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Tuesday, 15 March 2022 10:19

Help for Ukraine

 

We have all been shocked and moved by the unfolding crisis in Ukraine and many people are looking for ways they can help.

You won't be surprised to hear that the vast majority of parishes in the Diocese of Derby have initiated some form of appeal to help the people of Ukraine who are suffering so much - the latest figures from the Disasters Emergency Committee estimate that around 2.5 million people have fled their homes to escape conflict in their homeland.

It is thought that more than 18 million people will be affected by the conflict.

We are receiving scores of questions about whether empty rooms in parsonages - and vacant parsonages - can be offered to house Ukrainian refugees.

The Church of England is expected to offer guidance on this issue at the end of this week.

Meanwhile, the C of E has produced a toolkit for churches responding to the crisis in Ukraine [PDF] and some advice on the Homes For Ukraine Scheme.

Further guidance can be found here.

 

Donations

Many agencies are now saying that transporting donations of goods to Ukraine and the neighbouring countries who are receiving refugees is not cost effective and impractical with many lorries now backed up at borders and unable to deliver.

Please avoid organising charitable collection of toys, clothes and bedding as this is often inappropriate and not what is most needed.

So the main way to support is through donating money to charities already set up to co-ordinate funds where they are needed the most.

USPG and the Church of England Diocese in Europe have launched an emergency appeal to get aid to people in desperate need because of the invasion of Ukraine.

Funds raised by the appeal will support Christian charities and churches carrying out humanitarian work both in Ukraine and responding to the arrival of refugees in neighbouring countries.

To find out more and to donate to the UPSG and Church of England Diocese in Europe Emergency Appeal Fund click here.

The other recommended route is via The Disasters Emergency Committee. Your gift will help provide food, bedding and temporary accommodation for people who have fled the conflict in Ukraine.

 

Prayers

Churches across the diocese continue to hold prayer vigils which you can join.

The Church of England website also has a page of resources including prayers and readings chosen for prayer services for Ukraine.

The UK government has announced it is developing a new humanitarian sponsorship programme that will allow an unlimited number of Ukrainian families to come to the UK.

The Sanctuary Foundation is asking individuals, community groups, churches, schools and businesses to register their interest in becoming a sponsor when the scheme is developed.

Find out more about how you can get involved here.

Tuesday, 01 March 2022 12:29

National Day of Reflection

The Church of England and the Diocese of Derby are supporting the National Day of Reflection on Wednesday, 23 March 2022, the second anniversary of the first UK lockdown, to commemorate the tragic loss of life and to stand together with everyone who’s grieving, whether as a result of Covid or other causes.

Organised by Marie Curie, the National Day of Reflection looks to reflect on our collective loss, support those who've been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future. 

How can churches get involved? 

  • Include it in your notices and prayers on Sunday, 20 March 2022. Prayer and intercession resources are available that use the key words – reflect, support, hope.
  • Share the Light at 8.00pm by lighting a candle in placing it in your window.
  • Host or visit a Wall of Reflection
  • Display your daffodil
  • Put up posters in your community, raising awareness.
  • Toll the church bell just after noon to mark the end of the minute’s silence.
  • Email/print and send the prayer postcard to anyone and everyone to use at home on that day.
  • Light a special candle in the church and say the prayer – record it on your phone or tablet and share the film on social media.
  • Encourage people to phone or send a card to anyone who may feel bereaved.
  • Involve the local school and encourage them to use the simple prayer at noon or to colour daffodil cards and deliver them to a local care home.
  • Invite people to plant a seed, a bulb or bush as a sign of hope.
  • Invite people to tie yellow ribbons to a prayer tree or railings as a sign of their prayer and support for all who are bereaved.
  • Open your church for private prayer.

 >> More information and resources on Church Support Hub 

>> Marie Curie National Day of Reflection website 

Thursday, 24 February 2022 13:46

Bishops in solidarity with Ukraine

The Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby, and the Rt Revd Malcolm Macnaughton, Bishop of Repton, stand with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in condemning the invasion of Ukraine and calling for prayers for all those affected.

