News Stories

Youth bell ringing at Old Brampton has been 'highly commended' by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART).

The young ringers were nominated for the Sarah Beacham Youth Group Award, for youth groups who are successfully recruiting, retaining and developing young ringers, at an awards ceremony in March.

They were awarded a prize of £200 to be spent on benefitting youth ringing at Old Brampton.

The young ringers take part in local and national ringing events, as well as enjoying ringing at Old Brampton and at other towers in Derbyshire.

Tower Captain Sue Hall said: "I am so proud of the young ringers for this achievement.

"The judges were particularly impressed that the youngsters included ringing in their school projects and presentations, and that they continue to enjoy ringing at university and take part in ringing events across the country."

old brampton ART Award 2020 web

As well as being fun, ringing provides confidence and builds teamwork and leadership skills.

One ringer, Ruby, said: "It makes me feel happy, it's different from anything else I do, and I enjoy seeing my friends."

Whilst another, Rowan, added: "There are loads of opportunities to try different things in different places with your friends."

A flexible approach to attendance allows the young people to pursue other activities as well as ringing.

Ringers from Old Brampton who are now at university also enjoy the friendship and support of their university ringing societies.

The young ringers have been voting to decide how the award money should be spent to benefit youth ringing at Old Brampton.

Ringing at Old Brampton will resume in due course, including lessons for any young person or adult who wishes to give it a try.

For further information and contacts please visit facebook.com/BellRingingDerbyshire or bellringing.org

What the young ringers said:

Ruby: 'It makes me feel happy, it's different from anything else I do, and I enjoy seeing my friends.'
Rowan: 'There are loads of opportunities to try different things in different places with your friends.'
Joseph: 'It's like one big family.'
Tom: 'I enjoy ringing at church and in the wider ringing community.'
Lucy: 'I like learning new methods.'
Alice: 'I enjoy being part of a group and progressing my knowledge of ringing.'

Sally-Anne Beecham, Curate in Bakewell Benefice and SS Augustine Chesterfield, reflects on how the coronavirus outbreak has shaped her curacy.

Like all clergy, the Covid-19 outbreak turned my ministry on its head.  

However, when most churches were asked to close their doors, the one I’m working in had an exemption to stay very much open.  

Overnight, Gussie’s Kitchen, the food project being run from Ss Augustine in Chesterfield, became the main food distribution hub for the town.  

Yesterday we delivered to 200 vulnerable households using a fantastic team of volunteer drivers and packers.  

My job has been to give information and offer support over the phone in my role as Chaplain - an incredible opportunity to reach out into the community.  

I’ve had many significant conversations and I pray that relationships built during these days will bear fruit in the future.  

Despite the many challenges, the shift in focus has created opportunities to model faith that were not present before, and it’s exciting to dream about how these can be progressed.

Since my ordination last year, the months have flown by, learning what it means to be a Christian presence in a rural town.

Relationship building is crucial

My highlights before lockdown have been out in the community getting used to my collar.  

As well as the usual services, I had been raft-racing, dressed up in the carnival, led school assemblies, processed through the town on Remembrance Sunday and played Gabriel outside the pubs in the town nativity.  

I was also involved in the beginning of a new congregation aimed at young families.

Overall, I’ve had my eyes opened to the challenges of juggling multiple churches and been overwhelmed by the faithfulness of those keeping the show on the road.  

I’m also learning that Jesus’ model of relationship building is crucial and is what our communities are crying out for, so I’m excited to see what God has in store for us next.

See also:

>> Meet some curates

>> Vocations: what is God's plan for you?

>> Gussie's Kitchen on Facebook

Friday, 17 April 2020 10:14

The Moss Valley Pod

Podcasts are a great way to engage with communities and congregations.

They are, effectively, short programmes that the listener can access at any time and from most smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Revd Andy Ward decided to use the free podcast service - Anchor - to reach out to local communities - and so the Moss Valley Pod was born!

It's a podcast from Eckington, Derbyshire, from the church to provide information, share ideas and generally keep spirits up.

Because church services are no longer taking place, the church launched the Moss Valley Pod to enable people to hear Bible reflections at home, rather than in church.

The idea then expanded to provide a platform to allow local organisations to keep in touch with people as situations constantly evolve.

Good news stories are always wanted for the Moss Valley Pod.

Revd Andy Walker said: “Times of crisis can bring out the best in people, 

“These stories need to be shared to give people hope in the days and months to come.”

The podcast is released every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

>> Listen to the Moss Valley Pod

Features include:
Community information
Bible readings
A thought for the day, based on those readings
Good news stories
Shout outs and thank yous

To get in touch, email mossvalley.pod@eckingtonchurch.org.uk

See also: How to use the Anchor.fm podcast service | Anchor's handy guide to starting your podcast

Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:18

Bishop Libby's Easter Day Dawn Sermon

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

These were brave, tenacious women.

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

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

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

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

These were brave, tenacious women.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

love has conquered death – Jesus is alive.


Sunday, 12 April 2020 08:42

Bishop Libby's Easter Message 2020

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

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

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

– that even death cannot defeat love.

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

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

Easter day is only possible after Good Friday.

The Easter story reminds us that love conquers all

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

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

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

This week the cartoonist Dave Walker has rewritten the Beatitudes.

You might write your own, but here are his:

Blessed are those who stay indoors for they have protected others

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:45

Set a place for Jesus

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

Being Church while the buildings are closed

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> More ideas and inspiration

A video from Bishop Libby - A Strange Place

Monday, 23 March 2020 14:27

Revd Tim streams Ockbrook service

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

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

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

>> How to live-stream your service or event