‘They…fled from the tomb…and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid’

These were brave, tenacious women.

These women had made a choice to follow Jesus and stuck with him when others turned away.

These women supported Jesus, the gospel writer Mark tells us, risking reputation, livelihood and status when others found the costs too high.

These women were watching at the cross: they remained with Jesus to the bitter end, when others had abandoned him.

These women set out to offer the final act of loving service that had been denied him, when others hid in fear of the authorities.

These were brave, tenacious women.

But the empty tomb and news that Jesus has been raised from the dead, undid them. Sometimes, when we are holding ourselves together in the face of risk and fear, of uncertainty and loss, it is goodness that undoes us.

Like these women, many of us will have spent these past days being brave and tenacious – finding depths of determination and perseverance we didn’t know we had. And, truth be told, hiding, even from ourselves perhaps, the extent of our individual and shared trauma.

And it may be goodness that breaks through our protective armour. So, good news may be harder to hear this Easter than most years. But here it is:

You are beloved: precious and honoured in God’s sight,

And nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Jesus, who was crucified has been raised – and wherever you are this morning, whatever you are facing today, whatever you have had to deal with in these past few weeks, whatever the future may hold for you – the risen Jesus is there to meet you.

Those brave, tenacious women were undone by that good news, and

‘They…fled from the tomb…and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid’.

But fear did not, in the end, overcome love.

These woman took heart, literally ‘had courage’, and so the story continued.

Because of these women the story of God’s love continues – and through the centuries that good news has been carried and passed on, until we hear it afresh today:

“Do not be afraid; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here… he is going ahead of you”

So, my prayer, this Easter morning, is that we allow ourselves to be undone by love,

and, even in the midst of our fears, receive the good news of Jesus’ resurrection:

love has conquered death – Jesus is alive.


Last modified on Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:21

Alleluia is the Easter refrain: ‘Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.’

Alleluia means ‘God be praised’ – and it may not seem there is much to praise God for this morning.

But for Christians the Easter story is the ultimate reminder that love conquers all

– that even death cannot defeat love.

‘Alleluia’ can be our song even, especially, in the midst of pain and uncertainty.

For the Easter ‘Alleluia’ is never arrogant or overbearing, it’s not blind to reality but deeply rooted in it.

Easter day is only possible after Good Friday.

The Easter story reminds us that love conquers all

– and nothing, nothing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus

Early in his ministry Jesus outlined the characteristics of the Kingdom of God, and those who seek that Kingdom, in words that we call ‘the Beatitudes’. In them

Jesus turned the world’s understanding of what matters on its head, affirming the blessedness of those usually overlooked or scorned.

This week the cartoonist Dave Walker has rewritten the Beatitudes.

You might write your own, but here are his:

Blessed are those who stay indoors for they have protected others

Blessed are the unemployed and self-employed for their need of God is great

Blessed are the … shopkeepers for they are the purveyors of scarce things

Blessed are the delivery drivers and the postal workers for they are the bringers of essential things

Blessed are the hospital workers, the ambulance crews, the doctors, the nurses, the care assistants and the cleaners for they stand between us and the rgave, and the Kingdom of heaven is surely theirs

Blessed are the checkout workers and factory workers for they have patience and fortitude in the face of overwork and frustration

Blessed are the refuse collectors for they will see God despite the mountains of waste

Blessed are the teachers for they remain steadfast and constant in disturbing times

Blessed are the church workers (and faith leaders) for they are a comforting presence in a hurting world as they continue to signpost towards God

Blessed are the single parents for they are coping alone with their responsibilities and there is no respite

Blessed are those who are alone, for they are children of God and with Him they will never be lonely

Blessed are the bereaved, for whom the worst has already happened: they shall be comforted

Blessed are those who are isolated with their abusers for one day – we pray – they will know safety

Blessed are all during this time who have pure hearts; all who still hunger and thirst for justice; all who work for peace and model mercy.

Today, I do praise God for the hope that Jesus’ death and resurrection offers us all.

