Stir up, O Lord the wills of your faithful people;
That we, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of your good works
May by you be plenteously rewarded;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Archdeacon Carol’s Stir-Up Christmas Cake recipe:

Download the recipe [PDF]

500g Boiled Mixed Fruit (represents Giving / Talents / gifts)
250g Butter / Margarine (represents Caring / sharing)
400g Sugar (represents Joy and Happiness)
Mixed spice / nutmeg (represents Holiness / treasures)
Cherries (represents Kindness)
3 Eggs (represents Hope / New Birth)
500g Flour (represents Love / Friendship)
Milk (represents Faith / Strength)

Boil up the mixed fruit in a saucepan for 5 mins.
Use a colander to remove the water and add the fruit to a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter cut up into small cubes, stir until melted.
Add sugar and stir.
Add 2 teaspoons of spices and cherries.
Add 3 eggs seperately and stir in well.
Add flour gradually and keep stirring until a consistent mixture.
Add milk to mix and stir.
Bake in a lined, square 8-inch cake tin for 1 hour 30 min, at 150 - 180 C / gas mark 2 - 3 depending on type of oven.
When cool, cover and place in a sealed tin to mature.
Ice with marzipan and white icing, decorate as preferred.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 December 2020 17:21

Canon Linda Wainscot, formerly Director of Education for the Diocese of Coventry, will take up the position as Interim Diocesan Director of Education for two days a week during the Spring term 2021

Also, Dr Alison Brown will continue to support headteachers and schools, offering one and two days a week as required, ensuring their Christian Distinctiveness within the diocese. 

Both roles will be on a consultancy basis, starting in January 2021.

Linda wainscot writes:

Having had a long career in education, I retired in August 2020 from my most recent role as Diocesan Director of Education (DDE) for the Diocese of Coventry (a post I held for almost 20 years). 

Prior to this, I was a teacher and senior leader in maintained and independent schools and an FE College as well as being involved in teacher training.

In addition to worshipping in Rugby, I am privileged to be an Honorary Canon of Coventry Cathedral. 

As DDE I was responsible for leading a team that provided statutory and non-statutory services for Church of England Schools, established Multi-Academy Trusts, successfully bid to open St Gabriel’s CofE Academy and, as a member of the Bishop’s Core Staff Team, played a wider role across the parishes, cathedral and chaplaincies, ensuring that the place of CofE Schools remained at the heart of strategic planning. 

For two years I was the chair of the Anglican Association of Directors of Education.

At the heart of my philosophy for education is my passion that every young person and adult connected with Church of England schools might experience the love of God in a tangible and life-giving way.

I am honoured to have been asked to support the Diocese of Derby, the DBE and its family of schools and academies for the Spring Term and look forward to 'meeting' and working with you.

Clearly, in this difficult season of COVID19, our interactions will largely be limited to ZOOM etc.  However, I am confident that will not prevent meaningful and positive working relationships.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 10:14

Sarah Warburton, a parishioner at St Michael’s Church in Breaston, was one of around 40 people from the across the Diocese of Derby to be recognised for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic and awarded a Bishop’s Badge. A special service was live-streamed on Zoom from Derby Cathedral where Bishop Libby officially gave recognition and presented the awards.

Sarah was recognised for her work in leading and coordinating the Covid-19 street leaders in Breaston, providing support for the vulnerable and setting up and leading a food collection service for local food charities.

Sarah said she felt incredibly lucky to be awarded the Bishop's Badge: “It certainly feels like I received the Bishop’s Badge on behalf of a fabulous team of volunteers, without whom we definitely wouldn’t have been able to do everything that we have done in Breaston. I collected it on behalf of a group of people especially those who helped make the scheme possible, including Richard Warburton, my Husband, Paul Stuttle, Jo Whitehead and Revd Chris Smedley – vicar at St Michaels Breaston.”

When it looked like a lockdown was likely, St Michael’s Church had a meeting with the Parish Council, the Breaston community forum, the Good Neighbour Scheme and the Methodist Church about how they could respond in the village to help the community. Flyers were sent to each house offering help with shopping, post and prescription collections. Such was the hugely positive response that shortly after 130 volunteers had registered. 

The groups ambitious goal of having a leader on every street in the village was achieved within a week and when things quietened down, the network organised a food collection for the Canaan Trust and the Long Eaton and Sawley Foodbank.

