The Diocese of Derby's new diocesan secretary is Kate Godfrey, Bishop Libby has announced.

Kate joins the diocese on 1 December and will be based at Derby Church House.

Derbyshire born and bred, Kate is the daughter of a local teacher and GP. Following university, she moved to Kenya as a research trainee working for The Guardian, before transferring to work in research and advisory with international organisations including the United Nations Development Programme and UNESCO, focussing on education and multi-lateral infrastructure development.

Married to David – an enthusiastic gritstone climber - Kate is mum to two-year-old Fred, and babies Harry and Tilly.

She relaxes by writing mostly unpublished mystery novels under a pseudonym.

On her appointment, Kate said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as diocesan secretary; and moved by the trust that Bishop Libby and her colleagues on the appointment committee have shown in me.

"It is particularly meaningful to be able to join the diocese at this special time of year, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues across the diocese and in Derby Church House.”

Bishop Libby said: "Kate is wholeheartedly committed to our Vision of ‘the Kingdom of God: Good News for all’, and to working with us as we proclaim that good news afresh in this generation in transformed lives, growing church and building community.

"Please join with me in welcoming Kate to her new role and hold her in your prayers.

"Finally, may I thank Martyn Marples, acting diocesan secretary, who has sustained the diocesan secretary role for the past fourteen months with integrity, honesty and determination, whilst simultaneously retaining his substantive head of finance post.

"It has been a pleasure to have Martyn on my senior staff team, and his continuing service to the diocese is a blessing."

Kate Godfrey - in her own words

Tell us about your professional experience. What do you bring from your professional background to the work of the diocese?

I started my career overseas, working first in Sub-Saharan Africa and then across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

I worked for international organisations leading the research behind major development projects, including in infrastructure and education, and developed a focus on women and girls’ democratic and economic participation.

In development terms, funding women’s empowerment is smart economics, reducing inequality and increasing productivity. It is pragmatic and it works.

Twenty years later, I am still trying to find answers that are pragmatic and that work – although more recently my focus has been on charities and trust leadership, working with community organisations and campaign groups in London and the East Midlands.

Why the Church? And what does the work of the diocesan secretary involve?

For something that has rapidly become a calling, I can honestly say that the post came as a surprise.

Having had twins Harry and Tilly this year, I wasn’t expecting to be working in December 2021, let alone stepping into something so significant in terms of stewardship and leadership.

And I have joked that if I expected to join the Church formally at any point, it would have been either twenty years ago or twenty years in the future.

That said, I was in a role which seemed to me to be a good parallel for the work of a diocesan secretary, working with an outstanding local education trust specialised in working in areas of complex and multiple deprivation across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

I’m not a teacher – I led operational work including governance, professional administration and learning and development, and establishing the trust as a delivery partner for government in everything from apprenticeships to mental health.

I was lucky to work with an outstanding executive team, and to receive a thorough grounding in safeguarding; to build on my knowledge of charities and trust law and management, and above all, to have been responsible for our community relationships, with our schools talking every day to 100,000 people across the East Midlands.

Academically, I have legal training and am increasingly pleased that my first degree is in history, particularly ecclesiastical history.

My university college is unique in having its own cathedral, and I studied at one point under church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch – I hardly expected that to turn out to be vocational training.

Lastly, I would say that joining the diocese from maternity leave has been a gift.

I have been able to spend significant amounts of time at Church House over the last weeks and months, and to thoroughly understand my responsibilities and the work of the Parish Support Office before formally taking up my position.

Can you tell us more about your time overseas, and some of the countries that you have worked in?

A country I worked in regularly, and the one which will always carry the greatest personal resonance for me is Syria.

I found enormous warmth and kindness working across Syria, including long spells in Damascus and Aleppo, and if I now have a personal calling within a life of service, it is to work on behalf of refugees and displaced people.

