Monday 23 November

COMING BACK TO CHURCH

It is anticipated that once the second lockdown has ended, we will be able to return to corporate worship in-person. This should be on Sunday 6th December. If so, we will continue our pattern of services of 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. The booking system will be reintroduced in the days leading up to it. I will email again once the booking system is live for Sunday services.


ADVENT COURSE – womb2tomb

I am very pleased and super excited to announce a new aspect of our ministry which is launching this Advent. It is a course which traces the storyline of Jesus, the God-man who entered the womb in a miraculous way, and left the tomb in a miraculous way. The course is called womb2tomb and you can get all the information from this brand new website which is officially launched as of now: www.womb2tomb.uk

Starting in Advent and finishing at Easter 2021, the course will be open for everyone in the church community. It is specifically designed for a time when we cannot meet in person. There will be weekly one-hour online gatherings of 6-8 people (called ‘Virtual Villages’) meeting to study the Bible and explore the storyline of Jesus: looking at the prophets who foretold his coming and studying the accounts of the life of Jesus as given to us by the four Gospel writers. In the coming weeks we’ll also be forming even smaller weekly groups of just 3 or 4 people, who will meet for 30 minutes to share a prayer request and pray together. Each day, there will be a two-minute devotional video released for you to watch and to stimulate further prayer and worship. Alongside this, is the opportunity to take part in daily Bible reading, with suggestions given to you of what to read, so that what you read each day synchronises with the weekly online gathering and the daily devotional videos.

The weekly gatherings, ‘Virtual Villages,’ which are the main thrust of taking part in this exciting new course, will take place on the following days and times:

The Leighton Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Monday evening at 7:00 PM (launching on Monday 30th November)

The Thurtell Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM (launching on Tuesday 1st December)

The Beechey Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM (launching on Wednesday 2nd December)

The Durrant Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 PM (launching on Wednesday 2nd December)

The Clark Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Thursday lunchtime at 12:00 PM (launching on Thursday 3rd December)

The Lees Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Friday morning at 11:00 AM (launching on Friday 4th December)

The Sergeant Virtual Village

  • Meeting on a Friday evening at 8:00 PM (launching on Friday 4th December

The Meadows Virtual Family Village

  • Meeting on a Saturday morning at 10:00-10:30 AM – this is for families with pre-school and school-aged children only (launching on Saturday 5th December)

SIGN UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN for the Village of your choice here: https://www.christchurchthornton.uk/booking/

You can book in the same as you have been doing to attend on a Sunday. Once you’ve booked, more info will be sent by email about the first gathering.

Please sign up for one Virtual Village only – not more than one, as they are all exactly the same. Each Virtual Village will run for one hour each week using ‘Zoom’ Video Conferencing. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, don’t be fearful. It is free to use, and can be downloaded onto a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. And I can talk anyone through how to set it up for themselves. Each Virtual Village, is a terrific opportunity to meet with other Christians, without any of the issues we would presently have doing so in person. If you find after a week or two the time or day or members aren’t a good fit for you, no problem, we can work together to find a better suited one. Once restrictions are lifted, I’ll work with each Village to decide which ones will move to meeting in person, or staying online, or a mixture.

The Virtual Villages are great for those who have missed meeting together midweek during the pandemic, whether it be the Growth Groups, midweek services, Mothers’ Union, etc. Great too for any who have never been part of anything before: those with younger children who often can’t leave the house for church groups, or those who struggle to get out in the winter months because of health or mobility, or those with work commitments. The Virtual Villages will be super for fellowship with others, a safe place to learn and grow in faith and at a time when so many are feeling isolated, they will be a real boost to see and hear and speak to one another.

Apart from a Saturday morning with is a dedicated Virtual Village for parents/guardians with their children, all the Virtual Villages are for adults or young people aged 16 and over with an adult taking part too. Special care will be taken in due course to form Virtual Villages suitable for under-18s, inline with safeguarding requirements.

Again, you can get all the information from this brand new website which is officially launched as of now: www.womb2tomb.uk

p.s. a guaranteed (small!) box of chocolates personally delivered to your front door, to the first person to email me back with the connection to the names of the virtual villages!

Sunday 15 November

Dear Church Community,

This Sunday all four services are livestreamed from inside the Church building. 

Each week we try our best to improve what we can. Last week the video quality improved as we purchased a better quality camera. This week you’ll notice the sound on the videos will be vastly improved. Mainly in terms of the volume. You shouldn’t need to have your volume turned up to 100% any longer! We do still have some sound issues, mainly if you watch through YouTube (Facebook video sound is working fine). We’re aware of this and are looking for the gremlins!

