Music For Remembrance

This week’s Music for Remembrance Concert was very well attended, especially for a mid-week event, and the choir were superb. The programme, which  included music by Farrant, Stanford, Aston and Sumsion, was ambitious but executed with musicality and enthusiasm.

The Allegri Miserere is a particularly treacherous piece to pull off, but went very well. Our chorister Maddy, who is only 13, sang the high first soprano part in the semi-chorus with ease and poise.  Tina, Gill and Peter who, as always, sang with musicality and assurance joined Maddy in the semi-chorus. Maddy and Peter also sang the solo sections in Gabriel  Faure’s Requiem, which we sang after the interval.

Our thanks to Jonathan Kingston who once again came to play the organ.

With Advent Sunday only 3 weeks away and our first Christmas engagement next week, we have a very busy time ahead. The choir continues to show a high  level of commitment and dedication.

 

Martin Baker

Simon on the Streets collection

A massive thank you to everyone in our congregation who put pound coins in the Bells Whisky Bottle at the back of Church.

As a result of the donations, we have been  able to present £1,944 to the homeless charity Simon on the Streets, a wonderful local charity in West Yorkshire who do so much for those struggling with homelessness and addiction.

 

It really is is going to make a big difference to peoples’ lives.  Thankyou!

Opening of St Oswald’s Parish Centre

The Centre, on Church Street,  is the result of a conversion of disused buildings behind the New Inn in Guiseley.  MP Stuart Andrew cut the ribbon at the official ceremony on Sunday and declared it officially open, watched by many parishioners and friends of the Church.

Fr David Pickett commented that “This is a momentous day for our Parish.  We have been in need of a Church Centre for many years and thanks to the commitment of our PCC we now have this fantastic facility. Brian Gill spotted the building last year and thanks to his vision we now have a modern Parish Centre which will be used for a whole range of functions.”

The Centre, which was once attached to the New Inn and housed a dance floor, has been completely renovated and fitted and with a kitchen, and now has two floors connected with a stair lift.

Father David Pickett hopes that the accessibility of the building and its central location in Guiseley will make a useful addition to the wider community.

Sunday’s Gospel reading was Matthew 5:1-12, the Sermon on the Mount, and we hope that this Centre will act as a force for good within our community, particularly for those on the margins of society.

Confirmation Service 2017

In October 2017, eleven people were confirmed at St Oswald’s Church at our morning service.  The service was led by Rt Revd Paul Slater, Bishop of Richmond, who told us he was happy to be back at St Oswald’s as he conducted his very first confirmation service here 2 years ago.

And a certain person particularly enjoyed the buffet afterwards…

 

Supporting Jubilee Outreach Yorkshire

Shoeboxes have started arriving at Church for our 2017 Shoebox Appeal.  We are supporting Shipley-based charity Jubilee Outreach Yorkshire.

Jubilee Outreach Yorkshire is an Ecumenical Christian Charity which is voluntarily run by a small dedicated staff in Windhill, Shipley. They provide aid and funds, primarily to Romania, but also to other 3rd world situations, including:

  • Malawi
  • Nigeria
  • Fiji
  • Tanzania.

If you would like to donate a shoebox to support the appeal, please download the Christmas Box form, and drop it into Church on or before Sunday 5th November

Pilgrimage to Flanders, Summer 2017

St Oswald’s Church Pilgrimage to Flanders
25-29 June 2017

Our pilgrimage to Flanders started with a 5.35am departure from outside of the church and after a couple of comfort breaks we embarked on the ferry to France.  Once over the channel it took a little over an hour and a half to arrive at our hotel at Neuville-en-Ferrain in France.  After unpacking, a change of clothes and dinner, most of us headed for bed.

Day 1.  We departed for Ypres at 9.30am and met with our guide, the very knowledgeable Simone, who stayed with us for the rest of the day.  Our first stop was at the Essex Farm cemetery where Simone explained that all Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries followed the same format.  All had the cross of sacrifice with a downward pointing sword denoting that for the dead the struggle was over and an altar on a plinth for those killed but who have no known grave.  Here we also visited the grave of  a 14-year old boy who is reputed to be the youngest British soldier to die during WW1.  From Essex Farm we visited the rather splendid Welsh WW1 Memorial at Langemark with the monument consisting of a red bronze dragon mounted on 3 blue pennant stones.  Then onto Tyne Cot (the largest British military cemetery in the world) before moving on to the German Military cemetery, also at Langemark, where the remains of over 44,000 soldiers have been laid to rest.

