(Note: the Newsletter can also be downloaded as a PDF.)
The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster
A vibrant inclusive worshipping community
Sunday 2nd January 2022
Feast of the Epiphany
O God, who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: mercifully grant that we, who know you now by faith, may at last behold your glory face to face; 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
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Alleluia, alleluia. Christ was revealed in flesh, proclaimed among the nations and believed in throughout the world. Alleluia.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (2.1–12). Glory to you, O Lord.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ
who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer and Worship this week:
Sunday 2nd January – Epiphany
8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)
10.30 am Parish Eucharist (in church and then uploaded to YouTube)
No 6 pm service.
4 pm Prayer4 on Zoom
5:30 pm Meditation, followed by
6 pm Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)
9:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)
Sunday 9th January – Baptism of Christ
8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)
10.30 am Parish Eucharist (in church and then uploaded to YouTube) – Preacher: Archdeacon David
1:30 pm Baptism
6 pm Taizé Eucharist (Lady Chapel)
*The Christ Church YouTube channel is at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPoAvGj4K9085RV8zo0ZS9Q
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, Galiba Sijarić
RIP: Betty Hilton, Pat Barker, James Cleminson
And for Sebastian Reynolds ahead of his Christening.
Parish Cycle of Prayer:
Those who live and work in our parish: Ambleside Road and Patterdale Road; for our MP and local council in the year that lies ahead.
Tuesday 4th 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://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)
Next Sunday – 9th January
We look forward to welcoming Archdeacon David Picken as our preacher at the 10:30 Eucharist on Sunday 9thJanuary – the Feast of the Baptism of Christ. As we begin the New Year, Archdeacon David will be sharing some thoughts with us about how we grow spiritually (as individuals, and as a church) – and as it is a special festival day, the service may be slightly longer than usual.
Christ Church Winter Night Shelter is currently suspended until further notice. If you are homeless and in need of support, please contact Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) on Edward Street, Monday-Friday 9am-1pm 01524 842008 https://www.ldhas.org.uk or Lancaster City Council’s Housing Department 01524 582257, or, out of office hours: 01524 582000. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Rev’d Carol.
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.
Children’s Church continues to meet regularly during the 10:30 Eucharists on Sundays (or in Christ Church: All Together services). We look forward to seeing you and your children/grandchildren there!
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 this Tuesday 11th January at 11:30am in the Hall – all welcome! Bring your own craft project, or make a pennant for the community bunting. We will be looking at creating decorations/hangings for one of the Advent Christmas trees on 4th December, so bring ideas too. Future meetings will be on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the same time. Contact Marion Cowan for further details.
To everyone who has helped make the Christmas celebrations possible this year – cleaning, decorating, welcoming and preparation. The first Christmas was very simple – it’s ok that ours was this year too!
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PLEAS OF THE WEEK
Recycling Sunday – today!
Please bring your blister packs, used dental products (brushes, toothpaste tubes, etc) and crisp packets today, 2ndJanuary, ready for recycling.
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, or contact Jacqueline if you have any questions.
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/
Supporting Christ Church
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:
Online at www.parishgiving.org.uk
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!
Q. What falls at the North Pole but never gets injured? A. Snow.
Thought for the week
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. John Milton
Eco-Group Thought/Action for the Week
Review your lifestyle and resolve to adopt at least one new green habit this year.
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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 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.
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Vicar: Revd Carol Backhouse 942105 email@example.com
1 East Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EE
Lay Reader: Dr Pat Allen 39552 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Churchwarden: Ms Jacqueline Stamper 64083 email@example.com
Parish Safeguarding Officer: Ms Jane Lippitt 07930 979503 firstname.lastname@example.org
Children, Youth & Families Coordinator: Mrs Julie Tinnion 07749 489623 email@example.com
Nightshelter Co-ordinator: Ms Jan Norbury 07547 717 060 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Secretary: Mrs Julie Buckley email@example.com 01524 37229
Hall Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christ Church School Ms Emma Simpson 60955
COVID-19 – latest update from Rev’d Carol
Now that regulations on Covid precautions have changed, much advice has been issued by the government, national church and local health authorities, with each Vicar being responsible for plans and arrangements in each church building. Christ Church asks that everyone continues to:
- 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
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.
There is a range of quieter and busier services at Christ Church, so you may wish to consider something different to your usual pattern if it helps you to feel safer.
More guidance from the Diocese and the national church may appear in the coming days. If any of the above change in consequence, we will let you know quickly, but please be assured that the measures put in place by our churches have resulted in remarkably few transmissions of the virus in places of worship across the country, and we know of none so far at Christ Church.