Today, I praise God for the signs of hope overcoming the pressures, limitations, and losses we currently face.

So, today, albeit quietly, I sing ‘Alleluia’

- and pray for you the grace, mercy, and peace of the risen Jesus this Easter.

Last modified on Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:31

In these two videos,Ven Carol Coslett, Archdeacon of Chesterfield, talks about the Feast of the Passover and how it became the Last Supper.

Archdeacon Carol also talks about what makes a meal special - and the best meal you've ever had!



Last modified on Friday, 10 April 2020 09:45

Revd Liz England, of Buxton Team Parish, writes on Facebook:

Being Church while the buildings are closed

An idea for gathering together for a new kind of Church service...

We gather together at the same time to worship, in our separate homes, at usual service times, knowing that many of us will be worshipping at the same time; either with others in our household or on our own.

And how about setting an empty plate at the dinner table to remember Christ sits and eats with us, in communion with us, his friends. 

As we look at how to continue to be the church during this period of uncertainty, many of us will be missing the opportunity to share the Eucharist, Holy Communion together.

I thought it may help to go back to the very first Last Supper when Jesus shared a simple meal with his friends.

I would suggest putting out an extra empty plate as we sit to eat our meals each Sunday, to simply remind us that our Lord Jesus Christ sits and eats with us, in communion with us, his friends.

>> More ideas and inspiration

Last modified on Monday, 06 April 2020 12:11

A video from Bishop Libby - A Strange Place


Last modified on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:36

Live streaming is just one way our churches are doing their best to keep engaged with congregations and communities.

Revd Tim Sumpter, vicar of St Stephen's Borrowash, tried streaming a service for the first time on Sunday - and the BBC was there to see how it went!

>> See the full report (from BBC News) and watch the video (below) from BBC East Midlands Today.

>> How to live-stream your service or event


Last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020 15:28


Last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020 11:47


Last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020 13:09

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have advised that we should refrain from shaking hands as to offer each other a sign of peace.

So here's a video demonstrating a safe, easy and inclusive alternative!


Last modified on Thursday, 12 March 2020 14:31

Derby Diocesan Academy Trust (DDAT) is delighted to confirm that the planning application for the development of the new permanent site for Derby Cathedral School has been approved.

Substantial works are now due to begin on site at the former Friar Gate Goods Yard in March 2020.

The Department for education (DfE) is responsible for leading the acquisition and development of the site for Derby Cathedral School as is the case for all Free Schools nationally. The DfE has therefore led on the procurement of a construction partner and will lead on the subsequent development of the new buildings.

The project is particularly complex as the site at the former Friar Gate Goods Yard has been unoccupied and undeveloped for many years and so the planning process has been rigorous, especially given the significance of the development of a new school in the City and the prominent location of the new building.

The programme for the delivery of the new school has been delayed due to the need to address the complex issues relating to the site, concerning drainage and traffic particularly, and the school will consequently start the third year of operation in the current expanded temporary accommodation.

Mark Mallender, CEO of DDAT, said: “We are delighted that planning approval has now been secured for this historic development of the first secondary phase Church of England school within the Diocese of Derby. I appreciate that our parents, carers, staff and students have been concerned with the time it has taken to make this announcement and I am hugely grateful for their ongoing support for the school. We are incredibly excited to see progress on site at the Former Friar Gate Goods Yard and we are looking forward to occupying the high-specification, state-of-the-art buildings and facilities our students, staff and communities deserve.

“We are also looking forward to welcoming a new headteacher to the school in the Summer Term 2020. Following a rigorous recruitment and selection process, we have made a fantastic appointment and will be able to share news on the appointment very soon.

“This is a very exciting time for Derby Cathedral School and DDAT as our journey to provide a first-class education to the young people of Derby now progresses at pace.”

The design work for the necessary additional refurbishment is complete and agreed by the school and the Trust and includes the required extra specialist teaching facilities. The further refurbishment works at Midland House will be funded by the DfE.

