Wednesday Evenings in Lent 2019

7.30pm -9.00pm in Church.

Starting 13 March for 6 weeks.

Each Wednesday we’ll be reflecting on one chapter of the book “The Nail” by Bishop Stephen Cottrell. Each chapter is about one character in the story of Our Lord’s Passion. So you can still participate even if you can’t come along every week.

Read the chapter before the meeting if you can.

Books available at the back of Church.

Vicar’s Letter March 2019

Stop Press! We are very pleased to announce that the Chancellor of the Diocese has now granted us necessary faculty permission, authorising the go-ahead for our proposed Kitchen Development, installing an enhanced refreshment facility within the former main entrance porch, according to our Church Architect’s published scheme.

The plans also incorporate the building of some storage cupboards along the side walls at the west end of the church, the creation of a new fire exit door, and the opening up of increased useable floor space around the area of the baptistry. If you’re interested, the sketch plans are still available to view at the back of the church.

Our Kitchen Appeal Fund has already benefited from several generous individual donations, plus a designated gift of £20,000 from the Diocese, being part of the proceeds of the sale of the former Vicarage. The fund has now had another great boost, thanks to the generosity of parents, grandparents and friends of pupils at Bollington Cross School. They recently presented us with a cheque for an amazing £450.00, kindly collected after their School Christmas Plays, in appreciation of the care and support offered by St Oswald’s especially in response to the sudden loss of Mrs Royle, a much-loved Teaching Assistant, at the end of last year.

We will now proceed with seeking national grant funding to raise the total amount required to carry out the development works to the best possible standard. We also hope to involve local contractors in completing the works. Meanwhile we are grateful for all the promises of support from our local community in helping us meet our regular outgoing expenses, especially inviting people to join our newly launched Friends of St Oswald’s Scheme. Our aim is to sustain and adapt our building in the best way possible so as to continue to serve people locally, as well as in the wider world, for the forseeable future and to the best of our ability. As one kind donor has written: “The last couple of weeks have been such a sad, shocking and unsettling time…You opened the doors and welcomed us all in with warmth, compassion and understanding… and brought comfort to so many… We are very blessed to be able to build our community around St Oswald’s.”

Any donations large or small will be gratefully received and may be made to the “Anglican Parish of Bollington PCC”. (If you wish to indicate on the reverse of your cheque that this is intended for the Kitchen Appeal, please do so.) Thank you for all your support! Watch this space!

Every blessing,                                                                                Veronica

Second Sunday before Lent 2019

Brian Reader

Genesis 2.4b-9, 15-f; Revelation 4; Luke 8.22-35

For those of you waiting for the pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, or the start of the big Easter Egg raffle, or for others anticipating the start of a new life style by giving up our naughty indulgences for Lent, well we don’t have much longer to wait.

Today we heard three readings which do not seem to have anything in common. The answer is to be found in the Collect, which is a prayer that is meant to concentrate our thoughts on the theme of the day. ‘Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: …’
So our thoughts are to be on God as the creator and ruler of all.

The first reading is very much about creation, and those of you who worship on Thursday mornings may remember that Veronica also read this section from Genesis to us on St. Valentine’s Day. Some think that the section from chapter 2 is the second of two differing accounts of creation to be found in Genesis. The first chapter of Genesis describes the “six days of creation”, with a seventh day of rest, while Genesis 2 covers only one day of that creation week and gives more detail of the sixth day, when God made man. There is no contradiction, as in the first chapter, the author of Genesis presents the creation of man on the sixth day as the culmination or high point of creation. Then, in the second chapter, the author gives greater detail regarding the creation of man. Genesis 1 records God creating animal life on the sixth day, before He created man, while in our reading the animals are mentioned after man has been created. On the sixth day, God created the animals, then created man, and then brought the animals to the man, allowing him to name them.

Two interesting points can be made. Firstly that while God made our bodies from the dust of the earth, God breathed his life into us. Thus grace in the soul does not come from the earth, but is the work of a loving God. And secondly, God put man in the Garden of Eden, – not in a palace. God supplied all that man would need in the garden but he had to work – to till it and keep it.