In a joint statement, the archbishops said: "The horrific and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is an act of great evil.  

“Placing our trust in Jesus Christ, the author of peace, we pray for an urgent ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian forces.  

"We call for a public decision to choose the way of peace and an international conference to secure long term agreements for stability and lasting peace.

“We invite Christians to make this Sunday a day for prayer for Ukraine, Russia and for peace. 

“We also give our support to the call from Pope Francis for a global day of prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2.”

>> Download: A prayer for the crisis in Ukraine - from 24-7 Prayer [.zip folder]

For those of you who may have been considering fundraising or other personal support but are unsure how to direct this, one of several new humanitarian appeals is open at https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

Monday, 07 February 2022 11:12

Amazing fundraising at Wingerworth

In October last year, Jane Foster, Relationship Manager at The Children’s Society visited All Saints Church Wingerworth who have raised a spectacular £28,292.20 to support The Children’s Society’s work.

She gave them an update on how their hard work is making a difference.

Kay Duckett, a Reader at All Saints Wingerworth (pictured), distributed Children’s Society prayer cards and exhibited a brilliant display that highlighted the societies work.

Jane Foster, said: “Right now, thousands of young people find themselves trapped forced into crime and sexual abuse by criminal gangs.

"They’re living in fear of what comes next. They see no way out. But our project workers in the East Midlands are there to help.

“From motivational messages to hour-long calls, working with police and other agencies to ensure safeguarding and sharing of intelligence, they can be the positive influence that young people are missing.

"And with generous support, they can be on-hand for as long as it takes to help young people see that the future is theirs to own.”

Bishop Libby, who is Vice Chair of Trustees of The Children’s Society, commented: “This is amazing. The Children Society are brave, ambitious, trusted and supportive in their work with some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities.

"This is the work of the Kingdom – at the heart of which, Jesus tells us, are such children. On behalf of The Children’s Society, and the children we work with, I extend my sincerest thanks to those at All Saints Wingerworth: this example of generous Christian faith in action is transforming lives for good.”

 

The new Royal School of Church Music Derbyshire Area Team has now been commissioned and we’re delighted to introduce them. The role of the Area Team is to raise the profile of and promote the RSCM and church music within Derbyshire, and to programme events for churches, clergy, musicians in Derbyshire and beyond. If you’re interested in finding out more about the RSCM in Derbyshire please do get in touch with our Area Team Leader, Alexander Binns at alexander@derbycathedral.org

Alexander Binns – Area Team Leader

Alexander Binns is the Director of Music at Derby Cathedral and is the Area Team Leader for RSCM Derbyshire. Prior to moving to Derby, Alexander spent 3 years as Assistant Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Alexander is a prizewinning graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and alongside his studies held organ scholarships at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, Southwark Cathedral and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Alexander has been involved with the RSCM from the age of 9, when he first attended courses run for young singers, and is delighted to be heading up the newly commissioned Derbyshire Area Team. 

Carol Coslett – Diocesan Representative

I am delighted to represent the RSCM Derby Area Team on the Bishops Staff Team. Trained as a musician and choral leader, in my home in Chesterfield I have a piano, harpsichord, guitars, strings, various electric keyboards and my clarinet. I don’t play them all at once! I have directed many church choirs and school choirs, taking some to the Albert Hall, as part of the schools proms, some to diocesan choir festivals, or to lead cathedral choral evensongs, and prepared choristers for their RSCM Bishops and Deans Awards. It has always been my privilege to serve the church in this way. Encouraging singing and music making in church can lead to lasting connections which can truly build community and grow the church. As a newly formed Regional team I look forward to the challenge ahead and engaging with our parish churches, their choirs, music groups, and organists so that we can support and celebrate our new Diocesan Vision transform lives. So may we “Sing with the spirit and with understanding also”

Michael Halls – Treasurer

Michael Halls has been Director of Music at St Oswald’s Church at Ashbourne since 1998 and has been associated with the RSCM for many years.