Otherwise, I recommend Istanbul, Lebanon and Jerusalem. If I had to pick the stand-out experiences from my time overseas, it would be touring the ruins at Petra; spending time at the shrine of St John the Baptist, now part of the stunning Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, and writing a proposal to preserve the buried Roman city of Leptis Magna in Libya.

Have you continued to work overseas?

In short, no. I don’t fly any more, for one thing.

Sustainability and climate justice is very important to me personally, and not just in terms of climate justice – although clearly that is critical – but in terms placing the principles of sustainability and equity at the core of how we live and work.

I take up my role with personal determination to oversee our sustainability journey locally, and within Church operational work, including the transition to net zero by 2030.

An eminently achievable target, net zero is an opportunity to work creatively within our communities and to show what can be done with commitment, sustained hard work and a touch of grace.

For me, the principles of sustainability captures what the role of the diocesan secretary and Parish Support Office is about: community value and support; impact and ambition for ourselves and others.

Can you tell us about some of your personal priorities?

Staying with that broader definition of living sustainably, an area that I am personally keen to explore is social housing.

This work precedes me – our approach to land use and land bank has been driven by ethical principles for some years, and feasibility on active development approaches is underway.

Early years is another area on which I am individually focused.

Coming from a teaching family, I understand how much of life opportunities and outcomes is established in the first few years of a child’s care.

I am inspired by the work of churches and parishes on behalf of families, including early years.

In the context of our growing family, this is an area in which I want to increase my personal commitment.

…a few words about faith?

I’m aware (and sometimes not aware) that God is slowly working transformation in my own life – I’m very far from a finished article.

We are all on our own journey and every Christian story is different and valuable. For me, the time around having children was deeply profound. It marked a sea change in how I saw my life and chose to engage with the world around me, and a renewed sense of spirituality, and of responsibility.

My faith is a practical thing, expressed by the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:35-36. With three very young children I am time poor and I navigate decisions on how to use that time every day. On most evenings I am more likely to be found in the foodbank than the nave, and I’ve been known to take comfort in the reflection that it isn’t where we are on a Sunday that defines faith, but who we are and what we do every day of the week.

I believe God has led me to the Diocese of Derby at this time and am excited to see how my personal faith will grow and change as I work more closely with the structures of the church.

Anything else?

Just a thank you for the warmth of my welcome to date.

And of course, a big thank you to Martyn Marples, who has been a model of grace and unflappability as interim diocesan secretary over a sustained period.

I am grateful both for Martyn’s legacy of leadership, and that I continue to benefit from his counsel as head of finance.

I’ve come to value my new colleagues highly over recent weeks, and to be impressed by the sense of shared purpose and urgency that I have found both at Church House and across our parishes and deaneries.

I’m excited to get to work!

kate godfrey

As we enter Advent, we look for the coming of Christ and of his kingdom, and the hope that gives us. 

Between 29 November 2021 and 23 December 2021, Bishops Libby and Malcolm invite you to join them each week on zoom for 45 minutes of prayer and reflection together, based upon seasonal Bible passages.   

Advent Hope is open to all and will be held on Monday morning from 7:30-8:15am and repeated on Thursday evening from 7:30-8:15 pm.

Both sessions will be on Zoom. 

Do pass this invitation on.

Please email  for the access link.

Last modified on Thursday, 25 November 2021 15:06

Bishop Malcolm writes:

In Covid times we have had to learn to be fleet of foot, and ready to change plans at the drop of a hat.

Those of you who attended the clergy conference back in September will remember that Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy was unable to join us on the Wednesday as he had succumbed to Covid.

I am now pleased to say Lusa has fully recovered, and that he has agreed to give us an Advent address, on Zoom, on Monday, 6 December from 7 pm to 7.45pm, followed by a discussion in breakout groups, a Q&A session with Lusa - leading up to Night Prayer.  

This is now opento anyone in the diocese, lay and ordained, but please do book in via this link. 