The space available at Midland House is more than sufficient to host a further cohort of students on a temporary basis and the Trust is supportive of the plans to refurbish an additional area within Midland House for use by the school which will ensure additional specialist teaching facilities.

The DfE is currently working with the appointed contractor, BAM Construction, to produce a revised timetable for the works which will include a planned date of occupation of the new site. The Trust will update the school community on the target date for occupation and contingency planning as well as progress on site as soon as possible.

Former Friar Gate Goods Yard site

Former Friar Gate Goods Yard

Last modified on Friday, 28 February 2020 15:58

For the latest guidance, please visit www.churchofengland.org/coronavirus 



 5 October 2021

Guidance on Remembrance Sunday services 

There are no specific restrictions around Remembrance Sunday services. Please refer to the CofE general guidance for worship and liaise with any participating organisations when planning to conduct services in a safe way.

As these services are major community and civic events, where numbers are often increased, it is recommended that any additional precautions should be clearly explained for the benefit of everyone present.

The Royal British Legion has specifically forbidden Remembrance marches or parades. This does not affect holding an act of Remembrance. Remembrance marches or parades must be organised by the local authority which (if it agrees to do them) will sort out road closures and insurance. If you have any queries, please contact your archdeacon.


 5 October 2021

Guidance for pastoral visiting to individuals' homes and care homes 

With the lifting of restrictions, the rules for visiting people in their homes are largely the same as they were before the pandemic, but visitors are strongly advised to take additional precautions particularly where any of the people involved in the visit are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.

Following government guidance, this may include considering if the people involved have been fully vaccinated, social distancing, lateral flow testing before visiting, face coverings and making sure there is good ventilation. Holy Communion can be given at home, but strict hand hygiene should be observed. 

For regular visitors to care homes, there is a requirement from 11 November 2021 that they are fully vaccinated and show proof of that vaccination. They will also need to comply with the requirements of the care home on aspects such as PPE, hygiene and social distancing. People do not need to show proof of vaccination or exemption if they are visiting a resident who is dying (that is in their last days of life) or providing comfort or support to a resident following the death of a relative or friend. For more details, please see the government’s guidance here.


21 September 2021

Publication of the UK Government's Autumn and Winter plan 

Following the publication of the government’s Autumn and Winter plan, the Church of England issued this statement:

“We welcome the publication of the government's Autumn and Winter plan, recognising the very positive effects of the vaccination campaign and also the ongoing risks posed by Covid-19. We note the Government's commitment that communal worship, weddings, funerals and other commemorative events would not become subject to vaccination certification, even under 'Plan B'. We will continue to monitor the situation as we move towards Christmas.”.

>> HM Government: Covid-19 response – Autumn and Winter plan [PDF]


21 September 2021

CofE Coronavirus guidance page update 

The Coronavirus guidance page of the CofE website has been updated with the removal of all the resources labelled as 'previous' guidance. 

If you find yourself in need of any of the documentation, the key documents are available on the Diocese of Derby website or contact mark.betson@churchofengland.org.


27 July 2021

Update on the Parish Support Office (Derby Church House) 

The Parish Support Office staff have been working from home since March 2020. As the government have now encouraged office-based workers to return to workplaces from 19 July 2021, colleagues are now working a hybrid model of office and home-based with strict covid safety procedures being adhered to by all staff, which include limiting the number of people in the building at any time.

Currently, whilst we regularly assess the covid safety protocols, the Parish Support Office is not open to visitors. We hope to open our doors again to visitors and guests from September and will notify you accordingly.