Edward Turner – Safeguarding Co-ordinator

Edward Turner is the Assistant Director of Music at Derby Cathedral, having previously held posts at Worcester College Oxford, Tewkesbury Abbey, Dean Close School Cheltenham and Southwell Minster. Alongside his work at the Cathedral, Edward directs the University of Derby Choir and is Accompanist to Nottingham Bach Choir.

Chris Ebbern – Secretary

Chris is a singer, pianist and organist based in Long Eaton and sings with De Montfort University Chamber Choir and as a Deputy Lay Clerk with Derby Cathedral Choir. He currently studies singing with London based teacher; René Bloice-Sanders and in Autumn this year shall be participating in Penelope Roskell’s Piano Teachers Course. Chris is delighted to be part of the Derbyshire RSCM team and very much looks forward to future events with them.

Rob Aldread

Rob Aldread is part of the Dronfield with Holmesfield Team in North East Derbyshire. Rob is a practical and versatile music graduate who is happy to lead a traditional SATB choir for choral evensong and matins, but he is equally happy to play piano and lead the music for more contemporary worship. Like many musicians, Rob adapted during the pandemic and he now knows how to produce virtual choir videos and he is reasonably expert at music technology and live streaming.

Rachel Reid

Rachel Reid sings soprano with Melbourne Parish Church Choir, South Derbyshire.  She is also a member of RSCM Voices South and the RSCM Residentiary choir.  Prior to joining the RSCM Derbyshire committee she was the Awards Administrator for the Peterborough and Northampton area.  

Tom Hibbert

Tom was organist of St Thomas Becket Chapel-en-le-Frith from May 2006 to December 2017. Since January 2018, he has played the organ at 4 churches in Buxton on a freelance basis and also sings in the choir at St John the Baptist Buxton.

 

 

Sunday, 16 January 2022 19:37

New canons installed at Derby Cathedral

Three new canons have been collated and installed at Derby Cathedral. 

Revd Patrick Coleman, Vicar of All Saints Chesterfield (The Crooked Spire) andSt Leonard's (Mission Church) Spital, and Revd Julian Hollywell, Vicar of St Werburgh Spondon, Priest-in-charge of St Mark Derby and St Philip Chaddesden, and Minister Responsible at St Andrew with St Osmund Derby were installed as honorary canons, and Emily Brailsford, Derby Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union and Project Officer at Rural Action Derbyshire, was installed as a lay canon.

The three new canons were collated in a special Evensong led by the Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby, and the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby.

>> See photos from the installation service [on Flickr]

 

Canon Emily Brailsford

Emily has three children and her first and most important role is always a a mother.

As her children have grown, Emily's role within her home church of St Giles, Matlock, has also grown and developed.

For many years she has delivered Sunday School and also a monthly fun club.

Later, as her children grew older, Emily took some time for herself so that she was able to attend the Lay Reader training.

For some time, she worked to develop a network of support groups for parents of children with additional needs.

When the children were settled in school, Emily worked with Derbyshire Agricultural Chaplaincy, working with Revd Alan Griggs.

This was an amazing experience for her, but hard work trying to bring young people to the Lord.

On the 15th of January this year, Emily was commissioned as the President of Mothers' Union, Derby, at the Cathedral, Emily feels that the Mothers' Union is also a huge part of her ministry.

Through prayer and loving-kindness, the Mothers' Union touches the lives of many people.

In Derbyshire, they work with many of the women's refuges to try and prevent violence against women and girls.

They also raise money to help the work of those who tackle modern slavery and as a new initiative this year they are going to tackle period poverty, particularly amongst the homeless.

Emily's favourite passage of the Bible is in Revelation 21:4 where we are told that there will be no more pain or crying as the old things have passed away. She thinks that this is a great

reminder for us moving forwards after the last few years!

