Easter and Holy Week

Our Parish has  had a wonderful weekend of Easter events.

It all started with Maundy Thursday and the Liturgy of the Last Supper, followed on Friday morning with our Children’s Easter Event,  then a change of mood for our solemn liturgy.  On Friday evening there was an impeccable rendition of The Crucifixion by Sir John  Stainer, sung by our fantastic choir with an audience of over 100 people.

On Saturday evening we celebrated the first Eucharist of Easter and the Service of Light,  followed by our Easter Day services on Sunday in a flower-filled church.


Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make this weekend so special; you are all an inspiration.

Fr David Pickett

Rector of Guiseley with Esholt

Lent 2018

Ash Wednesday on February 14th marks the start of Lent, and this year our six week Lent Course will begin on Monday 19th March and look at the Beatitudes. 

A few short sentences, the Beatitudes are perhaps the most important, subversive and revolutionary text in the Bible. They sum up Jesus’ teaching about what it means to live as a child of God’s kingdom. They can be found right at the beginning of a long passage of teaching by Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, known as the Sermon on the Mount.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Join us in St Oswald’s Parish Centre from 7-9pm every Monday in Lent for a course of study and meditation, led by our Rector, Fr David Pickett.

Happy New Year

As we begin 2018, the Rector and PCC of the Parish of Guiseley with Esholt would like to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful New Year.

From pilgrimages and parades to a new parish centre, from Messy Church to Movember, we’ve been busy in 2017,  and we hope you enjoy just a few highlights:



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…


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!