The National Health Service came into being on 5 July 1948.

This weekend, the diocese and country will celebrate and applaud those in the NHS who selflessly put their own lives at risk on a daily basis as they continue the fight against coronavirus and Covid-19, and those who died in that fight.

We will also remember and applaud those who fought so hard for us to have a National Health Service, and those whose work and dedication led to its formation.

This has a particular relevance in Derbyshire, of course, through Florence Nightingale - a true pioneer of her time.

Derbyshire's 'Lady with the Lamp' was passionate about improving conditions for the wounded during the Crimean War - and she devoted the rest of her life to reforming nursing care.

The seven critical-care Covid Hospitals have been named after Florence Nightingale, and a post-Covid rehabilitation facility named after Mary Seacole, both prominent figures in nursing history and role models in the NHS (see below).

thank you NHS unsplash

As Bishop Rober Exon, chair of the Liturgical Commission, writes:

"During the current pandemic, there has been immense national and local support for the NHS and its front line workers.

"The emergence of the Thursday ‘Clap for Carers’ was a significant experience in the lockdown.

"Thanksgiving binds communities together, turning ‘I’ into ‘we’.

"The contribution of carers and key workers who have given of themselves sacrificially needs to be honoured.

"Sharing stories of people and events during the crisis is likely to form the kernel of any community celebration.

"Unsung heroes need to be applauded."

This document shares prayers and resources for the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.

Mary Seacole was a pioneering nurse and heroine of the Crimean War, who as a woman of mixed race is today celebrated as an inspiration for the many BAME people who sustain our NHS. Born Mary Jane Grant in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805 to a Scottish soldier and Jamaican mother, Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers.

She was an inveterate traveller, and before her marriage to Edwin Seacole in 1836 visited other parts of the Caribbean, as well as Central America and Britain. On these trips, she complemented her knowledge of traditional medicine with European medical ideas.

In 1854 Mary approached the War Office, asking to be sent as an army nurse to the Crimea.

She was refused, but undaunted, funded her own trip to the Crimea where she established the ‘British Hotel’ near Balaclava for sick and convalescent officers. She also visited the battlefield, sometimes under fire, to nurse the wounded, and became known as ‘Mother Seacole’.

Florence Nightingale was born in 1820 into a wealthy family. In the face of their opposition, she insisted that she wished to train in nursing.

In 1853, she finally achieved her wish and headed her own private nursing institute in London.

Her efforts at improving conditions for the wounded during the Crimean War won her great acclaim and she devoted the rest of her life to reforming nursing care.

Her school at St Thomas’s Hospital became significant in helping to elevate nursing into a profession.


We missed out on Easter this year.  Or rather, Easter was different.  It happened and was real – the truth of the Resurrection can’t take a year off – but we had to approach it from a different angle.

Someone else who missed out on Easter was St Thomas, whose feast day falls on 3 July.  I feel a certain affinity with St Thomas. Thirty-seven years ago I was ordained deacon in Derby Cathedral on St Thomas’s Day and, exactly a year later, celebrated the eucharist for the first time in the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield. 

At a time when the church seemed less timid about radical theological enquiry, Doubting Thomas wasn’t a bad role model!

Pope Gregory the Great wrote of Thomas, ‘Our faith owes more to the faithlessness of Thomas than to the faithfulness of all the other apostles put together.’ By that he meant that Thomas’s missed opportunity, in doubting what his fellow-disciples tell him, leads to a more definite statement of the truth of the Resurrection, and so gives us a better opportunity to believe, although we have not seen in the same way.

A later theologian, Ronald Knox, put it inimitably like this:

Our Lord doesn’t complain.  Our Lord wasn’t like us, he didn’t go about after his resurrection finding fault and saying “I told you so”; he looked forward to the future. He looked down the centuries at people like you and me, who had no chance, of seeing him in his incarnate state, and yet do manage to cry out, My Lord and my God; and he said, “What lucky people you are!”

