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Safeguarding is everyone's business

Ensuring the Diocese of Derby provides a safe and caring environment for everyone - but especially children, and adults who may be at risk of abuse and neglect. Victims and Survivors are at the heart of our safeguarding work.

Safeguarding News


Congratulations to all those who were awarded Bishop's Badges in two special services. See the photos here.

When I was a teenager my ambition was to be a missionary, taking the gospel to the indigenous people of the Amazon on a jet ski! While it’s not been quite that exciting, my faith journey has taken me through some interesting experiences, both here and abroad.

Since those early days I have remained interested in how God calls people to service; following their journey as they discern the voice of God calling them to service in the church, both lay and ordained.

I am committed to helping the church to be more inclusive in its selection of clergy. Being one of very few Black priests I think I may be particularly helpful to those from ethnic minority backgrounds, but I would be privileged to work with anyone who came to me.

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Shemil was born and brought up in Kerala, South India.

He first studied for a Bachelor's and Master's degree in English language and literature, before achieving both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Theology from the University of Gloucestershire, and then an MTh from Oxford University.

He was ordained in the Diocese of Peterborough and has experience of working in Sri Lanka as a CMS mission partner.

Shemil is the Anglican chaplain at Oxford Brookes University and Vocations Adviser for the Diocese of Oxford. He is a founding member of AMEN (Anglican Minority Ethnic Network).

He is a trainer in Unconscious Bias awareness and a tutor in Contextual theology. His first language is Malayalam and has a working knowledge of Tamil and Hindi.

Shemil is married to Becky, who is the vicar of Allestree and Quandon in Derby. He holds Permission to Officiate from the Bishop of Derby.

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The IICSA report was published in October 2020. A briefing setting out the key findings of the report can be found here:

Initial IICSA briefing 07.10.20

The Diocese of Derby is conscious that the work of the public inquiry may trigger memories and be traumatic for some individuals.

Bishop Libby would like to reassure anyone who is affected by the content of the IICSA report that the Diocese will take seriously any concerns or information relating to safeguarding within the Church.

Should you wish to talk to someone about this, the safeguarding team is available to work with you directly, or to signpost you to the most appropriate resource, and can be contacted on 01332 388678 or via this link: https://derby.anglican.org/en/safeguarding.html

The team is available if you want to talk about any new or non-recent concern relating to any church officer or person working within the Church.

More information about IICSA can be found at https://www.iicsa.org.uk/.

Bell ringers of all ages will be ringing bells across Derbyshire on Thursday, 6th June to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Places where you can hear bell ringing in the evening include: Church Broughton, Cubley, Derby Cathedral, Eckington, Hayfield, Ilkeston, Kirk Hallam, Old Brampton, Old Glossop and Shirland. Long Eaton's bells will be ringing in the morning.

To find out more about bell ringing please visit the Bell Ringing Derbyshire Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BellRingingDerbyshire/

Image by Don Jones

Bishop Libby and I have spent much of May visiting the deaneries of the diocese to pray as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come – the worldwide movement of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost that encourages us each to pray for five others, that they may come to know the love of God in Jesus.

As I write, we are about to begin a day of prayer in the South East Deanery, where it will be a joy to pray in schools, with at a food hub, with councillors, with people in a dementia care centre, an after school club, and with folks at a church where refugees and asylum seekers have found a welcome.

In all these settings, and so many others over these eight days, we have prayed ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, giving thanks for the transformation that happens when the Holy Spirit is at work, and immersing ourselves in the endless stream of prayer which helps make this happen.

A well known mark of this movement is the tradition of tying knots in a leather shoelace, one for each of the five people for whom you want to pray.

Whether round your wrist as a bracelet or held in your pocket, it serves as a reminder to pray, not just in a general way, but to pray with love and attention to the particular needs of each of your five.

Many find this a helpful way to pray, but the main thing is to continue praying for our friends, family members, work colleagues etc – they are those God has laid on our hearts to bring before him each day seeking his blessing, his gift of life, life in all its fullness, through Jesus.

Prayer has an impact on those who pray, just as much as on those for whom we are praying.

It makes us alert to the command of Jesus to ‘make disciples of all nations’ – to be ready to give a reason for the hope we have in Jesus, and to encourage others to explore what it means to follow him.

‘Making Disciples’ is one of our key priorities as a diocese.

This means being imaginative about how we seek to engage people in church life.

It means PCCs recognising where new forms of church are possible, new ways and new places of worship, and trying out new approaches, to complement and enrich a revitalised parish ministry.

It has been wonderful on this pilgrimage to hear the stories of adults and young people as they have come recently to be confirmed.

The depth of joy and commitment of confirmation candidates moves the whole church.

