Author Archives: Jacqueline Stamper

23rd January 2022

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

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

A vibrant inclusive worshipping community

Sunday 23rd January 2022

Third Sunday of Epiphany

Collect

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

Readings 

Nehemiah 8.1-3,5-6,8-10

All the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.  Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

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

Psalm 19

Refrain:    The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

   The heavens are telling the glory of God  

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

2    One day pours out its song to another  

and one night unfolds knowledge to another.

3    They have neither speech nor language  

and their voices are not heard,

   Yet their sound has gone out into all lands  

and their words to the ends of the world.

   In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun,  

that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber

and rejoices as a champion to run his course.

   It goes forth from the end of the heavens

and runs to the very end again,  

and there is nothing hidden from its heat. 

The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

   The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;  

the testimony of the Lord is sure

and gives wisdom to the simple.

   The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart;  

the commandment of the Lord is pure

and gives light to the eyes.

   The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever;  

the judgements of the Lord are true

and righteous altogether.

10  More to be desired are they than gold,

more than much fine gold,  

sweeter also than honey,

dripping from the honeycomb.

11  By them also is your servant taught  

and in keeping them there is great reward.

The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

12  Who can tell how often they offend  

O cleanse me from my secret faults!

13  Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins

lest they get dominion over me;  

so shall I be undefiled, and innocent of great offence.

14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,  

O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.

1 Corinthians 12.12-31a

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (4: 12-21).    Glory to you, O Lord.

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

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

Post 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.

Prayer and Worship this week: 

Sunday 23rd January – Third Sunday of Epiphany 

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10.30 am Parish Eucharist (in church, the uploaded to YouTube*)

6 pm Eucharist – Conversion of St Paul (Lady Chapel)

Wednesday  

5:30 pm Meditation, followed by

6 pm Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)

Friday 

9:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

Sunday 30th  January – Candlemas

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10.30 am Parish Eucharist (in church, the uploaded to YouTube*)

4 pm Messy Church (in the Hall)

6 pm Evening Prayer (Lady Chapel)

*The Christ Church YouTube channel is at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPoAvGj4K9085RV8zo0ZS9Q

Prayers

Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:  Olive Niccolls, Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Ivy Buckley, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Thea Harris-Ellis, Thomas Platt, Janet Ball, Dorothy Eidsforth, Sitar Rose, Heather McFadden, Maddison Crompton, Irene Forrester, Bishop Julian Henderson, Jacqueline Stamper

RIP:  Reggie Collins, Elaine Fisher, Verity Barker

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

Those who live and work in our parish:  in Thirlmere Road and Buttermere Road; and for all working and volunteering with the covid vaccination programme locally.

Also for the Youth group as it begins, and for Messy Church gathering next Sunday afternoon, for the children attending, and for volunteers to help. 

Zoom Prayer

Tuesday, 1st 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://zoom.us/j/8069459310?pwd=TlV6QUQ5UVdiK0p1M0Q0cE0vRXIvUT09  Meeting ID: 806 945 9310 Password: ChristChch.   Dial in: 0208 080 6591  Meeting ID: 806 945 9310 Password: 310771 (Any queries see Rev Carol)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

On Friday 28th at 7.30pm in the Father’s House Church, Skerton (opposite Ryelands Park), there will be a Song for Unity – led by Forever Amen praise group. Everyone welcome to share worship alongside other churches in Lancaster. 

Youth Activities for January at Christ Church

Tiddlers Group – birth to school age
Fridays 10.30 am – 12 pm in the Church Hall
Children’s Church – Key Stage 1 and 2. All welcome (under school age to be accompanied) – starting and returning to the Sunday 10.30 am service.
Youth Group – Key Stage 3
21st and 28th January 4 pm – 6 pm, then fortnightly thereafter (snacks on sale)
Messy Church 30th January 4 pm – 6 pm
A form of Church for children and adults alike, which involves creativity, celebration and hospitality. So we’ll be getting crafty, celebrating God in prayer/song and eating a meal/snack together. (For families who are new to church or looking for a more informal gathering.)

Tiddlers Group

The Tiddlers group runs each Friday,  All pre-school-age children and their carers (parents/grandparents, etc.) are very welcome to come for activities, a chat, etc., at 10:30 am in the Hall.  Please contact Julie Tinnion for more details.

Next PCC Meeting

.. will be this coming Wednesday, 26th January. If there are issues you’d like raising, or ideas to suggest, please have a word with Rev’d Carol or Julie Buckley. 

Everyone In 2

The Government has closed all communal night shelters nationwide, and is funding local authorities to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers under the second Everyone In scheme. This should mean that those who would normally have used our Night Shelter should not be left on the streets. We are reviewing appropriate future provision for this season and the longer term.

Christ Church: 70 trees for the Treebilee

The Eco-Group are encouraging each of us to sponsor or plant a tree as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. You can either arrange your own sponsorship, through organisations such as the National Trust or Woodland Trust: for £5 per tree  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/plant-a-tree; or £6 https://www.treesforcities.org/get-involved/donate.  Or become a member of the Woodland Trust, which will count as five trees or buy membership as gifts.  For those who just want to put their donation in the box next to the tree, add a leaf, and the church will buy a tree from the National Trust for every £5 donated.  There will be a display at the back of church to show how many trees have been planted in the name of Christ Church – so if you make your own arrangements, please add your name to it!

