News and Events

polling station sign

Resourcing and empowering churches to engage with a General Election period

The General Election has been announced for 4 July, so now is the time for churches and individuals to take action.

The church has long been involved in politics in various ways, and we continue to be called to ‘seek the welfare of the city’ (Jeremiah 29:7), including on environmental issues and addressing poverty and inequality in our communities.

Political parties' manifestos have been written, so we have an opportunity to ensure our local candidates are committed to focusing on the important issues and holding those elected accountable to deliver on their promises.

There are a number of ways you can engage locally with the election period, with parishes uniquely placed to advocate on behalf of the issues and needs of our communities.


Pray Your Part

First, dont forget that Pray Your Part is an invitation from the bishops of the Church of England to encourage prayer and participation in the life of our nation and communities, both as voters and as citizens. 

This 21-day journey of prayer and reflection is designed for use in the run-up to the UK General Election. Each day explores a different theme, with a short Bible reading, reflection and prayer for a different aspect of our common life.

pray your part graphic

Want to get involved?

  • Why should I get involved?

    As churches we care about what goes on in our villages, towns, and cities, and how governance affects the people in our parishes. We are privileged to live in a country with a democratic system of governance. In order for democracy to function well, it requires citizens to exercise their power and voice, rather than assuming those in elected positions (our MPs) will manage everything. Whilst important, there's more to democratic engagement than just voting.

    As Christians we have a unique view of the world, and believe in a God who longs for humanity to flourish. Consider the Lord's Prayer: how do we usher in ‘God’s kingdom’ on ‘earth as in heaven’? One way is by seeking to engage with the political system, asking for decisions and laws to reflect heavenly aspirations on issues of poverty and inequality. When Christians engage with democratic systems and politics, they're part of conversations and decision-making which help mould the direction of our country’s politics.

  • Is church political

    Some people believe that the very presence of the church is political - by living for God and meeting together, we are making a statement about what we value and how we want society to look. This is why in some countries across the world, where politicial leaders see the church as a threat to their power and rule, it is prohibited to be a Christian or gather as church.

    In England, the Church of England is the state (or ‘established’) church, which means we are to some degree entwined with our state, with the monarch (our head of state), and to our state government.

    Some bishops, including Bishop Libby, are part of the House of Lords. They scrutinise legislation, hold the government to account, and consider public policy.

    Much of the liturgy of the Church of England could be called political, not least the Magnificat which quotes Mary’s prayer and proclaimes the nature of God as one who:

    “…has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly... has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”

    Desmond Tutu is cited as saying: ‘When people tell me that the Bible has nothing to do with politics, I ask them “Which Bible are you talking about?”’

  • Is the Church independent and impartial?

    It is important to bear in mind that churches are accountable to charity law (even if not registered with the Charity Commission) which prevents some aspects of lobbying during an election cycle. This doesn’t prevent all engagement, but it is important to understand what is and isn’t allowed during this time. Don’t let this put you off – your church can be involved in elections as long as it is within the boundaries of charity law.

    A charity must stress its independence and impartiality and ensure involvement with political parties is balanced; they cannot support a political party but can support specific policies if it helps them achieve their charitable purpose. You should read the Charity Commission guidance, with section 4.4 focused on the specificities once an election has been called. More in-depth information on elections and referendums for charities is available here.

    During election periods campaigning activities are also covered by the Electoral Commission - read their information on why the Lobby Act shouldn’t stop charities from campaigning.

    If you would like more advice specifically related to churches, contact JPIT at enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk or on 020 7916 8632.

  • Further reading and upcoming events

    Want to know a bit more? We recommend reading:

    5 Reasons Christians Don’t Get Involved in Politics by Christians in Politics

    Can Religion and Politics Mix Today? by Christians in Politics

  • 1

What can I do?

As a church

1. Become a Voter Registration Champion

The Electoral Commission estimates that around 26 million eligible voters will miss out on voting at the next General Election because they haven't properly registered, don't have photo ID, or won't turn out to vote on the day.

You're at greater risk of not being able to participate in the democratic process if you are young, a non-UK national, rent your home, have moved recently, live in an economically-disadvantaged community, or are from an ethnic minority.

Your church can encourage democratic participation in your area by giving reminders on registration, ID, and voting dates in your pew sheets or e-news, sharing in service notices, running a voter registration event after your Sunday service or at your community groups. Even if people aren't British Citizens, they may still be eligible to vote (eg if they're from Commonwealth countries), so encourage people to check using the Can I Vote? search tool.

Find out how to accredit as a Voter Registration Champion with Citizens UK.


2. Host a hustings event

A hustings is an election meeting during a general election period. Hustings support the democratic process, facilitate public debate, and help people know who their local candidates are and what they stand for.

They can also be the start of relationship-building.

Continuing to work with MPs between elections is crucial for building good working relationships, raising issues important to your community, and keeping them accountable.

Hustings are normally organised locally by churches (often ecumenically through Churches Together networks) and communities.

If a hustings isn't being planned in your constituency, your church could host it.

