Poignant ser­vice sees 100 at­tend

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY TRAGEDY: ONE WEEK ON - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

MORE than a hun­dred peo­ple packed St Mary the Vir­gin Church in Bosley ex­actly a week af­ter the mill ex­plo­sion which has shat­tered the ru­ral com­mu­nity.

The mov­ing prayer event, on Fri­day morn­ing, in­cluded a two-minute si­lence and the hymns ‘The Lord is My Shep­herd’ and ‘Abide with Me’.

The ser­vice, led by the Vicar of Bosley, the Revd Dr John Har­ries, started just af­ter 9am and the twominute si­lence was held shortly af­ter 9.10am, to co­in­cide with the ex­plo­sion last week.

John Har­ries said ev­ery­one had gath­ered to sup­port and com­fort each other for “those who have died; those in­jured; those who have lost their jobs”.

Fam­i­lies of work­ers killed and in­jured in the ex­plo­sion were at the prayer ser­vice.

Among the clergy present were the Archdea­con of Ch­ester, the Ven Ian Bishop, and the Rec­tor of Gawsworth, the Rt Rev Wil­liam Pwaisiho.

Bosley Vicar John Har­ries said: “Peo­ple here are in deep shock, strug­gling to come to terms with all that’s hap­pened.

“So many lo­cal peo­ple had con­nec­tions to the mill go­ing back gen­er­a­tions. It was seen to be in­te­gral to the com­mu­nity – and now it’s gone.”

The Methodist min­is­ter in Bosley, the Rev Pam But­ler, was also there. She as­sured those who were suf­fer­ing that the Lord would “set­tle their rac­ing thoughts and help them to know that they will not stand alone in grief”.

Rel­a­tives of those caught up in the ex­plo­sion joined Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley, se­nior po­lice offic- ers, civic lead­ers and oth­ers af­fected, in light­ing eight can­dles at the front of the church – four for the three dead and one still miss­ing; and four for peo­ple be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal.

Ear­lier this week Vicar John Har­ries called on ev­ery­one to pray for the vil­lage and ev­ery­one af­fected by the ex­plo­sion – as did the Bishop of Stock­port, the Rt Rev Libby Lane.

St Mary’s re­mains open daily for prayers, the light­ing of can­dles, and a lis­ten­ing ear.

Work­ing with Cheshire East Coun­cil, parish­ioners have been as­sist­ing with a ‘help hub’ lo­cated at the vil­lage school, St Mary’s CE pri­mary.

Bishop Libby said: “As a dio­cese, along­side the lo­cal parish, we con­tinue to hold in our prayers all those af­fected by the ex­plo­sion at Wood Flour Mills. In this time of per­sonal and com­mu­nity tragedy, we ex­tend what­ever care we can, of­fer­ing both prac­ti­cal and spir­i­tual sup­port.”

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley, who at­tended the ser­vice, said: “It was a very mov­ing and touch­ing ser­vice.

“Lo­cal vicar John Har­ries and the lo­cal Methodist church leader re­ally mea­sured the mood well and gave a ser­vice that ap­pealed to a packed con­gre­ga­tion.

“It was

par­tic­u­larly mov­ing to meet with more fam­ily mem­bers of those who are miss­ing and whose fam­ily mem­bers have been hurt in this tragic ac­ci­dent.

“Ev­ery­one who at­tended came away feel­ing how strong this com­mu­nity is and how it has pulled to­gether.”

●● St Mary the Vir­gin Church was packed out ex­actly a week af­ter the tragedy

●● Fam­i­lies make their way to the church

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