Members of the Derby Diocesan Synod met in Darley Dale on Saturday (9 November) to discuss the governance, mission and financing of the Church of England in Derbyshire.

It was the first time the members have met under the new governance structure as the Diocesan Board of Finance. The meeting was also the first for new Diocesan Secretary, Maureen Cole.

In his presidential address, The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern described how the diocese was experiencing a new chapter, with a real sense of new thinking combined with shifts in the organisation. He shared his reflection on some research into the decline in church growth in the early 20th century. He challenged synod to look at the reasons and question whether the church today could use the lessons of the past to influence how we lead today.

Mark Titterton, Chairman of the Board of Finance then led a discussion on the budget for 2014. He described the budget as ‘a mission led budget for a year of transition’ and said that despite a deficit of nearly half a million pounds Derby diocese was not alone and many dioceses are in the same position. He described how the board intended to pay for the deficit by using reserves and a reduction to the parsonages grant. He added that despite a deficit the budget included £145,000 of growth projects to allow the diocese to continue to be a living, growing body. He underlined the importance of this investment to be able to do new things in order to grow.

The Synod then voted and passed the 2014 budget. The Archdeacon of Chesterfield then updated the group on governance. The synod then voted and passed the “Memorandum and Articles of Association of the DBF as amended by the special resolution of the DBF on 4 July 2013.”

Carole Lloyd, stewardship officer, then led an update and discussion on stewardship and gift aid.

Synod were then asked to vote on the formula used to calculate the number of lay representatives on each deanery synod for the elections held in 2014. After synod closed there was a short meeting of the Derby Diocesan Board of Finance. The Registrar, Nadine Waldron, led an introduction and described the legal entity and responsibilities of the new structure.

Mark Titterton then asked for an open and honest conversation about finance. He indicated that a top priority will be to make the figures more accessible and to put systems and procedures in place to be able to give monthly updates of where the Diocese really is. He added that the message to take away from the meeting is one of opportunity.

“Derby is average in terms of diocesan finances, we are neither the richest nor the poorest, but given the plans we have described and investment opportunities we have a real chance to grow.”

The meeting closed at 1.15pm


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Report a Safeguarding Concern

Protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of us all, whether they are in the communities in which we live or part of our Christian family. If you have a concern about a child, young person or adult who may be at risk of harm please speak to one of the parish safeguarding coordinators or the priest within the parish. If you have concerns about a member of the clergy or an employee of the Diocese please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Julian Hodgson (07540 719447) or one of the Archdeacons. You can also report any concerns to the Police or Social Care. The important thing is that your concerns are shared with someone in a position to help.

For more information on safeguarding 

click here 

To confidentially report a safeguarding concern to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Julian Hodgson, please complete the form below:

Safeguarding Concern Form

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 Live Lent 16 9


#LiveLentEmbracing Justice is the Church of England’s theme for Lent 2022. Both the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2022 Lent Book, Embracing Justice (SPCK), and the daily reflections booklet for adults (CHP) have been written by Isabelle Hamley.

It invites us to examine our own lives truthfully, to see the world more deeply and to pray – for the church and the world far and near – that ‘justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’ (Amos 5.24).

Each week we follow a different thread through the many stories of justice in the Bible to explore how God works with humanity to bring justice, wholeness and salvation to all. As in recent years, the weekly themes of the Archbishop’s Lent Book (supported by online resources for churches and groups) are also explored in daily reflection from the Church of England.

#LiveLent: Embracing Justice offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a prayer, as well as a practical challenge linked to the week’s theme. An accompanying child’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together.

The book and booklets will be accompanied by daily social media posts from Ash Wednesday (2 March) to Easter Day (17 April), together with a wide range of free digital resources for individuals, groups and churches.

An update to the award-winning #LiveLent app for iOS and Android – including daily audio – will be available from mid-February.

The six weeks of Lent are a journey. We travel together towards God’s promised world, one where his justice and mercy reign.

For many people, Lent is a time of fasting, of choosing to go without.

This Lent we are called to be speakers and seekers of justice. We reflect on the injustices of the world and ask what God is calling us to do about them. Over forty days, we step into God’s work in the here and now – and in doing so we move from brokenness towards wholeness.

Our journey through Lent is one in which we seek inner transformation to be people of a new world, people who reflect God’s vision that all are created equal.

Our prayer is that this may be a time for you – whether by yourself, in community, or online – to see afresh the vision of God and truly join in making his promise of a world transformed a reality.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York

2027 Community of Prayer during Lent

2027 Community of Prayer Wednesday Morning Prayer

Through Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022 and ending on Wednesday, 13 April 2022, there is an open invitation to all from Bishop Libby to join her from 8:30am - 9:00am each Wednesday on zoom for Morning Prayer. We hope that many people will choose to join in so we can be united in a community of prayer through this season of penitential reflection. 