Resources for running a hustings:

With the general election only a few weeks away, you need to move quickly if you want to host a hustings event. If you can start planning now, we'd recommend you:

  1. Gather your planning team
  2. Decide on a venue (church building, community hall, school etc) and find out its availability
  3. Invite your local constituents (you may want to choose a date or offer a couple of dates, or to find out candidates' availability first)


3. Pray and preach

As a church, be praying for the election period; for your candidates, for respect and kindness during political debate, and that whoever forms the next government takes issues of poverty, inequality, and the environment seriously.

It can feel daunting to preach on politics during the election period, but it's vital for us to explore how our faith speaks into and interacts with politics today, and to encourage our congregations to be active citizens and voters.

Resources for prayer and preaching:

As an individual 

Unlike churches, parishioners are able to support a specific political party and to engage in any range of political activity or campaigning, assuming it is within the boundaries of the law.

Here's four things you could do this election season:

  1. Sign up for free daily reflections ahead of the election to join in prayer for our nation and play your part as a citizen and voter.
  2. Vote - register to votecheck what photo ID you need to take to the polling station, and find out who you can vote for. (Even if you're not a British Citizen, you may still be able to vote, so check here.)
  3. Attend a hustings - a public meeting where election candidates speak to potential voters, allowing you to hear directly from them and ask questions. Find out where your local hustings is and go along. It might even be at your church!
  4. Read Citizens UK’s General Election Manifesto setting out eight key issues they are asking the next UK Government to address.


Support and training

A series for churches to explore the theological take on the General Election, including strategies for mission and ministry in the context of General Election strategy: voter ID, voter registration, community engagement, and how we can prepare for the election.

Underlying all these themes will be the agenda of working at all times for social justice.

  • Thursday 6 June, 4pm
  • Thursday 5 September, 4pm


A three-day residential in London by Church Mission Society and Theos.

  • 11-13 July 2024

Beyond the election

Elections aren’t the only time you can help shape the political direction.

Here are some ways you can engage beyond the elections...


Join a political party

Don’t sit on the sidelines - get involved with a political party to help be part of a team working to shape the agenda.

You join others to get involved with events and campaign days to help elect candidates, and vote on aspects of the party. You might even stand as an election candidate yourself one day.

You’re unlikely to find a party with whom you agree with on everything, but join one with whom you agree with most and help shape their policies.


Run the Influence Course

Run this interactive six-week course in small groups to explore the Biblical basis of our call to public life, and how we can be active participants not just armchair commentators.


Meet your MP

JPIT explains how you can build positive links between you and your MP, more than just sending an occasional email.

This gives your MP an opportunity to better understand the activities and concerns of their local community – update them on the good things you and your church are involved in, and the difficulties or challenges facing those in your community. See some top tips here.

You can also...

Even if there’s nothing specific you need your MP to do at this point, engagement now can still be important to grow a strong relationship which will aid you in the future if something important arises.


  • For getting a meeting

    Does anyone in your church have an existing relationship with them?

    Involve them if this relationship might be helpful.

    Write them a clear, short email, making it clear you are in their constituency (put your address at the end of the email)

    Chase them if you don’t hear back (email, phone, or in person during their surgery hours!)

  • During the meeting

    Be warm and positive; build a relationship and a collaborative approach. It may sound obvious, but treat them with the dignity and kindness you would anyone else. A confrontational or accusatory meeting is unlikely to be productive.

    Be clear about what the MP can do (this could be action or promoting a campaign/event – decide this before the meeting!)

    Get details of the relevant person in their team to follow up with

  • After the meeting

    Accountability – follow up with what they agreed to do, and keep their team informed about your work/event/campaign

    Consider carefully whether you want to be publicly critical; it may damage the relationship you’re building

    Continue to build the relationship! Follow their campaigns and contributions locally and in Parliament. Consider if you can support their work or feed in insights from your local involvements.

  • 1

Join Citizens UK

Explore joining Citizens UK, an alliance of local faith groups, schools, charities, and unions in Reading, Oxford, or Milton Keynes, to act on issues related to the needs of local people. This might be through forming and joining campaigns, conversations with powerholders, and engagement with MPs.



Some suggestions:

  • Those Who Show Up, Andy Flannagan (Christians in Politics) – a book on the importance of being involved in politics, not just watching from the sidelines, and how this fits with faith.
  • Just Mission: Practical Politics for Local Churches, Helen Cameron – an introduction to political and public theology for churches to see how to use the democratic process to achieve justice
  • Politics & Mission: Rediscovering the Political Power of what Christians do, Bishop of Kingston, Martin Gainsborough – looking at how the church’s liturgy is powerful counter-cultural, and through this, the church is uniquely political
  • Faith in Democracy: Framing a Politics of Deep Diversity, Jonathan Chaplain – considering the place of faith in public life, finding a third way beyond ‘secularism’ and the ‘Christian nation’
Last modified on Wednesday, 12 June 2024 14:14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bishop of Repton

Last modified on Thursday, 30 May 2024 15:23

We love all the creative and different ways churches are engaging with their parishes and beyond.

Our vision is The Kingdom of God, Good News for All and it's great to see how so many churches in the Diocese of Derby are sharing stories of their success in achieving transformed lives through growing church and building community.

Here are a few that have caught our eye recently:


Last modified on Wednesday, 12 June 2024 15:55

Bishop Malcolm is going the extra mile for vulnerable communities around the world during Christian Aid Week 2024.