We sometimes forget the words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, ‘He that will not work, has no right to eat.’ And God also gave us free choice. Man could eat of every tree in the garden except one, but as we all know, humankind did chose to eat of the forbidden tree.

Our second reading was from Revelation. Have you ever thought about how you obtain information and knowledge? Sometimes we have to be taught by another, or work hard over days or months to try and understand something, while at other times we might just get a flash of inspiration. I would suggest that John received a vision or a flash of inspiration just like that. As he looks up into the sky, John sees there before him a door standing open in heaven. A voice beckons him to pass through the door: “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” John is whisked up to heaven where he sees before him a throne with someone sitting on it.


John’s description of what he saw in heaven is, like the rest of the New Testament, true to the classic Jewish principle that “no one has ever seen God”, so he does not name or describe God directly. What John sees is both a throne room and at the same time (because it is God’s throne room) a place of worship. In his day, the prophet Ezekiel saw “a throne of sapphire” and on it “a figure like that of a man”, which he identified as “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord”

To John the throne represents the power and majesty of the one sitting on it, and everything else he sees is described in relation to this central throne. John describes lights and other thrones, and elders, and lightning, and thunder, and blazing lamps, and a crystal sea, and creatures with a multitude of eyes and wings, who continually said, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”. What started as a heavenly tableau unfolding step by step before John’s eyes now becomes a scene of active worship and proclamation.

The use of verbs in the present tense, and the phrase day and night, give the impression that this is no longer something John saw once in a vision, but a ritual in heaven repeating itself over and over again without rest or interruption. The throne is suddenly alive with living creatures hailing and worshiping the anonymous someone seated on it as the Lord God Almighty. The twenty-four elders continually worship this one who lives for ever and ever, laying their crowns in front of the throne and saying, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being”.

What are we to make of this reading? I would suggest that this wonderful vision of John, celebrates creation, with God as the creator. And even as we read his prophecy today, John manages to convey a sense that what he saw is something still going on in heaven, so it probably also points to the new creation to come. We may not fully understand this passage, but as John was told in his first vision, “Do not be afraid”, and we too should heed that advice.

This phrase leads to our Gospel reading. The story should be well known as the passage about Jesus taming the storm on the lake, is contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark as well as Luke. I don’t know about you but I was very frightened when I was in a small boat in a storm, and if Jesus had been in the boat I would certainly have woken him up! And Jesus would probably have said to me exactly what he asked of the disciples, “Where is your faith?” BUT only after he had calmed the storm. And the disciples realized the truth that their leader, Jesus, could command the winds and waves, and that they obeyed him. They were with the Son of God, who had been there with his father when the world had been created.

So where is our faith? What do we believe?

Some people do not believe in miracles, but I do. I believe that a God who created the world, who sent his Son to redeem the world, and sent his Holy Spirit to work with and uphold the Church, is still very capable of working miracles in our world today. You may say, “Well, I have never seen a miracle.” Miracles aren’t always big. Have you never experienced a coincidence which cannot easily be explained? A near miss, or a chance meeting, or a phone call which changes the course of events? These are times when God is working in secret. Many people have them and we discussed some of them in Faith Hour last week.

Yes! Miracles still happen. You just have to be open to God to see them and accept them.

Friends of Foxhill

FRIENDS OF FOXHILL EVENTS 2019.

Thank you for supporting the work of Foxhill House in so many different ways. There is a sense of gathering excitement as the work flourishes, but all the more need for a circle of people who are praying in an informed and regular way. Thank you all for doing this.

As we look into 2019 we would like to invite you to the following specific Friends’ events:

Fellowship on Mondays

We meet each Monday at 11.30am for Coffee followed at 12noon for a service of Holy Communion. On the third Monday of each Month we enjoy a light lunch following the service (Soup, bread and Fruit with Coffee/Tea) £6.00 per person.

Prayer on Saturdays

A vital part of the Friends is to pray for the ministry of Foxhill and we will be gathering on the following Saturdays to pray between 9.30am to 11.00am finishing with Coffee.

16th March, 18th May, 4th June, 20th July, 17th August, 21st September, 19th October, 16th November and 7th  December.

