St Oswald’s Day Celebration – 5th August

As a dispersed network Community, it is not possible for us to gather together under one roof and, indeed, many of those who might usually make the journey to Heavenfield, Northumbria, UK, on August 5th, to remember St Oswald, are not able to do so this year. So instead, we are pleased to offer you some special treasures from our archives. These include:

  • some footage from a Celtic Saints’ Workshop, led by Andy and Anna Raine and the Fleeson family, at St Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Boynton Bay, Florida, in 2018, alongside pictures and video clips from Heavenfield, Northumberland, in 2019;
  • a link to Norma Charlton’s re-telling of the Oswald Story;
  • a special midday prayer filmed at the hermit’s cave, near Heavenfield;
  • a family-friendly version of the Oswald liturgy,
  • a couple of special reflections around some Oswald themes
  • Jim Bailey’s ‘Stand at the Crossroads’ song, first recorded for our Easter Workshop in 2019
  • a wonderful excerpt from the Easter Workshop 2019 which took place at our Mother House – Nether Springs – in which we received a surprise visit from Oswald himself…


JOIN IN: A Celebration for St Oswald’s Day

LISTEN to the story of St Oswald’s Day 2019, Heavenfield, Northumberland

In 2019, on 5th August, as every year, a group of pilgrims led by Andy Raine gathered at the small church of Heavenfield, just above Hexham, in the wilds of the Northumberland countryside, UK, to remember St Oswald’s Day. Below is an account of what happened that day…An account of St Oswald’s Day at Heavenfield, Northumberland, 2019 – by Sarah Hay

An account of St Oswald’s Day at Heavenfield, Northumberland, 2019 – by Sarah Hay

Oswald of Northumbria. (605 – 642)

A Call to Humility

Long ago on the Isle of Iona a young man knelt in prayer, his heart and hands raised in question to the God he loved and served. Oswald was his name, and he had been schooled by the saints of Iona to follow the old paths, in the steps of those who long ago had walked with Christ in His way.

A difficult decision was made. Oswald would return to Northumbria, the land of his heritage, and make it his, reclaiming the throne and crown by battle, and put an end to the years of fighting and division so that his people might live. Oswald planted a wooden cross in the good ground of Heavenfield, setting it up as a waymark. And so Oswald and his companions knelt together at the turn of the road, at the foot of the cross, and prayed.

The battle was decisive, Oswald victorious, and Northumbria united under his kingship. Many of those who fought were intrigued by this new god, the God of the Christians who had won Oswald’s allegiance. Oswald sent for missionaries from Iona to teach his people, but everything went wrong and the team withdrew, admitting to failure. The king prayed and trusted and waited and reached out his hands to his God.

Then came Aidan from Iona with a band of helpers. This time the work began in earnest; and Oswald the king, Oswald the Christian, went out into the villages and market places where Aidan would preach and he worked willingly as the interpreter.

JOIN IN with a family-friendly version of the Oswald Liturgy


A reflection of the Saint Aidan Icon (used with kind permission of Aidan Hart):

Oswald – hands upturned in prayer:

Using hands to reflect on ‘The Prayer of Abandonment’:

JOIN IN with Midday Prayer at the hermit’s cell, near Heavenfield

Join Andy Raine and others as they say Midday Prayer at the Hermit’s Cell near Heavenfield, Northumberland, on St Oswald’s Day – August 5th 2019.

LISTEN TO The Oswald Story – with Norma Charlton

You can listen to the story of St Oswald, as recounted by long-time Companion in Community, Norma Charlton. You can either watch the following videos or listen to the audio track below them.

Norma Charlton recounts the early history of St Oswald.
Norma Charlton recounts the events around the Battle of Heavenfield and reflects on its significance in the life of St Oswald.
Norma Charlton recounts the significance of Oswald and Aidan’s relationship and how Oswald became the first truly Christian king of Northumbria.
Norma Charlton recounts the story of the Easter feast…
Norma Charlton recounts the final part of the story of St Oswald and reflects on his significance.


‘Stand at the Crossroads’ – by Jim Bailey

A Surprise Visit – Easter Workshop 2019

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