He is taking part in ‘70k in May’ – a challenge to cover 70 kilometres in whatever way you like, in solidarity with millions of people who have to walk long distances for clean water or to sell their produce.

This year’s Christian Aid Week - from May 12–18 - is focussing on work in Burundi, one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in Africa.

Bishop Malcolm said his connections with Burundi are spurring him on to complete the challenge: “Every year, during Christian Aid Week, people across this country raise funds, act and pray for their global neighbours in a celebration of hope for a fairer world.

“I’m doing 70k in May not only to get more exercise, (though that in itself is going to help me) but mainly to encourage folks to give to Christian Aid’s work.

"With family and friends in Burundi, I want to help Christian Aid empower local communities facing extreme poverty and the impact of climate change.

“Here in the Diocese of Derby, we have been supporting the Diocese of Bujumbura’s work with people on the fringe of the city whose property is vulnerable to mudslides due to climate change.

"Christian Aid’s work with people in Burundi, on most counts the country with the world’s lowest per capita income, can make an immense difference.

“I plan to walk, cycle, and on a good day run a bit every day, to encourage people to join with me in supporting this work.”

Money raised during Christian Aid Week will help the organisation’s partners empower vulnerable communities to find practical and sustainable ways out of poverty.

Heavily reliant on agriculture, Burundi is also one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and landslides.

The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges: more than 70 per cent of the population live in poverty and more than half of children are chronically malnourished.

To support Bishop Malcolm, please visit his fundraising page.

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2024 15:15

ss augustine roll of honour with guests

A total of 72 local men who died in service during the First World War are now remembered in a Roll of Honour mounted in the Church of Saints Augustine on Derby Road, Chesterfield.

Their names are on permanent display for the first time in around 100 years, after the original roll was taken down to allow the construction of the existing church building.

The church only realised the roll was missing in 2022, when military historian Michael Orme produced a 1920 newspaper cutting confirming that a roll of 72 names had once hung in the original building on the site.

The church’s vicar, Revd Sally-Anne Beecham, believes it is likely to have been lost when that building was demolished.

Revd Beecham said: “It’s extraordinary to think that no-one living has ever seen the original roll of honour and its whereabouts remain a mystery.

"It very quickly became a priority for us to replace the Roll and ensure these men are forgotten no longer, especially as the majority are not remembered anywhere else in the UK.”

In 2023, Michael Orme wrote Only Remembered, a book based on his research of the 72 local men who perished. 

A local committee was also formed, led by Revd Beecham, and together they planned, designed and raised money for the replacement. 

Mr Orme said: "The writing of Only Remembered was entirely motivated by the hope that, in sharing its story with a wider audience, Birdholme's lost roll of honour might eventually be replaced.

"It should, therefore, be obvious that I am both delighted and humbled by the fact that this has now been accomplished.

"I can only express my sincerest thanks to all those volunteers who shared this vision and have done such splendid work to make it a reality.”

The Roll has now been hung in the Lady Chapel of the church following a short ceremony on Saturday, 27 April.

The Rt Revd Malcolm Macnaughton, Bishop of Repton, marked its return along with uniformed personnel representing a number of military organisations.

ss augustine roll of honour

Last modified on Friday, 10 May 2024 10:29

The success of the Bishop of Derby's Harvest appeal, Trees for Life, Burundi, means that extra help can be given to the people of the Diocese of Bujumbura after suffering more climate-change devastation.

Last year, the appeal set out to raise £5,000 for a tree planting project in the world's poorest country, where the roots will help stabilise the land to reduce erosion and prevent lives, livelihoods, buildings and livestock being washed away by worsening seasonal rains.

Once again, the people of the Diocese of Derby showed extraordinary generosity and the final total raised is £12,428.

The Diocese of Derby pledged to get the project under way on two of the hillsides around Bujumbura, Gisovu, and Nyamaboko, but because more was raised than originally expected, the work can be extended to the Buhina and Kabumba hillside communities.

Recent floods and mudslides in the area have made the work all the more urgent.

Announcing the final total, Bishop Libby said: "Thank you for the generosity that enabled this money to be shared with our friends in Bujumbura for such vital work.

"Thank you even more for the care-filled prayers that continued to be offered for our sisters and brothers in Christ there.

"We do pray that as work continues to protect and sustain the physical environment from ongoing damage caused by erosion and mudslides by planting trees on vulnerable hillsides, congregation and communities would also know the continuing presence of the risen Christ, and put down deep roots into His love to grow resilient and fruitful for His Kingdom."

The Revd Bernard Rwambigo, who is managing the project for the Diocese of Bujumbura, has recently sent Bishop Malcolm an update, detailing the current situation and how the work is expected to progress.

People in Bujumbura watch their land being washed away

The Revd Bernard Rwambigo writes:

‘The province of Bujumbura is one of the 18 provinces that make up the Republic of Burundi.

It comprises nine communes, including Kanyosha.Bujumbura province, commonly known as rural Bujumbura, is also one of the provinces crossed by the Congo-Nile ridge.

The province's most mountainous communes are Isare, Kanyosha, Kabezi and Mubimbi.