Sarah said: “There were just so many incredible stories coming out of what was happening in the village. One lady was shopping for 10 elderly neighbours and that was at the time that the restrictions were in place.” 

Sarah really hopes that the community spirit will continue: “We have been at St Michaels Church for three years and during that time we have seen so many volunteers from the church being active in the community. At the time of the pandemic, many of those were forced to isolate, so it’s been a really good time for the younger generation to step up and get involved to do their part.” 

“We’ve now got the network and hope to continue it. We have a food collection planned for Christmas and with the second wave we have been in contact with everyone again to see if they are available to help and have again received such a great response.

This year, Bishop's Badges were awarded to nominees who have supported their churches and local communities during the pandemic. The recipients were nominated by clergy in the diocese.

Other recipients this year include Jim Morton of Ripley, who provided online worship opportunities through digital church, social media and zoom and also built an Alexa app to make worship available on smart speakers; Enid Glassey, Lewis Marriott and Pamela Marriott for outstanding volunteering work helping with the Cresswell Breakfast club feeding vulnerable families in our parish during Covid-19; Claire Henley for being a key team member and leader of the Food Hub work at St Alkmund's, Derby, organising care packages that have been delivered to members of the church and local communities; and a vast number of other volunteers who have provided pastoral care, online services and other support, including chaplaincy and hospital visits. and 

The Bishop's Badge has historic links, based on a medal that the very first Bishop of Derby, Bishop Edmund Pearce, had struck to celebrate this new beginning.

Medals were presented to distinguished members of the Diocese and to all those being confirmed in that year. 

Now, it is a replica of this medal that is mounted in the form of a badge and awarded by the diocesan bishop to acknowledge outstanding service.

Last modified on Friday, 27 November 2020 14:08

Downing Street has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the nomination of the Revd Canon Malcolm Macnaughton, presently Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York, as the next Suffragan Bishop of Repton in the Diocese of Derby.

Malcolm was educated at Queens’ College Cambridge and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall. He served his title at St Andrew’s Haughton-le-Skerne, in the diocese of Durham, and was ordained Priest in 1982. Malcolm was appointed Priest-in-Charge at the Anglican Methodist Local Ecumenical Partnership of All Saints, Newton Hall in the diocese of Durham in 1985. In 1990, he became Team Vicar of St John’s Hoxton in the diocese of London, and served as Area Dean of Hackney from 1994 to 1999. In 2002, he was appointed Team Rector in the Hambleden Valley Group of Churches in the diocese of Oxford, and became Area Dean of High Wycombe in 2005.  Malcolm took up his current role as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York in 2007.

Malcolm is married to Pam, an ordained pioneer minister and a leadership specialist with the Church Pastoral Aid Society.

The Bishop of Derby, the Right Reverend Libby Lane said: “Bishops are called to attend to the life of the church and to share in the building up of the Kingdom of God. Malcolm brings, out of his own deep commitment to sharing the love of Jesus, a rich and varied experience of ministry. We welcome his particular gifts in accompanying people hopefully through change, and his passion for reaching those on the margins, and younger generations, with the Good News of the Kingdom of God. We pray for Malcolm and Pam as they prepare to move - that the people and places of Derbyshire and Derby will be a blessing to them, as they will be a blessing to us.”    

Canon Malcolm Macnaughton said: “I am much looking forward to working with Bishop Libby and colleagues in the Diocese of Derby, and am excited by the task ahead. The COVID crisis is tough for everyone, and we need to be focussed on bringing real hope to those most at risk, those living in poverty, and young people who have so much to offer, but whose opportunities for education, development, and employment, are so limited just now. It is great to see the Church in Derby and Derbyshire finding new ways, alongside the old, of being church and seeking the common good. What a privilege to be called by God to join you and to share the next stage of this journey! ”

