11th December 2022

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

A warm welcome to 

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

on Sunday 11th December 2022 Third Sunday of Advent

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 01524 942105 

revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com 1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE

www.christchurchlancaster.org.uk  Facebook:@ChristChurchLancaster

Everyone is welcome to join in prayer and worship this week: 

Today – 11th Dec  – Advent 3

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10:30 am All Together Christingle Eucharist, with Toy Collection

6pm Taize Eucharist (with musicians from 4.30pm)


Prayer4 (via Zoom – see below)


5:30 pm Meditation and Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)


No 9:30 am Eucharist 

due to Ripley School Communion at 9:15 am

Next Sunday 18th December Advent 3

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10:30 am Parish Eucharist (with Children’s Church)

6pm Traditional Carol Service

Children and Youth


For under 5s and their parents/carers, every Friday at 10.30am in the Hall.  And Teddy Bears’ Picnic at 10:30 am on Thursday 22nd.

Children’s Church

Every Sunday of term time during the 10.30 service for KS1/2 children.

For KS1/2

Monthly Messy Church

Crafts, stories, song and a meal together at 4pm on 21st December in the Hall for KS1/2

Prayer for the Week: 

God for whom we watch and wait, you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son: give us courage to speak the truth, to hunger for justice, and to suffer for the cause of right, with Jesus Christ our Lord.. Amen

Gluten-free wafers available.  Please ask the Stewards for directions and assistance.

Please send items for inclusion in this newsletter to Jacqueline Stamper by Thursday lunchtime. Many thanks.

Scripture Readings for our Worship today:

Isaiah 35.1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. 
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.’ 
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 

A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

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

Psalm 146: 4-10

Refrain: The Lord shall reign for ever.

4 Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in the Lord their God;

5 Who made heaven and earth,

the sea and all that is in them;  

who keeps his promise for ever;

6 Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong  

and bread to those who hunger. 

Refrain: The Lord shall reign for ever.

7 The Lord looses those that are bound; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;

8 The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous;

9 The Lord watches over the stranger in the land; he upholds the orphan and widow;  but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.

10 The Lord shall reign for ever,  

your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Alleluia.

Refrain: The Lord shall reign for ever.

James 5.7-10

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved,* take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (Matthew 11.2-11)    

Glory to you, O Lord.

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.” 
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

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

Prayer after Communion: 

We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts; kindle in us the fire of your Spirit that when your Christ comes again we may shine as lights before his face; who is alive and reigns now and for ever.  Amen

Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:   Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Ivy Buckley, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Thomas Platt, Janet Ball, Sitar Rose, Istok Bratić, Yan Connell, David Foster, Susannna Michaelis, John McCafferty, Doreen Hudson, Norman Muckalt, Mike Dickinson

Those who have died recently:  Ted Proctor, Michael Atkinson, John Elsey

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

For those who live and work on Garnet Street and Kentmere Road.

For local shops and businesses.

Zoom Prayer: 

Tuesday 13th December 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://us06web.zoom.us/j/8069459310?pwd=cVJ1ZDlnNXF2dDVFWThVa0Z0VWE5dz09

 Meeting ID: 806 945 9310     Passcode 942105

Taizé Eucharist

On the first Sunday of every month at 6pm, there is a beautiful service of prayer, music and stillness in the style of the Taizé Community.  The next will be tonight, Sunday, 11th December – everyone welcome! If you’d like to join the music group (singing or instrumental), the rehearsal starts at 4.30pm.  Do see Julian if you’d be interested.

Thought for the week

When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, …. he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins.    Pope Francis

Events for Children, Young People and Families in the coming weeks

Years 5 & 6 young people are invited to Connect Club, a social gathering, in the Hall 4-5pm, on Fridays 16th December and 20th January.   The next Messy Church gathering will be on Wednesday 21st December, 4-6 pm, in the Hall.  And there’ll be a Teddy Bears’ Picnic on Thursday 22nd December in the Hall, 10.00-11.30 am, for those baptised at Christ Church during the last 12 months, and for families with young children in Early Years and KS One. Remember to bring your teddy bear!  There will be games, along with snacks and juice.

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.

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.

In Other News…

The Olive Branch Foodbank

… is in particular need of tins – Christmas puddings, cakes, mince pies, biscuits, custard, chocolates, stuffing mix, crisps and non-alcoholic drinks for their Christmas Appeal.   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/

Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week 

This Christmas your presence with a friend may be more appreciated than buying presents neither of you can afford This Christmas your presence with a friend may be more appreciated than buying presents neither of you can afford. 

Recycling at Christ Church

The next collection of crisp packets, used toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, plastic bottle tops, and blister packets of tablets, will be on Sunday, 8th January and the first Sunday of every month.

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

Q. Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars?  A.  Their days are numbered!

Christmas Scarf Appeal

Owing to the significant increase in men we are supporting with the opening of the asylum hotels, we have launched an appeal to collect new scarves and winter woollens to give as gifts. We are asking for new items (as they are to be given as gifts) and for them either to be taken to Global Link (in the YMCA Building) between 9am and 4pm on weekdays, or if you are able to collect them in one place, we can pick them up all together from you before the 16th December. 


Our Church Council next meets on 14th December – please let your PCC reps know if there are issues and ideas you’d like raising. In November, we reviewed our Safeguarding procedures, and made plans to invest some of our money as well as finalising plans for Christmas.  Please keep your PCC in your prayers.

