3rd December 2023

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

A warm welcome to 

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

for Sunday 3rd December 2023 Advent Sunday

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 – 3rd December – Advent Sunday

8:30am Holy Communion

10:30am Parish Eucharist

4pm Candlelit Advent Service 


5.30pm Meditation followed by 

6pm Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)


9:30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 10th December – Second Sunday of Advent

8:30am Holy Communion

10:30am Parish Eucharist 

4pm Christingle Service 

Children and Youth

Children’s Church

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

Contact: Mrs Julie Tinnion 07749 489623

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.

Prayer for the Week 

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

Scripture Readings for our Worship 

Isaiah 64.1-9

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard,  no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 
You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned;  because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean,  and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 
There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity for ever. Now consider, we are all your people.

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

Psalm 80.1-8, 18-20*

Refrain: Turn us again, O God; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

1 Hear, O Shepherd of Israel,  you that led Joseph like a flock;

2 Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim, before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.

3 Stir up your mighty strength  and come to our salvation.

4 Turn us again, O God;  show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

5 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry at your people’s prayer?

6 You feed them with the bread of tears; you give them abundance of tears to drink.

7 You have made us the derision of our neighbours, and our enemies laugh us to scorn.

8 Turn us again, O God of hosts;  show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

18 Let your hand be upon the man at your right hand, the son of man you made so strong for yourself.

19 And so will we not go back from you; give us life, and we shall call upon your name.

20 Turn us again, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

1 Corinthians 1.3-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 13.24-37

Glory to you, O Lord

‘But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 
Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’

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

Prayer after 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:   Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Stephen Gardner, Thomas Platt, Yan Connell, David Foster, Susanna Michaelis, Juliann Dougherty, Lucas Calvert, Ron Holmes.

Those who have died recently:  Doreen Naish, Fred Jones, Annie Lee.

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

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

For local shops and businesses

For the our Christmas Tree Festival weekend, and for Mingle on Mondays.

Zoom Prayer: 

Tuesday 12th 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 Sunday, 7th January- 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.  

Services in Advent        

Advent begins on the 3rd December, and throughout this month there will be no 6pm service. Instead, you’re warmly invited to come along at 4pm to the following special services:  3rd December,  Advent Service;  10th December, Christingle;  17th December, Carol Service;  and 24th December, Crib Service. 

Thought for the Week  

Prayer is a question of patience, of supporting the wait. Now we are in the time of Advent, a time that is typically of expectation; of expectation of Christmas.  We are in waiting. But all our life is also in waiting.  And prayer is always in expectation, because we know that the Lord will answer.    Pope Francis                     

Advent Study Group – next meeting 5th December

All are welcome to join our Advent Study Course, Preparing the Way, each Tuesday during Advent (except for 12th December, when we meet on Monday 11th).  Do come along to the Storey Chapel at 7:30pm for about an hour.  The sessions are related but also work on their own, so you don’t have to commit to every session.

The Real Advent Calendar

The only Advent calendar to contain delicious Fairtrade chocolate and a beautifully illustrated booklet of the Christmas story! Please pick one up from the back of church. £5 each – please place cash in a yellow envelope and mark it ‘Advent Calendar’.

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…

Mingle on Mondays this autumn/winter

This space for warmth, welcome, food and fellowship started up again last month.  We’re open from 11:30 am – 2 pm each Monday (apart from Christmas and New Year’s Day).  If you’re able to help set up and host, even occasionally,  or if you can make soup or cake, or shop for bread and other supplies and bring them along on a Sunday,  please sign up on the rota at the back of church.  Please claim expenses – no-one should be out of pocket.  Please pray for all who will come and all who will host.  Next most important – please encourage people to come along!  Thank you.

The Olive Branch Foodbank

… is making it’s Christmas Appeal for the following items – biscuit boxes, mince pies, yule logs, Christmas puddings and cakes, crisps, chocolates and coffee.  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 

COP 28 is taking place in Dubai, and being presided over by Dr Sultan al-Jaber, a Minister for the UAE, and CEO of National Oil Company.  Pray that he can be an impartial influence on the negotiations, and at least get the loss and damage fund which was established last year up and running.

Emergency Short Term Refugee Accommodation

RAIS Lancaster is asking people in local churches to help find short-term accommodation to preventing new refugees suddenly becoming street homeless.  (Help with additional costs is available).   Please see the attached leaflet with further information, or ask Pat if you have any questions.

Donations for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Donations of washing powder, laundry liquid, men’s toiletries, men’s hats and gloves needed. Please leave donations in the box at the back of church for RAIS.

Recycling at Christ Church

The next collection of crisp packets, used toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, plastic bottle tops, and blister packets of tablets, will be today, 3rd December, and the first Sunday of each month.