Among these more mountainous Communes, Commune Kanyosha lies on the edge of the city of Bujumbura, where houses abound, continuously under threat from the consequences of erosion from the Commune's non-afforested hills.

Bujumbura's housing at the foot of these four hills is at the same risk.

From July 2016 to March 2022, a project funded by Norwegian Church Aid in the Communes of Mutimbuzi, Kanyosha, Kabezi, Isare, Mugongomanga and Kabezi, one of whose activities was the reforestation of bare areas was not able to cover all their hills, including those in Commune Kanyosha.

The hills in the commune of Kanyosha that are high risk are Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills.

The effects of climate change on the these hills continue to be felt: according to the administrator of this commune. Following torrential rain and strong winds, more than 10 dwellings, a church and a school were destroyed, and many fields were damaged; domestic animals were swept away by lightning and others by landslides, to name but a few. See photos of recent flooding and mudslides.

Yet the hill's inhabitants have not been able to take economic action to achieve resilience to the effects of climate change. The Diocese of Bujumbura is committed to protecting the environment and combating climate change, and is standing by these communities to help them address these issues.

As a result of the bare soil caused by the lack of reforestation, natural erosion is in full swing and continues to carry away everything that can be transported by water: small living creatures made up of animals and plants, resulting in genetic erosion where even native trees no longer grow. As a result of this natural erosion, food production is no longer improving.

The consequences of lack of reforestation:

  • Erosion manifests itself in the loss of fertility of arable and non-arable soil, which makes it impossible for farmers to sustain their livelihoods.
  • Climate change: climate change is causing temperatures to rise, increasing respiratory illnesses and the disappearance of some animals and plants.
  • Both of the above contribute to persistent and worsening poverty and ill health.

The overall objective of this extended project is “To contribute to the reduction of the bare soil of the Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills, Commune Kanyosha, Province of Bujumbura".



Specific objective no. 1: Reduce soil erosion by 20% on the Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills in high-risk areas.

Specific objective no. 2: Initiate 16 climate resilience economic groupings.


Expected outcome 1.1: By September 2024, 40% of the 280 women and 40 young people beneficiaries in the Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills will have traced contour lines on their landholdings.

Expected Outcome I.2: By December 2024, 20% of the open spaces on the Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills will be planted with trees.

Expected outcome 2.1: By July 2024, at least 16 savings and credit groups, including 14 for women and 2 for young people, will be operational.


The project aims to solve the problem faced by the inhabitants of the Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills in Commune Kanyosha, Province Bujumbura. The problem concerns the bare soil of the four hills.

This problem will be solved by contouring all cultivable and non-cultivable areas. Awareness-raising campaigns for members of the local administration and the population will be carried out on the importance of contour marking, contour protection and tree planting.

The beneficiaries will be the heads of households and young people up to the age of 45. These beneficiaries and young people will be given nurseries. Beneficiaries will operate in groups of 20 people each. 16 groups will be formed, including 2 youth groups and 14 adult groups (women mothers of households). The number of direct beneficiaries will therefore be 280 women and 40 young people, making a total of 320 beneficiaries representing 320 households. According to Burundi Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (ISTEEBU), a household consists of 8 family members. The number of indirect beneficiaries is therefore 320x7= 2,240 people.

Other indirect beneficiaries are the population of the four hills and those living below the four hills in the intervention zone.

In these groups, a savings and credit approach will be introduced, so that beneficiaries can set up a fund to help them purchase nursery raising equipment to sustain the project after it ends. The savings and credit approach will use the Self Help Group (SHG) process.

A project team will be set up, consisting of a focal point living in the same locality of Gisovu, Nyamaboko, Buhina and Kabumba hills, two agricultural monitors who are already in the field on salary, an agronomist already on the payroll of the Diocese and the Coordinator, also on the payroll of the Diocese. The accountant will be from the Diocese.

A database will be developed at the start of the project. Data collection sheets to monitor the indicators will be drawn up and made available to the monitors and the focal point. These sheets will be collected on a monthly basis, and the narrative and financial reports to be sent to the donor (Diocese of Derby) will be drawn up on a quarterly basis and whenever necessary.’

(A slightly abridged version of the extended Project Proposal prepared by the Revd Bernard Rwambigo, Diocese of Bujumbura. April 2024)


Please keep this extraordinarily important and valuable work in your prayers.


Bishop of Repton

soil erosion leaves a house in a precarious state in bujumbura

Last modified on Monday, 29 April 2024 19:16

new readers outside derby cathedral

On Saturday 20th April, Bishop Libby admitted 11 new people to the office of Licensed Lay Minister (Reader), in a special service at Derby Cathedral.

Licensed Lay Ministers are volunteers who are called and theologically trained to teach, lead, and equip the church for mission.

They are people from a variety of backgrounds, occupations, and contexts who have heard God's call.

LLMs are communicators, story tellers and teachers who can shape the minds, hearts and souls of people and congregations around the good news of Jesus Christ, the story of Scripture and the wisdom of our tradition so that they can live out their calling as disciples in everyday life.

They work collaboratively with clergy as fellow ministers with complementary gifts and callings.

