COVID-19 Update

We are planning to open up the church building again very soon, albeit necessarily in a socially distanced way! The PCC will be meeting again on Sunday morning 20 September 2020 and among other things we will be discussing a timetable for re-opening our church building for public worship.

Please see the protocol below (click on it to see a larger version that you can print off for reference):

Please do let the Vicar or Churchwardens know if you are self-isolating, or if you are aware of someone else who might need us to keep in contact with them by phone for reassurance or to assist with shopping etc.
Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.
Thank you.

Bollington Church News September 2020

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A hymn for Saint Oswald’s Day

The hymn In our day of thanksgiving is often sung on the occasion of a Patronal Festival.

It is also appropriate to be sung “in remembrance of past worshippers”.

The hymn was written by Revd William Henry Draper (1855-1933). He wrote a number of hymns, the best-known being All creatures of our God and King (an English translation of words from St Francis of Assisi). He served as curate and vicar at churches in Shrewsbury among other posts. He married three times; as well as being widowed twice, three of his sons died in WW1.

The tune St Catherine’s Court was composed by Richard Strutt (1848-1927). He was the son of the Second Baron Rayleigh and was educated at Winchester and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He worked for an American bank in London, and joined the London Stock Exchange. He served as Warden and Choirmaster for over three decades at St. John’s Church, Wilton Road, London. His interests were wide ranging: He was a Fellow of the Philharmonic, Horticultural, and Zoological Societies, served on the Council of the Corporation of the Church House, and was involved with the North China and Shantung Mission, the Gregorian Society, and the Church Music Society. This seems to be the only hymn tune of his that has been published.

St Catherine’s Court

IN our day of thanksgiving one psalm let us offer
For the saints who before us have found their reward;
When the shadow of death fell upon them, we sorrowed,
But now we rejoice that they rest in the Lord.

In the morning of life, and at noon, and at even,
He called them away from our worship below;
But not till his love, at the font and the altar,
Had girt them with grace for the way they should go.

These stones that have echoed their praises are holy,
And dear is the ground where their feet have once trod;
Yet here they confessed they were strangers and pilgrims,
And still they were seeking the city of God.

Sing praise then, for all who here sought and here found him,
Whose journey is ended, whose perils are past:
They believed in the Light; and its glory is round them,
Where the clouds of earth’s sorrow are lifted at last.

Oswald was born into the Northumbrian Royal Family in 604, the son of Ethelfrith. When in 616 his uncle Edwin killed the king, the 12-year old Oswald fled to Scotand with his brothers and sister, and at St. Columba’s great Celtic monastery of Iona was converted to Christianity.

After the death of Edwin in 633 Oswald returned to Northumbria and was crowned king. The following year he fought and killed Cadwalla, king of the Welsh in the battle of Heavenfield, near Hexham. Oswald had a vision of Columba the night before the battle, in which he was told “Be strong and act manfully. Behold, I will be with thee. This coming night go out from your camp into battle, for the Lord has granted me that at this time your foes shall be put to flight and Cadwallon your enemy shall be delivered into your hands and you shall return victorious after battle and reign happily.”

Oswald later extended his kingdom southward and westward and invited St. Aidan to come from Iona to spread Christianity in this pagan area.

A monastery was founded in Lindisfarne which became a base for the missionary journeys of King and Bishop throughout the kingdom. Churches were built e.g. the foundation of the later York Minster; mission cells spread the Celtic traditions of St. Columba across northern England. Many villagers were converted, youths educated in monastic centres, the poor shepherds and cowherds gathered to hear the word of God, the sick were healed and the destitute fed and clothed.

Throughout his eight-year rule Oswald established law and order, and fought physically and spiritually to benefit his people In 642 he led his forces against King Penda of Mercia at the battle of Maserfeld* where he was killed and his body dismembered. His followers recovered his head and his brother, Oswy, sent the holy relics to Lindisfarne where it became an object of veneration during the life of St. Cuthbert.

Reginald of Durham recounts a miracle, saying that Oswald’s right arm was taken by a raven to an ash tree, which gave the tree ageless vigour; when the bird dropped the arm onto the ground, a spring emerged from the ground. Both the tree and the spring were, according to Reginald, subsequently associated with healing miracles. The raven is shown in the icon.

Oswald was canonised in 692 and his feast is kept on 5th August. During the Viking raids in 875 the monks fled from Lindisfarne and carried their relics with them, including the body of St. Cuthbert, the head of St. Oswald and the Lindisfarne Gospels through many flights and wanderings over many decades. Eventually, after nearly 200 years the relics were interred in Durham Cathedral.

*The site of the battle of Maserfeld is traditionally identified with Oswestry in Shropshire; arguments have been made for and against the accuracy of this identification.

Bollington Church News: July 2020

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The online version is limited to 30 pages. One of the missing pages is “Mouse makes” from Parish pump. The full version of the magazine can be downloaded here. You can (if you wish) print individual pages from the download.

Bollington Church News – June 2020

The online version of our Parish Newsletter

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This is a new way to read Church News.

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Bollington Church News

Our Parish Magazine

We have for many years had a parish magazine printed for sale and distribution either monthly or (more recently) bi-monthly. It has been available to members of our congregation, but also to a wider public who do not attend St Oswald’s on a regular basis.

The COVID-19 emergency has forced us to reconsider how we we can handle the publication of “Bollington Church News” during a lock-down.

We have decided, as an experiment, to produce an online magazine, which can be read on your computer screen. It is in effect a conventional magazine layout that can be read without the need to print it out. All you need to do is download it*.

*Your normal browser may allow you to open and read the magazine, but if not you will need a pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. This will work on both PC and Apple Mac, and is free to download and use. Other pdf readers are available. Acrobat download link here.

It probably won’t be so easy to read on the small screen of a mobile phone – this would require a fully electronic version, which is not envisaged for the time being in view of the work required to achieve it.

When you open the file, you can read it either with full page width, or with one page per screen. If you use a tablet, it will be best to view it in portrait mode so that a page will fit on a whole screen.

It is possible to print off the magazine if you wish, but please note that there are 40 pages! (It is also possible -if you really want to – to print it in booklet form, double sided, so that you can reassemble it into a conventional format).

Download your copy by clicking here.

(You may find it easier to read if you save the document to your computer and re-open it with a pdf reader.)

We will be printing a limited number of copies for those we know do not have easy access to a computer.

We would welcome feedback about this experimental online publication. In particular:

  • Would you like the online edition to continue?
  • Can we reduce the number of printed copies? (to save print costs – although for the time being we are incurring some postage charges)
  • Is there sufficient demand for a fully electronic edition, readable on any device?
  • Are there specific topics you would like us to cover?
  • Can YOU contribute any articles? (even if in note form that an editor can develop)
  • Can YOU help to produce the magazine?

Please use this feedback form to give us your views:

Thank you

Easter Vigil

Veronica sings the Exultet – the Easter Proclamation – at dusk. The only light in the church is provided by the Easter candle.

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 fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Saviour shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends, standing with me in this holy light, join me in asking God for mercy, that he may give his unworthy minister grace to sing his Easter praises.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father.


This is our Passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night when first you saved our ancestors: you freed the people of Israel from their slavery, and led them dry-shod feet through the sea.

This is the night when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.

The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth, and we are reconciled to God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night, receive our sacrifice of praise, your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honour of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star, which never sets, find this flame still burning.

Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all humankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Amen.