Lusa will be speaking to the title, ‘Threads of hope’, with an Advent theme.

The Revd. Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy is BAME Mission and Ministry Enabler for the Diocese of Leicester.

He recently served on the Archbishops’ Anti Racism Task Force, which produced the report, ‘From Lament to Action’.

He is also a Trustee of Initiatives of Change, a global organisation working to inspire, equip and connect people to play their part in building a better society.  

I realise this is rather short notice for such a significant talk, but it is offered in the hope that it may be an encouragement and inspiration during the Advent season.

Please book in right away if you possibly can.  

Last modified on Monday, 22 November 2021 17:08

The Bishop of Derby’s office has announced that three people are to be honoured with the role of canon at Derby Cathedral.

The three appointments are:

Honorary canons:

  • Revd Patrick Coleman, Vicar of All Saints Chesterfield (The Crooked Spire) andSt Leonard's (Mission Church) Spital
  • Revd Julian Hollywell, Vicar of St Werburgh Spondon, Priest-in-charge of St Mark Derby and St Philip Chaddesden, and Minister Responsible at St Andrew with St Osmund Derby

Lay canon:

  • Emily Brailsford, Derby Diocesan President-elect of the Mothers’ Union and Project Officer at Rural Action Derbyshire.

The Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Emily, Julian and Patrick as members of Derby Cathedral’s College of Canons as the ministries and contributions of three distinguished people in the Diocese of Derby are honoured and marked.

“Their experience and commitment to the church’s ministry in the Diocese of Derby will be of great service to the life of our cathedral as we reimagine its future over the next few years.”

It is expected that Emily, Julian and Patrick will be collated and installed on Sunday, 16 January, in a special service led by the Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby, and the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby.



Honorary canons serve the bishop, the cathedral and the whole of the diocese acting as a ’two way’ ambassador for the cathedral.

They have an outward facing role involving listening, sharing stories and promoting the cathedral across the diocese and helping the cathedral to listen to the wider diocese.

Acting as representatives of the cathedral at local licensings/institutions, they welcome people new to the diocese into relationship with the cathedral.

Honorary canons are part of the cathedral’s College of Canons which is a body that is able to reflect theologically on the place of the cathedral in the life, mission and ministry of the diocese and its contribution.

They currently meet two or three times a year to discuss how the cathedral is approaching its vocation theologically, tactically and strategically.

They are a significant part of the cathedral community, whether present or not, and are welcome to join in any aspects of the cathedral’s life, worship and ministry.

Last modified on Thursday, 25 November 2021 15:04
Janice and Sarah, who were involved in this venture in Hathersage, write:

Hathersage held its first Repair Cafe on a Saturday morning which was very well received and well supported.

From the initial trepidation of ‘will anyone come’, we moved to an excited buzz with customers arriving at 9.45am even though we didn’t open until 10am!

Our experts were kept busy throughout the morning as the attached photos show, and tackled a range of requests which they met with skill, expertise and good humour.

hathersage repair cafe repairs in progress

A steady request for bacon butties kept Paul and Lucy busy in the kitchen, although they still managed to pop out from time to time to socialise.

Not everyone needed the assistance of our experts and it was lovely to see friends who had popped in for a coffee and a natter, ably overseen by Charlotte, our curate and chief natterer!

Our thanks to those who gave their time and talents so willingly and to all those who came along, with or without an item needing repair.

We hope to repeat the Repair Cafe in the new year and we will publicise it when details have been finalised.

hathersage repair cafe

Last modified on Monday, 15 November 2021 17:12
A reflection by Revd Ellie Launders-Brown


As a Christian and a veteran of the Royal Navy, Remembrance Sunday is always an important part of the calendar and will always hold a special place in my heart.

I have spent Remembrance Sunday, at sea, on land in both the UK and abroad, during conflict and at peace.

To stand alongside my serving comrades in remembrance of the sacrifice of all who gave their lives in the service of their country is quite a poignant moment and never fails to stir up many emotions.