Please hold in your prayers those who were licensed as they begin this new phase in public ministry:

Beth Hawkins to serve in the Benefice of Walkbrook Epiphany.

Diana Houghton to serve in the Benefices of Fenny Bentley, Thorpe, Tissington, Parwich and Alsop en le Dale.

Steve Johnson to serve in the Benefices of Etwall, Egginton, Dalbury, Sutton-on-the-Hill and Trusley.

Ben Martin to serve in the Benefice of St Alkmund and St Werburgh.

Vickie Melling to serve in the Benefice of Hilton with Marston on Dove, Hatton, Boylestone and Church Broughton. 

Liz Runcorn to serve in the Benefice of Derby St Peter and Christ Church with Holy Trinity. 

Pete Townsend to serve in the Benefice of Ashover and Handley, and Brackenfield with Wessington. 

Ben Wheelhouse to serve in the Benefice of Killamarsh and Renishaw.

Jenny Whittaker to serve in the Benefice of Dronfield with Holmesfield.

Chris Wilkins to serve in the Benefice of Sawley.

Steve Dunning to serve with Permission to Officiate in the Benefice of Hulland, Atlow, Kniveton, Bradley and Hognaston.

reader licensing 2024 in Derby Cathedral

Last modified on Monday, 29 April 2024 17:59

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby, has been in the Diocese of Derby, leading communities in prayer.

Arriving at Chesterfield station, he was welcomed by Bishop Libby and Bishop Malcolm and taken to Saints Augustine Church in Chesterfield where he prayed with members of the congregation and those who help run the foodbank.

He told the congregation: "There is no set way to pray and you don't have to be sure of your faith to pray.

"God knows what is in your heart and so simply chatting with God is prayer."

He also dropped in to the adjacent Hope House to see the great work being done by the Christian charity of the same name that provides accommodation for previously homeless people.

The day in pictures

  • In pictures: The Archbishop of Canterbury in Chesterfield
    Archbishop Justin started his Day of Prayer in Chesterfield, visiting Saints Augustine Parish Church and the adjacent Hope House. Saturday, 13 April 2024
  • In pictures: The Archbishop of Canterbury in Youlgreave
    The Archbishop met people from the farming community as he stopped off for elevenses in Youlgreave! Saturday, 13 April 2024
  • In pictures: The Archbishop of Canterbury at Crich Stand
    At Crich Stand, Archbishop Justin enjoyed a picnic, fabulous views of Derbyshire and led a short Clypping Service (his first ever!). Saturday, 13 April 2024
  • In pictures: The Archbishop of Canterbury in Ilkeston
    In Ikeston, Archbishop Justin met and prayed with people outside St Mary's Church in the town's Market Place. Saturday, 13 April 2024
  • In pictures: The Archbishop of Canterbury in Shelton Lock
    Archbishop Justin joined a wonderful children's tea party at St Ed's in Allenton and Shelton Lock, and what a party it was! Saturday, 13 April 2024
  • In pictures: The Archbishop of Canterbury at Derby Cathedral
    In Derby, Archbishop Justin joined in with the cathedral's own day of prayer and reflected on his day in Derbyshire. Saturday, 13 April 2024
  • 1

(Many more photos from Archbishop Justin's visit will be made available in the coming days)


Then, in Youlgreave, Archbishop Justin met members of the farming community, hearing about some of the challenges they face as farmers and farming familes. 

Although gales and rain threatened to spoil the lunchtime party at Crich Stand, the archbishop took time to picnic, talk and pray with families and young people - around 200 people in all - and to enjoy the views across the county.

It was there that he led everyone in an act of clypping where usually a church, but in this case Crich Stand, is encircled by people who link hands and pray for the building they surround. 

Afterwards, they faced outwards and said prayers for the Diocese of Derby.

See how Archbishop Justin's visit unfolded: Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

Yet more crowds gathered outside St Mary's Church in Ilkeston's Market Place, where once again Archbishop Justin and his team prayed with locals and enjoyed a chat.

The Archbishop received a warm welcome, too, at St Ed's in Shelton Lock, where a children's tea party was underway.

As part of the day, local children had been invited to ask him questions about his job and his life.

Having prayed many times for the diocese and it's people, the tables were turned on Archbishop Justin when 13-year-old Hadassah asked if this time she could pray for him.

archbishop justin at St Ed's in Shelton Lock

Archbishop Justin shares a joke before 13-year-old Hadassah (right) offers to pray for him


Finally, he made his way to the city centre to lead prayers at the close of a prayer day at Derby Cathedral.

Whilst there, he reflected on his day in Derbyshire, describing the joy he had found in praying with so many people, and the "extraordinarily wonderful" views he had encountered in the diocese.

(Many more photos from Archbishop Justin's visit will be made available in the coming days)

Last modified on Monday, 22 April 2024 10:41

I was nominated by the Bishop of Derby, Bishop Libby, along with Madelaine Goddard, to receive Royal Maundy at Worcester Cathedral, a great honour for us both and, in my case, for reasons that are not at all clear, because I have simply been carrying out my role as churchwarden at St Anne’s church, Ambergate, during long years of interrregnum.

The distribution is in two parts and the gifts handed to the recipients are symbolic.

