29th September 2013
Harvest and Thanksgiving at St Mary’s Church, Bolton on Swale.
On a glorious Sunday afternoon I attended the Harvest festival combined with a thanksgiving for the renovations at St Mary’s, Bolton on Swale. The church was packed, with congregations from their sister churches Easby with Skeeby, and Brompton on Swale attending. It was beautifully decorated with autumn flowers and produce. Singing was led by a group called Musicality, which included several church members.
The vicar introduced me before my reading and told the people present that our grant to them was the highest the Trust has given. My reading was from the 12th century about the fruits of the earth. Many children were involved in the service and various commodities such as oil, wine, soil & water, bread & grains, fruit & vegetables, milk & eggs, and finally a pot of paint, trowel & brushes to signify the work on the murals were taken to the altar.
The re-dedication of the restored painting was carried out by the Bishop of Knaresborough, the Rt Revd James Bell, who used the words from the original service in 1902. The mural of angels had been painted by a local artist and copied from Botticelli and Giovanni, and the restorer David Everingham spoke about his painstaking work.
After the service everyone enjoyed tea at the west end, provided by the ladies of the Parish. It was a very joyous occasion and I was privileged to take part.
By Jane Hedley