Launch of the Bollington Dementia Action Alliance

Wednesday 13 November at St Oswald’s 6.00pm – 7.30 pm

YOU are invited to attend!

Open Invitation to the official launch. The launch will allow the Alliance to brief on our work to date and plans for the future. Your views and observations will help us shape our forward plans. Teas and coffees, light refreshments and sparkling wine will be available during the event.

Gill Lancaster and Roland Edwards

Please contact either Gill or Roland to confirm your attendance (click on one or other of the names to send an e-mail). This will allow us to make the necessary catering arrangements. Please reply by 10 November.

The Giving Machine

A new way to support our parish every time you shop on line.

St Oswald’s has signed up to The Giving Machine – a charity which works in much the same way as Easyfundraising. You can join by registering online (it’s free to do so) and then going to the Giving Machine website BEFORE you start shopping.

  • You can register as an individual with up to 4 different causes (who will each share in the benefits raised by your shopping).
  • You can register for Gift Aid when you sign up, so you can maximise the benefit for your cause(s).
  • You can raise up to 0.7% from Amazon with The Giving Machine

You can still support us through Easyfundraising as before. You may find that some retailers are available on one of these fundraising organisations but not on the other. You may find that one of them provides a larger contribution to our cause than the other. We will keep the situation under review over the coming months.

U-tube video about The Giving machine

How to sign up…

  • Start by visiting The Giving Machine website
  • Sign up as an individual
  • Click on “For Shoppers” (top menu bar) and then select “Support a cause” from the drop-down menu
  • Enter our code in the search field – 266632
  • (or you can type “Bollington” in the search field and then select “Anglican parish of Bollington PCC” from the list)

How to support us when you shop…

  • Start by visiting The Giving Machine website
  • Click on “For Shoppers” (top menu bar) and then select “Go Shopping” from the drop-down menu
  • Include this page in your “Favourites” so you can go straight to it next time
  • Choose a retailer from those listed and then shop
  • REMEMBER – you can ONLY raise money for your cause(s) if you choose the retailer from the Giving Machine page. If you go to the retailer’s website directly, your purchases will cost you exactly the same BUT your cause(s) will NOT RECEIVE a donation

The site also offers a downloadable “Desktop Reminder”, but at present this only works with some browsers (it currently doesn’t work with Microsoft Edge, for example).

St Oswald’s Autumn Fair

2.00pm to 4.00pm at St Oswald’s

Our Annual Fundraiser

A huge thank you to all who worked so hard to make this a success, and to all who came along and supported us. We raised nearly £2,000 for Parish Funds!

Special thanks to The Moss Rose Community Band and to the local businesses that provided sponsorship or raffle prizes:
The Cotton Tree
Chadwick’s Newsagent
Tapa
The Crown
The Lime Tree Restaurant
74 Delicatessen
The Cock and Pheasant
Essential Beauty
The Beefeater Springwood Way
Bollington Print Shop
Bellfield’s Bakery
Bacchus Restaurant
Briscola Restaurant
Bollington Balloons
JJJ Heathcote
The Green
The Church House Inn
The Village Florist

Working to become Dementia Friendly

Bollington is now officially “Working to become Dementia Friendly”

A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.

Communities who wish to be recognised as dementia-friendly can register on Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities recognition process. These communities will be considered to be ‘working to become dementia friendly’ and may use the ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ symbol (‘the symbol’) as long as they are part of this process.

STOP PRESS:
Bollington is now part of this process!
We’ll add more detail when available

We are hoping St Oswald’s may be used as a regular support meeting venue for carers and sufferers in future

Vicar’s Letter – September 2019

On 22 October this year we will happily celebrate 111 years of worship and witness here at St Oswald’s.

