18th December – 1st January

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

A warm welcome to 

The Parish of Christ Church, Lancaster

for Sundays 18th & 25th December 2022, and 1st January 2023 Festive Edition

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 – 18th Dec  – Advent 4

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10:30 am Parish Eucharist (with Children’s Church)

6pm Traditional Carol Service


4pm Messy Church (Hall)

5:30 pm Meditation and Evening Prayer (Storey Chapel)


9:30 am Eucharist (Lady Chapel)

Christmas Eve

4 pm Crib Service

11.30 pm Midnight Mass

Next Sunday 25th December Christmas Day

8:30 am Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)

10:30 am Parish Eucharist

**No 6 pm Service**

Tuesday 27th

4pm Prayer4 (Zoom – see link)

Wednesday 28th

5.30pm Meditation and Evening Prayer

Friday 30th

**No 9.30am Service**

Sunday – 1st January

 **No 8:30 am Holy Communion**

10:30 am Parish Eucharist

**No 6pm Service**

Children and Youth


For under 5s and their parents/carers, every Friday at 10.30am in the Hall 

And Teddy Bears’ Picnic at 10.30am on Thursday 22nd December

Children’s Church

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

Messy Church

Crafts, stories, song and a meal together at 4pm on Wednesday 21st December and Sunday 29th January in the Hall for KS1/2

Connect Club

A social get-together for Years 5 and 6 on Fridays 13th and 20th January at 4 pm in the Hall.

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 18th December: 

God our redeemer,

who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son: grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour, so we may be ready to greet him when he comes again as our judge; who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

Scripture Readings for our Worship 18th December:

Isaiah 7.10-16

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.

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

Psalm 80

RefrainTurn us again, O God;  

show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

1 Hear, O Shepherd of Israel,  

you that led Joseph like a flock;

2 Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim,  

before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.

3 Stir up your mighty strength  

and come to our salvation.

4 Turn us again, O God;  

show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

5 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry at your people’s prayer?

6 You feed them with the bread of tears; you give them abundance of tears to drink.

7 You have made us the derision of our neighbours, and our enemies laugh us to scorn.

8 Turn us again, O God of hosts;  show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

18 Let your hand be upon the man at your right hand, the son of man you made so strong for yourself.

19 And so will we not go back from you;  give us life, and we shall call upon your name.

20 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Romans 1.1-7

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (Matthew 1.18-25)    

Glory to you, O Lord.

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

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

Prayer after Communion: 

Heavenly Father, 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 for the Week 25th December: 

Lord Jesus Christ,
your birth at Bethlehem
draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth: 

accept our heartfelt praise
as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God.

Scripture Readings for our Worship 25th December:

Isaiah 62: 6-end

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest,  and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have laboured;  but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts.  Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples.  The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, ‘See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.’  They shall be called, ‘The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord’; and you shall be called, ‘Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.’

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

Titus 3: 4-7

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (Luke 2: 1-20.) 

Glory to you, O Lord. 

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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

Prayer after Communion: 

God our Father, whose Word has come among us in the Holy Child of Bethlehem: may the light of faith illumine our hearts and shine in our words and deeds;  through him who is Christ the Lord.  Amen.


Prayer for the Week 1st January: 

Almighty God,

whose blessed Son was circumcised 

in obedience to the law for our sake

and given the Name that is above every name: 

give us grace faithfully to bear his Name, 

to worship him in the freedom of the Spirit, 

and to proclaim his as the Saviour of the world; 

who is alive and reigns with you, 

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Scripture Readings for our Worship 1st January:

Numbers 6.22-27

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, 
The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; 
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

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

There is no Psalm today. 

Galatians 4.4-7

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, 

born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 

And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, 

and if a child then also an heir, through God.

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

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (Luke 2.15-21)

 Glory to you, O Lord.

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 

But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

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

Prayer after Communion

Eternal God, 

whose incarnate Son was given the Name of Saviour: 

grant that we who have shared in this sacrament of our salvation 

may live out our years 

in the power of the Name above all other names, 

Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Please remember in your prayers:

Those who are sick:   Youngblood McCray, Ernie Wilson, Ivy Buckley, Stephen Gardner, Ann Gilbride, Thomas Platt, Janet Ball, Sitar Rose, Istok Bratić, Yan Connell, David Foster, Susannna Michaelis, John McCafferty, Doreen Hudson, Norman Muckalt, Mike Dickinson

Those who have died recently:  Michael Atkinson, John Elsley, Margaret Bowker

Parish Cycle of Prayer:  

For those who live and work on Keswick Road, Bowness Road

For Sarah, our new Parish Safeguarding Officer, and also for Rev’d Craig Abbott, our new Area Dean. 