As there are very few veterans remaining of the two world wars, it always felt important to me that all people of every nationality should stand together as a living memorial to the fallen in all conflicts.

Hearing the guns fall silent as a mark of respect, gives an insight into how that silence must have felt on 11/11/18, it is quite a deafening and spine-tingling silence to behold.

As I begin my ordained ministry, I feel that this living memorial is still important, but also that our act of remembrance should be a journey.

Yes, we should still look back and remember the sacrifice of others for a freedom that we are fortunate enough to enjoy today, but we should also learn from the past as we look to the present, and how our fellow human beings are still suffering oppression, discrimination, and abuse.

That living memorial we make on Remembrance Sunday is futile if we still allow the mistreatment and injustice that is around today.

I am always drawn at this time of Remembrance to the Words of Micah: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.’ (Micah 4:3-4).

My prayer as we enter the season of Remembrance is that if we can come together and unite with our fellow human beings, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, ability or disability, can we then look with hope towards a new future where we can accept and embrace our differences and live together as children of God in peace.

Ellie Launders-Brown was ordained a deacon in 2021 and is currently serving her curacy with East Scardsale Team Ministry.

She is also a veteran of the Royal Navy.

Last modified on Monday, 15 November 2021 17:14

Natasha's Law

On 1 October 2021, Natasha’s Law came into effect for all foods produced and prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) with food labelling changing in the UK.

This new labelling will provide potentially life-saving allergen information on packaging for consumers.

A full list of ingredients will be required by law to be stated on the label, along with the name of the food.

Parishes are subject to the general law in relation to the sale and supply of food and drink.

This includes complying with the Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019 which add Natasha’s Law to the Food Information Regulations 2014.

Regulations definition 

The Regulations apply to a “food business” which is defined as any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food.

The regulations define a “food business operator” as the natural or legal persons responsible for ensuring that the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control.

As a result of these definitions, PCCs fall within the scope of food business and food business operators.

Private individuals who occasionally sell or offer food at church events are exempt from the allergen information requirements.

However, if an individual is providing food as a food business operator or provides products for consumption to one, such as a church café or regular lunch club, then the necessary allergen information should be provided.

Natasha's Law has extended the 2014 Regulations.

The 2014 Regulations originally applied to foods that are not pre-packed, and Natasha’s Law has extended the Regulations to pre-packed for direct sale to a final consumer.

Where food is not pre-packed, the information must stuill be provided, though in this case it can be provided verbally and either a label attached to the food or notice, ticket or label must be readily visible stating that details of the substance or product can be obtained by asking a member of staff.

Pre-packed food will need to clearly display on the packaging the name of the food, full ingredients list, within allergenic ingredients emphasised.


Learn More

>> What is Natasha's Law?

>> Natasha Allergy Research Foundation

>> Food Standards Agency

>> FSA Allergy Poster (bilingual) 

Last modified on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 11:45

Parishes are being urged to mark the start of the COP26 climate change summit by ringing bells.

The plan is for church and cathedral bells to be peeled for 30 minutes at 6pm on Saturday, 30 October.

The idea of the mass bellringing was devised by Edward Gildea, the adventurer and environmentalist, who is a member of St Mary's church in Saffron Walden, Essex, as a vivid warning of the danger from the climate emergency.

He said: “Church bells would normally be used to call people to church on Sundays.

"But this time, they'll be ringing out a warning - a 'code-red for humanity' warning.'

Mr Gildea created a Facebook page to support the idea. 

A post from him reads: "Wouldn't it be great if every church, chapel and cathedral bell around the world were to ring out its warning to humanity on the eve of COP 26?

"This website is for people of all faiths and none, who share a common concern for the future of humanity."

Bell ringers across the country are supporting the initiative.

Simon Linford, President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, commented: “Bellringers understand how important the bells they ring are not only to the church but also to the local community. 