27 July 2021

Emerging from the pandemic - pastoral principles 

We commend the following pastoral principles, adapted from suggestions made by the Rector of All Saints' Church, Northampton (Diocese of Peterborough):

  • The advice from government and the national church sets out what is possible and how to think it through, not what must be done.
  • Change does not need to take place all at once. Some changes will take time. Work out what to do first and deliver that. Carry others with you and seek consent.
  • There is no time limit. Resist the temptation to respond to requests for a timetable and only give undertakings for the short term. Be prepared to change course.
  • Recognise in yourself and others the fears that will come with change (and from no change).
  • Fix your eyes on those who are vulnerable in any way. Risk assessments must address the whole people of God.
  • Remember your online congregation and continue to offer a livestream where possible.
  • Be prepared for pastoral complexity – this will involve stilling some storms, correcting some misunderstandings, helping people to think of the needs of others, and the reality of contradictory demands from different parts of the church. Hold them together – they all belong.

Echoing the above, and giving more context, we have produced a simple Post Covid-19 restrictions and the liturgy FAQs which may be useful for parishes, incumbents and PCCs as decisions are made locally following post covid-19 restrictions.

>> Post Covid-19 restrictions and the liturgy FAQs [PDF] 


23 July 2021

CofE position on 'vaccine passports’

The Church has adopted a clear policy of encouraging people to be vaccinated, but, other than in very exceptional circumstances, it would be difficult for it to justify limiting access to church services or organisations on the basis of vaccine passports. Such an approach would run contrary to the principle of the Church being a home and a refuge for all. Similarly, only in exceptional circumstances is the Church likely to utilise ‘vaccine passports’ should they become available in order to facilitate additional services to its members or to the wider community, preferring to continue to emphasise existing mitigations.

While the Church is, in principle, opposed to making use of ‘vaccine passports’, it should adopt a flexible approach to their limited wider use with the important caveats that such use ought to be demonstrably beneficial to society as a whole, protective of the vulnerable in particular, non-discriminatory in nature and proportionate in use.

For more information, please see the CofE submission to the Government's consultation on vaccine certification.


23 July 2021

CCCBR bell ringing guidance

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) has issued ringing guidance effective from Monday, 19 July 2021. It has been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group.

Restrictions have largely been released, although there is still guidance on such matters as facemasks in certain circumstances, and the importance of ventilation in towers. There are no longer restrictions on how long you ring for, or with how many other people.

>> CCCBR summary ringing guidance


20 July 2021

Bishop of London urges caution and pays tribute to vaccinators as restrictions lift

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, has encouraged churches and individuals to continue to take precautions to protect the vulnerable from Covid-19. She was speaking as guidance was issued by the Church of England to help churches prepare for stage 4 of the Government's roadmap for the lifting of restrictions.

Bishop Sarah, who chairs the Church of England's Recovery Group, said: “The relaxation of restrictions on Monday is only possible because of the vaccination programme which has reduced the percentage of those with Covid who become seriously ill or die.

"We are indebted to all who have developed and administered the vaccines and we encourage anyone who has not yet done so to take advantage of the protection they offer.

“Many will welcome the possibilities now before us, not least increased numbers at life events and a long awaited return of congregational and amateur choir singing.

“However, this is a difficult point in the course of the pandemic. Despite vaccination rates, cases are up, hospital admissions are up and long covid remains an ongoing concern. Therefore our approach needs to be cautious and careful.

“Taking personal responsibility means responsibility for our neighbour, not just for ourselves, and taking precautions to protect those more vulnerable than we consider ourselves to be. Local church leaders know their communities and their own circumstances, and we will support them making local decisions to keep themselves and their community safe. We would ask everyone to support those making local decisions and respect risk assessments, which are in place to protect everyone as we enter the next phase.“


20 July 2021

Opening and managing church buildings in step 4 of the Roadmap out of Lockdown

New CofE guidance has been written in response to the decision by the Government to move to step 4 of the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’. The move to step 4 from 19 July means we are being asked to take even more personal responsibility around coronavirus than when we were compelled to adhere to Government restrictions. This must be especially so in the context of the current spike in infections.

Whilst nationally restrictions have been eased, there is no obligation for churches to return, in the immediate future, to what used to be ‘normal’ - in fact, we have been urged to exercise caution as infection rates continue to rise, and to think especially of those who are anxious or particularly vulnerable.

