In normal times, we would have hosted an Agape meal at St Oswald’s on the evening of Maundy Thursday. A (vaguely) Middle Eastern meal of roast lamb and unleavened bread (or a vegetarian option) followed by fruit and baklava, with wine and/or water.
At the end of the meal we would have taken turns to allow the person sitting next to us to wash our hands and dry them.
There would then have been a service of Holy Communion followed by a Watch of Prayer until midnight.
But this year we could not do this. Instead we had an Agape for two of us. At home.
In normal times, the Vicar would have attended a service at Chester Cathedral on the morning Maundy Thursday for the Blessing of Oils used for Baptisms and other services during the coming year. This service has had to be cancelled. (But fortunately we have sufficient Blessed Oil for the time being.)
Canon Veronica received this message from the Dean and Vice Dean: “Chester Cathedral wanted to give every church a gift when you attended the service on Maundy Thursday. Please accept this icon and prayer in lieu of the gift, with love from Chester Cathedral this Easter season.”
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.
Please sign up at the back of Church – maximum of 10 people per session.
First come – first served!
We’ll meet at 7.30pm to share in a simple celebration of holy Communion in a variety of venues, enjoy the hospitality kindly offered by members of our congregation, and take time to chat over a cup of tea or coffee afterwards, about anything that has interested you from our Lent Book. (Please share transport if possible!)
Six Lent Study Groups led by Anne Coomes and Canon Veronica, on Wednesday evenings in church, from 7.30pm till 9.00pm, starting Wednesday 8 March. Anyone is welcome to join us in reading Archbishop Rowan Williams’ little book called “Being Disciples”. Refreshments provided. Please sign up on the list at the back of church if you’d like to come along for any or all of these weekly sessions.
Don’t let yourself be miserable this Lent! Join a new Lent Group instead!
On Shrove Tuesday 9 February at 7.00pm, those who have decided to join in the series of Lent Groups this year (jointly with Rainow parishioners) will have the chance to watch the epic film “Les Miserables” together at Holy Trinity Church, Rainow (even to sing along perhaps?!) and to enjoy one another’s company over light refreshments. Don’t forget to bring your hankies! The Lent Course we’ve chosen to follow explores some of the themes and characters from this moving and well-known story, and has been put together in a little book entitled “Another Story Must Begin” written by Jonathan Meyer, a parish priest in Oxfordshire.
Following on from us all watching the film together on Shrove Tuesday, Steve Rathbone, Michael Fox and I will between us lead one session each week over the next five weeks, and anyone from either congregation will be most welcome to sign up to take part. Over the course of five weeks, we will each be offering the same content for that week’s session but on different days and at different venues and times, to offer flexibility for those taking part alongside your other commitments. You’ll be able to mix and match if you like! So, as mentioned in the Winter edition of Church News, the pattern will be as follows:
Mondays 1.30pm till 3.00pm, at Holy Trinity, Rainow: led by Revd Steve Rathbone (from 15 February to 14 March incl.)
Tuesdays 7.30pm till 9.00pm, at a variety of homes across the two parishes: led mostly by Revd Michael Fox (from 16 February to 15 March incl.)
Wednesdays 7.30pm till 9.00pm, at St Oswald’s, Bollington: led by Canon Veronica Hydon (from 17 February to 16 March incl.)
It promises to be an engaging course, reflecting on God’s grace worked out in our own lives and in the lives of Victor Hugo’s characters as portrayed in the film. You’ll be singing all the songs by heart before we’ve finished! It will also be good to meet with our Christian companions from across the parish boundary in Rainow and so be able to look up at White Nancy in future from a different perspective when we greet the Easter dawn and celebrate the time when Jesus brings us all home! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up on the sheets at the back of the church to say you’d like to join in with this Lenten journey. Thank you!