Our amazing interactive Schools’ Experience continues all this week! Members of our congregation are telling the Story of Moses with the enthusiastic help of children from three of our local primary schools! To give you a flavour of the unfolding drama, here is a selection of photos sent to us by their Head Teacher of some of the delightful children from Bollington St John who’ve clearly enjoyed their class visit today.
YOU and YOUR PET are warmly welcome to join us for…
All Creatures Great & Small
– a special service at St Oswald’s to celebrate & bless our local working animals & family pets on Sunday 9th July at 3.00pm
No matter what sort of pet you have, bring it along!*
We hope you and your pet will enjoy our short service of songs and readings, and a chance to connect with other animal lovers of Bollington & Kerridge.
* (All we ask is that cats & other small animals are brought in
safe containers so that they can’t risk being lost – or eaten!)
Download a poster here
Beverley read out the story of Pentecost at our Family Worship service and the children enthusiastically re-created the “rushing mighty wind”.
The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles as “tongues of fire.”
Between 25th May and 4th June, communities and churches around the world are gathering together to pray that their friends, families and neighbours come to know Jesus Christ. Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days, including 24-7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Cathedrals, churches and other venues will host Beacon Events, gathering people across towns and cities to worship and to pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness. Link to website
St Oswald’s will be open for prayer from 8.30 until dusk, from Wednesday 31 May until Saturday 3 June with a focus on the Archbishops’ initiative: “Thy Kingdom Come”
Revd Dr Gary Bowness celebrated the Eucharist at St Oswald’s this morning for the last time before leaving for pastures new in the Lancaster area. The choir regaled him with a surprise rendition of…
We wish you luck as we wave you goodbye.
Cheerio, there you go, on your way.
We wish you luck as we wave you goodbye.
Not a tear but a cheer, on your way.
You’ve got what it takes
To relax in the Lakes
And your smile will lighten their way.
We may meet once again by and by!
We wish you luck as we wave you goodbye.
It is now possible to research a number of our parish registers on our main website here. The available records include:
Baptisms at St John’s, St Oswald’s and Holy Trinity Kerridge from 1834 to 2006 – a total of nearly 7,600 records.
Marriages at St John’s from 1838 to 1959 and St Oswald’s from 1937 to 1954 – a total of over 1,470 records. (There were no marriages at St Oswald’s before 1937, and no marriages at all at Holy Trinity Kerridge.) For the time being it is NOT proposed to publish more recent marriage records online for Data Protection reasons.
Burials at St John’s Churchyard and Columbarium from 1835 to 2017 – a total of about 8,000 records.
Memorial Inscriptions at St John’s Churchyard and Columbarium from 1835 to 2017 – over 1,400 records.
I would like to thank all those who enabled me to take time out in April, May and June last year and to enjoy some of my sabbatical leave in Venice! Particular thanks are due to Christine Osbaldiston, Revd Michael Fox, Bev Nixon, Canon Roy Arnold, Anne Coomes, Brian Reader and others who took on extra liturgical and organisational roles during that time, including offering prayer stations both in church and in our local schools for the week leading up to Pentecost, and again later on when our Assistant Curate was supported in officiating at his first two weddings! Later in the year we celebrated with Bev Nixon as she received her well-deserved Children’s Ministry Certificate in Manchester Cathedral. Her tireless enthusiasm and innovation alongside young and old within our congregation (and also reaching out to our schools) is a huge asset in our church life – and all amazingly freely given, as are the other creative, compassionate, organisational, fundraising, musical and serving gifts of so many others who make up our varied congregation here at St Oswald’s!
Sadly there were also two bereavements during the latter part of my sabbatical following the sudden and untimely deaths of Sue Bennett and Guy Wharton, whose creative and inspirational lives had made a deep impression on many people within our local community. It was impressive how well the church supported the families and friends most closely affected by these losses, including the staff and children of Year Six at Bollington Cross School and our RiCH Group, by literally opening our doors in the immediate aftermath to allow people to express their grief and shock in personal and unique ways within the sanctuary of God’s house. St Oswald’s congregation has once again proved itself well able to respond appropriately to strangers as well as friends on both joyful and sorrowful occasions. (It is good that the PCC agreed last September that we open our church doors routinely on Wednesdays to allow people to venture in for private prayer or refreshment during daylight hours.)