 

Canon Patrick Coleman

In July of 2022, Patrick will have been Vicar of Chesterfield for eight years.

The role involves being a parish priest and a great deal more, and this ensures that there is never a dull moment, and absolutely no chance of getting bored.

Patrick has also been a curate and chaplain in the Roman Catholic Church; diocesan CME officer; part of various diocesan and provincial committees and boards; chaired community enterprises and organisations; studied languages, philosophy, theology, history, taught the latter in a downtown comprehensive school; church organist and choir member.

He has done these in places as diverse as South Wales, Rome, Varese (northern Italy) and Munich.

Patrick has also been active in supporting the work of the Church in the Highveld (South Africa) and Niassa (northern Mozambique). 

He has brought persistence and perseverance to the various complex issues faced in all these various roles, and he has always aimed at an astringent and critical loyalty to all with whom he has worked.

He has a creative mind, and hopes to bring both experience and creativity, with no holds barred, to his role in the life of the cathedral.

In any spare time left after being a parish priest and rescuer of Border Collies, Patrick enjoys music, reading, food, wine, Alfa Romeos, and classic buses.

 

Canon Julian Hollywell

Julian is the Vicar of Spondon and the priest with responsibility for the parishes of St Mark, Derwent, St Philip, Chaddesden and St Osmund with St Andrew, Wilmorton.

In these parishes he holds responsibility for inherited church and works alongside excellent pioneering colleagues developing new missional opportunities and planting churches.

Julian has served for many years in the diocese as a member of the Vocations Team and also as a National Selector.

He is a member of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for church buildings and Vice Chair of the Business Committee of the Diocesan Board of Finance.

He is Chair of the House of Clergy of the Diocesan Synod, a member of Bishop's Council and a member of the General Synod where he helped produce the legislation that led to the Well-being Covenant.

Julian is also a member of the well-being group in the diocese.

He is an ambassador for Inclusive Church and a National Trustee of the Open Table Network. He is a trustee, board member and safeguarding lead of the Derbyshire YMCA.

Julian previously worked as a diocesan officer in the Manchester and Liverpool dioceses, focussing on estates and urban mission.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 05 January 2022 11:01

Praying for children and young people

Bishop Libby and Bishop Malcolm are inviting all those engaged with and/or concerned for youth and children’s ministry across the diocese together on Zoom to pray for our children and young people as they face these challenging times, as well as for our churches and schools as places of worship, welcome, and belonging. 

We will host this Zoom prayer gathering on Tuesday, 11th January, 7.30pm. 

We will send the Zoom link to any who get in touch before that date via Bishop Malcolm’s office, bishopofrepton@derby.anglican.org.

Thursday, 16 December 2021 16:17

A Christmas message from Bishop Libby

At the heart of Christmas

Last year, many of the familiar experiences that bring Christmas to life for all of us were lost because of the terrifying spread of the deadly Coronavirus throughout the population.

School nativities, office parties, carol singing, pantomimes, family gatherings for Christmas dinner, and much more that brings joy to so many, were often cancelled.

This year, the emergence of the new, highly-transmissible Omicron variant means the infection rate is, once again, rising alarmingly.

Despite the incredible effort being made to supply booster vaccines to all adults by the end of December, our celebrations again feel threatened and fragile.

That has focused my mind on what really matters.

At the heart of Christmas is the good news of God’s saving love revealed in the birth of Jesus.

What matters to me therefore, is echoing that generous love of God.

This year, I am determined to ensure that generosity to others lies at the heart of my Christmas.

That means I have given especially careful thought and attention to the gifts I buy for family, friends and colleagues this year but without forgetting that generosity is so much more than the material things we give to one another.

Generosity is about being available to others, making time for them and doing the things that matter to them rather than just the things I want to do.

It means stepping up to help with all the mundane but essential practical jobs at home like washing-up and taking out the recycling and rubbish for collection.

It means listening, paying proper attention and allowing others to disturb me, even when I want some peace and quiet.