The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell said: “I am delighted that Her Majesty The Queen has appointed Malcolm as the next Suffragan Bishop of Repton.  Malcolm’s work here at Bishopthorpe alongside Archbishop Sentamu, and latterly with me, has given him huge experience of the workings of the Church of England and this will be of enormous value in the Derby diocese. At heart, Malcolm is a pastor. His gentle demeanour, fine grasp of detail and tenacious faithfulness will make him an excellent bishop. And his heart’s desire is to make Christ known. He will be hugely missed here at Bishopthorpe and across the northern province. We offer our prayers and best wishes for this next chapter of ministry for Malcolm, his family, and the Diocese of Derby.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby said: “I’m grateful to God as we welcome Malcolm to this role at a challenging but exciting time for the Church and for Diocese of Derby. He has many years’ experience as a vicar, working in partnership across communities and helping people face the difficulties and sorrows of life – as well as celebrating its joys. For 13 years, alongside then Archbishop Sentamu, Malcolm worked tirelessly to serve him in spreading the story of hope that we have in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This will be his message as Bishop of Repton – that whoever we are, we can have that hope, because of the love of God in Christ. Malcolm is committed to growing and deepening the Church, which reflects the diverse communities in which we minister. He has vast overseas experience and is a man of grace, warmth and humility. I warmly welcome him to his new ministry.”

Malcolm succeeds Bishop Jan McFarlane, now Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield.  

Malcolm will be ordained and consecrated a bishop by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in a service early next year.

malcolm and libby

Malcolm was introduced to the diocese at St Mark's Church, Derby

Last modified on Friday, 06 November 2020 16:38

Revd Peter Barham reflects on Harvest under Covid restrictions.

Harvest Festival, and we managed two decorated churches (thanks).

We had 35 in one church and 40 in the other, and - unusually - my congregation was larger than that of Northern Reader (Northern Reader is Peter's wife, Julie).

We survived not singing "We plough the fields and scatter" and everyone seemed to get something out of worship.

Harvest hedgehogs seem appropriate - spikes and all that.

allestree harvest hedgehog

We did a food bank run for the Hope Centre in Derby - Mike and Shirley had a full car (thank you again).

We can accept donations at any time in Primrose's book shed at the vicarage.

I baptised young Ralph at lunchtime - we moved the flowers first.

Just six guests allowed. Mum, dad, Ralph and the four Godparents. 

I have given up trying to understand the logic of the regulations.

Lovely young people, a happy little lad, and a pleasure to baptise - one of the greatest pleasures of my ministry (in the old days I'd have given you a photo, now I need written permission first).

Then we had an open air service.

It was a sunny afternoon and people came with their own seats.

A lot of work for 18 people and it proved why we have church buildings. Nice to have good chats with families (and others) I haven't seen for a while.

I hope everyone got something out of it.

Now I'm shattered. Daft really, Sunday's are usually a lot busier than this!

The Prime Minister is right, it is going to be a tough winter for all of us.

The lovely people at Cogito Books supplied me with this evening's entertainment.

Just wish I'd got a real fire to snuggle in front of.

>> Follow St Edmund's Allestree on Facebook

allestree harvest book

Last modified on Friday, 23 October 2020 18:13

Family Fit is a series of videos specially made for the Diocese of Derby as part of the Bishop's Harvest Appeal 2020 and the commitment to supporting mental wellbeing in Derbyshire.

This series of five 20-minute, fun-themed family workouts, led by Kay Skinner, a Church of England sports minister, includes Magnificent Mondays, Talented Tuesdays, Wild Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays, Fabulous Fridays.

They will premier each morning during the October half term break at 9 a.m. - so make sure you join in!

There is no special equipment needed - just make sure you have ample space for your family to move around while you follow Kay's classes.

This is a great way to get your family active, keep fit, do something together and, most importantly, help to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.

So please share this page with your family, friends, colleagues and schoolmates and let's all get Family Fit!

Last modified on Friday, 30 October 2020 09:42

Derby Cathedral has been awarded a grant of £270,800 to cover overheads, IT and digital resources and Personal Protective Equipment required as a result of COVID. 

The Cathedral will use some of the grant to improve its online presence and digital capabilities, making it more accessible to the City of Derby, the County of Derbyshire, the Diocese of Derby, its many visitors and a wide range of worshippers.

It is one of more than 400 organisations across the country to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Very Reverend Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, said: “Derby Cathedral is delighted and thankful to be the recipient of a Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grant. 

"The money will help us to cover essential costs incurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when our income from collections, events and hires has been drastically reduced.

“This grant allows us to start on our road of recovery and plan a sustainable response to the COVID crisis, ensuring that the Cathedral can meet the new and emerging needs of the city, visitors and worshippers.”

445 organisations will share £103 million, including Derby Cathedral, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

This funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 October 2020 17:00

The Church of England has launched ‘Safe Spaces’, an online and telephone service to help survivors and victims of abuse carried out by clergy or church officers, however long ago it happened.

