Rushbearing 2014

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undefinedSt Stephen's church (the ‘Forest Chapel') in the hamlet of Macclesfield Forest, SK110AR, will hold its annual Rushbearing service at 3pm on Sunday 17 August. It will be led by visiting preacher, Archdeacon Ian Bishop.

Rushbearing is an old English church service in which reeds and rushes from local fields are collected and placed on the floor of the church, then attractively plaited with flowers to adorn the altar.

The tradition dates back to the time when most buildings had earthen floors, and rushes were used as a form of renewable floor covering for cleanliness and insulation. The festival was widespread in Britain from the Middle Ages, but had fallen into decline by the beginning of the 19th century, when church floors were flagged with stone.

The custom was revived later in the 19th century, and is kept alive today as an annual event in a number of towns and villages in the north of England.

All are welcome to attend the Rushbearing at the Forest Chapel. Parking is ample and free. Refreshments will be available.

The chapel is in beautiful countryside with public footpaths alongside. Visitors can combine the service with a walk or picnic before or afterwards.

Pictured above ...  a section of the Forest Chapel dressed for Rushbearing a few years ago