It means looking beyond myself and my own family - to those who will be without shelter, food or care this Christmas and asking myself 'what generosity can I show them whether financially, through my attitude, or with my time'?

That first Christmas, Mary was overwhelmed by the generosity of the innkeeper offering shelter, the shepherds who left their flock to the mercy of the hillside, the wise men who travelled from afar to bring precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

She treasured these amazing things in her heart and pondered on them, wondering what those extraordinary events of the first Christmas might mean for her and her family then and in the years ahead.

As we reflect upon the generosity of God’s love for us, and see it reflected in the behaviour of those around us, may we too treasure the real gift of Christmas and take its spirit forwards into what will almost certainly be a very challenging 2022.

God’s love is not just something to be unwrapped for Christmas, shared for a few days and then put away for another year.

It is something we can draw on each and every day.

We can all commit ourselves to living a life that shows, in real and practical ways, that whatever else is cancelled in the months ahead, whoever we are and whatever our circumstances, God’s love is always available and ready to be shared generously with those around us.

Merry Christmas

 

Bishop Libby Lane

Bishop of Derby

Thursday, 09 December 2021 13:07

Saints of Derbyshire book now available

Saints of Derbyshire, the book by Revd Simon Taylor and Josephine Simister, is now available to buy.

The illustrated book tells the stories of more than 50 saints associated with Derbyshire and is published by Derby Cathedral, which will also receive all profits from the sale of the book.

At the launch of the book, Simon, formerly area dean of Derby City Deanery, revealed that the idea for the book came during a family trip to Repton.

He said: "We were looking around the parish church there and there are loads of saints associated with Repton, with this magnificent crypt for St Wystan and nowhere could I find enough information about the saints.

"And after that I just started collecting the stories, not just for Repton but for the whole of the county.

"It tells the stories of the saints. I remember some years ago reading a dictionary of saints that said 'the stories of this saint are legendary' and feeling that wasn't very helpful, I wanted to know what the stories were, however legendary and far-fetched because, they're fun and I wanted to know what made the story come alive. 

"So we've kept in the monsters and the far-fetched and the supernatural because that's the funa and the joy of these stories.

"It's also a book that we hope people will take out into Derbyshire and go and visit some places and find the saints associated with places.

"And, yes, there are prayers and it is a book that, through the lives of the saints, will connect folk to God - the god that the saints in their very different ways were all trying to find."

The book is also laden with beautiful lino-print illustrations, lovingly created by Jo Simister, deanery administrator for Derby City Deanery.

Jo said: "I think the most lovely thing about this project was that it got me back in touch with my art teaching roots from 40 years ago.

"Just doing the refresher workshop to produce the Repton crypt print was such a joy that I really couldn't resist thinking that maybe I could do one lino print for each of the chapters - not realsiing that there would be 20 chapters!

jo simister in front of her illustrations exhibition

"I loved doing the research for the different subjects, so for example when it came to doing the design for the hermit who lived in Deepdale and Cratcliffe, I decided to see what the local museums had in the way of cooking pots from that era and I also had a Tudor herbal at home and I scanned some of the photos from that - simple, primitive pictures of daisies and clover that I used in the design.

"And then there were others that were really quite obvious."

Among the church artefacts that are included are the Wirksworth Stone (the lid of a stone vault found buried in Wirksworth Church in 1820), which was used for one of the chapters, and the Saxon font at Ilam, used for the story about Bertrand and the monsters eating his wife!

An exhibition of Jo's lino prints is in Derby Cathedral (until 20 December 2021) and the book, priced £12.50 (plus 4.50 p&p if required) can be ordered by emailing office@derbycathedral.org

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 16:31

Kate Godfrey is new diocesan secretary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kate Godfrey - in her own words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you continued to work overseas?

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

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

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

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

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

Can you tell us about some of your personal priorities?

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

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

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

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

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

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

…a few words about faith?

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

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

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

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

Anything else?

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

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

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

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

I’m excited to get to work!

kate godfrey