For all the struggles of this present time, God is graciously and generously at work amongst us.

Please be in touch with the bishop’s office to arrange your next parish or benefice or deanery confirmation service!

Praying for new disciples confronts us with the real challenges of our day.

The inequalities that mean in hard times households are dependent on foodbanks.

The horrors of war and oppression from which people have to flee for their safety.

The multiple impacts of climate change and the urgency of our response.

We simply have to live, eat, travel, work, and invest differently.

This goes along with praying, ‘Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done.’

Back in April, Archbishop Justin spent a day of prayer with us across the diocese.

One of the places we all prayed was Crich Stand, a monument from which you can see all of Derbyshire and several other counties.

As the wind blew against us, more than a hundred linked arms around the monument, facing inwards to pray for the renewal of our churches and communities, and then facing outwards to bless everyone in the Diocese and county of Derbyshire.

Let the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit renew us, take us deeper with God, and equip us for all we are called to do as we seek to follow Jesus.

+Malcolm
Bishop of Repton

Towards the end of last year I was fortunate to have some study leave, which I spent in Oxford as a visiting fellow at Harris Manchester College.  For much of its history, the college had a particular affiliation with Unitarianism and there are still some reminders of that heritage. In the college chapel there is a set of windows depicting the six days of creation.  Each of the six lights shows an angel holding a globe representing what happened on that particular day. Above each of the angels is a caption – Enlargissez Dieu – a quotation from the French Enlightenment philosopher, Diderot.  It means something like, ‘Broaden your concept of God.’ The point is an obvious one.  How do we find out about God through the workings of the created order? And how often do we choose to ignore that?

One of the leading figures in the college a hundred years was a man called L P Jacks.  I came across a passage in one of Jacks’s books, about the place of religion in schools, which I think, despite its somewhat dated language and style, is a good example of what Enlargissez Dieu might be about:

Not long ago I met one of our great schoolteachers – a veteran in that high service. “Where in your time-table do you teach religion?” I asked him. “We teach it all day long,” he answered. “We teach it in arithmetic, by accuracy. We teach it in language, by learning to say what we mean – ‘yea, yea and nay, nay!’ We teach it in history, by humanity. We teach it in geography, by  breadth of mind. We teach it in handicraft by thoroughness. We teach it in astronomy, by reverence. We teach it in the playground, by fair play. We teach it by kindness to animals, by courtesy to staff, by good manners to one another, and by truthfulness in all things. We teach it by showing the children that we, their elders, are their friends and not their enemies.”

“But what,” I said, “about the different denominations? Have you no trouble with the parents?” “None at all,” he replied; “we have half a dozen denominations. But we treat the children, not as members of this church or that, but as members of the school, and we show them that, as members of the school, in work and in play, they are members of one another. We teach them to build the Church of Christ out of the actual relations in which they stand to their teachers and their schoolfriends, because we believe that unless they learn to build it where they are, they will not learn to build it afterwards anywhere else.”

“Do you talk much to them about religion”? I then asked. “Not much,” he said, “just enough to bring the whole thing to a point now and then.”

Finally, he added a remark that struck me – “I do not want religion brought into this school from outside. What we have of it we grow ourselves.”

From A Living Universe (1924)



I see in the words of Jacks’s schoolteacher the articulation of a profound theology of mission.  It has been said that the starting point of a conversation or process is likely to be the finishing point, too.  If we start with a narrow, diminished concept of God, we are likely to see everything within that restrictive framework.  Perhaps Enlargissez Dieu would be a better watchword for our thinking about apologetic and mission.

 

Archdeacon Christopher

I trained as a teacher and have spent most of my working life within a local authority context, but am now a Vocations, Learning and Formation Officer and loving it!

I am based at Church House in Derby but am happy to travel throughout the County.

I am inspired by the report ‘Setting God’s People Free’ and excited by the vision it presents of a truly enabled church.

I see vocation as God weaving each of us into a tapestry – each of us is a unique and vibrantly coloured thread which can only create a beautiful whole by interweaving with others. 

It doesn’t matter what type of thread you are, what colour, or whether you are a bit frayed around the edges - God can use you to weave a better world by sharing the message of His love.

He is calling you to something uniquely wonderful -your vocation – whatever that may be.

I’d like to leave you with a question paraphrased from Paulo Coelho: ‘What are you doing with the talents that God bestowed on you?’

Please use the form below to get in touch with me and I will contact you as soon as possible.

NB: If for some reason you don't hear back from your chosen adviser within 10 days, please accept our apologies - it means something has gone wrong. If this happens to you, please email communications@derby.anglican.org and tell us how long you have been waiting and who your chosen adviser is.

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