As churches decide how best to manage the risk to ourselves and others, clergy and PCCs are best placed to know their own communities and environments, and particularly to understand and respond to the needs of those who are most uncertain at this time.

There is particular concern about changes to the administration of Holy Communion. Although reception in both kinds is now permissible, caution is strongly encouraged. The understandable desire from some in congregations to have things as they used to be should not make others feel pushed into behaviours which make them feel unsafe or ‘second-best’. We recognise that many will not yet want to share the common cup, and consideration must be given greatest risk is to those required to consume remaining consecrated wine following distribution. Holy Communion may be received in both kinds simultaneously by the priest intincting the bread into wine for each communicant. And reception by congregants of the bread alone remains, as always, full communion. The bishops will continue to support clergy, and wardens in vacancy, who make local decisions, to make adaptations slowly.

It is recognised that it may be difficult within some parishes to agree exactly what to do and how to come to a decision on a specific point. Working through the attached documentation will help make informed and considerate choices about all aspects of our common life under these new circumstances. If difficulties arise care and support is available, in the first instance, from Area Deans or Archdeacons.

>> Opening and managing church buildings in step 4 of the Roadmap out of Lockdown [PDF]


20 July 2021

Updated CofE guidance

>> Test and Trace

>> Risk assessment template for opening church buildings

This risk assessment template is intended for use from 19 July onwards. As step 4 sees the easing of all legal restrictions it is recommended that risk assessments currently in place are re-run to ensure they fit the new circumstances.

There is no longer a requirement for Archdeacons to sign off updated risk assessments, however they remain available for advice on an individual basis for those who need particular and additional support.


2 July 2021

Churches Visitor and Tourism Association June Newsletter

In the June 2021 Newsletter, Canon John Brown from The Churches Visitor and Tourism Association poses a lot of questions about the challenges of how we can “open the doors” of our church buildings and become a “pit stop” resourcing both our congregants and occasional visitors in our current situation as restrictions ease.

  • In light of the pandemic, where can we best minister to our communities and visitors and tourists to bring the good news to our secular age?
  • How can we best navigate from shut buildings and being online to open buildings and the added work of maintaining an online presence?
  • How will we manage changes in public attitudes to risk as we open our buildings? What does the gospel offer to the questions of risk, uncertainty, bereavement, being an unwitting carrier?
  • How can we resource our open buildings so that congregants, visitors and tourists find comfort, hope, and a sense that God is with them in their plight?
    • Candles
    • Names displayed of those who have died
    • Prayer resources for different emotions
    • Scriptural resources and poetry

He quotes Revd Lucy Winkett from St James Piccadilly from a recent article in Church Times, who says that now more than ever church buildings matter as sacred spaces allowing honest conversation, whispered prayer, and public ritual, to place each of us as a small part in a much bigger story.

Revd Rhoda Blackwell
Assistant Curate, Newbold Parish Church


Updated 19 May 2021

Extension of Church Closure 

The present blanket extension was due to end after 16 May 2021. Bishop Libby has agreed that churches may continue to stay closed, if the incumbent and PCC so wish, until 30 June 2021. This will give time to assess the impact of any government announcements which are scheduled to be made on 17 May 2021 and on or in advance of 21 June 2021.

During the intervening period, churches should discuss their proposals for re-opening with their area deans and archdeacons.  A risk assessment will need to be completed and approved by the relevant archdeacon before a church may re-open.

It would be helpful if those churches which are already open would confirm that fact to Nicky Fenton, Bishop's Chaplain, and Cathy Luffman, the archdeacons’ P.A., so that an accurate picture can be formed of what is happening across the diocese.

Revd Nicky Fenton can be contacted at nicky.fenton@bishopofderby.org 
Cathy Luffman can be contacted at pa.archdeacon@derby.anglican.org


Updated 27 April 2021

Holding of APCMs:

The National Church stated last week that the Government’s legislation for what is allowed from 12 April 2021 in phase 2 of the lifting of restrictions does not permit physical meetings to be held in churches or other buildings, apart from for the purposes of communal worship or for the provision of essential voluntary or charitable services.

