Bosley mill explosion July 2015


undefinedMore than 100 people packed St Mary the Virgin Church in Bosley - exactly a week after the mill explosion which has shattered the rural community.

The moving prayer event, held on Friday 24 July, included a two-minute silence and the hymns 'The Lord's My Shepherd' and 'Abide with Me'.

The service, led by the Vicar of Bosley, the Revd Dr John Harries, started just after 9am and the two-minute silence was held shortly after 9.10am, to coincide with the explosion last week.

John Harries said everyone had gathered to support and comfort each other for "those who have died; those injured; those who have lost their jobs".

Four bodies have so far been recovered from the wreckage at the Wood Floor Mills in Bosley, near Macclesfield.

Derek Moore, 62, has been identified as one of the victims. Formal identification of the other two is yet to take place, but they are thought to be William Barks, 51, and Dorothy Bailey, 62, who worked at the mill. Their colleague Jason Shingler, 38, is the other one who was listed as missing.

Families of workers killed and injured in the explosion were at the prayer service last Friday. There was also a big media presence, with ITV, BBC and Sky television news crews as well as radio and newspapers. The Vicar gave several interviews in the churchyard after the service.

Among the clergy present were the Archdeacon of Chester, the Ven Ian Bishop, and the Rector of Gawsworth, the Rt Revd William Pwaisiho. The Methodist minister in Bosley, the Revd Pam Butler, was also there. She assured those who were suffering that the Lord would  "settle their racing thoughts and help them to know that they will not stand alone in grief".

Relatives of those caught up in the explosion, joined Macclesfield MP David Rutley, senior police officers, civic leaders and others affected, in lighting eight candles at the front of the church - four for the three dead and one still missing; and four for people being treated in hospital  

A joint investigation has started to establish the cause of the explosion. Police and fire services and the Health and Safety Executive are working together on it.  

Earlier this week Vicar John Harries called on everyone to pray for the village and everyone affected by the explosion - as did the Bishop of Stockport, the Rt Revd Libby Lane.

On Sunday 19 July villagers also packed the church for a service of prayer and reflection.

Civic leaders, David Rutley MP, and officers of the police, fire and ambulance services also attended. John Harries preached on the themes in John 11: 17-37 - where the Lord comforts Martha and Mary at the tomb of Lazarus.

St Mary’s remains open daily for prayers, the lighting of candles, and a listening ear. 

Working with Cheshire East Council, parishioners have been assisting with a ‘help hub’ located at the village school (St Mary’s C of E primary).

Bishop Libby said: “As a diocese, alongside the local parish, we continue to hold in our prayers all those affected by the explosion at Wood Flour Mills. In this time of personal and community tragedy, we extend whatever care we can, offering both practical and spiritual support.“

Bosley Vicar John Harries said: “People here are in deep shock, struggling to come to terms with all that’s happened.

“So many local people had connections to the mill, going back generations. It was seen to be integral to the community – and now it’s gone."

Several homes and a Methodist chapel were damaged by the explosion. Fifty people have lost their jobs.

Pictured below, in decsending order ...

Vicar John Harries explains to a newspaper reporter how the village has been "ripped apart" by the mill tragedy

Media interviews after the moving prayer service

The congregation watch as candles are lit at the front of St Mary's church for the victims of the blast


Page last updated: 24th Jul 2015 12:00 AM