Signs of the Resurrection are all around us, if we care to look for them.  Appropriately enough, one of them is St Thomas’s Church at Peartree in Derby.  Not only is it physically coming to new life with the restoration of its glorious interior; it is spreading new life in one of the neediest parts of Derby, both through its active community engagement with a wide range of partners and the founding of the St Thomas’ Community, a new monastic community.

Curiously enough, there is a personal connection here, too – the church was dedicated as a memorial to one of my predecessors as Archdeacon of Derby, Thomas Hill, who was also Vicar of Chesterfield.

‘Surprises keep us living’, wrote the poet Louis MacNeice.  As we continue to navigate our way through challenging times, let us be prepared to be surprised by signs of the Resurrection.


The Ven Dr Christopher Cunliffe

Archdeacon of Derby

Dr Alison Brown, acting director of education, writes:

At the end of April I asked all 111 of our church schools to send me anything that they considered to be a sign of faith hope and love.

I kept hearing snippets of news of the sorts of things schools were doing to support the children and families in their care.

I wanted to build a montage to give an overview of the wonderful work that is going on in our Church schools that is evidence of some aspect of faith, hope and love.

Those snippets of news changed to a large and deeply humbling, encouraging and inspiring catalogue of creative and compassionate ways of showing God’s love.

>> See pictures of the church schools' signs of faith, hope and love

signs of faith hope and love 2020 07 01 15.13

On top of having to cope with new ways of living and working during the pandemic with all the added stress and demands, our school leaders and staff were finding ways of serving their school community so all could flourish.

They were tapping into their Christian vision and finding new ways to express it.

This has continued to the present time.

As lockdown measures lift and schools are able to welcome back more pupils into the building they are paying great attention to helping children feel safe, welcomed and secure.

signs of faith hope and love 2020 07 01 15.161

This is evident from one of our infant schools using rainbows on the floor to make our social distancing.

The Head Teacher was concerned about the possibility of how sterile and scary school environments could become.

signs of faith hope and love 2020 07 01 15.151

A member of staff came up with the idea of rainbow markings which of course are much more time consuming to mark out than the usual 2m stickers but “This is a familiar symbol to children and will help them to see that these markings are there because we love and care for one another…‘Follow the rainbow road’”.

So, thank you to all our school leaders and staff for being and showing signs of faith, hope and love.

thank you nhs in chalk at breadsall school

Click the image below to follow the link:

signs of faith hope and love 2020 07 01 15.16

Click the image below to follow the link:

signs of faith hope and love 2020 07 01 15.141

signs of faith hope and love 2020 07 01 15.142


Pippa, a Year 6 pupil at South Darley Church of England Primary School has become the first to receive a Bishop’s Badge award presented online.

The presentation was made at the school, with Pippa’s family and Bishop Libby joining via Zoom.

Pippa, who has been through a number of difficult times, was nominated by her school. Head Teacher Paul Wilde said that Pippa had held her head high, carried herself with dignity and remained positive throughout her challenging journey.

As he handed the award to Pippa on behalf of Bishop Libby, Mr Wilde said: “You value others, see the best in people and in life around you, and we are really proud of you.

“You are totally deserving of this award.”

He described her as “always kind to people, always smiling and always tries her best”.

Bishop Libby, who spoke to Pippa and her class on the video call, said: “We honour that Christian characteristic that you have embodied in your years at South Darley.

“We recognise the work of God in you and that you tell us something of Jesus.

“I hope that the badge and certificate will help remind you of just how well people regard you.”

Bishop’s Badge looks a little different this year because of the constraints of social distancing.

The schools awards for 2020 have been limited to pupils in Year 6 who are about to move on to senior school and the presentations are being made on line.

The Bishop’s Badge awards to adults will also take place virtually, later in the year, focussing on exceptional contributions to mission and ministry during the lockdown.

