Meet Dom Gavan, head chorister of St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield.
Chesterfield Parish Church (The Crooked Spire) has had an excellent repertoire of music since its dedication in 1234, and has upheld a sustainable and large choir for much of this time.
From huge concerts with the Philharmonic Choir to small, midweek services, the music has been nothing but exquisite and I have been fortunate to be a part of it for some six years, and have been Head Chorister since 2016.
Sunday - Palm Sunday
Alarm at 7.00am, up, dressed, teeth, hair, church! Got to church, Cassock on, warm up, and sing. Setting today was Communion Service in A minor (Darke), and Christus Factus Est (Felice Anerio) as the communion motet. Went well, started outside with blessing of Palms and thankfully it wasn’t raining. I have a solo tonight so ultra-important I don’t get a cold! Sunday lunch with the Family, and back to church for Evensong.
Went to church at 11am to help run the gift shop, stuck around until 2pm. Went home and chilled. Back to Church at 6pm for a choir practice. Many composers later, its time to go home. Bath and Bed, how cosy.
My only day off this week - Tidied my room, did my ironing for the week, looked through my music, practiced my organ pieces, and ate. Not much to say today.
Stressful day today - Picked up my cassock from the dry cleaners, washed my surplus, and then off for a coffee with my Mum, had a nice chat and then home for an extensive music practice for this week’s services. The pressure builds…
Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
Busy day today. Off to church at 10am to help out, sold some gifts! Back to church at 7am for the Last Supper mass with lots of music and a very atmospheric singing of Psalm 88 in the dark! The service ended with the watch until midnight, which was only spoiled by a dance show down the road.
Friday (Good Friday)
The Good Friday afternoon liturgy began at 3pm. I caught a glimpse of the procession of witness as I walked from my bus to the Church for rehearsal. Music today was demanding at times, but fitting for Good Friday: O Vos Omnes (Pablo Casals); Crux Fidelis (Plainsong); Popule Meus (Victoria) and Psalm 22 to my favourite Anglican Chant.
Saturday (Holy Saturday)
A very busy day today, with too much to do and not a lot of time to do it. I helped the vergers prepare all the altars for Easter. Some altars took more time than others. Once the altars were finished, it was time for breakfast - nothing beats a Pain Au Chocolat and coffee at 10am on a Saturday! Many coffees later, the church was fully furnished and ready for the Easter Vigil mass at 8.30pm. Home, bath, new set of clothes, and then back to church. After the service, the vicar invited the congregation to champagne and chocolate. I was too tired, so went home to bed.
Sunday (Easter Sunday)
Up early to get the first dibs on easter eggs! The church looked so wonderfully radiant in the glorious sunshine. The morning service was rounded off by the choristers pelting an assortment of Crème and Caramel eggs at the congregation, making sure to include the Vicar and Servers! Enjoyed the famous ‘Easter Lamb Dinner’ at my Nana’s house, filling me up ready for the evening of singing ahead. The clock in my house struck 5.30pm, meaning it was time for the last service of the term. The music this evening was magnificent, as well as being very nerve racking for the soloists. We sang Blair in B minor, and the anthem was Haec Dies, an 8-part anthem sung in canon between 2 sides, which really literally raised the roof. After the service, I went straight to bed for a nice long sleep, I had no energy to go on.
>> See Also: The Crooked Spire
To help mark the 50th anniversary of the Peak Centre, Edale, and to celebrate all that is good about the Chesterfield Archdeaconry, Archdeacon Carol and Ben Acty, warden at the Peak Centre, invite you to join them for a family walk on Saturday, 31st August 2019.
The walk will start at 10.30 am at the Peak Centre, S33 7ZA.
Ben will lead you on a pleasant walk around the Edale area, which will take in Edale itself, Barber Booth, and a part of the Pennine Way.
The walk will last between two and four hours and will be tailored to suit the group on the day.
Archdeacon Carol said: “Derbyshire has some of the most wonderful landscape in the country and we should celebrate that. The Peak District in particular has a rich diversity of wildlife, terrain and communities, and it is our responsibility to ensure we both enjoy and preserve it.
“This walk is about celebrating the scenery and communities we are privileged to walk among.
“It is great to be able to use the Peak Centre in Edale as the start of our Archdeaconry walk; the centre is such a great asset for the Diocese of Derby.
“Our walk will take us on a gentle exploration of the high peaks - all ages and dogs are welcome to join us. My Jack Russell, Fudge, at 16 is definitely up for it!”
In September, the Peak Centre at Edale celebrates 50 years of helping to get people of all ages and all faiths to enjoy outdoor pursuits whilst considering the values of being a Christian - or any other faith – such as respect, teamwork and trust.
It caters mainly for primary school children and offers residential stays and day group activities.
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Libby Lane, and the Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, have said those affected by the partial collapse of the Toddbrook Reservoir dam will be in the prayers of the whole Diocese.
Bishop Libby said:
"Our prayers continue for all those affected by the risk of collapse of Toddbrook Reservoir Dam. We pray for those evacuated from their homes, the community of Whaley Bridge, the Emergency Services and all those working tirelessly to prevent collapse and avert the danger.
"The evacuation prompted a sense of community and care that has been wonderful to see. Those displaced from Whaley Bridge have been met with hospitality and generosity, from Chapel-en-le-Frith and beyond. People of all faiths and none have come together, in partnership with statutory providers, with practical and emotional support. We honour those who have been working, despite the risks involved, to keep the people of Whaley Bridge safe.