Physical PCMs/APCMs must not, therefore, be held before 17 May 2021.  Ones which are to be held wholly by virtual means are able to go ahead.  If this causes you a problem, please contact your Archdeacon as soon as possible to discuss what should be done.

>> APCMs information on Diocese of Derby website

>> Further details on the CofE FAQs section of Coronavirus page


Guidance Documents

>> Four step government roadmap

>> Permitted Activities under national 'step' regulations

>> Conducting public worship

>> Legal questions on conducting public worship 

>> Individual private prayer

>> Face coverings

>> Weddings

>> Holy Communion 

>> Baptisms 

>> Funerals 

>> Ordinations and Consecrations 

>> Confirmation services 

>> Pastoral encounters

>> Outdoor worship and churchyards

>> Keeping church buildings clean

>> Opening cathedral and church buildings to the public

>> Opening church buildings for works to the building and interior 

>> Permissions for temporary works in churches and cathedrals

>> Pastoral support in the community including care homes

>> Mental health and wellbeing

>> Personal risk factors to clergy, church workers and volunteers

>> Safeguarding FAQs

>> Test and Trace

>> Church Heating

>> Live streaming Worship

>> Receiving Holy Communion by simultaneous administration



>> Church reopening poster (Word | PDF)

>> Risk assessment template for contractors and construction workers

>> Risk assessment template for opening church buildings

>> Risk assessment Template for Outdoor Worship

>> Test and Trace consent form template

>> Test and Trace online privacy notice template

>> Test and Trace privacy notice template


APMs and APCMs

Added 12 April 2021

The guidance document for holding APMs and APCMs during Covid-19 restrictions has been updated - please see the new version here.

The deadline for holding APMs and APCMs has been extended to 30 June 2021 with visitations taking place by the end of September. This should give parishes a degree of flexibility if they would prefer to hold their APCM once lockdown restrictions should have been eased.

Confirmation that it is quite in order to hold APCMs this year by zoom, as was allowed last year. 
The Registry will aim to update the guidance that was prepared last 
autumn, and it will be added to the website.

More information can be found here.

Digital streaming

Read some of the advice about recording video material and live streaming here.

View our list of forthcoming live-streams in the diocese.

Door-to-door deliveries

The national CofE advice is that door-to-door deliveries carry a risk of transmitting the virus, as the deliverer may well be touching garden gates, letterboxes and of course the items they are delivering.

The scientific evidence suggests that the virus can remain on cardboard for 24 hours, meaning that letters, leaflets and envelopes will carry a similar risk. Wearing gloves may protect the volunteer deliverer, but could transmit the virus from House A to House B unless they washed between each delivery. And, of course, deliveries of such items are not classed as essential travel by the government.

There is, of course, a desire for churches to keep in touch with those who are housebound or self-isolating who do not have access to digital technology.

Our advice is that pastoral support can be carried out by phone calls. If items do need to be delivered, they can be sent by the Royal Mail, as postal workers have been given training in how to deliver items more safely. It also cuts down on the number of visits to each household. This advice echoes the advice of the national CofE, which you can read under the FAQs here.

See also: CofE Coronavirus liturgy and prayer resources

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 October 2021 13:17

Each Holy Week and Easter in Spondon, St Werburgh's provides a full retreat experience for folk who otherwise cannot access going on retreat.

For some it's down to limitations of cost; for others it's because a full week away from family/work at somewhere like Launde Abbey is just beyond their reach.  

So St Werburgh's takes the retreat to them. The retreat is provided at no cost to the individual - the whole idea is to provide the experience of a guided retreat for anyone.

Each person who makes the retreat gets a spiritual director, with whom they meet each day at a time and a place that works for them around their daily life.  

Those who are able get together for morning/evening prayer and compline and, as a larger group, they gather to celebrate the Eucharist 'in the round’ each evening of Holy Week.  