SUNDAY SERVICES

These are the four services this Sunday, with a clickable link next to each one if you watch via YouTube:

9:00 AM Morning Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer https://youtu.be/keBEIhLKy1o 

  • Led by Damian with a sermon from Paul 

11:00 AM Morning Worship https://youtu.be/WY6W80ej2NI 

3:00 PM Evening Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer https://youtu.be/KtLXDuNx6wA

  • Led by Damian with a sermon from Peter

5:00 PM Treehouse Family Service https://youtu.be/5t4Qi5jk4vg

  • Led by Damian, with worship from Harry, and a special on-screen appearance from Gary the Gorilla and friends

Or, you can see all videos live using Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/christchurchthornton/live/ or YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0AMDtZrPaKXbeFm55tJPrw 

CHURCH NEWS

Morning Prayer during the week

Did you know that Monday to Friday a group of people meet online for Morning Prayer at 9:00 AM? Led by Peter Nunn and other church members, they meet using ‘zoom.’ Anyone is welcome. It lasts for half an hour and is an uplifting way to bring the day and the needs of the church and world before God. Details of how to take part are here: https://www.christchurchthornton.uk/zoom-prayer-online/ 

Nightly Prayer

During the lockdown, Christians across the nation are setting aside a few minutes at 6:00 PM to specifically pray for the nation. Perhaps you usually watch the national news at 6:00 PM? If your TV has the facility, why not just press ‘pause’ for a few minutes. Perhaps as a household, you can pray. Or just on your own. Or join me over video and pray along with me. Just go to the Church Facebook or YouTube page where you can see the video of me leading prayers from Church each night. A prayer booklet has been produced, which can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/PftN%20Booklet%20spreads.pdf 

At Christ Church, the bell at the top of the bell tower is struck 6 times at 6:00 PM to mark the moment we’re stopping across our homes to pray together.

Lyrics and Lunch

Since the start of the first lockdown, our very important ministry ‘Lyrics and Lunch’ has continued an online version every single week. If you’re unfamiliar with what it is, I’ll say a bit more now. It’s for adults living with dementia as well as their carers. We are part of a network across Lancashire of churches running a group. The unique thing about ours, is before the lockdown we held two groups a week, one focused on those living with dementia, and one focused on adults with a learning disability. Our online version is for absolutely everyone. It’s been tremendous to receive feedback that some of the local domiciliary homes for adults with learning disabilities in the Wyre Borough have been watching Lyrics and Lunch each week. It’s quite a highlight for them!

Our very own Banjo Bob with help from Lesley and other special guests, have been recording the music videos. Each week there is a theme which ties all the videos together. At the moment, Lyrics and Lunch is livestreamed from inside the Church building at 1:00 PM every Monday. If you like to sing and be entertained, tune in!

Videos

Maybe you’ve missed a Sunday service? Maybe you didn’t realise about Lyrics and Lunch and want to watch some of the videos produced so far? Or maybe you missed Nightly Prayer. Peter has put together for us a useful page on the website with links to all the videos so far since March: https://www.christchurchthornton.uk/videos/ 

Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Just a reminder that for £20 you can fill a shoebox online. Your shoebox will be sent internationally to a child in great need. More info here: https://www.christchurchthornton.uk/shoebox-online/ 

And finally…

If you’ve read this far AGAIN, a special thank you from me. Put your feet up and have a slice of cake this time! It’s deserved.

God bless,

Damian

From Damian – 6th November

Dear Church Community,

This Sunday, I hope you will join us online as all four services are livestreamed from inside the Church building. For the next four Sundays or so, the filming is taking place inside the Church building, but ‘the church’ are outside the building, scattered across the Fylde and Wyre taking part from their own homes. It’s not ideal. But we carry on! 

These are the four services this Sunday, with a clickable link next to each one if you watch via YouTube:

9:00 AM Morning Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer https://youtu.be/jRzxoC11UOU

10:45 AM Remembrance Sunday Service https://youtu.be/8wxMAvOyzys 

3:00 PM Evening Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer https://youtu.be/4av5IiBkOHk

5:00 PM Treehouse Family Service https://youtu.be/tYnEqvajtTo 

Or, you can see all videos live using Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/christchurchthornton/live/ or YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0AMDtZrPaKXbeFm55tJPrw 

Those links are particularly useful for quickly joining in with the Nighty Prayer for the Nation at 6:00 PM.

Remembrance

During the 10:45 AM service, there will be an act of remembrance. Click here to download the order of service so you can follow at home. Although you should be able to follow the words on the TV screen in Church which will be filmed during the service. Also, we will most likely seek to mark the hour and 2-minute silence with the Church bell at 11:00 AM.

