(Note: the Newsletter can also be downloaded as a PDF.)
A warm welcome to
The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster
for Sunday 11th January 2024 Sunday next before Lent/Racial Justice Sunday
Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 01524 942105
email@example.com 1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE
Everyone is welcome to join in prayer and worship this week:
Today – 4th February 2024
8:30am Holy Communion
10:30am All Together Eucharist for Racial Justice Sunday – with guest preacher, Ruth Packwood, from the charity Hope at Home
6pm Ignatian Evening Prayer
12 noon Eucharist with Ashing
7.30pm Sung Eucharist with Ashing
9.30am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)
Next Sunday – 18th February – First Sunday of Lent
8:30am Holy Communion
10:30am Parish Eucharist
4pm Godly Play (in Church)
6pm Evening Prayer
Prayer for this week
Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty
before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Children and Youth
Every Sunday of term time during the 10.30 service for KS1/2 children
Every 3rd Sunday of the month at 4pm in Church 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
2 Kings 2.1-12
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’
Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’
Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Refrain: Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
1 The Lord, the most mighty God, has spoken and called the world from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth; our God comes and will not keep silence.
3 Consuming fire goes out before him
and a mighty tempest stirs about him.
4 He calls the heaven above, and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 ‘Gather to me my faithful, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.’
6 Let the heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge.
Refrain: Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
2 Corinthians 4.3-6
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 9.2-9
Glory to you, O Lord
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
This is the Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, O Christ.
Prayer after Communion:
Holy God, we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ: may we who are partakers at his table reflect his life in word and deed, that all the world may know his power to change and save. This we ask 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, Ella Patterson – that God’s healing, wholeness and peace are with them
Those who have died recently: Anne Young. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
In our parish, we ask God to bless and provide for:
Those who live and work on Ennerdale Close, Ridge Lane
For those attending Mingle on Mondays, the Pilgrim Course, and Godly Play – that God’s loving kindness is found and shared.
Tuesday 23rd February 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
On most first Sundays 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 however not be until Sunday, 24th March- 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
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Archbishop Desmond Tutu
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or text the Prayer Chain on 07980 351855. Please ask the person’s permission if you’d like them included in the weekly notices.
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time of laying down habits that are not life giving, and taking up habits that draw us closer to God. This includes a commitment to prayer, study, and repentances (‘a change of heart’). You’re invited to take a Watch and Pray booklet, or borrow another book for reflection during Lent.
Children’s bags are also available – and make a holding cross for prayer.
You may also wish to use the new Diocese of Blackburn ‘Fruitful’ app (available on the App Store/Google Play) as a guide to the Christian journey.
Ash Wednesday 14th February
On this first day of Lent, there will be a Holy Communion at 12 noon and a Eucharist at 7:30 pm. At both services there will be the opportunity to receive imposition of ashes, as a sign of repentance for our sins, for which Christ died.
Lent Course – The Lord’s Prayer – starts 18th February
All are invited to join in this six-session Lent course, exploring the Lord’s Prayer as a gateway to the Gospel, as a guide to our own prayers, and as a way of deepening our relationship with God. It starts on Sunday 18th after the 10:30 Eucharist – do come!
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. 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
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, longlife 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/
Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week
Climate change is taking its toll around the world, in particular in countries like Madagascar, which has high levels of poverty, food insecurity, population growth and exploitation of natural resources. You can offset your carbon footprint by donating to Money for Madagascar https://moneyformadagascar.org/carbon-offsetting/ which will help scale up important tropical re-forestation work.
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 ongoing support with recycling on the first Sunday of each month.
Giggle (or Groan) of the week – suggestions welcome!
Last week I was run over by a steam train – I was chuffed to bits.
Godly Play! 4pm on the third Sunday of each month
In January, we began 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). The next gathering is on the 18th February at 4 pm. If you can help, or would like to come along, please pick up a flyer, and ask Rev’d Carol if you’re curious.
…. next meets on the 12th February. 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 email@example.com
Save the date – Soup and a Sweet!
Lent starts early this year – so on Shrove Tuesday (13th February), there will be a ‘Soup and Sweet’ party in the Hall from 6.30pm – everyone welcome! Homemade soup provided, but please bring a plate of your favourite sweet pudding to share – . before we start Lent! Soft drinks provided, but bring your own favourite tipple if you wish.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 07980 351855 for more info.
The church book group meets on the first Friday of each month at 4 pm in the church hall. Books are provided by Lancashire Libraries, in addition to those shared by members. The date of the next meeting is 1st March. Anyone who enjoys reading and discussion books is very welcome to join us. You can just turn up on the day, speak to Joyce, or send an email to email@example.com
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. The group next meets on the 13th February.
If you can spare some time to help weed and tidy the church garden, our gardening group meet on the first Friday of the month, between 12 and 2pm. Please bring gloves and secateurs if you have them – and contact Liz Mills if you’d like to know more.
Please could you help with a few cleaning and DIY jobs around church? Saturday 16th March, 9.30-11.30am, with brunch provided.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
Churchwarden: … Ms Jacqueline Stamper email@example.com 01524 64083
Priest with PTO and Choir Contact: …Rev’d Clive Shaw. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lay Reader: …Dr Pat Allen email@example.com 01524 39552
Parish Safeguarding Officer: …Sue Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org 07547 717060
Children, Youth & Families Coordinator: …Mrs Julie Tinnion email@example.com 07749 489623
Parish Secretary: …Mrs Julie Buckley firstname.lastname@example.org 01524 37229
Hall Bookings: …email@example.com 07980 351855
Christ Church School …Miss Emma Simpson 01524 60955