Zoom Prayer: 

Tuesday 27th 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 usually a beautiful service of prayer, music and stillness in the style of the Taizé Community.  The January service will however be on Sunday, 8th 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.

Thought for the week

The only way for us to stay well in the midst of the many “worlds” is to stay close to the small, vulnerable child that lives in our hearts and in every other human being.  Often we do not know that the Christ child is within us.  When we discover him we can truly rejoice.   Henri Nouwen

Events for Children, Young People and Families in the coming weeks

Years 5 & 6 young people are invited to Connect Club, a social gathering, in the Hall 4-5pm, on Fridays 13th and 20th January.   The next Messy Church gathering will be on Wednesday 21st December, 4-6 pm, in the Hall.  And there’ll be a Teddy Bears’ Picnic on Thursday 22nd December in the Hall, 10.00-11.30 am, for those baptised at Christ Church during the last 12 months, and for families with young children in Early Years and KS One. Remember to bring your teddy bear!  There will be games, along with snacks and juice.

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…

The Olive Branch Foodbank

… is in particular need of tins – Christmas puddings, cakes, mince pies, biscuits, custard, chocolates, stuffing mix, crisps and non-alcoholic drinks for their Christmas Appeal.   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 

In this festive season please remember the homeless and refugees at home and abroad by donating to the Food bank, or charities such as Christian Aid and Salvation Army if you are able.  

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 Sunday, 8th January and the first Sunday of every month.

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

Q. What happens if you eat Christmas decorations? 

A.  You get tinselitis!


Our Church Council next meets on 18th January – please let your PCC reps know if there are issues and ideas you’d like raising. In December, we approved extra lighting around the church paths, appointed 2 governors for Christ Church School, reviewed the fees we charge, and reviewed the Advent services and events.  Please keep your PCC in your prayers.

Christ Church Crafting 

… will meet next on Tuesday 10th January 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 Julie Buckley for further details.

Christmas Raffle

Numbers are available for sale at the back of Church – the raffle will be drawn on 18th December after the Carol Service.

Community at Christ Church:

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

Epiphany Gifts 

As we prepare to give thanks for the gift of Christ, light of the world (and remember the gifts brought by the Wise Men) – might you be able to make a donation towards the candles, incense, bread, wine and oil which are part of our worship? Please see the suggestions list at the back of church, and make a donation labelled ‘Epiphany Gift’. Thank you to those who have already given so generously!

Warm Spaces – Mingle on Mondays

We plan to launch on the 9th January, every Monday from 1-2.30pm. Please sign up on the sheet at the back of church to help with hosting, food preparation etc. If  you’d like to help but don’t have a current DBS check with church, please bring two forms of photo id with you to church (passport, driving licence etc) and proof of address (council tax, utility bill, etc).  Any questions – please ask Rev’d Carol.   

Please keep this project in your prayers, and help to share posters and flyers around neighbouring streets.

Singers Needed!

At 2.30pm on Friday 23rd December – to sing carols with the residents of Moorside Hall Nursing Home (Wyresdale Road) and then at 3.30pm at Dolphinlee House. Please let Rev’d Carol know if you’d like more details. Song sheets provided.

Toy Service

Thank you for all your generous donations of toys, which went to families using Ryelands Sure Start Centre on Tuesday!

Start Group

Start the New Year with God, Jesus and the journey of life in six fun, down-to-earth sessions – everyone welcome! Please pick up a flyer in church, or see Rev’d Carol for more info. 

Tuesdays at 7pm from the 31st January, meeting at the Vicarage (1 East Road, LA1 3EE)

Refreshments today!

All are welcome for hot and cold drinks and biscuits after the 10:30 am services (except on Christmas Day).

Receiving the notices by email

If you would like to receive these notices by email, please contact Jacqueline Stamper on the above address. 

Save the Dates: Please pick up a flyer!

18th December 6pm                                         Carol Service

23rd December 2.30pm             Carols at Moorside Hall

23rd December 3.30pm             Carols at Dolphinlee House

24th December 4pm                                         Crib Service with Nativity

24th December 11.30pm           Midnight Mass

25th December 8.30 & 10.30am Christmas Eucharists

1st January                                                       No service at 8.30am or 6pm.

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

Light up the Lady Chapel

The Psalmist writes: ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ However, the lighting in the choir and Lady Chapel is in need of help – some has broken beyond repair, and the rest is struggling to illuminate a space that is now regularly used for worship. We already have raised half the funds needed.Can you help by sponsoring a light, or making a donation towards the £5k cost? Please see the envelope for more details or use this code:   

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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.

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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: …Ms Jane Lippitt safeguarding@christchurchlancaster.org.uk  07930 979503

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

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

Christ Church School …Miss Emma Simpson   01524 60955