Victim Support, a national charity with a track record of providing survivor support, has been commissioned to run the service.

It will run initially for two years.

Safe Spaces comprises a team of trained support advocates, who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the church.

The service is for those who may have experienced any form abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse (including spiritual abuse), domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour.

The Bishop of Southampton, Debbie Sellin, Deputy Lead Safeguarding Bishop for the Church of England, said:

“I’m delighted that this service will shortly be available to offer support and advice to survivors of abuse.

“I want to express my thanks to all those who have helped to bring the project together, particularly the survivors who have given of their time and energy.

“In Victim Support, we have an excellent operational lead, and we look forward to continuing a constructive partnership with then as well as the other denominations involved.

“I commend the service for use and hope colleagues will do all they can to promote it locally.”

To access support, visit

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 October 2020 16:18

After a year as Acting Director of Education and 16 years as Deputy Director of Education and Schools’ Adviser, Dr Alison Brown will be leaving the employment of the Diocese of Derby.  

This will take effect from 4 January 2021.  

She will be starting in a new role in January with Christian Aid as its Global Neighbours Schools’ Programme Officer.

Alison has made a huge contribution to the work of schools within the diocese, with the DBE and Bishop's staff team.

On announcing her new appointment, Alison said: “It is with mixed feelings that I am leaving the Diocesan Board of Education.

“I am very excited about the prospect of my new role with Christian Aid. It will allow me to work with schools across the country in working towards their Global Neighbour Award and thereby helping their pupils grow into people who make the world a better place.

“However, I am sad to be leaving the family of Church schools which I have known and worked with for the last 17 years.

"The head teachers and staff of these schools are exceptional people and to be cherished as they serve their pupils and communities.

"It has been a privilege to be part of their journey all these years.

“My time working for the board of education has been so rich and varied it is hard to pick out highlights.

kolkata18 20190117 railway slum

Working in deprived areas of Kolkata

"I have particularly enjoyed the training aspect of it, be that of head teachers, teachers, governors or clergy. Another, of course, has been building the links between schools here in Derbyshire and Kolkata.

The board of education also enabled me to carry out my doctoral studies on the formational and transformational potential of collective worship. It has been an exciting privilege to then see that have a real impact on many schools here in this diocese and further afield.

“It is also with mixed feelings that I leave the broader work of the diocese at a time of so many changes.

"I will be interested and prayerful as I watch how things develop as I will still live, work and worship in the diocese.”

The Ven Carol Coslett, Archdeacon of Chesterfield and chair of the Derby Diocesan Board of Education, said: “It has been an honour to work with Alison and she has been such a supportive colleague in her capacity as deputy director and over this last year as acting director.

“Alison has brought such insight and spiritual expert educational knowledge to the role which has been invaluable for all her work in the schools and with the DBE. 

“She will leave a big hole in the life of the diocese and in the education world but on behalf of the trustees of the DBE we thank her wholeheartedly and wish her every success in her new, exciting role with Christian Aid.”

Details of the process to appoint Dr Brown’s replacement will be announced shortly.

Last modified on Thursday, 08 October 2020 11:17

A statement from The Rt Revd Libby Lane - Bishop of Derby; Hannah Hogg - Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor and Helen Jebb - Independent Chair of Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel 

Today the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report into the Church of England. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, alongside the CofE lead safeguarding bishop and the national director of safeguarding have set out their thoughtsin an open letter.

We would like to assure you of our shared and joint commitment to Safeguarding and place this at the heart of our Diocese. Safeguarding is a fundamental expression of our faith and a sign of the Kingdom of God. At this difficult time, we will support those affected by the publication of the report.

The new safeguarding leadership team including Hannah Hogg, Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor and Helen Jebb, Independent Chair of Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel in the Diocese of Derby will be taking time to digest and understand the outcomes and learning from the report and are committed to making changes which promote a safer church culture.

If you or anyone you are in contact with are affected by the publication of this report and want totalk to someone independently pleasecall theSafe Spaceshelpline on0300 303 1056  or  There are also othersupport services available.

Alternatively, please contact the diocesan safeguarding team in Derby.


The Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs, the Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop and Melissa Caslake the Church’s national director of safeguarding have issued a joint statement on behalf of the national Church of England.

Last modified on Friday, 15 January 2021 16:07

A year ago, throughout October 2019, Derby Cathedral hosted the Knife Angel.