This year, teaching is being led by Beth Honey and folk from Derwent Oak.

Retreatants and all the parish come together for Maundy Thursday (everybody gets their feet washed), Good Friday and the Easter Vigil and a bonfire on Saturday night, leaving folk free to return to home parishes for Easter Day.

For more details, please contact Revd Julian Hollywell: fatherjulian@btinternet.com 

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 14:33

“What have you been doing at school today?”

“We’ve been resurrecting dead bodies.”

Actually, the children of Crich Church of England Infants School had been helping Bishop Jan consecrate the new parish graveyard below the church.

On a perfect February afternoon with a pure blue sky and low winter sunlight pouring down the hill, the gathering of children and adults had witnessed an ancient rite which none had seen before nor were likely to see again.

Bishop Jan in her full regalia, complete with Doc Martens, first fielded such questions as ‘Why are you dressed like that?’ 

Once such matters had been cleared up she explained the nature of the ritual, held her crook aloft and announced she was a chief shepherd.

The children were encouraged to answer with a few bleats but from then on they were drawn into the beauty and the sacredness of the proceedings.

Bishop Jan led the procession along the hedgerows reciting psalms and pausing at each corner to mark a solemn cross in the wet grass.

Where the gas main bisected the burial ground the gathering was informed that this stretch could not be consecrated, because it might be necessary one day to disturb the pipeline.

The children, silent and respectful, carefully picked their way around the unhallowed plot.

At the conclusion, the Registrar in her wig and gown read the declaration and Bishop Jan told the children that this was now a place where the villagers could lie safe and at rest in Jesus.

And for a few minutes, the children and all the gathering stood quietly in that glorious winter sunlight and thought about the past and the present and the future and the eternal rest that Jesus gives.

Then Bishop Jan led her flock up the lane and into the church for drinks and cake.

Martyn Offord, Churchwarden, Crich St Mary.

Last modified on Tuesday, 25 February 2020 16:38

At Holy Trinity in Shirebrook, we have formed a partnership over the past four years with Junction Arts, a Chesterfield-based charity whose principal activity is the promotion and development of access and involvement in the arts through art and regeneration activity within the district of Bolsover.

We first worked together on a project to provide art and craft activities for children and young people during the school summer holiday. 

Junction Arts arranged artists and skilled crafts people to come each week and work with young people. 

Funding was also obtained to allow the town youth worker to attend and as a congregation we provided lunch for the young people who attended. 

Food was donated by the local Co-op so it was a real community collaboration.  At the end of the summer, we hosted an art exhibition in church and an Awards Evening where young people received recognition for their creative work and their growth in social and other skills.

Since then we have hosted a play ‘The Great Austerity Debate’ an interactive theatre piece that toured the country, the play challenged some of the views that were held about the situations many people in poverty find themselves in.

Then came the ‘Processions’ project, which marked 100 years since some women in this country were given the vote. 

We got together with women from across Bolsover District and worked together to produce a banner – not unlike the banners carried by the suffragettes. 

It was such a good time of coming together as women in a community with shared experience and it also crossed some of the cultural divides we have locally as women from the Polish community also got involved. 

The banner took many weeks and many hours of sewing to complete, but finally it was ready.  We travelled to London as a group and marched with women from up and down the country – there were 100 banners from 100 communities, and it was an inspiring day in all sorts of ways. 

The banner is now on tour – it has been to Derby Cathedral, Chesterfield Library, Holy Trinity church, and will end its journey in September.

Our partnership with Junction Arts has allowed us to engage with our community in ways which might not have been possible given the limited resources we have as a congregation. 

It has been a joy and I hope we continue a long and fruitful partnership. 

I would encourage any church approached by a local art/creative foundation to grab the opportunity!

Revd Karen Bradley, Team Vicar, East Scarsdale Team Ministry

Last modified on Monday, 09 March 2020 13:47

A group of 37 has arrived in Kolkata, India, to continue their work of training and support to slum schools and to strengthen links between schools in Kolkata and those in the Diocese of Derby.

