Dr Alison Brown is one of a group of 35 who are currently visiting Kolkata, India, to build and strengthen the Derby Diocesan Board of Education's links with the area.

Alison is the board's deputy director and schools adviserAlison low res

The Board of Education has been working hard to develop links with schools in Kolkata, mainly overseen by the Cathedral Relief Service (CRS) there. Over the years, a number of schools in Derby and Derbyshire have participated in reciprocal visits with schools in Kolkata.

Follow their stories here in Alison's blog:


Jacqueline Stober decided at the age of nine that she was going to work for God.

And as well as her own route to ordination, she’s been exploring those of other BAME clergy in the Church of England.

Remembering the ‘light-bulb moment’ is something many people do when it comes to discovering God or hearing His call.

The next Bishop of Derby will be the Right Reverend Libby Lane.

Bishop Libby is currently the Suffragan Bishop of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester – a post she has occupied since 2015.

Libby describes Derbyshire as ‘the place that holds my heart’. She grew up in Glossop in the north-west of the county and was selected for ordination while working in the parish of St Thomas Brampton, Chesterfield.

Ever wondered what it's like to be a churchwarden?

Hazel Massey, the churchwarden at St Wilfred's, West Hallam, says it's more than just a position, it's a vocation. 

So if you've ever thought that you might be called to do work for the church, but not inclined to be ordained, read on...

Hazel writes:

I’m sure most of you are aware that as a churchwarden generally we have responsibility for the fabric of the building and work with the Priest to enable worship to happen. 

I am a volunteer and this a part of how I can give back to my faith and church.

Standing before my great uncle's grave in the still, silent and peaceful Gommecourt New Wood Cemetery in France, I wondered if I was the first. Was I the first member of the King family to have visited him?

When Youlgreave first started to consider how to remember the First World War 100 years on, little did the villagers know how the project would develop.

An ancient tree by St Cuthbert’s Church, Doveridge, holds stories of the parishioners, its visitors and England’s most famous outlaw.

Sharon and Peter are mother-in-law and son-in-law and are both training for ordination having found their faith through entirely different paths. 

More than 100 volunteers in the Diocese of Derby have been awarded a Bishop’s Badge for service to their church community. The awards were made in two special services in Derby Cathedral by the Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Jan McFarlane.

Bishop’s Badge was introduced by Bishop Alastair a few years ago as a way of commending those who had gone the extra mile to help their local parishes and associated communities.

> In pictures (on Flickr):Bishop's Badge - Chesterfield Archdeaconry | Derby Archdeaconry

Among those receiving a Bishop’s Badge this year were:

  • Jean Redfern from Hulland Ward. She was awarded her badge for 75 years' service to the RBL Poppy appeal. She started when she was 10, is now 85 and hasn't missed a single year. At the age of 71 she had a pacemaker fitted. The operation was on a Monday and by the Thursday she was out selling poppies again.

  • Neil Seviour, who gave life-saving first aid

  • Jackie Ainley, who continued to do administrative work for All Saints, Mugginton, from her hospital bed after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Sadly, Jackie died a week after being told she was to be awarded a badge, but her family were able to tell her about the award and show her pictures before she died. Her Badge was collected on her behalf by her Daughter, Carlotte.
  • Alison Barnett is the Tower Captain at St Wilfrid's, West Hallam. She has completely revitalised and re-energised the ringing crew and spent hours training a number of new ringers. They will take part in the ringing event to mark the end of WW1 next month too.

Bishop's Badge has historic links, based on a medal that the very first Bishop of Derby, Bishop Edmund Pearce, had struck to celebrate this new beginning.

Medals were presented to distinguished members of the Diocese and to all those being confirmed in that year. In recent years, Bishop Alastair arranged for a replica of this medal to be minted and mounted in the form of a badge. 

Each year, the diocesan Bishop awards these badges, based upon recommendations made, to acknowledge outstanding service to the church.

Derby Cathedral has been highly commended for its work in restoring the cathedral roof in the Construction Project of the Year category at the East Midlands Property Dinner 2018.

Many of our churchyards are known for being a haven for wildlife - but it seems our bell towers and outbuildings are hotbeds for hibernation.

Children and groups across the Diocese have received their Bishop's Badge awards from Bishop Alastair and Bishop Jan.

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The Diocese of Derby

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