Quiet Day

Saturday 17th December 9.30-1.30pm with soup lunch

Led by Sr Sue, OCMM

Time to reflect and prepare this Advent. Everyone welcome – let Rev’d Carol know you’re coming.

Christ Church Crafting 

… will meet next on Tuesday 13th December 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 Julie Buckley for further details.

Christmas Raffle

Numbers are available for sale at the back of Church – the raffle will be drawn on18th December.

Community at Christ Church:

Christ Church School

We’ve been invited to the School Christmas Fair on Wednesday 14th December from 3.15pm onwards, including Santa’s Grotto, gifts, games and refreshments. If you might like to host a stall, please contact Emma on friends@christchurch-lancaster.lancs.sch.uk

The Puzzles of the Kingdom – study group.

If you would enjoy exploring some of the key ideas and themes in Jesus’ teaching reflected in his extraordinary parables and pictures (the ‘Puzzles of the Kingdom’), all are welcome to an informal study group meeting after the 10:30 Eucharist on Sundays in the Hall.

Christ Church Choir

….. sings at the 10.30 service about once a month, plus other special occasions, and practises in church on Thursdays at 7.15pm for an hour. New members always welcome; if you’re not sure, come along and give it a try for a few weeks! Have a word with Clive or contact him via cliveshaw54@gmail.com

Epiphany Gifts 

As we prepare to give thanks for the gift of Christ, light of the world (and remember the gifts brought by the Wise Men) – might you be able to make a donation towards the candles, incense, bread, wine and oil which are part of our worship? Please see the suggestions list at the back of church, and make a donation labelled ‘Epiphany Gift’. Thank you!

Warm Spaces

We plan to launch on the 9th January, every Monday from 1-2.30pm. Please sign up on the sheet at the back of church to help with hosting, food preparation etc. If  you’d like to help but don’t have a current DBS check with church, please bring two forms of photo id with you to church (passport, driving licence etc) and proof of address (council tax, utility bill, etc).  Any questions – please ask Rev’d Carol.

Singers Needed!

At 2.30pm on Friday 23rd December – to sing carols with the residents of Moorside Hall Nursing Home (Wyresdale Road) and then at 3.30pm at Dolphinlee House. Please let Rev’d Carol know if you’d like more details. Song sheets provided.

Toy Service

As part of our All Together service today, Sunday, there will be a collection of toys for the families at Lune Park Children’s Centre.  New, or excellent condition second-hand toys only please – no soft toys.  Please do not gift-wrap them – the staff will have to remove the wrapping to check that they are safe and suitable

Christmas Tree Festival

A huge thank you to everyone who has made the Tree Festival such a success – it has been lovely to welcome lots of people from all across the community and to celebrate all the good things which are happening in our area. 

Carol Singing for Edward Street

On Saturday 17th December between 1030 and 1130am, everyone welcome to join Lancaster Churches Together to sing carols, and raise funds for Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service (on Edward Street). Meet in Marketgate, outside Primark (look for the banner)

Refreshments today!

All are welcome for hot and cold drinks and biscuits after the 10:30 am service today.

Receiving the notices by email

If you would like to receive these notices by email, please contact Jacqueline Stamper on the above address. 

Watching in Hope – Advent 2022

Materials are available as we prepare for the season of Advent – watching and waiting of God with us in the birth of Christ.  Our diocese is also sharing materials, available here: https://bit.ly/3EdCCYO  and here: https://bit.ly/3WYfmqB

Books are also available to borrow from the back of Church – please write down the title of what you’re borrowing.  

Save the Dates: Please pick up a flyer!

11th December                         Christingle Service, with Toy Collection for Ryelands Sure Start Centre

17th December 9.30-1pm          Advent Quiet Morning with Sr Sue

18th December 6pm                 Carol Service

23rd December 2.30pm             Carols at Moorside Hall

23rd December 3.30pm             Carols at Dolphinlee House

24th December 4pm                 Crib Service with Nativity

24th December 11.30pm           Midnight Mass

25th December 8.30 & 10.30am Christmas Eucharists

1st January                               No service at 8.30am or 6pm.

Supporting Christ Church

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

Light up the Lady Chapel

The Psalmist writes: ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ However, the lighting in the choir and Lady Chapel is in need of help – some has broken beyond repair, and the rest is struggling to illuminate a space that is now regularly used for worship. We already have raised half the funds needed.Can you help by sponsoring a light, or making a donation towards the £5k cost? Please see the envelope for more details or use this code:   

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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.  

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Supporting Christ Church – Regularly

Christ Church is now taking part in the Parish Giving Scheme, which enables you to give regularly by Direct Debit, and to to easily review how much you give depending on circumstances. Online at www.parishgiving.org.uk   Or by telephone 0333 002 1271 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.  For any of these methods our PGS code 030603240 ensures that your gift goes to our church.

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Key contacts:

Churchwarden:  …Ms Jacqueline Stamper churchwarden@christchurchlancaster.org.uk 01524 64083

Priest with PTO and Choir Contact: …Rev’d Clive Shaw.   cliveshaw54@gmail.com

Lay Reader: …Dr Pat Allen  reader@christchurchlancaster.org.uk  01524 39552

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

Children, Youth & Families Coordinator: …Mrs Julie Tinnion children@christchurchlancaster.org.uk  07749 489623

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

Hall Bookings:  …hall@christchurchlancaster.org.uk   07980 351855

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

Christ Church School …Miss Emma Simpson   01524 60955