Bishop Libby looks on via Zoom as Pippa is presented with her Bishop's Badge

Bishop Libby looks on via Zoom as Pippa is presented with her Bishop's Badge and certificate

The Venerable Dr Peter Robinson will be licensed as Assistant Curate of the parish of All Saints, and known as Dean-designate of Derby, on Saturday 4th July, by the Bishop of Derby. The licensing will take place via Zoom because of the rules on conducting church services, and will formally allow Dr Robinson to begin work, taking a full part in the life and ministry of Derby Cathedral as it reopens its doors.
Dr Robinson’s collation as Dean of Derby will become an important milestone in that process and is provisionally set for 19th July at 4 pm: it will be livestreamed from the Cathedral.

The Revd Canon Ian Gooding, Curate of Wandsworth 1973-1977 (Southwark), Priest-in-Charge of Stanton-by-Dale with Dale Abbey 1977-1987, (Derby), Rector of the same 1987-2000, Priest-in-Charge of Risley 1994-2000, Rural Dean of Erewash 1998-2012, Rector of Stanton-by-Dale with Dale Abbey and Risley 2000-2012, Honorary Canon of Derby Cathedral 2002-2012, who retired in 2012 and held the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate in retirement, died on Tuesday, 23 June 2020.

The Revd Giles Orton, Assistant Curate (SSM) of Long Eaton St Laurence and of Ilkeston Holy Trinity, Diocese of Derby, has been appointed Priest-in-Charge (SSM) of Derby St Anne in the same diocese. Mr Orton hopes to take up his new post in July. 

The Revd Tom Barnfather, Assistant Curate (Associate Priest) of Long Eaton St Laurence and of Ilkeston Holy Trinity, Diocese of Derby, has announced his retirement. Mr Barnfather’s last day in post will be Tuesday, 30 June, with his retirement taking effect from Wednesday. 1 July, 2020. Mr Barnfather will move away from the diocese after retirement.

The Revd Phil Mann, Pioneer Minister of Derby St Werburgh’s Bishop’s Mission Order, Diocese of Derby, has also been appointed Priest-in-Charge of Mackworth St Francis in the same diocese. Mr Mann will be licensed to his new post on Wednesday, 24 June by the Bishop of Derby.

The Revd Andy Bond, Associate Minister of Derby St Werburgh’s Bishop’s Mission Order, Diocese of Derby, has also been appointed Assistant Curate (to be known as Associate Minister) of Mackworth St Francis in the same diocese. Mr Bond will be licensed to his new post on Wednesday, 24 June by the Bishop of Derby.

See attached Form 11a

If you wish to object to any of the works or proposals you should write giving reasons for your objection to:

The Diocesan Registrar, Derby Church House, Full Street, Derby DE1 3DR

so that it reaches the Registrar no later than 21 days after the day of this notice, stating your name and postal address, and whether you live in the parish and/or your name is entered on the electoral roll of the parish or any other capacity in which you write

“To enable each child to hear the story of the Bible  in their primary years”

If you are currently part of an Open the Book Team and it is a while since you received any training, please do aim to come to the next event if you possible can.

There are important updates to the OtB resources which it would be very useful for you to hear about.

If you are interested in starting an Open the Book team, this event is for you too! 

(Scroll down to reach Open the Book training)


For more information and to read the whole story of Open The Book

The Diocese of Derby

For SatNav directions, please use DE1 3DR. However, please note that the car park behind Derby Church House (Derby Cathedral Car Park) is contract only Monday-Friday and so unavailable to visitors. Paid parking is available at Chapel Street Multistorey Car Park (DE1 3GU), Park Safe (Bold Lane) DE1 3NT and the Assembly Rooms Car Park (DE1 3AF). Derby Cathedral Car Park is available as paid parking on Saturdays and Sundays.

Contact and Find Us

Derby Church House

Full Street, Derby DE1 3DR

01332 388650


Map and parking information