21st January 2024

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

A warm welcome to 

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

for Sunday 21st January 2024 Third Sunday of Epiphany 

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 – 21st January 2024

8:30am Holy Communion

10:30am All Together Eucharist

4pm Godly Play (see notice)

6pm Evening Prayer


4pm Prayer4 (on Zoom – see notice)

 7pm Pilgrim Course (Vicarage)


5.30pm Meditation and Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)


9.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Next Sunday – 28th January

8:30am Holy Communion

10:30am Festal Eucharist for Candlemas

6pm Evening Prayer 

Prayer for this week

Almighty God, whose Son revealed in signs and miracles the wonder of your saving presence: renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Children and Youth

Children’s Church

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

Contact: Rev’d Carol for more information.

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 

Genesis 14.17-20

After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,
‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
   maker of heaven and earth; 
and blessed be God Most High,
   who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything. 

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

Psalm 128

Refrain:    How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

1    Blessed are all those who fear the Lord, and walk in his ways.

2    You shall eat the fruit of the toil of your hands; it shall go well with you, and happy shall you be.

Refrain:How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

3    Your wife within your house

shall be like a fruitful vine;  

your children round your table,

like fresh olive branches.

4    Thus shall the one be blest  

who fears the Lord.

Refrain:    How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

5    The Lord from out of Zion bless you,  that you may see Jerusalem in prosperity all the days of your life.

6    May you see your children’s children, and may there be peace upon Israel.

Refrain:   How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

Revelation 19.6-10

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out,
‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; 
to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure’—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 2.1-11

Glory to you, O Lord

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

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

Prayer after Communion: 

Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. 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, Ella Patterson.

Those who have died recently:  Anne Young.

In our parish, we ask God to bless and provide for:

Those who live and work on Crag Road, Guidern Park

The work of Churches Together in Lancaster

For those attending Mingle on Mondays, the Pilgrim Course, and Godly Play – that God’s loving kindness is found and shared. 

Zoom Prayer: 

Tuesday 23rd January 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 on Sunday, 4th February- 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  

… Together with the steward of the banquet who had tasted the water-become-wine, we too can exclaim, ‘You have kept the good wine until now.” Yes, the Lord continues to reserve the best wine for our salvation, just as it continues to flow from the pierced side of the Lord.    Pope Francis

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

18-25th January marks a week of prayer – following Jesus’s teaching that his followers may be one, as Jesus and the Father are one.  We pray that, despite our differences, we may be united as a Christian family in prayer and service. You’re invited to join other churches in Lancaster for a service of prayer at the Priory at 12.30am on Thursday 25th January.                           

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 in November.  We’re open from 11:30 am – 2 pm each Monday, resuming on Monday 8th January after the Christmas/New Year break.  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, and do please encourage people to come along and enjoy a warm welcome!  Thank you.

The Olive Branch Foodbank

Thank you for all the generous donations to their Christmas appeal, but they need our ongoing support.. The foodbank continues to be in great need of tins of curry, chilli con carne, pies, meatballs, hotdogs, stewed steak, tuna, salmon, pork, corned beef, ham, fruit, rice pudding, custard, tomatoes, sweetcorn, carrots, peas, kidney beans, chickpeas; biscuits, crisps, multipacks of cake, cereal, jam, pasta sauce; packs of hot chocolate, coffee, tea, sugar, cordial, longline juice, and many types of toiletries (shampoo, shower gel, toilet rolls, etc.) Or you can give money for them to buy what is needed: https://www.the-olivebranch.org.uk/donate/

New Year Planning! 

Have you got some great ideas for events and activities at Christ Church in 2024? If so, please come along to a planning meeting this Sunday, 21st January, after the 10.30am service.

Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week 

Plan to do more to answer our call to care for creation by joining the EcoChurch group and contributing your ideas and energy to saving your planet.

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.