Food Pantry

During the new lockdown, our Food Pantry remains open, by appointment, for those requiring food. We make no charge for the emergency bags of food we give out. At the moment, due to the tremendous kindness of so many, we are very well stocked and aren’t in need of donations. 

Shielding

Please note the Food Pantry also acts as a resource to help those who are shielding and any who can’t get out during the lockdown. Perhaps you have no transport, mobility, are clinically at risk, or can’t get an online delivery. If that’s you or you know someone like that, please get in touch. I can’t go and out and do your shopping list but I can bring to your doorstep the food we already have in, with some frozen food, ready meals and lots of tinned and dried foods.

Christmas Shoebox Appeal

This year our usual shoebox appeal isn’t like normal. We would by now be bringing the toy-filled shoeboxes to Church, ready for distribution across the world. We do not want the children to miss out who would otherwise receive shoeboxes in this way. For many, the joy the shoebox of gifts brings is immense. For some, it may be their highlight of Christmas. For others, it may be all they receive at Christmas. You can help by packing a shoebox online and making a donation to cover the costs. Here’s how – click on this link for more information: https://www.christchurchthornton.uk/shoebox-online/ 

Funeral

The funeral of the late Miss Muriel Airey will take place on Thursday 19th November at 12 noon. Funerals are still permitted to take place in Church buildings but with a congregation limit of 30 people. Only immediate family and close friends should attend. If you fit into those categories and haven’t yet said you want to come, please do get in touch with me and I can advise you on whether there are still places available. We will livestream the funeral to our Facebook page and YouTube channel for people to watch and pray from home.

Private Prayer

Churches are permitted to open for private individual prayer during the new lockdown. If you will find a visit to Church for this purpose helpful, to be still, to be quiet and to pray, then do get in touch and I will arrange for you to have access within a few days of your request. If you can’t visit Church but have a prayer need you’d like to share and therefore have the comfort in knowing that someone else is praying too, then do get in touch.

And finally…

If you’ve read this far, a special thank you from me. Treat yourself to a cup of tea and a biscuit! And let me know!

God bless,

Damian

Nightly Prayer for the Nation at 6pm

We are being encouraged by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other senior church leaders to pause and pray for the nation at 6pm every evening during this new second lockdown.

A prayer booklet has been produced, which can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/PftN%20Booklet%20spreads.pdf 

At Christ Church, the bell at the top of the bell tower will be struck 6 times, as it will every night (when I remember(!) and when I’m at Church), to indicate to the community prayers are being said.

If you will find it helpful, you can join with me in prayer at 6pm on a livestream from inside Church (to clarify, you can’t join me in Church but you can join me through tuning in to the livestream).

You can watch here https://www.facebook.com/christchurchthornton/live/ and here https://youtu.be/3nVU9JEhN2Y 

Public worship from Sunday 8th November

Churches will be closed from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December. The new national restrictions state that places of worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#weddings-civil-partnerships-religious-services-and-funerals

We will livestream worship our Remembrance Service next Sunday (8th November) at 10.45am.

Christmas Shoebox Online

Click here to find out how to use Operation Christmas Child’s online service.

In Memoriam

Firstly, let me start by paying tribute to the late Muriel Airey, a member of our church family who has sadly passed away. For many many years Muriel, and her late sister Florence, have been faithful members of Christ Church. Muriel was involved in the Choir, the Mothers’ Union, the Housebound Congregation and raised large amounts for church funds through knitting and card making. Sadly, Muriel’s death has been as a result of the virus, which is a reminder of the severity of what we’re facing. We grieve our loss of Muriel but through her faith in Jesus we can rejoice at her passing into eternal life. Please pray for those close to Muriel, for God’s comfort.

Harvest - Thank You - 18th October 2020

Thank you for all the food brought to church for the harvest services on Sunday 18 October, which are now being used to restock the food pantry.

Congratulations - 18th October 2020

To Gwen Carlisle and Mags Southern, who have both been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s  Birthday Honours for services to education in Paraguay.  Gwen  and Mags were missionaries with the South American Mission Society working as teachers at  St Andrew’s College Asuncion, Paraguay for 35 years. They have recently retired and now worship with us at Christ Church.

Annual Church Parochial Meeting - 17th October 2020

Our Meeting of Parishioners and Annual Parochial Church Meeting took place on Saturday 17th October. Two important documents relating to that are the Annual Accounts and the Annual Report which can be accessed below:

Annual Accounts for 2019

Annual Report for 2019

The results of the elections are here: APCM 2020 Election Results