The 8.00am service is traditional Prayer Book (1662) service of Holy Communion, with no hymns and no sermon. It generally lasts about 30 minutes. Many people brought up with the Prayer Book speak of enjoying its “poetry” and cherishing some wonderful liturgical phrases that have been part of their worship and faith for a long time. This is a quiet reflective service for those who welcome such a beginning to Sunday.
The 11.00am service is the main act of worship and the form of service changes according to the Sunday in the month.
On the first and third Sundays of the month the service is “Family Communion”. This is a simple, modern, liturgical service where we like to welcome families to receive communion or a blessing. The talk is split into a part which is interactive and visual, and a part with a simple but profound spoken message. The prayers are appropriate for both young and old and the hymns are chosen to be ones familiar to school children and popular with adults. The service is shorter than an hour but can be slightly longer if there are many communicants.
On the second Sunday of the month the service is “Family Service”. This is not a communion service, rather it is a “shortish” service, (about 45-50 minutes), with hymns, a short interactive talk, and a time of prayer, whilst including the key liturgical elements of Morning Prayer, for example, Bible reading, confession and absolution, said canticles and a said psalm. At this service we often enjoy input from our Sunday School, (the Hands Together Club), in the form of Bible reading, banners, prayers and puppet sketches. Where there is a fifth Sunday in the month the service follows the same format of Family Service.
On the fourth Sunday we gather for a traditional service of Mattins with sung canticles and psalms, led by our choir. The service includes 4 hymns, a good sermon, and a time of intercession. It is a traditional service of Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. Many people brought up with the Prayer Book speak of enjoying its “poetry” and cherishing some wonderful liturgical phrases that have been part of their worship and faith for many years.
Also meeting, generally on the 4th Sunday, is our Sunday school, called the Hands Together Club (HTC), named after the traditional story of St Oswald’s hand, and to reflect our commitment to prayer. The HTC meet in the hall of the adjacent CofE primary school. The usual format is a game, a hymn, a story from the Bible told with opportunity for interaction, role play etc, a time of craft, closing prayer and hymn. The HTC finishes with juice and fruit, and the opportunity to go back into church for coffee and biscuits. The HTC caters for all ages groups. At the moment our core group is from 3-9yrs with toddlers and babies joining us when they can. It is a group where parents stay with their children. In part this is because of the young age of some of the children, and in part it is because the leaders like parents to be responsible for their own children.
Our morning services are followed by refreshments in church to continue the fellowship enjoyed in the service and to give people the opportunity to meet and chat.
Our 6.30pm service is a service of Evensong, from the Book of Common Prayer, with sung canticles. Every service has within it a time for prayer, a sermon and 5 hymns. Evensong focuses on God and is a way to begin to draw the day to a close. On the second and fourth Sundays of the month Evensong is generally followed by a shortened service of Holy Communion while on the third Sunday of the month the service includes prayers for Healing and Wholeness together with the laying on of hands for those who wish to participate.
St Oswald’s also has a Prayer book service of Holy Communion during the week. This is a said service which lasts about 30 minutes and takes place at 10.00am on Thursday mornings.