How time flies! Last Spring, the exciting though modest internal building plans for improving our collective hospitality and welcome were granted faculty permission by the Diocesan Chancellor. Hopefully now this Autumn the work will actually start, the first phase being the creation of a new glazed fire exit door in place of one of the windows along the south west wall of the church (opposite the old school buildings), in accordance with plans earlier approved by Cheshire East Planning Department. Our thanks go to Richard Raymond, our volunteer Project Manager, for successfully liaising with our Architect and the supervising contractors so that works can begin, utilising part of the funds we have already earmarked for this project. We are continuing to apply for additional funding in order to subsequently proceed with the next phase, that of fitting a new kitchen into the former main entrance porch area, and then finally moving on to the creation of wall cupboards on either side of the west end of the nave, to house our folding tables and chairs and other equipment when not in use. Apart from applying for grants, we are always on the look-out for good fundraising ideas, so please do come along to our next Growth Action Planning meeting at 10.00am on Saturday 21 September if you have any inspired suggestions! (Of course, there are also special Gift Aid envelopes available at the back of church for contributions towards our Kitchen Development Project.) Thank you for your continuing prayers and financial support.

People may not be aware that (thanks to a small group of dedicated key-holders) since September 2016 we have been unlocking the church during daylight hours (normally between 8.30am and 4.30pm) on a Wednesday each week?

This is to offer anyone free space to come into St Oswald’s for a moment or two of peace and reflection, to make themselves a cup of coffee or tea from the servery hatch, to find time to think and pray quietly, to light a votive candle either for themselves or for someone else, and hopefully to sense the powerful yet gentle and familiar presence of God which has imbued this building for almost 111 years now. You may encounter others popping in during the course of any ordinary Wednesday, whether they are young pupils from Bollington Cross School’s Focus Group, facilitated by school governor Maggie O’Donnell and a member of staff, or perhaps if you venture into church between 2.00pm and 3.00pm you may be conscious of a small group from our regular congregation gathered in the Vestry Room at the east end of the church for their weekly Faith Hour (and if you chose to do so, you’d be most welcome to join Jean Reader and her friends for this informal hour of refreshments, prayer and companionship). Whether you find the church empty of people or you are aware of others who are also respectfully making use of the space, we pray that you will find it to be a place of solace, comfort and even challenge – a calming place without too many distractions, where you can focus your attention on what is really important to you, and where hopefully you may discover some much-needed fresh perspective in the midst of an otherwise busy or stressful working week…

The National Churches Trust published a document in August 2016 entitled “50 Things to do in a Church”. One contributor was their Vice-President, the former Monty Python performer, intrepid traveller and entertaining writer, Michael Palin, who said this:

Once asked to declare my religious beliefs I described myself as ‘an agnostic with doubts’. However, my interest in and fondness for churches is undiminished…

Churches and chapels are important for all sorts of reasons. Where some are notable for inspirational architecture, others are commended for their community role and the work they do in bringing local people together. Two years ago, I was being cross-questioned in a court case in London and during a lunch break, in which I was not permitted to talk to anyone, I desperately wanted somewhere to sit quietly and get myself together. And yet there was nowhere where the price of a seat didn’t involve eating, drinking or some commercial transaction. Then, out of the blue, at the very heart of Fleet Street, I discovered the church of St Dunstan-in-the-West. I was never so grateful for a place of repose, an oasis of peace and quiet in the midst of the mayhem.”

Michael goes on: “There are of course many other uses for churches and chapels, and the National Churches Trust’s ’50 Things to do in a Church’ – which includes everything from finding the Green Man to helping out at a Night Shelter – shows clearly why churches are such important local buildings. Our churches speak to all of us, even just as a tower on the horizon, a spire amongst the trees. We must do all we can to pass them on to future generations. They are part of our landscape and part of our national heritage. We have to do all we can to make them part of our lives as well.”

Please do now and then weave a visit to St Oswald’s into the fabric of your everyday life, whether that means coming along to one of our many different worship services, our welcoming social occasions, a music concert or art exhibition, a particular charity fundraising event, or simply to spend a while here on a Wednesday to place yourself and your concerns consciously within God’s presence and, by taking that time out, to know yourself to be blessed. This is your Parish Church and thankfully its witness spans multiple generations and is constantly evolving to encourage and inspire us all, both young and old, to make the most of our lives. Thank you to the steadily increasing number of people from our local and wider community who have joined our new “Friends of St Oswald’s” Scheme, whose generous commitment to regular financial support (whether large or small) will enable us to continue opening our doors, welcoming people in and empowering them to persevere, overcoming all obstacles through God’s good grace, for many more years to come.

Every blessing,

Veronica

Gin Flight at St Oswald’s

55 people participated in our Gin Flight evening to mark St Oswald’s Day. We enjoyed a variety of gins selected by our host for the evening Heather Kirk (of Concepts of Wine & Dine). Most of the gins had some sort of Ecclesiastical connection. There was also a raffle with many other gin-related prizes.

