Church ser­vice held in aid of dis­as­ter fund

Macclesfield Express - - HEART OF THE COMMUNITY -

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

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