Due to the severity of the Pandemic, we have been given permission to suspend all Public Worship until further notice.
On a personal note, if anyone has any content they would like publishing on the Blog, please do get in touch with me. I am currently home schooling 3 children so help with items to add onto this Blog would be gratefully appreciated.
The next Parish Magazine will be published shortly. If anyone would like to be included on the distribution list, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email it over once it’s finalised.
The lovely folks from St Michael and All Angels, Runcorn invite you to join their zoom Coffee Mornings on Mondays. This is a fabulous opportunity to meet other Christians from across the Diocese for coffee and chat.
or at https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.runcornstmichaels.org.uk%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR14YNfnL22fEdz6dwzmbZVdpCdwJ84T4REzBzRMp1TH_YUV5p_x7wdZQkU&h=AT0iU9A-X76dq-1WhpyXWZo-ALaJM3NOWyC1A_MJdugOhzDIYBfa5TrZuCZE_9bmA39aoU-M2YuNDE4KBnW2v7OXwuqnE1rmm-VlCLwwmWrPJOBx91OcVOx0oYZw-JMy_Jf78kYpS5CPjY0sfHI
Great news! 🥰 The advertisement for our next incumbent has now been posted onto the Chester Diocesan website under the “Clergy Vacancies” section: ⭐https://www.chester.anglican.org/ ⭐ Please pray for our Archdeacon, our Patron and particularly our two parish representatives tasked with selecting a new Vicar for Bollington and pray for all those priests who are considering applying for the now vacant post 😇 that together they may rightly discern God’s call and that the best choice may be made for the continued thriving of our congregation and local community 🙏
Closing date for applications 07 February 2021; interviews 24 February 2021 🙏
Following announcement of the national lockdown, we are incredibly disappointed to announce that our 2021 Collection can no longer go ahead as planned this weekend. We are so sorry to have had to make this decision, but the safety all those involved must come first.
This is a devastating blow to East Cheshire Hospice after an extremely challenging year for fundraising, having been unable to hold a major fundraising event since the last Christmas Tree Collection in January 2020! 💔
See https://www.facebook.com/echtrees/ for more information.
I just wanted to thank you all so much for the amazingly generous gifts which were presented to Dave and me recently by the Ministry Team at St Oswald’s. It was really lovely to have not only the two current but also three of the former Churchwardens with us on that occasion as well, as the relationship between Vicar and Wardens is such an important one! I certainly feel I am leaving the congregation in very good and capable hands with Christine and Hilary heading up the Team from now on into the vacancy 😊.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the cheque we received and were very moved when we were told that contributions had come in not just from members of the congregation but from across the whole parish too! It was indeed very humbling but also lovely to know how much our ministry together here has been appreciated.
The flowers are beautiful, the lavish hamper is delightfully delicious-looking, and the cheque is absolutely stunning! We shall certainly enjoy (probably necessarily post-lockdown!) a fantastic gourmet “weekend” away somewhere splendid, just as you all envisaged 😊. Please convey our warmest thanks to everyone concerned and, needless to say, we shall miss you all as we embark on the unenviable task of seeking out a new place in which to worship on a regular basis from the start of the New Year 😊. It’ll be very hard to find anywhere in which we will feel quite as “at home” as we have here amongst the congregation of St Oswald’s, with its ever-expanding age-range, its sense of fun and common purpose, its dedicated “behind-the-scenes” workforce, its innovative and attractive ministry with children and families, its generous support of charities beyond itself, its sociability and flexibility, its increasingly warm welcome to strangers and friends alike, its care for the elderly and vulnerable, its excellent new facilities for offering hospitality, its willingness through a succession of foundation governors and other volunteers to support and care for local schoolchildren and staff, and its varied pattern of services in the liberal catholic style of worship! Whoever the next Vicar is will certainly be very blessed!
Welcome to 2021’s first blog post of the year. I (Liz Thomas) will be publishing the blog posts from now on. Dave has retired from writing these along with Veronica so that they may have a very well deserved rest during their retirement. Dave assures me that he will help wherever needed. Something tells me I’ll need his help just to get this email sent out!! The blog posts will probably be weekly from now on as I get a hand of the website and blog.
The questions asked in the opening words of this hymn could seem appropriate to many of us as we come to the end of the year 2020. But in fact they are the start of a poem written over a thousand years ago by a Greek monk who lived in Palestine.
Saint Stephen the Sabaite (725-794) was left in the monastery of Mar Saba by his uncle at the age of ten, and spent the rest of his life there. By his mid-twenties, he felt so drawn to a life of seclusion and contemplation, he asked the abbot of the community for permission to self-isolate as a hermit. Due to the great skill in giving spiritual direction he already showed at that young age, the abbot gave him limited permission. The condition was that he make himself available to others on weekends.
He is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church, his name-day being 10 November in the Gregorian Calendar (28 October in the Julian Calendar as used in parts of the Orthodox Church)
The Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas, known in Syriac as Mar Saba, is a Greek Orthodox monastery overlooking the Kidron Valley at a point halfway between the Old City of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
The poem was translated by Revd John Mason Neale (1818-1866). Not all the stanzas are used for the hymn; the missing ones are shown below. It’s understandable that congregations might not want to sing eleven verses, but stanzas 5-7 (in particular) are a key part of the whole poem.
The tune Stephanos was written for this hymn by Revd (Sir) Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877). He was ordained in 1844 and was vicar of Monkland (near Leominster) from 1851 until his death. (In 1851 he also became 3rd Baronet Baker of Dunstable House.) He was the first compiler and editor of Hymns Ancient and Modern. His best-known hymn is The King of Love my Shepherd is; among his other hymns are Lord, Thy Word abideth, O praise ye the Lord and We love the place O God.
 Art thou weary, art thou languid, art thou sore distressed? Come to me, saith one, and coming be at rest.
 Hath he marks to lead me to him if he be my Guide? In his feet and hands are wound-prints, and his side.
 Hath he diadem as Monarch that his brow adorns? Yea, a crown in very surety, but of thorns!
 If I find him, if I follow, what my portion here? Many a sorrow, many a labour, many a tear.
 If I still hold closely to him, what hath he at last? Sorrow vanquished, labour ended, Jordan past.
 If I ask him to receive me, will he say me nay? Not till earth and not till Heaven pass away.
 Finding, following, keeping, struggling, is he sure to bless? Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs, answer, “Yes.”
[5, 6, 7] Is this all He hath to give me in my life below? “Joy unspeakable and glorious thou shalt know.
All thy sins shall be forgiven, all things work for good; Thou shalt Bread of Life from heaven have for food.
From the fountains of salvation thou shalt water draw; Sweet shall be thy meditation – in God’s Law.”
 Festal palms and crown of glory, robes in blood washed white, God in Christ His people’s temple, where there is no light.”
This is the last scheduled posting in this collection of about 200 Sing-Along Hymns. The full list can be found here.