Christ Church Crafting: 

… will meet next on Tuesday 8th February 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 Marion Cowan for further details.

Church Giving

In the course of a year, Christ Church supports many different charities, working abroad and in the UK – for many of which our help has been longstanding. Last year, these included Christian Aid, the Children’s Society, Water Aid, the Olive Branch, Refugee Advocacy Information and Support, and our local Refuge. If you would like to suggest a local or international charity which you’d like the church to support this coming year (whether through fundraising, an awareness campaign, or practical help) please pop your suggestion in the box at the back of church, or have a word with Rev Carol. By the 30th January please. 

Thank you!

…. to everyone who supported the Children’s Society through our Christingle Service on the 19th December – £547.94 was raised –  an all-time best! Thanks to Christ Church Primary School for their hard work, and to Julie and David Buckley for making it possible. 

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PLEAS OF THE WEEK   

The Olive Branch needs volunteers!

In particular, if you are over 18, available between 11am and 4pm on a weekday, and would be interested in volunteering as a packer on a Thursday, or in the office on a Friday, please get in touch by going to their website:  https://the-olivebranch.org.uk

then ‘Support us’ and ‘Register interest with us’. 

The Olive Branch Foodbank

… is in particular need of tins – including meat, fish, vegetables and pies., as well as donations of rice (not pasta or baked beans).  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/

Epiphany Gifts

As usual at this time of year, we ask you to consider making a donation towards the cost of the supplies we use at our services in church all year round.   The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; it would be great if you could contribute towards the cost of the incense, candles, votive lights, Communion wafers, etc., which are all part of our worship.  Please sign up on the list at the back of church, and put your gift in an envelope labelled “Epiphany”, or contact Jacqueline if you have any questions.

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

If you would like to support Christ Church’s work and worship regularly, or you already do – please consider giving by Direct Debit. Christ Church is now taking part in the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows us to offer direct debit as an option. This national Scheme takes a lot of hassle out of claiming gift aid, and ensures that any donation is covered by guarantees. It also allows you to easily review how much you give depending on circumstances. There are no costs or overheads to the parish. For more information, the QR code takes you to our page on the scheme:

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Online at www.parishgiving.org.uk   Or by telephone 0333 002 1271 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.  Postal forms available on request.  For any of these methods our PGS code 030603240 ensures that your gift goes to our 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. If you’re able to give of your time and talents to plan or help with some fundraising events – please keep an eye on the notices for more details!

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

Legacies at Christ Church. 

Gifts in Wills are an important part of Christian stewardship, and dedicating a gift is one way to thank God for blessings received. If you’re considering writing a Will and leaving a gift to the church, there is a lilac leaflet available near the offertory box which explains more. The PCC have recently passed a Legacy Policy to ensure that gifts are used well to support Christ Church’s mission and ministry, whilst taking into account a donor’s wishes. If you wish to speak to Rev’d Carol or Jacqueline Stamper in confidence, or for further details, please see www.churchlegacy.org.uk.

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

What did the older candle say to the younger one?
“You’re too young to smoke.”

Thought for the week

How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?                      Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week 

Famine in Madagascar has been highlighted in several reports and news items. Charities such as Unicef and WaterAid have a presence on the island but there is a Lancaster based charity that has been working in Madagascar for many years that you might like to support. https://moneyformadagascar.org/

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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. 

Prayers & our Newsletter

If you, or someone you know would like to receive this newsletter, either electronically or a paper version – do let Jacqueline/Rev Carol know and we will endeavour to keep in contact with people. 

We will be praying daily for all who are suffering in the current crisis. 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. 

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Key contacts:

Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 revcarolbackhouse@gmail.com

1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE

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

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

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

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

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

Hall Bookings: hall@christchurchlancaster.org.uk

07890 351855

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

Christ Church School  Ms Emma Simpson 60955

COVID-19 – latest update from Rev’d Carol

Now that regulations on Covid precautions have changed again, I strongly encourage everyone to continue to take precautions and continue the good habits we have got into over recent months.

Please:

  • Wear a face covering within the building, unless medically exempt
  • Keep a safe distance – with some pews remaining closed to help this  
  • Use the Track and Trace code, or the paper sign-in sheet for each service
  • Use hand gel on arriving in the building, and before receiving communion

In addition: 

At the 1030 service, communion will be received from the rail; please kneel or stand to receive. Afterwards, please return to your seat via the Lady Chapel.

The common cup (chalice) may be shared *if desired*. In present circumstances, you may prefer not to do so, confident in the knowledge that to receive the sacrament of communion in one kind is to receive it in full.  

If you do wish to receive from the chalice, please remain at the rail after receiving the bread. The person administering will wear a face covering, and please *do not* touch the chalice with your hands, and *do not* intinct your wafer (dip it into the wine). The chalice will be wiped with an alcohol sanitiser between use.

As a church community, we are called to act for the benefit of all, and especially the most vulnerable. We wish our church community to be safe, accepting and welcoming for all, regardless of health, or vaccine-status. 

As regulations start to tighten again, I strongly encourage everyone to continue to take precautions and continue the good habits we have got into over the months. 

All of us will feel differently about this.   I’m more than happy to listen and hear your own views on this, and talk through what will help you feel safe and continue to be part of the church in coming weeks.