Two leather purses are given, one red and the other white.

They have been beautifully manufactured with leather thongs, which are tied together to form a single presentation package of the two purses.

The red purse contains a nominal allowance for clothing and provisions, formerly given in kind, and a payment for the redemption of the royal gown and consists of a crown (£5) with an image of a Tudor Dragon and, this year, a 50p celebrating 200 years of the RNLI.

The white purse contains the Royal Maundy, a set of silver coins, in denominations of 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p, that amount to the age of the King, seventy-five years.

Each individual pouch amounts to 10p and a separate pouch contains a 2p and a 3p to make the total up to 75p.

maundy money purses 2024

The Lord High Almoner, The Right Reverend Dr John Inge, who is also the Bishop of Worcester, talked to the recipients as well as the rest of the congregation, about the service, its history and origins quoting the mandatum and setting the scene for the service.

Then, the processions started and the whole service became, for me, highly emotional and overwhelming.

Those wonderful words of the great hymn "When I survey the wondrous Cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride” came into my mind and I became acutely aware of the honour that I was about to receive.

Christ, in all His glorious resurrection, was present in this service and I am very grateful for being nominated by the Bishop of Derby!

When it came to the Distribution of the Royal Maundy, I was positioned on the south aisle at the rear of the main section, one set of rows forward of the west door.

Queen Camilla came down the south aisle bestowing Royal Maundy on each recipient, positioned at the end of each row of pews.

When it came to my turn to receive the Royal Maundy, the Queen said: “Thank you for your service”, to which I replied: “Thank you, your Majesty, it is much appreciated.”

maundy coins

Maundy facts

The tradition of presenting alms on Maundy Thursday goes back to at least the 4th-Century.

The Maundy money ceremony itself began in 1662, when Charles II gave out coins.

This year, Queen Camilla distributed the Maundy money to 75 men and 75 women from around the country - one man and one woman for each year of the monarch's age.

The gift is presented in recognition of their exemplary Christian service to church and community over many years.

In recent times it has been the tradition for the service to travel to different cathedrals; last year the service was held at York Minster. It was last held in Derby in 2010.

The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘commandment’ - it was on this Thursday, the day before he died, that Jesus gave his disciples what he described as a new commandment: ‘that you should love one another as I have loved you’.

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2024 12:38

Madelaine Goddard was one of 150 people to receive Maundy Money from Her Majesty The Queen last week.

The Royal Maundy Service saw 75 men and 75 women receive the specially minted coins at Worcester Cathedral, in recognition of their many years of Christian service to their local community and church.

"It was awe inspiring. Fantastic," said Madelaine, who is currently a Deanery Synod member and lay chair for Derby City Deanery.

Maundy money was also presented to Piers Bostock of St Anne's Ambergate.

Madelaine Goddard said: "The first thing that struck me was how lovely and friendly everyone was - the police, the marshals and the 6th-formers who escorted us to our seat all seemed to want us to have a great day.

"The service and the pageantry were beautiful and the whole atmosphere was wonderfully uplifting both inside and out, despite the horrid weather."

Although she described the day as 'memorable', Madelaine had to confess that one part of it was a bit of a blur: "I think I was slightly nervous as the Queen walked towards me.

"She was very charming and gracious and she spoke to all the recipients - but I can't actually remember most of what she said to me, apart from 'God bless' at the end of our conversation!"

madelaine goddard maundy purses 16x9 1500

Queen Camilla presented the coins this year on behalf of His Majesty The King.

King Charles, who is being treated for cancer, sent a video message to the service expressing his 'great sadness' at missing the Maundy Thursday service.

The purses containg the coins were carried on large salvers by Yeoman Warders from the Tower of London.

Madelaine's Maundy adventure began back in February when a letter bearing the royal crest landed on her door mat.

"Oh gosh, what on Earth's this?" She recalls thinking.

The letter was an invitation to receive Maundy money and said she had been nominated by the Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby.

"I remember feeling very honoured and privileged to have even been considered," said Madelaine. "Though a part of me kept wondering 'why me?'"

Royal Maundy Service Worcester Cathedral beefeaters 16x9 2000

Maundy facts

The tradition of presenting alms on Maundy Thursday goes back to at least the 4th-Century.

The Maundy money ceremony itself began in 1662, when Charles II gave out coins.

This year, Queen Camilla distributed the Maundy money to 75 men and 75 women from around the country - one man and one woman for each year of the monarch's age.

The gift is presented in recognition of their exemplary Christian service to church and community over many years.

In recent times it has been the tradition for the service to travel to different cathedrals; last year the service was held at York Minster. It was last held in Derby in 2010.

The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘commandment’ - it was on this Thursday, the day before he died, that Jesus gave his disciples what he described as a new commandment: ‘that you should love one another as I have loved you’.

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2024 12:39

A message from Bishop Libby

My faith is rooted in thanksgiving: I believe God gave everything for me in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus - in gratitude I chose to give my everything back to God.

At Easter, Christians celebrate Jesus’s victory over sin and death. Over this past week we have recalled Jesus’s last days before his crucifixion, remembering his arrest, trial and suffering.