“The sound of bells was missed during lockdown, and it is now being welcomed back as part of the nation’s soundscape. 

“Many bellringers are planning to join in with “ring out for the climate’, lending their powerful voice in support of efforts to halt climate change.”

Where churches participate, a notification on social media or in newsletters can help make the local community aware of the significance of the bells.



Meanwhile, Derby Cathedral, and other churches within the Diocese of Derby, are holding vigils.

The Dean of Derby, the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, will lead a prayer vigil at the cathedral on Saturday, 30th October, at 11am.

Dean Peter said: "This is such a pivotal moment. Carbon emissions and temperatures continue to rise, the biodiversity of the planet is decreasing and the very future of the human race is threatened.

"Now is the time to act and the faith communities across the globe have the capacity to act together and influence the outcome of COP26 for the better.

"Not only will be praying for radical change in policies and practice by all nations but we will be demonstrating our solidarity with the global poor who suffer disproportionately from the impact of global heating.

"Please do come and join us for this critical moment in history and let’s take action together!"

And Saint Michael's Kirk Langley will hold a vigil on Wednesday, 3 November at 7.30pm


Edward Gildea's video message to all churches in the country


Last modified on Monday, 08 November 2021 16:35

Bishop Libby will be visiting all the deaneries during October and November to meet people in the parishes, spending time in both private and open conversations about parish life and our vision for the future.

This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that Bishop Libby has been able to have face-to-face meetings on this scale and it is a great opportunity to hear from the bishop on our vision for the life of the Church, with an time for questions and to give feedback.

(Events marked * are open to all)

  • Carsington Deanery

    Sat, 23 October
    St Giles Church Matlock (DE4 3BZ) 09:30 - Eucharist*
    10:00 - Refreshments*
    10:30 - Open conversation*
    12:30 -14:00 Time with Deanery Leadership Team
    Christ Church, Hulland Ward (DE6 3EH) 14.30 - 16.30 - Open Conversation*
  • South East Deanery

    Mon, 25 October
    Breaston, St Michael (DE72 3DX) 15:30 - 16:30 - Time with Youth Forum
    17:00 - Time with Deanery Leadership Team
    Marlpool, All Saints (DE75 7PB) 19:15 - Refreshments*
    19:30 - Open conversation*
  • Dove and Derwent Deanery

    Weds, 27 October
    Belper, Christ Church (DE56 1BA) 09:30 - Mass*
    10:00 - Refreshments*
    10-30 - Open conversation*
    12:30 - 13:30 - Time with Deanery Leadership Team
    Egginton, St Wilfred (DE65 6HP) 14:15 - Refreshments*
    14:30 - Open conversation*
    16:30 - Evening Prayer*
  • Hardwick Deanery

    Thurs, 28 October
    Somercotes, St Thomas (DE55 4LY) 10:00 - Said Eucharist (celebrated by Bishop Libby)*
    10:30 - Refreshments*
    10:45 - Open conversation*
    Clay Cross, St Bartholomew (S45 9DZ) 17:30 - Refreshments
    17:45 -19:30 - Open conversation*
  • Peak Deanery

    Sat, 30 October
    Eyam Church Centre (S32 5QH) 09:45 - Refreshments*
    10:00 - 12:00 - Open conversation*
    Hayfield, St Matthew, church hall (SK22 2JE) 14:15 - Refreshments*
    14:30 - 16:30 - Open conversation*
  • North East Deanery

    Mon, 1 November
    Holmesfield, St Swithin (S18 7WT)
    10:30 - Time with Focus Group
    Clowne, St John the Baptist (S43 4AZ)
    13:30 - Refreshments
    13:45 - 15:30 - Open conversation*
    Walton, St John (S42 7LT)
    19:00 - Refreshments
    19:15 - 21:00 - Open conversation*
  • Mercia Deanery