The group is comprises of 25 from our schools, 11 health and social care students and 2 of their lecturers form the University of Derby.

We are all settled in our rooms, eating well and delighted to have met for the first time or to be reunited with our friends from the Cathedral Relief Service whose schools and health care projects we are here to work with.

The group aims to share ideas and resources with teachers who work in some of the slum schools there that are overseen by the Cathedral Relief Service (CRS).

This is largely done through teachers from Derby leading lessons in their link school and through of training days later in the week.

The visit will help build on the work done during similar trips over the last five years.

See also: The Kolkata Blog 2019

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:00

The Bishop of Repton is moving on from the Diocese of Derby to become Residentiary Canon (House for Duty) at Lichfield Cathedral and Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield.

The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane will move to Lichfield with her husband Andrew and take on her new role in April, after almost four years as Bishop of Repton.

It will be a return to Diocese of Lichfield for Bishop Jan who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and began parish ministry in Stafford following her ordination as a priest in 1994. From there she served in Ely and Norwich dioceses before becoming the Bishop of Repton in 2016.

Bishop Jan said: “Andrew and I will be very sorry to leave the beautiful county of Derbyshire where we have been so happy. I feel blessed to have worked with some excellent colleagues and wonderful congregations. I came to the diocese knowing there would be a vacancy-in-see to cover. The completion of that task has coincided with the silver anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, and much reflection during my recent sabbatical on the past 26 years since I was ordained at Lichfield Cathedral.

“In addition, following five years of hospital visits I have been formally declared in remission from cancer. All of this together has led to a desire to live life at a different pace. I look forward to being able to carve out time for writing and to return to the rhythm of preaching, praying, presiding and pastoring for which I was first ordained. I’m much looking forward to returning to my home county and diocese, journeying from Repton to Lichfield quite literally in the footsteps of St Chad.”

Bishop Jan will have a formal farewell at the meeting of the Derby Diocesan Synod on Saturday 7 March. She will preach at Evensong at Derby Cathedral on Sunday 8 March at 6pm and hopes to be able to say a less formal farewell after that service, to which everyone is welcome.

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Libby Lane, said: “Bishop Jan has been a rich blessing for the Diocese of Derby. With compassion and courage she has offered both care and challenge in a time of transition. She is a good friend, and has been a generous colleague - especially for me as I arrived in the diocese. She is greatly valued and appreciated, and her ministry has been a gift to us: we thank God for her. We recognise the cost of the past few years, and honour her integrity as she moves to this new ministry in Lichfield. She will be greatly missed, but travels in the steps of St Chad with our love and prayers for her and Andrew.”

Bishop Jan will be installed as Residentiary Canon (House for Duty) at Lichfield Cathedral on Friday 3 April during Choral Evensong. She will be welcomed as Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield at Chrism Eucharist at the cathedral on Maundy Thursday, 9 April.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “It is a joy to welcome Bishop Jan back to the Diocese of Lichfield, where she was born, baptised, and ordained as a deacon and a priest. I am very pleased that she has agreed to assist in an honorary capacity with episcopal ministry, and I know that we will be greatly enriched by her wisdom, teaching and pastoral gifts. It is fitting that she will be commissioned during the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, an occasion on which we pray for all who exercise ordained and licensed ministries.”

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield Cathedral, said: “Lichfield Cathedral is honoured and delighted to receive Bishop Jan as our new Canon Custos. Her role will be primarily pastoral helping develop our links and concern for all associated with the Cathedral. We look forward to benefitting from her wisdom and experience and having her as a valued colleague. Her arrival will be a bit of a homecoming and we hope she and Andrew will enjoy this return to Jan’s roots.”

Bishops Libby and Jan at the ordination of priests in 2019

Bishop Libby said Bishop Jan has been a "good friend and a generous colleague"

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:59
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