On Good Friday we commemorate his death in wonder that God chose not only to share our humanity but also to die for us that we might receive forgiveness of sins and the hope of life everlasting - a promise fulfilled in Jesus' resurrection from the dead, on Easter Sunday.

This year, through Lent, I have taken the opportunity to return to the basics of my faith with 40 days preparation for the celebration of Easter.

For six weeks, I have made time in my own life for those things I encourage in others:

  • I have been joining volunteers serving their local contexts – coming alongside those running a debt advice service; those offering good food and good company to combat hunger and loneliness; I have made cups of tea for those protecting children from exploitation, joined in with a community choir improving mental health and learnt about work being done to support victims of domestic abuse.
  • With family and colleagues, and about 80 others, I have challenged the injustice of homelessness by joining ‘Sleep Easy’. Sleeping rough for just one night in support of the work of Derby YMCA and Padley Group, our aim was to draw attention to the terrible vulnerability of those who find themselves without safe and sustainable housing.
  • Privately, I have been deepening my relationship with God by putting aside time each day to be still and quiet and be attentive to his presence in the world around me. A simple but joyful pleasure has been a free App on my phone that helps to identify the birds I’ve heard each day and then posting my discoveries on Facebook.
  • In sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, I have taken every opportunity to invite others to join in the life of the Kingdom of God as His disciples. A particular highlight of Lent this year was the Service of Baptism and Confirmation at HMPrison Foston Hall. What a privilege to welcome into the Household of God those, in complex and challenging circumstances, who have made the choice to follow Jesus.

This Easter, I invite you to consider that choice too – or to reaffirm the choice you may have made long ago - to give your all to the One who gave everything for us as we celebrate the extraordinary promise and joy of new life this Easter Sunday.

I pray you a joyful Easter, full of hope and peace.

Last modified on Monday, 22 April 2024 11:37

A group of walkers from Youlgrave All Saints is embarking on a marathon journey to all of England's 42 Anglican cathedrals to raise £42,000 for improvements to the church.

The self-styled Pommie Pilgrims - named for the sound of the village band - aim to complete a total of 10 million steps on their travels to help fundraise to provide a kitchen, warm space and toilets for Youlgrave’s 12th-Century church.

The journey begins on at 12 noon on Palm Sunday with the start of the first pilgrimage - a three-day walk to Derby with the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Teresa Peltier, the Youlgrave Silver Band, the WI Choir, a host of village pilgrims and a couple of donkeys!

The Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Elizabeth Fothergill, will also be in attendance to wave them off.

Bishop Libby and Dean Peter will meet the Pommie Pilgrims as they arrive at Derby Cathedral on Tuesday, 26 March.

>> Find out more and make a donation

Revd Adele Barker, Priest-in-Charge of the White Peak and Youlgrave Benefice, said: "We have a beautiful church building and all that is raised will be used to ensure that we can provide a warm welcome and hospitality in All Saints for many more years to come. 

"Our hope to connect Youlgrave with each cathedral in the country via pilgrimage is a huge challenge.

"It will be interesting to hear all the stories that will flow from each journey!"

The dean of each cathedral has been invited to to meet them on their journey.

>> Follow the Pommie Pilgrims on Facebook

A pottery pilgrim’s token, designed by local artist Phil Smith, will be carried and presented to each cathedral forging a permanent link back to Youlgrave.

Revd Cannon Elizabeth Jane Clay MBE, chair of the Pommie Pilgrimage organising group, said: "Ten million steps to connect our village with some of the grandest buildings in the country feels like an impossible task, but one step at a time, together, we’ll get there.

We’re not expecting to raise this amount of money by being sponsored a penny a mile, but if you’re able to spend more than a penny for our loos, please do get in touch!”

All Saint’s Church is a Grade One listed building loved by the villagers of Youlgrave and beyond.

It is a resting place for weary walkers, a classroom and performance space for eager school children, a community foodbank for those in need, a vital community link for the elderly, children and families and a regular place of worship, remembrance and celebration for a whole community.

Many visitors wander in daily and enjoy the calm spirituality of this wonderful building, which features in Simon Jenkins's book ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’.

Although All Saints has undergone many alterations since its founding in 1155, it will benefit further by the addition of some key amenities to ensure its sustainability and to make it more welcoming.

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2024 12:41

Bishop Libby is the Holy Week preacher at Derby Cathedral this year.

With the title Readings in St John’s Gospel, Bishop Libby will be giving addresses that will unfold some key passages from St John’s Gospel as we undertake our journey into the death and resurrection of Christ.

Bishop Libby will be preaching at these services:

  • Easter Day at 08:30 – Holy Communion

Access to all the services being streamed can be found here

Everyone is welcome to attend the Holy Week services either in the cathedral itself or online.

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 April 2024 16:25

More than 60 people working to reduce carbon emissions across the Church of England gathered in Gloucester for the first time to share ideas and learnings.

A two-day Net Zero Carbon Connect Conference, sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance, part of the Benefact Group, was held to gather and connect colleagues from 35 dioceses plus other denominations to share expertise on the Net Zero Carbon Programme.