Changes to recycling at Christ Church – from the Eco Group

Our monthly recycling has been part of the Terracycle scheme. Owing to sponsorship changes, crisp packets and toothpaste tubes can no longer be collected. Crisp packets can be recycled with soft plastics at most supermarkets. We can still collect toothbrushes (manual and electric brush heads), interdental brushes, dental tape containers, plastic medical bottle tops/lids.  The huge number of blister packs being collected at church is difficult to recycle at Superdrug, as the container can only accept a small quantity at a time, so please take your own blister packs to Superdrug if you can. If any of these changes pose difficulties, please speak to a member of the Eco team at church and we will do our best to help you with recycling. Thank you for your continued support with recycling.

Recycling at Christ Church 2

If you are able to take home the recycling which accumulates in the Hall and Vestry recycling bins on occasion – this would be much appreciated. The church doesn’t have a dedicated recycling waste collection (although we are looking into options). 

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

Q.  What do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark?   A. Frostbite.

Pilgrim Course

On Tuesdays at 7.30pm in the Vicarage, everyone welcome as we begin Pilgrim – A Course for the Christian Journey. Whether you’re new to church, or wanting to go deeper, this 6-week course will help us think about what it means to turn to Christ. Please ask Rev’d Carol if you’d like more info – why not invite a friend?. 

Also starting this month – Godly Play! 

This Sunday, 21st January, at 4pm in Church, we’re beginning Godly Play. This is a way of sharing Scripture stories, and helping children wonder about their faith, using a Montessori approach, with crafts and a snack to share too. It’s free, and especially suitable for primary age children (accompanied by an adult please). We’ll meet every month on the 3rd Sunday. If you can help, or would like to come along, please pick up a flyer, and ask Rev’d Carol if you’re curious.

Thank you  – to everyone who supported Christingle – we raised £427.30 for the Children’s Society!

Thank you – to everyone who supported the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal for CRESS.  We raised £121.20, and individuals also contributed directly online.  Blackburn Diocese raised over £30,000 in total to support the work of the Diocese of Liwolo in South Sudan, rebuilding their diocese and helping their refugees in Uganda to become self-sufficient following the civil war. Bishop Philip has sent his thanks – his letter is attached.


…. met on the 10th January. We talked about recycling collections, sound insulation in the Hall, and a request to become a Fairtrade Church, amongst other things. Please let Rev’d Carol or Julie Buckley have your ideas and suggestions for discussion. We ask you to pray this prayer ‘this time tomorrow’ after a Sunday service – wherever you are. (Why not put a reminder in your phone?)

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:

The Bishop of Blackburn’s Young People’s Holiday

Every year, with a team of experienced volunteers, Bishop Philip leads a residential holiday for young people in Year 6 and above. The holiday combines outdoor activities and games with worship and faith formation and it ends with a big celebration of the Eucharist to which families are invited.

This year’s holiday will run from May 28th to 30th and will take place at Borwick Hall in the north of the Diocese. The cost will be just £50 per young person including all meals and accommodation in bedrooms. For more details and information on how to book a place, please email Esther

on bhadmin@bishopofblackburn.org.uk

Hall for Hire – Don’t forget that the Hall is available for hire, especially at weekends and during the day. £24/first hour and £12 for each subsequent hour/part-hour. Please contact Pat on hall@christchurchlancaster.org.uk  07980 351855 for more info.

Craft Group

Meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 11.30am in the Hall. Everyone welcome – bring your own project, or share in one of the others on the go! No prior experience needed. Next meets on the 13th February. 

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!

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

Christian Aid News

Ukraine Event – Thursday 22nd February 7pm at Lancaster Friends’ Meeting House. Ruth Platt speaks about Christian Aid’s work in Ukraine, including vigil to mark the anniversary of the conflict starting. Everyone welcome. 

Changemakers Conference – Saturday March 2nd 10.30-1pm online, or in person at the Outset building, Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1NN. Getting ready for Christian Aid Week (which will be the 12-18th May this year). 

Rev’d Carol needs some help! 

Could you spare some time on a regular basis to help with the behind the scenes life of our church? Invitations, social media, orders, invoices, counting and software upgrades – use your skills to serve the Lord! See notice, and / or have a chat.

Refreshments today!

All are welcome for refreshments after the service.

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.

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: …TBC  safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk  07547 717060

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