The event was held to raise funds for our New Kitchen project.

This one was certainly different. It was black. And like Marmite, some enjoyed it, others were not keen.

Vicar’s Letter July & August 2019

Bollington Festival [more here]

…was a really busy but enjoyable fortnight for St Oswald’s, starting off with our Camel Train in the Parade then hosting the mesmerising Model Railway Exhibition, both made possible by the creative talents of Bev and Steve. This was followed a few days later by a whole variety of our brilliant and dedicated Arts & Crafts Group’s train-themed handicrafts which were out on display for the remainder of the Festival, alongside some colourful contributions from Praise & Play and RiCH children, plus the beautiful winged creatures captured in our local embroiderers’ butterfly nets. Then there was a fabulous Print-making Day Workshop run by the lovely and very talented Debbie Tracey-Carney, a former member of our congregation now based in the Isle of Man. Later that first week, thanks to Lorraine and Dave and their willing kitchen staff, we hosted another hugely successful Big Brekkie fundraiser for Christian Aid Week, with bacon butties enjoyed by several groups of children from Bollington Cross School. We welcomed baby Elsa at her Christening on Saturday 18th before the William Byrd Singers presented an excellent acapella concert to round off our first week of Festival events.

In the second week we were pleased to host the Diocese of Chester’s roving exhibition “Journey into Light” which included many very moving canvases of original therapeutic artwork created by prisoners from HMP Styal and Thorn Cross. During this week, our RiCH Group children also met as usual on the Thursday afternoon and many of them were inspired to create their own personal art canvases depicting what belonging to this Group means to them. Our three exhibitions attracted a good cross-section of visitors over a broad age range from our local community (plus people travelling from further afield). The “Journey into Light” provided a stunning backdrop for a vibrant Gospel Train led by Maggie and our church choir and musicians, augmented by an enthusiastic choir of children from Bollington St John’s School and applauded by appreciative visitors from Mount Hall Nursing Home. It was fitting that on the Thursday we could offer space, even amidst the artwork on display in church, for the late Jean Ransley’s funeral, safe in the knowledge that she had over many years been a stalwart supporter of Bollington Festival and an encourager throughout her life of art and music appreciation.  The next day there was an opportunity to share in a meditative Stations of the Cross based on the emotive canvases around us, and on Saturday we enjoyed an incredible variety of music performed by the amazing young composer and musician, Joe Riley. That second week ended with a calming evening of Taize worship, led by Elaine and Chris and members of our choir and Music Group (including Peter Spooner who kindly stepped in at the last minute for us). This closing service was in contrast to the rather louder Big Top Worship Service which had been held on the first Sunday of the Festival, but proved equally ecumenical!

Throughout the Festival fortnight, a stalwart and faithful few from our congregation maintained a cheerful and friendly presence within St Oswald’s, opening our doors and welcoming visitors from far and wide, supplying them with copious amounts of coffee and tea, delicious home-made cake and the occasional glass of Prosecco! Thanks to those people who were so generous with their time and skills (including especially our two dedicated Churchwardens and Julie our PCC Secretary), we were able to offer warm hospitality to all who ventured in, many for the first time even though perhaps they had lived in the village for years!  

And finally, a huge thank you to our friend Audrey Downes, who not only skilfully created, but also daily maintained, the beautiful floral garland which greeted everyone who stepped into our entrance porch, providing a glorious reminder to one particular couple who were recalling their wedding service held here during the very first Bollington Festival!  

It was hard work but a pleasure to take part in such a fantastic community event over those hectic two weeks in May! We must thank the Festival events Co-ordinator, Jose Spinks, for all her organisational skills, and her unbounded encouragement and enthusiasm! We look forward to the next Bollington Festival (in four or five years’ time perhaps?) when once again (thankfully bolstered by our growing group of “Friends”) St Oswald’s may offer a truly welcoming performance and worship space, opportunities to build friendships and share refreshments, the encouragement of local creative talent and the gift of time for deep reflection on the meaning of life – but also a chance to enjoy ourselves and have fun together here in our unique place at the heart of our parish community!

Every blessing,

Veronica