The Parish of St Agatha's Easby with St Agatha's Skeeby,
St Paul's Brompton on Swale and St Mary's Bolton on Swale
Easter morning began with a dawn Eucharist in the grounds of Easby Abbey, which was attended by 36 adults and 8 children, we shared breakfast in the church after the service. There was then a Eucharist service at St Mary's Bolton on Swale, with Reverned Yvonne, we were 35 adults and 5 children, who all shared Easter Eggs after the service. At 11am Reverend Mary Williams took the Eucharist Service in St Agatha's in Skeeby, thank you Mary for sharing your ministry among us on such a special day of the year. Whilst Mary was at Skeeby, Yvonne took a Eucharist at St Paul's, Brompton on Swale and had the privilege and the joy of baptising Laszlo and Evie, whilst also talking about the transformation of the resurreciton, for the disciples of the day and for the disciples of today.
Low Saturday and Easter Day
We held a service of vigil in the church of St Agatha, where we journeyed through the days of Holy Week using the stations from Palm Sunday. After the service the young people stayed for an evening of fun, games, story, prayer, film, popcorn and pizza as we slept in the church in readiness for the dawn service on Easter Morning. Thank you to Sian, Liz and Rachel, for all of your hard work in preparing all we needed for this time in Easby. Thanks must go to the local police, for ensuring our safety overnight and keeping an eye on us.
Churches Together Good Friday
We held a service of reflection in the church of St Paul, where Yvonne led us through the incarnation of Jesus to the crucifixion, whilst remembering that Jesus did not have to do this, but Jesus did choose to do these things for each and every one of us.
After the service many of us set off along the banks of the River Swale carrying the cross between us, and reflecting along the way.
At 2pm we sat at the foot of the cross whilst Brother Robert lead us through the last hour of Jesus, and the misunderstandings by those around who witnessed the crucifiction.
Throughout Lent we have looked at the film "It's a wonderful life." each week we looked at life and the elements brought out by the film through the character of George Bailey.
Lent Book Group
A big thank you to Wray's Cafe for hosting a group of us from the parish us as we read the book Dethroning Mammon by Justin Welby throughout Lent. The book helped us to look at what we value in life and how we might wish to look again at the things which we let hold reign in our lives instead of the ways of God.
Open2All Lambing Service
Thank you to William Barker, for loaning us your beautiful lambs for our lambing service this year, we had a great time making junk model sheep as we learned to listen for the voice of Jesus calling us over the voices of others all around us.
At our January Open2All service we celebrated the visit of the Wise Men to the manger, and learnt about the gifts they brought by using them in our prayer stations. We also learnt bit about the Baptisim of Jesus in the River Jordan by his cousin John.
Christmas Tree Blessing
On the 4th of December we held a Christmas Tree Blessing service. It was such a joy to see so many at our service of Blessing The Christmas tree, where young and old heard the story of God among us, where we were again reminded of the willing vulnerability of God among us as a baby still surprises us.
On Saturday the 3rd of December we held a Bake off at St Francis Xavier school. All the yummy bakes were made so that they can be donated to the Food Bank at St George's Crypt and also the clients who use the Crypt itself. Being Christians means that we belong to a big family and even when we are helping those in Leeds we are still helping our brothers and sisters. "Your Kingdom Come Lord."
Christingle and Posada
A wonderful time was had by all who attended the Parish Christingle and Posada service at St Mary's Bolton on Swale on Sunday the 27th of December. Nearly 100 Christingles were made from the Goodies kindly donated by Tesco's and four bags of Posada Character's were handed out to start their travels around the parish and schools.
Open2All Queen's Birthday Party
On the afternoon of the 12th of June. The Open2All service's theme was The Queen and the King she serves. We made prayer chains, crowns, we decorated crown biscuits, glued the handbag on the queen... We will find out who won soon... Lots of fun was had by all who attended and some very delicious food and cakes were enjoyed by all.
The Opening of the reflective garden at St Mary's CofE Primary, Bolton on Swale.
Bishop James joined us as we prepared to have the official opening of the new reflective garden at St Mary's. Bishop James asked the children and staff lots of questions about who they are, how they understand themselves and how they care about each other and the wider community. It was a joy to see a child from each class help Bishop James open the garden by cutting the ribbon with him and sharing time together in the story telling chair.
Open2All Lambing Service
This year we had two ten day old lambs loaned to us by John and Sue Earle, as we welcomed The Venerable Bev Mason our Archdeacon to our Lambing Service. We gave thanks of the sheep farmers, the land, the sun, the rain and our Lord. We had lots of craft and activities with Sian spinning wool, each of us making lamb cupcion lots of lamb craft, including pom-pom lambs, there was a reflective space where we asked ourselves the deeper questions of what is harvest and how are we to be part of it? We shared refreshments conversation and fellowship as we worhisped.
Low Saturday Sleep over
After the vigil service, we had a sleep over for the young people in our parish. The evening consisted of lots of Easter craft, including an Easter Garden, an Easter Prayer Tree and Easter Rocky Road Cake for Easter Morning after the dawn service in the Abbey. We were delighted to offer breakfast to those
We held an Easter Vigil Service at the Church of St Agatha, Easby, however the rain was so bad that we could not have the brazier outside, we held our vigil in church, each of us lighting candles as a reminder of our baptism and Jesus being the light of the world whom darkness and death could not hold.
As Churches Together we met for our worship in The Methodists Chapel, Brompton on Swale, after which many of us walked along the banks of the river Swale in pilgrimage, stopping along the way for prayer and reflection. At Scorton we stopped for lunch in the Chapel and walked the last stage of our journey to the Church of St Mary, Bolton on Swale, where we sat an waited during the last hour at the cross hearing annotated reflections of those who walked with Jesus throughout his life.
Palm Sunday, Easby
We met at Easby Hall with the donkey and processed down to the church of St Agatha, where we worshipped and celebrated Jesus' joyful entry into Jerusalem, with drama, reflections, prayer and song.
Working with the Schools in our parish is a joy and a privilege! Reverend Yvonne went in to St Mary's Bolton on Swale to explain the different colours the Church uses throughout the year, she had great fun with the Children as they dressed up in clerical clothing and wore the colours of the seasons. Reverend Yvonne also held a dolly baptism with the children in the church of St Mary, Bolton on Swale. We "Baptised" Ellie Rose, and learnt about the promises parents and godparents make and how being baptised means we become part of the Church Family. We also looked in the registers and found many of our baptisms and those of our family and friends.