In the four weeks it stood outside the cathedral, more than 200,000 people visited, 130 volunteers were trained and gave up their time to inform visitors of the danger of carrying a knife and 23 special educational events were held to discuss knife crime.

Rachel Morris, Diocesan Secretary & Derby Cathedral Chapter Steward, Chief Executive Diocesan Board of Finance, said: “Derby Cathedral was humbled and honoured to host the Knife Angel in Derby.

"The perseverance and hard work of key partners, generous sponsors and wonderful volunteers brought the project together in a way which benefitted the many thousands of visitors who experienced and were affected by the statue. 

“The educational and public events enabled the successful delivery of the key outcomes to educate and raise public awareness of the horrors of knife and violent crime. 

"We are very grateful to every individual involved, and keen to support the ongoing legacy of the Knife Angel in Derby.”

Featuring the voice of Rachel Webb whose son, Tom, was killed in a knife attack in Derby city centre

Superintendent Sarah McAughtrie, from Derbyshire police, said: “A year on since the visit of the knife angel I look back and feel really proud of what was achieved during that time by all involved, the number of visitors was incredible. 

“I have spoken to a number of people that attended who said what a real sense of emotion they felt, thinking about all the people that have lost their lives due to this senseless crime. 

“The carrying of knives is still an issue in society and as part of the legacy of the knife angel’s visit we continue to work tirelessly as a police service, with our partners and the community, to tackle the problem”.

Last modified on Monday, 05 October 2020 11:56

Bishop Libby has ordained eight new deacons and nine priests in the Diocese of Derby, at Derby Cathedral.

The socially distanced services took place over the weekend - ordinations were delayed this year because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

There were three ordination services on each of the two days with each candidate able to invite a limited number of guests, plus their training incumbents.

Speaking to the new priests and deacons at the start of each service, Bishop Libby said: "This may not be the service you envisaged when you first considered ordination, but this is how God has called you in this time."

And in his sermon to the new priests, the Dean of Derby, Peter Robinson, said: "God has the power the change the human heart through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so as we are called by God to lead in a time of fear and towards an unknown future our task as the church is to go through Covid-19, not to imagine that we can go around it and embrace a false hope of returning to what we recall as ‘normal’."

>> See photos from the ordination of priests on Flickr

>> See photos from the ordination of deacons on Flickr

The new curates included Alan Winfield, a funeral director, who says he met God at the age of 16 during an Easter Sunrise Service.

He said: "As the sun rose above the mill rooftops, I had this strange and wonderful feeling inside and it was there and then that I knew."

Alan has been in reader ministry since 2002 and has had a deep interest in pastoral care: "I hope my curacy will enable me to develop this further and reach out to those in need and reveal something of the love of God."

Sharon Murphy is another new deacon. The mother of eight said that God appeared to her one night in a dream: "I became a Christian in my early 20s having suffered a miscarriage.

"It was my first encounter with grief, and it was such a time of pain both physically and emotionally.

"When I woke up the next morning all the pain had gone, and I felt peaceful."

As she starts her curacy in Derwent Oak BMO, Derby, Sharon says she finds herself thinking about dwelling in a place, being, prayer walking, listening and building relationships: "My prayer is that people will see something of Christ in me the hope of glory and will want that hope for themselves."

Photographs from the ordination services

>> See photos prom the ordination of priests on Flickr

>> See photos from the ordination of deacons on Flickr


Please pray for our new deacons:

Rachael Brookes - Littleover and Blagreaves

Catrin Hubbard - Buxton with Burbage and King Sterndale Team Ministry

Nicola McNally - Tideswell

Sharon Murphy - Derwent Oak, Derby

Malcolm Pyatt - Brimington

Kate Smedley - Spondon

Sandra Till - Alvaston

Alan Winfield - Melbourne, Ticknall, Smisby and Stanton-by-Bridge


and our new priests

Sally-Anne Beecham, Rhoda Blackwell, Brenda Jackson, Elaine Jones, Dawn Knight, James Milwain, Jenn Newman, John Spreadborough and Anthony Till will be ordained priests in services at Derby Cathedral and again these can be followed online - details on the cathedral's website

Will Eley will be ordained priest by the Bishop of Maidstone in a separate service on 11 October.

Last modified on Monday, 05 October 2020 11:48

Dave Channon, who has been director of education for eight years, has left his posts in the Diocese of Derby.

