Bishop Peter has announced that he will be retiring on 30 September this year. He has served as the 40th Bishop of Chester since 1996.
Bishop Keith (Birkenhead) will become acting Bishop of Chester from 1 October until Bishop Peter’s successor is in post. No Suffragan Bishop of Stockport will be appointed before we have a new Bishop of Chester.
Putting the final piece into our mosaic – May 2014
Veronica made Honorary Canon of Chester Cathedral – March 2014
The church was arranged in “café style” for our Agape meal of roast lamb with unleavened bread followed by baklava and fresh fruit.
The food was then cleared away in preparation for the more solemn meal of the Eucharist.
After the meal there was a watch of prayer until midnight
In the morning there was a Children’s Workshop, following the story of Holy Week…
In the afternoon, members of our Lent Group shared reflections from the book “The Nail” by Bishop Stephen Cottrell. These were followed by the Liturgy of the Day.
Time for the flower arrangers to “spring” into action!
We listened to the final chapters from “The Nail” before saying Compline together.
We gathered outside the church before dawn. A fire was lit and blessed. The Paschal Candle was blessed and the “cruel nails” inserted. It was lit from the fire and carried into the church in a cloud of incense- “The Light of Christ”. The congregation followed, each carrying a votive candle. Canon Veronica sang the “Exsultet”, and then we listened to the biblical stories from creation through to the events of Holy Week, all read by candle light. Then following the Gospel reading, “Christ is Risen – He is risen indeed!”. The lights were switched on and everyone made “a joyful noise” on various instruments.
Following the First Eucharist of Easter, we enjoyed a shower of mini Easter Eggs and a glass of “Buck’s Fizz.”
At the 10.30am Family Communion Service we welcomed Megan and Maisie for their Christening and shared a special cake afterwards to celebrate the Vicar’s 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood.
Come and celebrate Bollington Festival with us here at St Oswald’s! We are hosting a whole variety of events and services here during the Railway/Journeying themed Festival Fortnight – do come along and take part in what’s going on! Refreshments provided during exhibitions and after concerts!
Saturday 11 May: Festival Parade through Bollington starting at 11am at the Poachers Inn:
Be wise and join in our Camel Train (costumes optional!)
Saturday 11 May: 12noon till 5.00pm and Sunday 12 May: 11.00am till 4.00pm: Model Railway Enthusiasts Exhibition in St Oswald’s ChurchSuggested donation: Adults £3.00 – but free entry for children!
Sunday 12 May: 11.00am Worship Service in Festival
Marquee on the Rec
Guest Speaker: David
Maidment, founder of the Railway Children charity
Plus Puppet Show (& the chance to try out these puppets after the service)
Please note: No 10.30am service at St Oswald’s this Sunday!
Saturday 11 May till Monday 27 May: St Oswald’s Arts & Crafts Group Exhibits on show –
some items to be sold at Grand Auction on Sunday 2 June during our next Afternoon Tea & Cake event 3.00pm till 5.00pm
Monday 13 May: 5.00pm till 7.00pm Launch
Event in St Oswald’s for Bollington Embroiderers Group
exhibition (thereafter this will be open
to view between 4.00pm and 7.00pm Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15, Friday 17 and
Saturday 18 May)
Wednesday 15 May: 10.00am till 8.00pm:
Make Your Mark: Printmaking
Techniques for the reluctant artist! Come along and be led by Debbie Tracey –
our special guest artist now based in the Isle of Man – no prior skills needed!
Stay for as long as you like – contributions towards cost of materials welcome!
Friday 17 May: 8.00am till 11.00am: Big Brekkie fundraiser for Christian Aid:
Come and share breakfast in St Oswald’s and raise money for those who are hungry across the world
Saturday 18 May: 10.00am till 12noon: Donald Judge presents a Music Workshop for all ages, tracing the history of the railway coming
and going in Bollington! All welcome: Tickets £5.00 from Festival Box
Office or on the door
Sunday 19 May: 10.30am at St Oswald’s Family Communion Service
All Welcome to our mid-monthly family-friendly service of Holy Communion
Sunday 19 May: 7.30pm: William Byrd Choir Concert: “The Singing Will Never Be Done” A varied programme of delightful music: Tickets £12.50 from Festival Box Office or on the door
Tuesday 21 May: 7.00pm till 8.00pm Launch Event of Travelling Exhibition “Journey into Light”: Art created by prisoners from HMP Styall and HMP Thorn expressing their experiences and background stories: Open for viewing thereafter at the following times: Wed 22 May: 10am till 12noon, 4pm till 7pm; Fri 24 May: 10am till 12noon, 2pm till 5pm; Sat 25 May: 10am till 12noon, 4pm till 7pm; Sun 26 May: 1pm till 3pm; Mon 27 May: 10am till 12noon, 2pm till 5pm.
Wednesday 22 May: 2.00pm: Gospel Train! An interactive Praise Event, with local amateur singers
and musicians, including children from Bollington St John’s School. Come along
and join in!