Daffodil Time

As we enjoy Foxhill as Friends we will be celebrating our Daffodils on Sunday 10th March 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm, with an opportunity to enjoy the grounds and the Daffodils with refreshments we will conclude with Evening prayer at 4.00 pm.

Fifty Years of Ministry

As Foxhill celebrates 50 years of ministry we will gather on the Saturday 20th July between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm for a time of celebration and thanksgiving for the ministry of Foxhill and the Friends.

Quiet Day for Friends

Once again, we are offering a Quiet Day for the Friends and the 2019 quiet day will be on Thursday 17th October – the person leading this day will be announced in due course.

Friends’ Christmas

On Sunday 15th December – Friends’ Christmas lunch and Carol service. Lunch at 1.00 pm followed by Carol service at 2.30 pm

Whilst these events are designed to support the work of Friends of Foxhill, those who would like to be Friends are very welcome. Please let other people know about these events and encourage them to be part of the Friends of Foxhill.

We have several events both residential and non- residential please visit our website  www.foxhillchester.org

NEW Electoral Roll!

Sign up NOW!

Once in every six years the preparation of new church electoral rolls takes place, which means that everyone had to come off the roll and re-apply. The next occasion for the preparation of new rolls is THIS YEAR.

This means that EVERYONE who wants to be on the electoral roll has to fill in a form this time, EVEN IF their name was on the list before.

The Church Electoral Roll is the parish church’s register of electors and is the list of those qualified to attend and to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in the elections for the parochial church council and the parish’s representatives on the deanery synod.

Any person entitled to attend the Annual Parochial Church Meeting may raise any question of parochial or general church interest.

If you enrol you become a voting member of the Church of England and so help to ensure that all the synodical councils of the Church – the Parochial Church Council, your Deanery Synod, the Diocesan Synod and the General Synod – are fully representative of its members.

You can download a form here.

You can download a copy of the associated Privacy Notice here.

Please return your completed form to the Church by 30 March 2019 to ensure that you are qualified to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting!

Epiphany Party 2019

Each year we hold a party in church for Praise & Play Children and all our younger church members including the families of children recently baptised

Three Wise Travellers… and a Star

In France and Belgium it is customary to serve une galette de Rois on the feast of Epiphany. It contains a little charm, and the person whose slice contains the charm is allowed to wear the crown!

A photograph taken by Veronica – see previous post!

Post-Christmas Break


Veronica and Dave had a few days away in Lille and Brussels in January 2019. We visited a few churches, including Lille Cathedral – dedicated to Notre Dame de la Treille. The Cathedral takes its name from a 12th-century figure of the Virgin that has been long revered in the city. The cathedral was built by wealthy inhabitants of the city, starting in the late 19th century; building didn’t finish until the 1990s! Sadly, the Virgin is no longer inhabiting the cathedral – she was stolen in 1959, and her church now gets by with a replica. [Treille means trellis – presumably the item the statue is sitting behind!]

Altar screen at Lille cathedral

We arrived just before Epiphany, so the Shepherds were still present…

By Sunday morning the Kings had arrived. (The figures are near life-size.)

At St Nicholas’s church in Brussels, the alignment of the chancel does not match that of the nave. This is not because of an incompetent architect, but is intended to represent Christ’s head leaning to one side on the Cross.

Church of St Nicholas, Brussels

The Cathedral at Brussels is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel and St Gudula of Brabant. Wikipedia tells us that “Gudula was educated in the abbey of Nivelles by her godmother, Gertrude of Nivelles. When Gertrude died, she moved back to her home at Moorsel, spending her time in good works and religious devotion. She frequently visited the church of Moorsel, situated about two miles from her parents’ house.”

The organ in Brussels Cathedral is quite spectacular.

It sounds good too – we attended a concert on a previous visit.

The organ console is on the balcony of the central section.

There is an ornithological theme in the side chapel, with “pious pelicans” supporting the glass altar table.


In between visiting churches and museums, attending concerts and riding the trams we found time to eat and drink.

We found a suitable wine to have with our lunch one day…

As we were arriving back at St Pancras we found that our Eurostar driver was about to retire after 38 years’ service…