Day 2.  Today our pilgrimage saw us visiting the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge, the tank memorial near the town of Albert, France,  and the memorial to the Australians who perished during the Somme battles.  While stopping for lunch at Albert some of us took the opportunity to visit the basilica where during the war the golden virgin holding the Christ child on the basilica’s tower was shelled by the Germans into a near horizontal position.  Following the German capture of the town in 1918, the statue was brought down by British artillery.  The basilica and the entire town were completely destroyed but were reconstructed after the war.  After lunch we made our way to Arras and its beautiful central square.  Then to the awesome Thiepval Memorial dedicated to the Missing of the Battle of the Somme before finishing off at the WW1 museum at Perrone.  Our guide for the day was Conrad and it was this gentleman who arranged transport for Ron Cooke to visit the grave of a relative at another cemetery not on our itinerary.

Day 3.  This morning was free without any planned visits.  After lunch we headed to the WW1 Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 at Ypres.   This museum contains an extremely realistic recreation of a British dugout.  It was so realistic a workshop, office, kitchen, dormitories etc., that one could almost imagine being there in the middle of the conflict. The museum also has recreations of both British and German trenches and an example of wooden temporary housing used by the civilian population after the war when the battlefields and towns were being cleared and reconstruction was taking place.  All in all a very worthwhile trip. Wednesday evening was perhaps the highlight of the entire tour when we were at the magnificent Menin Gate for the extremely moving Last Post ceremony.  A ceremony that takes place every evening at 8.00pm.  The Menin Gate, built into the city’s ancient walls, is a memorial to all the missing of the Ypres Salient of WW1 and contains the names of over 54,000 servicemen.  After the period of silence Fr David, Ron Cooke and Maggie Whitaker laid a wreath of remembrance.

Day 4.  Thursday morning at 8.30am saw us on the coach beginning our 14-hour journey back to Guiseley, arriving at St Oswald’s shortly after 10.00pm.  Overall a tiring but moving, humbling and thought provoking trip.

Stand-out memories of the pilgrimage

  • Fr David singing the first verse of the Welsh National Anthem at the Welsh Memorial.
  • The Tyne Cot cemetery containing 12,000 gravestones and 34,000 names of the missing.
  • The superlative Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge that is made from stone imported from Croatia.
  • The impressive cemetery at Arras, that is intended to look like an English garden.
  • The remarkable Thievpal Memorial dedicated to the Missing.
  • The Last Post at the Menin Gate.
  • The obvious care taken in maintaining all Commonwealth war cemeteries in a pristine condition.
  • The spirituality, sense of futility and the sheer scale of numbers involved.
  • The wonderful fellowship of those attending

And finally, who can forget the incident of the one now known as “The Guiseley Case” – to protect the guilty no name is mentioned – but passports, luggage and immigration may help in identifying the person and circumstances involved!

Mary Sumner – founder of the Mothers’ Union

MARY SUMNER – FOUNDER OF THE MOTHERS UNION

The Mothers’ Union is now more than 140 years old. It has accomplished a staggering amount in that time, and nowadays numbers more than four million members, doing good work in 83 countries. That is a far cry from the modest circle of prayer for mothers who care about family life, which is how it all began with a rector’s wife, Mary Sumner.

Mary was born in late 1828 in Swinton, near Manchester. When she was four, her family moved to Herefordshire. Mary’s father, Thomas Heywood, was a banker and historian. Her mother has been described as a woman of “faith, charm and sympathy” – qualities which Mary certainly inherited. Mrs. Heywood also held informal ‘mothers’ meetings’ at her home to encourage local women. Those meetings may well have inspired Mary’s later work.

Mary was educated at home, spoke three foreign languages, and sang well. While in her late teens, on a visit to Rome she met George Sumner, a son of the Bishop of Winchester. His was a well-connected family: George’s uncle became Archbishop of Canterbury, and his second cousin was William Wilberforce. Mary and George married in July 1848, soon after his ordination. They moved to Old Alresford in 1851 and had three children: Margaret, Louis and George. Mary dedicated herself to raising her children and supporting her husband’s ministry by providing music and Bible classes.

When in 1876 Mary’s eldest daughter Margaret gave birth, Mary was reminded how difficult she had found the burden of motherhood. Soon she decided to hold a meeting to which she invited the local women not only of her own class, but also all the village mothers. Her aim was to find out if women could be brought together to offer each other prayer and mutual support in their roles as wives and mothers. That meeting at Old Alresford Rectory was the inaugural meeting of the Mothers’ Union.

For 11 years, the Mothers’ Union was limited to Old Alresford. Then in 1885 the Bishop of Newcastle invited Mary to address the women churchgoers of the Portsmouth Church Congress, some 20 miles away. Mary gave a passionate speech about the poor state of national morality, and the vital need for women to use their vocation as mothers to change the nation for the better. A number of the women present went back to their parishes to found mothers’ meetings on Sumner’s pattern.

Soon, the Mothers’ union spread to the dioceses of Ely, Exeter, Hereford, Lichfield and Newcastle. By 1892, there were already 60,000 members in 28 dioceses, and by 1900 there were 169,000 members. By the time Mary died in 1921, she had seen MU cross the seas and become an international organization of prayer and good purpose.