples, witnesses and leaders for Jesus Christ in our homes, workplaces and communities. Bishop Philip will preside at a Eucharist sung by the Cathedral Youth Choir; there will be a keynote address from Lord David Alton of Liverpool about how faith has affected his working life of public service, and a variety of workshops with some practical ideas for faith at home, faith at work and living alongside people of other faiths.
There will also be an introduction to The Vine Community, which is a simple and flexible framework for living out a Christian life, sometimes called a ‘rule of life’.

The Festival is free, but places need to be booked in advance so that the Cathedral can manage workshop numbers. For more information and to book a place, please email Jean Duerden on  conference@blackburn.anglican.org

Bishop Julian is retiring

On Monday, Bishop Julian (our Diocesan Bishop of Blackburn) announced that he will be retiring in August this year, laying down his pastoral staff (the symbol of a bishop’s duty to care) on the 16th July. Bishop Philip will be interim bishop, until a new bishop is appointed – so please keep Bishop Julian, and the whole process in your prayers. 


… meets next on Tuesday 15th March at 7pm via Zoom. Please see Joyce Lynch for details.

Christ Church Crafting 

… will meet next on Tuesday 12th April at 11:30am in the Hall – all welcome! Bring your own craft project, or make a pennant for the community bunting.  Future meetings will be on the second Tuesday of the month at the same time. Contact Marion Cowan for further details.

Save the Dates: please pick up a flyer!

27th March – Mothering Sunday Service, including drawing the raffle.

15th April – 12 noon Walk of Witness from Dalton Square with Churches Together

6th May – 7pm Ladies’ Night at the Vicarage

21st May – Pilgrimage to the Shepherd’s Church, Abbeystead, for a picnic lunch

29th May – 4pm Choral Evensong and Cream Tea to begin the Jubilee Weekend

24th July – 3pm Pet Blessing Service 

31st July – 3pm Pimms and Hymns Service celebrating our favourite hymns

14th August – Feast of the Assumption, followed by Barbecue in the Church grounds. 

9-18th September – Heritage Open Days

24th September – 2-4pm Community Apple Festival

8th October – Parish Bounds Walk

2nd October – Harvest Festival

1-4th December- Christmas Tree Festival

Update on the Night Shelter. 

Since the Night Shelter was suspended in December, conversations have been continuing about how best to offer support to those in greatest need in our parish and also respond to the safety concerns raised by Lancaster City Council.  Following conversations with other churches who run communal shelters, and also the Department for Levelling Up, it has become apparent how much would need to be done to meet the standards now expected of shelters – an ongoing commitment of resources, governance, health and safety, oversight, risk assessment and staffing ratios, beyond what we feel able to sustain at Christ Church. This is in a climate where our local council has promised to accommodate every street-homeless person for the foreseeable future. PCC have therefore decided to end overnight accommodation. We have been invited to continue to serve the homeless through befriending and providing community support to enable guests to adapt to life off the streets, and there is ongoing work about what this would look like. If you would like to be part of this planning, or have ideas about what how to best serve the needs in our parish, please see Rev’d Carol. 

There will be a meeting with all the churches and with people with lived experience of homelessness in Lancaster on Monday 21st March at 2 pm in church – all welcome.

Thank you!

… to everyone who helped with the school visit on Wednesday – 30 pupils from Jamea Al Kauthar college came to learn more about the church, the eucharist, and Christian beliefs about death. It was lovely to welcome them – with lots of good questions!

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Mothering Sunday – help needed

At 10:30 am on Saturday 26th March, help is needed to make posies of flowers for distribution on Mothering Sunday. Come for 30 mins, or longer if you can! Please bring scissors/secateurs if you have some. Donations of greenery and other flowers gratefully received – please bring these to the Vestry.

The Real Easter Egg – last chance to order!

A Fairtrade Easter Egg, (in dark, milk or white chocolate) with the story of Easter included. Please sign up on the sheet at the back so that eggs can be ordered by the 14th March. Suggested donation to church funds: £6 – please label your donation ‘Eggs’

Spring Raffle

£3 per ticket, or 4 tickets for £10 – choose your number from the list in church.  A hamper and a L’Occitane gift set are among the prizes! The draw will be made on 27th March.  Please contact Julie Buckley if you’d like a ticket.

The Olive Branch needs volunteers!

In particular, if you are over 18, available between 11am and 4pm on a weekday, and would be interested in volunteering as a packer on a Thursday, or in the office on a Friday, please get in touch by going to their website:  https://the-olivebranch.org.uk

then ‘Support us’ and ‘Register interest with us’. 

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/

Sponsored Sundays

If you would like to Sponsor a Sunday hymn (perhaps in memory of a loved one), please fill in one of the blue forms from the noticeboard at the back of church, and give it to Rev’d Carol with at least a month’s notice before the Sunday you’d like to sponsor. You can nominate a hymn if you wish. Please place your donation in an envelope labelled ‘Sponsored Sundays’, and place it in the offertory box. It is up to you how much you wish to give!

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 – One-off Gifts

If you would like to make a one-off donation to the church as an offering, to pay a fee, or as a gift to regular funds, you can give through our ‘Give a little’ page:  https://givealittle.co/campaigns/f63a0655-b270-4d05-bf35-3994747785d0   

This will also give you the option to Gift Aid your donation (if you pay tax in the UK), enabling the church to get an extra 25p back from the taxman for every £1 you give. 

Supporting Christ Church – Regularly

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:

Online at www.parishgiving.org.uk   Or 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!

Q.  What do you call a Medieval knight who’s always sure of himself?

A. Sir Tainly.

Thought for the week

Where was God [in the 2004 Beslan school siege]? The short answer is that God is where God always is, and that is with those who are trying to comfort and bring light in any such situation.  … I would guess that there must have been older children putting arms around younger children, you might see God there.  

Rowan Williams, when Archbishop of Canterbury

Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week 

A Rocha and the Climate Sunday team have identified as a priority action the removal of support for fossil fuel industries.  Check how your bank invests its money and let them know what you expect if they are to retain your account.

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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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Key contacts:

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE

Priest with PTO and Choir Contact: Rev’d Clive Shaw


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 

Parish Secretary: Mrs Julie Buckley buckleys@live.co.uk 01524 37229

Hall Bookings: hall@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

07890 351855

Nightshelter Co-ordinator: Ms Jan Norbury 07547 717 060   coordinator.nightshelter@gmail.com

Christ Church School  Ms Emma Simpson 60955

COVID-19 – latest update from Rev’d Carol, 25th  Feb.

National covid rules have changed again, and there is now no longer a requirement to sign/zap in on arrival.   It is the discretion of each Vicar how each church responds, so if you have any queries or concerns please contact Rev’d Carol. I ask that people still consider wearing a face covering (especially for sung services) and remain at a sociable distance apart until local case rates drop further.

 I also ask that people don’t return to the practice of intincting their wafer – if you prefer not to receive the common cup, it is fine to receive the bread only. I continue to encourage people to use hand gel on arrival and before receiving communion. 

As a church, we seek to be a safe place for all, especially those who feel vulnerable for any reason. We’re called to be one body united by diverse opinions and experiences, and so we respect that some will feel comfortable with more and others with fewer personal precautions in place. There are a range of quieter and busier services for those who wish. We continue to pray for healing for the effects of covid on individuals, communities and our world, and lift up those who are grieving, exhausted or lonely at this time.