Harvest Festival 2018

We enjoyed a  wonderful Harvest Festival service and communal lunch at St Oswald’s School.  Harvest  also marked the end of our three week Time & Talents campaign, asking people to offer their time and talent to our two churches: St Oswald’s Guiseley and St Paul’s Esholt.

Well done and thank you to all those who have put in so much effort, both today and the last few weeks, we are truly blessed to have you.
The produce – generously given by the congregation at our 9.30 service – has been donated to  Bradford North Foodbank.

Harvest Festival – Sunday 30th October – A Message from Bradford North Foodbank

This year we are supporting Bradford North foodbank – can you help?

Please bring any of the following items to our service at 9.30am on Sunday 30th September.  Your donations will be passed on to the foodbank.

Bradford North Foodbank provides  emergency food parcels to people in crisis in the North Bradford / Shipley postcodes (BD2, BD9, BD10, BD17, BD18) plus the Rawdon, Yeadon or Guiseley postcodes (LS19 & LS20).

Since opening in Bradford, in early 2015, we have handed out over 4,200 food parcels feeding nearly 10,000 local people. The numbers of people in need are increasing for various reasons such as the ongoing economic austerity measures, which disproportionately affect the most
vulnerable in our society, and the introduction of Universal Credit in our area.

As ‘numbers fed’ increase so our food stocks decrease. Over the past year, we have had to purchase over £2,000 worth of food, because donations have been insufficient to supply our foodbank centres. We really need your help to build up our food and non-food stocks for the winter period.
Harvest Festival is a key time for us to receive donations for our emergency food parcels and last year churches, schools and businesses donated just over 7 tonnes of food – 23.4% of our annual donation total.

This contributed to the 1,698 food parcels we distributed during the 2017 – 2018 year, feeding 2,365 adults and 1,522 children. 39% of the people we feed are children.

Seven Last Posts. Friday 2nd November.

To mark the centenary of the end of WWI,the Parish of Saint Oswald Guiseley and Saint Paul in Esholt, are offering much in the way of commemoration and remembrance to the fallen. None more so than Seven Last Posts – a reflection in  words and music – on Friday 2nd November.

Do join us in this act of remembrance and feel the words and music as they take us to an age long past, but not forgotten.


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.

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!