He has relinquished his post as Diocesan Director of Education, directorships of Derby Diocesan Academy Trust and of the Peak Centre at Champion House, and his Lay Canonry of Derby Cathedral with effect from 31st August 2020.

On announcing his departure, Bishop Libby said: "Dave has been a highly valued Diocesan Director of Education since 2012 and was instrumental in the formation and development of the Diocesan Academy Trusts.

"I know you will join me in thanking Dave for his years of dedicated service and for his lasting legacy to the work of the DBE and DDAT within our schools.

"We send him our very best wishes for the future."

And Archdeacon Carol, chair of the DBE's board of trustees, said: "We are all going to miss Dave and his input, and I know that as trustees we will want to put in place an acknowledgment to him of all his work over the years in which he has guided the development of education while he has been in office."

Last modified on Saturday, 12 September 2020 20:31

Recently, Peter Robinson, the Dean of Derby, took part in a discussion on BBC Radio 4's Beyond Belief programme about the use of water and ritual bathing in religion.

Dean Peter's doctoral thesis was on Christian Initiation focusing on Baptism

Followers of any of the main religions are more than likely to have undergone a bathing ritual.

Cleansing with water is an integral part of Christian Baptism, Muslim Prayer and Jewish purification. Hindus aspire to bathe in the waters of the River Ganges.

Why are rituals in water important to so many faiths? What do they mean? And how do they differ from religion to religion?

Joining host Ernie Rea to discuss ritual bathing are the Very Revd Peter Robinson (Dean of Derby), Dr Diana Lipton (teaching fellow in the department of biblical studies at Tel Aviv University) and Sudipta Sen (professor of history at the University of California and author of 'Ganges: the Many Pasts of an Indian River').

You can enjoy the programme here:

or find it on the BBC Sounds app.

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 11:18

Dr Alison Brown, acting director of education, reflects on the start of the new school year.

We owe all our school leaders and staff a huge debt of gratitude for keeping schools open during the lockdown, supporting pupils, parents and the wider school community.

Thank you! 

What a year 2020 continues to be. For all those involved in schools they have, in effect, two New Years to mark and celebrate each year, in January and in September as a new academic year begins. 

For most of our schools that ‘new year’ is this week. 

Of course, this is going to be a particularly unusual new start with a potent mixture of excitement and anxiety.

The excitement will be because at long last the whole school community can be back together.

The anxiety will be multi-layered. For parents it might be around the safety of their children and their ability to fit back into the social setting of school.  

For pupils it could be around being back in an environment in a new way with class bubbles, staggered break-times and starts and ends to the day.

For staff it will be about how they help pupils to pick up and run with their formal learning whilst keeping safe and happy.

For all staff there will also be anxiety for their own health and for those they care for at home.  

How can we help our precious schools and the individuals in them flourish with this backdrop?

Well, we can pray for them, that they will know that ‘goodness and mercy shall follow them all of their lives’.

For clergy and congregations who have schools in their care, sending cards, messages, emails, phone calls wishing them well and telling them of that prayer will count for a lot (as might a box of biscuits or chocolates for the staff room!!).

Visits into schools are not yet allowed and so all the support we give must be at a distance, but in the knowledge that the God who loves us all is closer than we can imagine.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 September 2020 12:34

Coronavirus (Covid-19) has affected all our lives.

Things are changing fast. We have faced loss, anxiety and disruption.

While we are still recovering, many of us continue to worry about what it means for ourselves and for our loved ones.

Which is why, this year, the Bishop of Derby’s Harvest Appeal, will focus on supporting the wellbeing of people in Derbyshire.

Peace of Mind’: supporting wellbeing in Derbyshire’ will be officially launched on Sunday, 6th September.

This autumn a variety of free online events with a mental health and wellbeing focus, from Christian partners, will be available for everyone in the diocese.  

Events include an online reading group, examples of community sport and activity projects, ‘Managing anxiety and trauma using Christian principles’ and ‘Poetry for Health’ amongst others.

The workshops are free and will be held via Zoom.

To book your place please visit the Learning in Faith pages of the diocesan website.

Alongside the events programme we have challenged ourselves to raise £15,000 to support Derbyshire Mind’s wellbeing programme ‘Enjoying Derbyshire’.

Enjoying Derbyshire is a project that offers a diverse menu of activities and workshops aimed at improving mental wellbeing.

More resources and events will be available on the diocesan website and our social media channels throughout the autumn.

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 September 2020 17:55
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