10th December 2023

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

A warm welcome to 

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

for Sunday 10th December 2023 Second 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 – 10th December – Second Sunday of Advent 

8:30am Holy Communion

10:30am Parish Eucharist 

4pm Christingle Service

*No 6 pm service


7:30pm Advent Course (Storey Chapel)


7 pm Memorial Carol Service


5.30pm Meditation followed by 

6pm Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)


9:30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Next Sunday 17th December – Third Sunday of Advent 

8:30am Holy Communion

10:30am All Together Eucharist – Toy Service

4pm Traditional Carol 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, purify our hearts and minds, that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as judge and saviour we may be ready to receive him, who is our Lord and our God.  Amen

Scripture Readings for our Worship 

Isaiah 40.1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 
A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 
The grass withers, the flower fades,  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades;  but the word of our God will stand for ever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ 
See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

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

Psalm 85.1-2, 8-13*

Refrain:    Show us your mercy, O Lord.

1    Lord, you were gracious to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

2    You forgave the offence of your people and covered all their sins.

8    I will listen to what the Lord God will say, for he shall speak peace to his people and to the faithful,

that they turn not again to folly.

9    Truly, his salvation is near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 

Refrain:    Show us your mercy, O Lord.

10  Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other;

11  Truth shall spring up from the earth and righteousness look down from heaven.

12  The Lord will indeed give all that is good, and our land will yield its increase.

13  Righteousness shall go before him  and direct his steps in the way.

Refrain:    Show us your mercy, O Lord.

2 Peter 3.8-15a

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 1. 1-8

Glory to you, O Lord

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;  the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” ’, 
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

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

Prayer after Communion: 

Father in heaven, who sent your Son to redeem the world and will send him again to be our judge: give us grace so to imitate him in the humility and purity of his first coming that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith; 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, Sue Widden.

Couples preparing for marriage: Laura Dixon and Mike Sambell.

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

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

For local shops and businesses

Keswick Road, Bowness Road.

For our Parish Safeguarding officer, Sue.

For those attending our forthcoming Christmas Services, 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 began 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:  10th December, Christingle;  17th December, Carol Service;  and 24th December, Crib Service. 

Thought for the Week  

The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life.  Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord.                                                       Henri Nouwen, priest     

Advent Study Group – next meeting 11th December

All are welcome to join our Advent Study Course, Preparing the Way.  Next week we meet on Monday 11th December at 7:30 pm, and then the last session is on Tuesday 18th December at 7:30 pm.  Do come along to the Storey Chapel for about an hour.  The sessions are related, but also work on their own, so you don’t have to commit to every session.

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 

Remember the plight of increasing numbers of people for whom the devastating effects of climate change are a reality.  Don’t let them down by slowing your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint and speak out in whatever way you can. 

Emergency Short Term Refugee Accommodation

RAIS Lancaster will be 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).   More information will be made available early in the New Year.

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 on 7th January, and the first Sunday of each month.

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

Q. What do snowmen wear on their heads?   A. Ice caps!


….  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 today, 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 last 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! We raised nearly £1000 to be shared with LDHAS (subject to confirmation).

Help Needed! 

Julie Tinnion will be taking a sabbatical from leading Children’s Church in the new year. We need help to cover the 4-week gap.  Materials will be provided, and all helpers will need a church DBS check. Please have a chat with Rev’d Carol, and there will be a meeting after the 10:30 am service on 17th December to find out more.

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…      

10th December 4pm                  Christingle Service

15th December 3:30pm              Carol Singing at Moorside Hall

18th December 4pm                  Christmas Carol Service

24th December 4pm                   Crib Service

24th December 11:30pm            Midnight Mass

25th December 8.30am & 10.30am        Christmas Eucharists

31st December – 10.30am          Eucharist (no 8.30am or 6pm)

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 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