Gareth Greenwood, Church Buildings Support Officer from The Diocese of Derby attended the event. He said: “There was a lot of energy and expertise at the conference, also a good deal of appreciation of the size of the task of reaching Net Zero by 2030.  The Church Commissioners have committed funding to resource net zero projects across all the (CofE) Diocese. This is not a time for scepticism, but a time to work together for the good of the planet.”

The Church of England’s ambitious Net Zero Carbon by 2030 programme aims to equip, resource, and support all parts of the Church to reduce carbon emissions from the energy used in its buildings, schools and through work-related transport by 2030.

Find out more:

>> Diocese of Derby website

>> Church of England website

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 14:41

The Diocese of Derby has increased its capacity to support PCCs in maintaining and developing their church buildings.

The diocese has secured national funding for a full-time Church Buildings Support Officer, as well as a minor repairs and improvement grant fund totalling around £144,000, over a two-year period.

The funding will be available to parishes to carry out ‘stitch-in-time’ repairs and improvements.

Additionally, all parishes will be given direct access to ChurchGrant funding search software, via a dedicated microsite.

This will allow parishes to identify sources of funding and each parish can attend training webinars regarding fundraising and grant funds. 

There will also be access to specialist advice via a number of free consultations.

Gareth Greenwood has been appointed to the Church Buildings Support Officer role having previously held the part time role of Community Projects Development Officer.

Gareth will work alongside a tranche of parishes with particular needs, identified by the archdeacons.

Will Hagger, Diocesan Secretary, said: “The Derby Diocesan Board of Finance recognises the financial challenge to our parishes of maintaining church buildings.

This new capacity and grant fund will be hugely welcome allowing us to support parishes with their immediate church repair projects.

“In responding to applications for the new fund, among other things, the financial strength, maintenance planning and degree of deprivation of the building’s community, will be taken into account.”

A Buildings for Mission team is being established within the Parish Support Office, which Gareth Greenwood will lead.

This team will include a number of other new nationally-funded roles with a focus on supporting parishes, bringing together the sustainability of church buildings, care of the environment, and Net Zero Carbon projects, alongside faculty advice and administration and pastoral reorganisation.

Information about the criteria and application process will appear on the diocesan website in due course.

The arsenal of diocesan funding now available to support churches with building projects also includes:

  • The Raymond Ross Large Grants Fund, offering parishes the opportunity to develop their local church or church hall. The maximum grant is £25k, with match funding required;
  • The Raymond Ross Small Grants Scheme - £5k to enhance welcome, improve accessibility or to make small but much needed changes to internal areas. No match funding is required;
  • The Bishop of Derby’s St Peter’s Churchyard Fund, a scheme offering interest-free loans.

Details of these schemes can be found at https://derby.anglican.org/funding.

gareth greenwood

 Gareth Greenwood has been appointed Church Buildings Support Officer

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 April 2024 12:34

Bishop Libby and Archdeadon Matthew will each spend a night sleeping rough in support of the YMCA's Sleep Easy campaign.

They are among those who aim to raise awareness of the plight of those who have no home to go to, and to raise funds to support efforts that will enable the YMCA to continue its vital services to those who are facing homelessness in Derby City and Derbyshire.

This year, the local event will take place at the home of Derbyshire Cricket Club on Friday, 8 March, and both Bishop Libby and Archdeacon Matthew will be given a cardboard box to use as shelter for the night.

Bishop Libby, who has taken part in previous Sleep Easy events, said: "I am pleased again to be among those supporting this local charity in raising awareness and much needed funds to tackle homelessness and its long-term impacts.

"We may have an uncomfortable night in many ways, but that in itself gives opportunity to reflect on why we are participating, and experience – just for one night – something of what it is like to be sleeping rough.

"Please do participate in Sleep Easy if you can, either by registering to join the event at the Cricket Ground or safely in your local context as Neil is in Wirksworth (see below).

"And please support the work of Derby YMCA and its partners like the Padley Centre by donating through my JustGiving page and raising awareness.

"Together we can support this vital work being done locally, combat the scourge of homelessness, and offer hope to those who find themselves suffering its impacts and consequences”.

Archdeacon Matthew, taking part in his first Sleep Easy, said: "I actually have very little appetite for sleeping under the stars in this way - but that's the whole point, really!

"For me, it's one night and doing it through choice, whereas every night in Derby and Derbyshire, more than 200 hundred individuals who have temporarily found themselves without a place to live, have no choice but to either turn to the YMCA and the Padley Centre, or sleep rough under cardboard."

Archdeacon Matthew will also be posting on Facebook from the cricket ground during the event.


Sleeping in the churchyard

The Revd Neil Griffiths, vicar for the Wirksworth Team Ministry, has also chosen to sleep out for the Sleep Easy campaign.

Before becoming a vicar Neil worked with housing organisations and YMCAs, and longs for a time when no one is homeless or poorly housed.

Neil said: "I will be bedding down in the churchyard at St Mary’s Church in Wirksworth and I hope the weather is as kind as the people who have already donated money."

Last modified on Friday, 15 March 2024 15:25
Page 1 of 16

community of prayer footer sq 1080

deepening your faith footer sq 1080

giving and generosity footer sq 1080

amazing grace logo

Contact and Find Us

Derby Church House

Full Street, Derby DE1 3DR

01332 388650



Who's who at Derby Church House

Map and parking information