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This lovely and well cared for church stands right in the middle of the large village of Burneside, about two miles north of Kendal. There has been a place of worship on this site since the 1600s but the present building was built in 1881. Significant changes have been made internally to create a vestry, kitchen, public toilet, and meeting room (by enclosing the north aisle). Recently St Oswald’s became an Outreach Post Office, by using the kitchen and insulating the corridor which leads to the Public WC. Folk use a separate door leading to the WC and kitchen, without coming through church.
The use of St Oswald’s as a community building now helps to bring more people into its environs. Its’ churchyard is still open for burials, well-tended and provides a walk through from one side of the village to the other. The Post Office is open three mornings a week; the public toilet in daylight hours. Groups ranging from our Mothers’ Union, Parish Council and HoGS (House of God Squad) meet regularly, the latter growing in strength. Children of primary age meet on Tuesdays after school, and use the whole building for a variety of activities including a very popular Nativity Play!
Services at St Oswald’s are mainly traditional, but welcoming and all inclusive. Holy Communion (Common Worship) on Sunday mornings at 10.30 with an all-age service on the second Sunday are our most popular, but we still have an 8am BCP Holy Communion each Sunday and another on Wednesdays when our Lady Chapel is used. During our morning service a crèche is provided for young children and activities for older ones; they are invited to receive a blessing and a candle during the administration which makes them feel part of the congregation. On the 5th Sunday of each month, all the churches in the Team join together; these services are proving very popular.
Several members of the congregation are involved in taking a service of Holy Communion in the chapel at Westmorland General Hospital. Baptisms are held by arrangement either within the morning service, or privately on a Sunday afternoon. The clergy and members of the PCC are school governors and take an active role in the life of St Oswald’s School, which is near to the church. We also hold fundraising activities in the Bryce, and Cricket Club to encourage more folk from the village to support us! The vicarage is adjacent to the church, right in the centre of the village.
A new noticeboard advertises church and community events. We deliver a monthly newsletter to all households, and use the Burneside community website. More recently a meeting of all village groups identified the need for communication and co-operation, so we hope to encourage this so that St Oswald’s is known and remembered by all.
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