The same link will work for each session and is available from office@bishopofderby.org


2027 Community of Prayer Intercessory Gatherings

During Thursday evenings of Lent from 7.30pm - 8.30pm, Bishop Libby is hosting online prayer gatherings focussed around different themes across diocesan life. We hope to gather people virtually to discover more of what God is doing in these different contexts and to pray into the opportunities and challenges together.

The format each week will vary but will be very participative and all are welcome to join in for any or all of the sessions which will be led by different people with personal experience of that setting.
Week 1, Thurs, 10 March – rural and market towns, lead Carol Coslett.
Week 2, Thurs, 17 March - children and young people, lead +Malcolm.
Week 3, Thurs, 24 March – emerging transitioning contexts, lead +Libby.
Week 4, Thurs, 31 March – diversity and inclusion, lead Dwayne Engh.
Week 5, Thurs, 7 April – city and urban, lead tbc

The same link will work for each session and is available from office@bishopofderby.org


Annual Holy Week Retreat

St. Werburgh, Spondon, is once again providing a retreat through Holy Week for those who could never afford the time or expense of going away to make a residential retreat.  

This year, more than ever it is needed, helping us to move out of the last two years of separation and anxiety. All of us are facing different circumstances in a radically changed and more fragile world.

A retreat is an opportunity to find support with prayer, to be restored, it can be a way to think through a life choice or change in circumstances and it is an opportunity to prepare for the resurrection joy of Easter.
This year, they are trying out a hybrid of in person and online engagement, both for worship and the one to one work with a spiritual guide.
If you’d like to know more, or would like to join, please contact Revd Kate Smedley on stwhelps@gmail.com.



Other resources


The Clewer Initiative - Children in the Shadows is a five-week interactive resource for Lent that will help consider the various forms of child exploitation, the scale of the abuse, and the need for us all to increase our awareness and effective response. Each session contains definitions, statistics, examples of current good practice, and ways in which individuals and churches can make a significant contribution to extending care and strengthening resilience and resistance in their communities. There is also a passage of scripture to inspire our response and a prayer to draw our reflections together. Each session concludes with the words of two new hymns, written for The Clewer Initiative by Sheena Evans and Simon Hancock. More information https://theclewerinitiative.org/campaigns/children-in-the-shadows


Prayers, Poems and Intercessions

Lent Spiritual Resources - Creative Prayer responses around six themes [PDF] - Written by Karen Herrick, Harlequin Arts

The Scars Remain - poems for Lent and Easter by Tim Sumpter [Word doc]

Intercessions for the Sundays of Lent 2021 [Word doc]


Living God's Way

Living God's way is a series of resources for children and their households for the season of Lent, aiming to give ideas and spiritual focus during this time of the church year. The series is based on the Diocese of Derby Vision and Values. The resources for each Sunday are not meant as tasks to work through. Rather, they should be taken as ideas which can be selected by children to best meet the age, development, time and resources are available.  I aimed to include Bible texts, scope for thought and conversation, craft and activities, worship, prayer ideas, and links to songs, videoclips and PowerPoint from other sites (Please pre-watch any resources from an external site to check for suitability). My prayer is that over the season of Lent, children and their carers will grow in their understanding of God's immense love for each and every one. 

Sarah Brown - Children's Adviser

Living God's Way - Ash Wednesday

Living God's Way - Week 1: Transformed Lives

Living God's Way - Week 2: Growing Church

Living God's Way - Week 3: Building Community

Living God's Way - Week 4: Generous Faith

Living God's Way - Week 5: Courageous Hope

Living God's Way - Week 6: Palm Sunday


Music resources

Music Suggestions that connect with themes from Lent and the diocesan vision and values [Word doc]

Singing in Churches - a lockdown guide (19 Jan 2021)  [PDF]




A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping.

As far back into history as we can penetrate, human beings seem to have felt the need for a ceremonial leave-taking of those who have died.

A funeral service in the Church of England - whether in a parish church or a crematorium chapel - may be very short and quiet with only a few members of the family present, or an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns and a packed church. A funeral may also be set within a celebration of Holy Communion. Whatever the pattern of service, the words and actions all speak of a loving God and the preciousness to him of every human being.


Questions of life and death

The funeral service will reflect the personality of the one who has died and the circumstances of their death. Feelings of grief, gratitude, joy and sadness often intermingle. Sometimes, a sense of tragedy is uppermost, especially when it is a young person who has died. When it is the end of a long and fruitful life, the feelings of thanksgiving can be strongest.