As many of you will know, Canon Roy Arnold is presently recovering from a broken hip after a recent fall and I know both he and Hylda will value your prayers and ongoing support especially over the next few weeks of rehabilitation. We look forward to welcoming Roy back safe and well into our midst. Our good wishes also extend to Revd Dr Gary Bowness who has from time to time kindly offered his high-speed, in-depth ministry whilst the Vicar’s been away on other commitments during the past year! Gary will shortly be moving house to retire (properly this time) up to Lancaster in Blackburn Diocese. The Deanery will certainly miss him and we wish him God speed!
Last autumn we said a fond farewell to Revd Michael as he took up his new role of part-time Priest-in-charge at St Paul’s, Macclesfield. Whilst continuing as Michael’s mentor, as Rural Dean I am pleased to say that by the end of May 2017 six new incumbents will have been licensed or inducted to fill all fourteen vacancies that have arisen in parishes across our Deanery over the past three years! The only parishes that have in recent years retained their existing incumbents are Bollington, Gawsworth, Prestbury and Rainow! As we look to the future, it will be good to heed the warnings expressed elsewhere regarding our Parish Finances, since the trend is to amalgamate parishes where there is insufficient income to support a full-time Vicar in a single benefice. I’m grateful to Canon Taffy Davies who in retirement has returned to act as Chapter Clerk and to Richard Raymond for his continuing work as Deanery Lay Chair, as well as to Julie Brunt and David Marriott who have valiantly undertaken the other voluntary roles of Deanery Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Our ministry and outreach in this parish is greatly enhanced by our two church schools and our links across the whole Bollington Family of Schools, including our continuing close relationship with Dean Valley Community School. It is great to be able to report that both Bollington Cross School and Bollington St John’s School received excellent Ofsted results from the short inspections carried out in March this year! Do visit the website www.gov.uk/ofsted to read the full and detailed reports, which warmly commend our two Head Teachers, Mrs Downing and Mrs Walker, for their continued high quality leadership. We are blessed in having such dedicated staff, parents and governors whose efforts combine to offer a good and inspirational education to all our children. Please pray for the right choice of a new Head Teacher for Bollington Cross School as from September 2017 when Mrs Downing will have retired. Please also continue to uphold in your prayers the children of Pott Shrigley School, following the choice made by members of Pott Shrigley staff, parents and local community, for the Local Authority and the Diocese to dissolve the Federation which previously existed with Bollington St John’s, and which took effect on 28 February 2017.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to our two dedicated and equally hardworking Churchwardens, Hilary and Christine, who have greatly encouraged me in my calling as your parish priest and who, alongside the other members of the Ministry Team, continue to share a vision for the future thriving and growth of our church community here in Bollington and beyond.
(To read the whole Annual Report compiled by our Churchwardens concerning all the activities and events in our Parish during the year ending 30 April 2017, click here.)
Before dawn, a small group gathered at the entrance to the Church.
The new fire of Easter was kindled in a brazier.
The Light of Christ was proclaimed as the lit Paschal Candle was brought into the dark Church.
The Exsultet was sung; a call to celebrate the transforming Easter event of 2000 years ago:
Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory ﬁll you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy.
By candlelight, we listened to familiar bible stories of Creation, of Noah, of Moses leading the Israelites across the Red Sea…
Finally in the light of dawn, the Gospel of St John was proclaimed.
Everyone was given a bell or other musical instrument to make a joyful noise accompanied by an organ fanfare echoing the mighty song of all God’s people:
Christ is risen – he is risen indeed! Alleluia
[After the Eucharist we enjoyed showers of chocolate eggs and a glass of Buck’s Fizz in a haze of incense!]