    Sat, 6 November
    Winshill, St Mark 09:30 - Refreshments*
    09:50 - Opening Worship*
    10:00 - 12:00 - Open conversation*
    13:00 - Time with Deanery Leadership Team
    14:30 - Time with Area Dean
  • Derby City Deanery

    Thu, 11 November
    Alvaston, St Michael and All Angels (DE24 0PR) 12:00 - 14:00 - Time with Deanery Chapter Chester Green, St Paul (DE1 3RT) 17:30 - Refreshments*, Opening Worship*, Open conversation*
    19:30 - Time with Deanery Leadership Team
  • 1

(Events marked * are open to all)

Last modified on Monday, 15 November 2021 17:09

People from all over the Diocese of Derby have been presented with their Bishop's Badge in celebration of their lay ministry.

Bishop Libby presented the badges at a special service in Derby Cathedral, and online to those joining the service from home.

The badges recognise the distinguished service and dedication of many individuals contributing to the mission of the Church.

A number of awards were made to celebrate mission and innovation whilst others were presented to recognise long service.

>> See photos from the Bishop's Badge service [on Flickr]


Awards for Mission and Innovation

Paul Black - St John the Baptist, Tideswell

Nigel Brown - St. Mary's, Marston on Dove

Angela Cope - St Thomas, Somercotes

Mark Depiedge - St Thomas, Brampton

Sarah Johnson - The BMO of The Journey Community, St Osmund's Parish, Wilmortion

Sara Krohl - St Werburgh, Spondon

Lorraine and Simon Marrow - Buxton Team Parish

Janet Micklewright - All Saints' with St Mary's Sawley (and long service)

Katrina Pargma - The BMO of The Journey Community. St Osmund's Parish, Wilmorton

Nick Roberts - St Peter and St Paul, Old Brampton

Tim Scott - The BMO for The Journey Community in St Osmand's parish, Wilmorton

Leon Shufflebotham - St George the Martyr, New Mills

Susan Silcock - Kirk Langley, Mackworth and Mugginton

Christine Tilbrook - St Giles, Killamarsh

Jure Tilbrook - St Giles, Killamarsh


Awards for Long Service

Meleta Barlow - Charlesworth with Gamesly

Pauline Boon - Buxton Team Parish

Marylyn Bryan - St James Codnor

Sylvia Bunting - St Mary's Cromford

Barbara Buxton - St Osmund Wilmorton

Barrie Clayton - Charlesworth with Gamesley

Maggie Davis - Buxton Team Parish

David Gardner - Wallbrook Epiphany

Lawrence Green - St. Mary in the United Benefice of Calow with Sutton-cum-Duckmanton

Mille Guthrie - St Thomas, Brampton

Sheila Harper - Oakwood

Christine Hill - St Michael and All Angels Brimington

Paul Hunter - Holy Trinity, Matlock Bath

Ena Johnson - Newbold with Dunston

Vicks Keane - St Helen's, Etwall

Robin Lacey - St Michael and All Angels

Evelyn Lowe - Newbold with Durston

Gay Lowe - St John the Baptist, Croxall

Peter Lowe - St John the Baptist, Croxall

Janet Mowman - St Osmund, Wilmorton

Lesley Mundy - St Andrew's, Hadfield

Beryl Murdy - Marlpool

Diane Peet - Stanton In Peak

Douglas Poole - Derby Cathedral

John Roberts - Hadfield

Peter Robinson - St John the Baptist, Tideswell

Helen Smart - St Mark's, Winshill

Hilary Smith - All Saints, Hatton

Arthur Stamper - Clowne

Barbara Stringer -  St Peter and St Paul, Old Brampton

Marion Tauibut - St Alkmund's, Duffield

Paul Taylor - Buxton Team Parish

Ruth Taylor - St Margaret's, Tideswell

Josephine Vallence - St Clement's, Horsley

Calow with Sutton-cum-Duckmanton

Last modified on Thursday, 21 October 2021 11:10
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