Friday 24 May: 7.30pm: “Stations of
the Cross” led by Revd Canon
Veronica Hydon: offering a simple meditation on our own journeys through life,
reflected in the Christian story of Holy Week and Easter. All welcome.
Saturday 25 May: 2.00pm: Joe Riley and
Friends: a musical event showcasing the talent of Joe Riley, a Year 7 composer, songwriter and performer. Come
along and support this emerging young Bollington musician!
Sunday 26 May: 4.00pm: Taize Worship Service: prayer, song, readings, silence, thanksgiving. Followed by simple refreshments
Every blessing as we
celebrate so many different facets of our life together within this community!
[an extract from the latest Bollington Cross School Newsletter…]
“Last week, every class had the opportunity to visit St Oswald’s Church and learn about Jesus’ family. It was an interactive and enjoyable workshop and the children (and adults) loved a chance to dress up and immerse themselves in the story. Even Year 6 were thrilled to travel back 4000 years in a Time Tunnel. It was clear to see that the children learned a lot from it and, once again, the team at St Oswald’s had shown their creativity in ensuring that the workshop was relevant, fun and engaging for children of all ages.”
Volunteering Clean Up Day at the Cre8 Community Building
Dear Friends & Supporters,
We are organising a clear-up, fix-up and sort out day at the Cre8 Community Building and we are looking for helpers! A wonderful team from Peaks & Plains Housing Trust have been working hard to repair and renovate the Building which is fantastic and we are very appreciative. We have a new electric system, heaters and (drum roll) hot water heaters! See the photos of the work below. Following this, we’re wanting to give the Building a spring clean and a refresh and are looking for helpers to join us!
When: Wednesday 10th of April and Tuesday 16th of April We’ll be working at the Building between 9am and 4pm.
The Jobs The sort of jobs we need help with on the day are: Lifting / carrying / wheelbarrowing large logs from around the back of the building. (These are free to a good home too as we no longer need them). Deep clean of all rooms Laying carpets / flooring Odd job repairs and fixes both internally and externally Making cakes / lunch and cups of tea and coffee to keep the teams going!
If you’re able to help us out on one or both of the days, for the whole day or just part, please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org or 01625 503740 We are grateful for your support as always
Isaiah 55.1-9; Ps63.1-9; 1 Corinthians 10.1-13; Luke 13.1-9
“Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to God, for he will abundantly pardon”
I remember using those sentences from our first reading from Isaiah to open Evening Pray in Wrexham, and I believe them to be very appropriate for today, the Third Sunday of Lent. While the Old Testament lesson is of good news, the epistle and Gospel are much darker in tone.
Let us consider the passage from Isaiah, which at first reading, does not appear to make much sense in today’s world. Who’s ever known anyone going to a super market to buy food without money or a credit card? It is unthinkable. In fact when I compared the Lent Lunch we enjoyed last Thursday to a ‘feast without price’, Veronica was very quick to remind us that there was a basket for donations for the ‘New Kitchen Fund’. So why, and for whom was the passage written? First a bit of explanation. Many theologians reckon that the Book of Isaiah is made up of three books, not just one, and that this passage is most of the final hymn of the portion of the Second Isaiah (chapters 40-55). It dates from the sixth century B.C.E., at the dawn of Persian rule, and it is encouraging exiles living outside of Judah to uproot themselves, and return to a land their generation had never known, so that they could reclaim their ancestral home. Although it was a real event in an earthly world, the Babylonian exile of the Jews was portrayed in Scripture with such moving imagination that later readers saw in it much more than history. It describes in eloquent poetry a practical return from exile in such spiritual terms that it came to be read as describing the spiritual journey of every believer from their various exiles returning to their home in God. To reinforce this, Second Isaiah talks about, the journey: to reclaim the legacy of Abraham and Sarah; to re-enact the exodus from Egypt so many centuries before; and to live out Israel’s role as God’s own creation.
Here in chapter 55 the poet imagines repatriation as welcome to a bountiful feast of satisfying foods, hosted by none other than God. The image of Judah’s land as one “flowing with milk and honey” is implicit in this invitation. So what did people have to do so that they could receive God’s bounty? They must thirst. In other words they must want God’s grace.
Those who are satisfied with the world and its enjoyments, and do not seek for happiness in the favour of God, and those that rely upon the merit of their own works, and see no need for Christ and his righteousness, they don’t thirst. They have no sense of their need. These are not worried about the fate of their souls, and see no reason to seek and follow Christ.
But those that thirst are invited to the waters, as those that labour, and are heavy-laden, are invited to Christ for rest. Note, Where God gives grace, he first gives a thirsting for it; and, where he has given a thirsting for it, he will then give His Grace. For those of you still wondering about food and drink, bread and wine, without money, well these are heavenly gifts that have already been paid for by Christ on the cross.