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

Every year I’m amazed that Advent calendars sell out…* I thought their days were numbered.

(* But there’s still time to pick up a Real Advent Calendar from the back of church!)


….  met on the 13th November.  We discussed repairs to the North Porch, and the church finances. Please let Rev’d Carol or Julie Buckley have your ideas and suggestions for discussion. Please keep your PCC in your prayers, and share this prayer for our church: 

Lord God, Together with you by our side, we can bring growth to our Church. Send your Holy Spirit to give us good planning, wise actions, joy in worship and our welcome, the right words when we speak to others. Help our Church grow in numbers, in Spiritual commitment to you, and in service to our local community, through Christ our Lord. Amen 

Community at Christ Church:

Our annual Christingle Service will be on Sunday 10th December at 4pm – everyone welcome! As part of the service, a collection is taken for the work of the Children’s Society. Please pick up a collection candle-box from the back of church, or make a online donation here: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donate

Advent Preparation

As part of the season of watching and waiting for Christ’s coming, it’s traditional to set aside time for prayer and study. You may wish to join the Study Group (see notice) and/or help yourself to some of the booklets available at the back of church. These are also available online at https://www.blackburn.anglican.org/seasonal-resources

If you borrow a book, please sign it out, so Rev’d Carol knows where they are!

Thank you!

To everyone who has helped with this weekend’s Christmas tree festival –  whether putting the trees up, sweeping up needles, decorating sponsoring, making refreshments, leading music or inviting others to visit our church – it has been a lovely occasion to share the joy of many local groups this Christmas season! 

Special Appeal – Doorways and Windows

You may be aware that the stonework around the porch is deteriorating, and has been shedding pieces of masonry.  We urgently need to re-mortar the porch to make it safe and weathertight for decades to come. There are also several of our unique and historic windows which currently do not have protection from stones, pellets, weather, etc – and need a polycarbonate shield fixing. This combined work will cost around £8000.  Whilst we can apply for a grant towards some of the work – please will you help by making a donation to the Church Repair Fund? Thank you!

Craft Group

Members of the craft group are currently repairing the gold-work embroidery on the red altar frontal. This has proved to be a mammoth task as some of the original work is Victorian – so thank you for all your hard work so far! We’ve been assisted by Sara Dennis from the Repair Shop – but in the mean time, the high altar will look a little plainer than usual! 

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

Toy Service

A Christ Church tradition –  every year, we collect new and good-condition second-hand toys (no gift-wrapping, and no soft toys please) to share with local families.  This year these will be distributed by the Salvation Army.  Please bring the toys along for the 10.30am All Together Service on Sunday 17th December.

Moorside Carols

Our local nursing home, Moorside Hall (on Wyresdale Road opposite the car park) have invited us to share some Christmas carols with their residents on Friday 15th December at 3.30pm. Please let Rev’d Carol know if you can come. Don’t worry if you’re not a soloist – enthusiasm is key! We’ll be singing indoors in a warm room so please bring layers.

Churches Together Carol Singing

If you can spare some time on Saturday 16th December to join the Churches Together team to sing carols in Marketgate between 10.30 and 12noon – everyone welcome! Look for the banner, and funds raised will support Lancaster Homeless Action

Other Diary Dates…      

1st-3rd December                       Christmas Tree Festival

3rd December 4pm                    Advent Service

10th December 4pm                  Christingle Service

17th December 4pm                  Christmas Carol Service

24th December 4pm                   Crib Service

24th December 11:30pm            Midnight Mass

Refreshments today!

All are welcome for refreshments after the service as we celebrate with our confirmation candidates.

Receiving the notices by email

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

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

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.

Please note that there will be no 6pm service between the 26th November and the 7th January.

Sunday 3rd December

8.30 and 10.30am Eucharists

4pm Candlelit Advent Service

Sunday 10th December

8.30 and 10.30 Eucharists

4pm Christingle Service* with collection for the Children’s Society

Sunday 17th December

8.30am Eucharist

10.30am All Together Service* with toy collection for local families.

4pm Carol Festival with the choir

Christmas Eve 

NO 8.30am Eucharist

10.30am Advent Eucharist

4pm Crib Service*

11.30pm Midnight Mass

Christmas Day

8.30am Holy Communion

10.30am Parish Eucharist with carols

Sunday 31st December

No 8.30 Eucharist

10.30am Parish Eucharist with carols

Sunday 7th January

8.30 and 10.30 Eucharists

6pm Taizé Eucharist

*Services for all ages and designed with children, young people and families in mind.

Key contacts:

Churchwardens:  … Mr Peter Bohdan 07974924968; 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: …TBC  safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk  07547 717060

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

Christ Church School …Miss Emma Simpson   01524 60955