Church service held in aid of disaster fund
A TRADITIONAL church service raised money for families affected by the Bosley disaster.
The annual rushbearing service was held at St Stephen’s Church in Forest Chapel in Macclesfield Forest in aid of a fund set up by the community after the explosion at the Bosley wood mill last month.
The rushbearing ceremony dates back hundreds of years to when fresh rushes were cut from the fields and laid to replace the old ones in the church as a carpet for visitors.
Rushes were cut and tied for display in the church for the service.
The service was led by Rev Steve Rathbone of Holy Trinity Rainow, Saltersford and Forest parish.
He welcomed the rural dean Veronica Hydon who took the outdoor sermon and spoke about the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Veronica brought a gift for Audrey Downes, who created floral displays.
People brought cakes, biscuits and cards to sell for the Bosley fund.
Rev John Harries – from the Sutton, Bosley, Wildboarclough and Wincle parishes – and the Earl of Derby read lessons, Rainow Church Choir sang and there was a solo by Eleanor Warrington, with organ music by Ann Potts.
Sarah McNaught, of the Parochial Church Council, said: “The day could not have happened without the rushes being cut by Tom Briggs, piled and divided by the Robinson boys, and plaited and woven by Cary, Andrew, Arthur and George Belfield.
“David and Sue Harrop’s garage across the road came in handy for serving refreshments.
“Then, upholding tradition, the rushes were scattered on the floor as done by generations in centuries past.
“Sincere thanks go to everyone who made the day so successful.”
Sarah’s books from her The Fandanzel Studio series are being sold in the church to raise money, alongside greetings cards and poems for more donations to the cause.
Mavis Belfield, a long-standing church member, wrote and illustrated a poem about the local countryside and created cards with flowers on to be sold.
The harvest service at Forest Chapel is on October 4 at 3pm. There is a Songs of Praise event on November 1 and the Carol Service will be on December 24, both at 3pm. All are welcome. Visitors are attracted to the chapel from all over the country due to its forest location.
●● Rushes are cut and tied for the display during the annual rushbearing harvest