Moving on, instead of these images of great abundance in Isaiah and in our Psalm, our gospel lesson from Luke has a contrasting image of scarcity. In our gospel lesson, Jesus told a story about a landowner who was concerned about a fig tree that wasn’t growing figs (which is what a fig tree is supposed to do). The landowner wanted to chop the tree down right there and then, but the gardener suggested the tree be given a bit more time, a bit more cultivation, a bit more fertiliser, and a bit more work. The desired result, of course, was for the tree to produce fruit, for the tree to come up with the figs. Jesus then left the story open-ended. We never heard whether the tree came up with the figs, or whether it was cut down a year later. The moral of this little story is that we too are expected to produce fruit, the fruits of the Spirit. In any event, we have this contrast between passages about celebrating abundance and a passage about coping with scarcity.
In our epistle Paul begins his passage on temptation by issuing a series of warnings to the Corinthians on the dangers that might befall the believer through the temptations of this world. And he uses God’s people in the wilderness of the Old Testament as their example. These were people who had claimed the covenant promises of God! They had witnessed God’s presence! They had a visible mark of the presence of God in their midst. By day He led them by a cloud, and by night by a pillar of fire! They had first-hand knowledge of God’s deliverance! They had witnessed the Red Sea being parted, so that they could cross over on dry land! They had the sign and seal of God’s love. They had all been ‘baptised under the cloud’ and had enjoyed the blessing of having a great leader – Moses! They were set apart for God’s service, and they had been called to be servants of God, within His chosen people. They enjoyed spiritual refreshment and sustenance, and through their wilderness journey the Lord had been the source of their meat and drink. Despite all that God had done for them, they rebelled, and God withdrew His blessing from them.
Is it not the same today? Think of all that the Lord has done for us as individual believers and as members of His Church! Have we not been unfaithful and is the church of today, not guilty of backsliding? What lessons can be learnt?
The Israelites were redeemed, they were brought out of slavery, but they were tempted, and they yielded to that temptation and became disobedient to God! Because of their disobedience, God prevented most of them from entering the Promised Land, and they perished in the wilderness! How many bright Christians have ‘perished in the wilderness?’ How many have started off serving God and been enthusiastic about His work and His will, and have fallen into temptation and have become disobedient and useless in the Christian call?
Paul gives a very stark warning about being over confident in one’s self. Here is the scenario. There may be one who is religious, who attends at public worship, who lives a decent and, in their eyes – a God fearing life, but what hope do they have for eternity? Their hope rests only on their religion. They think that it will somehow be good enough so that God will overlook whatever little misdemeanours they may have committed. So they depend upon themselves, rather than on the Lord.
You will remember the story that Jesus told about two men who went to the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, (that in itself is an interesting phrase!) “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men…” and listed how good he thought he was. The publican instead stood a long way off, and hung his head in shame, and asked God, “be merciful to me a sinner.” And Jesus said, ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ So we need to be constant in prayer, be subject to God’s Word, be humble before the Lord and depend on God every day.
Paul envisages a situation where a believer might actually manufacture his own stumbling block, by failing to fully rely on the Lord! Paul reminds us that temptation is a COMMON experience! Don’t think that you are the only one who has ever been tempted! No temptation is unique to you; someone else had that very same temptation! That very same thought, desire, suggestion! But God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to resist. God in His sovereignty will not permit you to be tempted any more than you can endure!
This is good news for believers. Remember that God is our father, and He loves us and cares for us! When times of temptation come, whom will we trust! Will we rely on ourselves, or will we rely on the Lord? Will we tackle temptation in our way, or in the Lord’s way? Note that SUBMISSION TO GOD always precedes resistance of the Devil! What is temptation all about? It is about the building of Christian Character! It is the method that God uses to make us spiritually strong. It would not be my way! But then we have learned that self-reliance is sinful! This is God’s way! Sankey, the great hymn writer wrote,
“Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin; Each victory will help you some other to win; Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue, Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through. Shun evil companions, bad language disdain, God’s name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain; Be thoughtful and earnest, kind hearted and true, Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.”
The question facing Paul was: will the Corinthians avail themselves, will they accept this God-given way out when they need it? And the question facing us in our increasingly pagan atmosphere of our contemporary world, is: will we put our trust in God and follow him?
The support service for the Macclesfield Food Bank has changed. The organisation “HOPE CENTRAL” has taken over the operation formerly run by “Hampers of Hope”.
THE RED BIN IS STILL AVAILABLE FOR YOUR GIFTS.
We need a variety of non-perishable foodstuffs to add to the store cupboards. For example, milk (UHT or powdered); sugar (500g); long-life fruit juice; fruit squash; soup; pasta sauces; tinned sponge pudding; tinned tomatoes; cereals; tinned rice pudding; tea bags; instant coffee; rice; pasta; instant mashed potato; tinned meat or fish; tinned fruit; jam; biscuits; snack bars. We can also accept personal hygiene products, for example.
Please do not include items with short shelf life or containing alcohol.
Please take advantage of any BOGOF (By one get one free) offers on any items in your weekly shop.
Just think what you yourself would welcome as a life-saving gift of staple foods if you were to find yourself in a similarly desperate situation. Please take the trouble to put those extras into your own shopping trolley when the opportunity arises and bring them to St Oswald’s to put in the RED BIN.
When shopping at Tesco, look out for the times when the blue tokens can be used to support HOPE CENTRAL.