There are times when the death of a faithful Christian seems to be the consummation of all they have lived for and the funeral service is a triumphal departure for their true home. As for Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress, 'all the trumpets sound for them on the other side'.

Funeral services always raise profound questions about the meaning of life and death. Jesus himself believed in a life-giving God: 'the God of the living, not of the dead.' Christians believe that Christ's resurrection is the triumph of good over evil and of life over death and has made eternal life available to us.


The funeral service

The Church of England has three authorized funeral services:

  • The service from the Book of Common Prayer (1662), in 17th century English
  • The ‘Series One’ Alternative Service (1966), also in traditional language
  • The service from Common Worship (2000), in contemporary language

The service usually begins with the priest or minister reading aloud some reassuring sentences from the Bible, such as:

'I am the resurrection and the life,' saith the Lord; 'he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die,' John 1.25-26

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted’ Matthew 5.4

Near the start of the service there is an opportunity for someone who has known well the person who has died to say a few words about them – a tribute.

A Psalm - often The Lord is my shepherd – may follow. This, together with readings from the Bible tell of God's care and of the hope of eternal life.

This is followed by an address or a sermon by the minister in which he or she speaks about the great Christian beliefs about life beyond death. Such words can be a source of great comfort and strength to the mourners.

Prayers then recall the promise of the resurrection, and ask for comfort and strength for those who mourn.

There then follows a Commendation, in which the person who has died is entrusted to God’s love

The funeral service ends with the Committal - a particularly solemn moment. This takes place either at the graveside or, in the case of a cremation, in the crematorium chapel or in church before the hearse leaves for the crematorium.

In the cemetery or churchyard, the family will gather round the open grave into which the coffin is lowered and they will hear the words:

We therefore commit his / her body to the ground;

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust;

in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.

Handfuls of earth are then scattered on the coffin.

At a crematorium, the words of committal are normally accompanied by the closing of a curtain to hide the coffin from.view.

The committal can be a very emotional moment. Many who are suffering grief find that, even in their sadness, the words of prayer can lift them towards the experience of Christian rejoicing in the knowledge of life beyond death.

The offering of prayer and the trust that the person is in God's safe hands can begin the process of healing the grief of loss.


Arranging a funeral

The person who has died might have left a paragraph in their Will describing the sort of funeral arrangements they hoped for. Naturally, the family will want to keep to such arrangements as far as possible.

Not everyone knows that they have the right to a funeral in their parish church even if they have not been church-goers. Nor do practising Christians always realise that they can have a Communion service as part of the funeral.

Parish clergy regard the taking of funerals as an important part of their work. They give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss, finding out what service they want to use and helping them to arrange it.

If a local minister is to be asked to take the service, this should be done before any other funeral arrangements are made to make sure one is free and available. If the minister did not know the person who has died, then it would help to provide some details.

The funeral director plays a very important part in all these arrangements and will want to know if the funeral is to be in the parish church or if the minister is to take the service in the crematorium. Funeral directors know the local ministers, the local cemeteries and the crematoria. As part of a national network of funeral directors, they can, if necessary, give advice on funerals in other parts of the country, as well as on costs and fees.


Burials and cremations

In many country parishes, the churchyard is still open for burials and the parish clergy are able to advise on suitable memorials. In most towns, burials now take place in the local cemetery and the funeral director can advise. If the churchyard is still open for burials, the person who has died may be buried there if they lived or died in the parish, whether or not they regularly attended church.

These days, six out of ten funerals make use of the crematorium. This leaves the question of what is to be done with the ashes. Crematoria have gardens of rest where they can be buried and many churchyards have a special place set aside for burying ashes even when there is no space left for graves.

When this burial takes place, usually a few days after the funeral, a further very brief service can be held if the family wish it and some suitable commemorative mark or record may be made.


After the funeral

People who have lost someone close to them are often so busy with practical details and arrangements between the death and the funeral that they do not experience the full sense of their loss until later.

Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss and it may continue for several months. The local church is there to help with support after a funeral. Please speak to your minister. Sometimes it is those who have suffered a close bereavement themselves, clergy or lay people, who can most easily offer comfort and support to those who mourn.

Comfort is also to be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the Resurrection and in the belief that the beloved person is safe in the hands of God.


Derby Deaf Church meets in St Nicholas' Church (chapel), Allestree on the second Sunday of the month (3.00-5.00pm). 

The community leader is Sarah Tupling with oversight being offered by Revd Becky Mathew. Becky holds safeguarding oversight. First language at this service is BSL.


Signed Services in Derby

Regular Services in British Sign Language take place in St. Alkmunds Church, Kedleston Road, Derby.




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