"We are conscious of the effect this situation must have had on all those impacted and involved. So, as we hope the danger passes and longer term solutions are found, as people return to their homes and businesses, we continue to offer our support with compassion and hope."
The Sanctuary at Derby Cathedral is your #1 option for ALL church supplies including candles, communion wafers and wine, incense, baptism cards, marriage and burial registers.
It also offers a discount of 10% on all orders over £30.00 and invoicing options are available for all churches.
Most items are in stock and available for immediate purchase.
Delivery options are also available.
The Sanctuary at Derby Cathedral is a great place to buy Christian books and a wide range of locally produced gifts.
Order your church supplies:
In Person: The Sanctuary at Derby Cathedral, Iron Gate
(opposite Derby Cathedral)
Phone: 01332 227660
Edale’s Peak Centre is a haven for youngsters to enjoy outdoor learning – but all ages, and all faiths, are welcome.
Whilst many of the parishes in the Diocese spend time trying to get people IN, there is one that focuses on trying to get them OUT – out into the great outdoors to enjoy some of the fantastic scenery and open spaces Derbyshire has to offer.
The Peak Centre in Edale is a unique resource in the Diocese, offering outdoor education to people of all faiths and all backgrounds, an opportunity to enjoy the village, the landscape and to escape some of the stresses and troubles they have in their lives.
It caters mainly for primary school children and offers residential stays and day group activities.
Hence the emphasis, according to Manager Ben Acty and his team of five, is on having a good time: “I’d like to think that the main thing they get out of being here is fun!” Said Ben.
“We want to provide a fun, safe place for them to enjoy. From that, if they can learn or get the inspiration to continue to explore the outside world around them – hopefully realise that there is life beyond their phone and TV screens – if we can start that journey for them, then that’s a big win.”
Peak Centre manager Ben Acty said the centre aims to help youngsters become good citizens and decent human beings
Typical of the activities they might do at the centre are climbing (the centre has a fantastic indoor climbing wall), archery, walking, pond dipping – all sorts of things that help them enjoy the natural world.
Not all activities are done at the center, though: walking takes place in the Edale valley, Mam Tor and sometimes around Kinder Scout, and there is plenty of outdoor climbing to be done too at the Peak District’s natural rock formations, such as Stanage Edge.
Reaching new heights
And not all the people using the centre are schoolchildren.
Ben said: “The Peak Centre welcomes youth groups and other organisations, and adults. You can often see a real sense of achievement – some people conquer their fear of heights, for example, so to get them on a climb and see their joy on reaching the top is really rewarding.
“We also have a large orienteering site around Kinder so we can do a full day at that, exploring the skills of navigating.”
Ben has been manager of the centre for just under a year. His father was a United Reformed Church minister who helped set up a group to provide outdoor education, so Ben is no stranger to this environment.
Faith is also a part of the ethos at the Peak Centre – though Ben is keen to point out that it isn’t compulsory, and no-one is ever forced to join in any faith-based activity.
“We have resources here for them to use and you will see symbols, such as the cross, around. Quite often the youngsters are inquisitive and will want to know more and read some of the books we have. We encourage them to ask questions if they want to and we have a number of prayer spaces.
“We also have retreat days, more structured events where we introduce children to different ways of worship and praying – ways that they probably haven’t thought about before.”
“But in all of the activities we do, the values we work by would be considered to be the values of being a Christian – or any other faith - respect, teamwork, trust etc. Ultimately, we want to encourage them to be good citizens – good and decent human beings.”
Abseiling is one of the many outdoor activities organised by the Peak Centre
This year, the Peak Centre will have been encouraging that ethos for 50 years – since John Champion of Edale donated a barn to be used to allow youngsters to learn in the outdoors.
The core messages and values are the same as they have always been – though the teaching methods and activities are a little more modern.
Celebrations to mark the anniversary are being held over the weekend of 13 and 14 July – and you are invited!
Ben said: “We’re having an open day on the Saturday and we’ll be open for anyone to come in to see the centre and what we have to offer. We’ll have bush craft sessions, climbing sessions, archery and orienteering. Some of our groups will be here… some of whom have been coming here for many, many years.
“And as Edale school also celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, so the school will be sharing some of the celebrations. We’ll have worship too, of course.
“On the Sunday, we’ll have a special service at the church and inviting the local community to come and see the centre for themselves.”
Ben is keen that local communities should be able to use the centre more – maybe for group activities – and is keen to hear ideas how they would like to make use of the facilities.
“We’ve had an incredible 50 years in which we have become a unique little spot in the Peak District. I want us to grow more while retaining the charm that makes this centre special. We will continue to offer outdoor learning opportunities.
“What I want to do more of is to offer safe, secure environment to people from areas that don’t have access to nature – to introduce them to this quiet place where they can come and get away from the stresses of daily life, eg inner cities.
“That could make a real difference.”
Running costs: around £120,000 p.a. as a self-funded charity
Capacity: max 60 residential guests | up to 100 in day groups
For more information, please visit peakcentre.org.uk or call 01433 670254
St Augustine's Church, in the parish of Walbrook Epiphany, has presented three Derby schools with a range of Christian books.
Don’t miss out on essential funding for your church
You might not know, but there is a range of grants available to help churches pay for maintenance services booked through the website MaintenanceBooker.
Investing in regular maintenance work to your building now can significantly reduce your longer term costs.
To access and book maintenance services, places of worship first need to register to use the site.
MaintenanceBooker is supported by the National Churches Trust (NCT) and managed by NCT Heritage Services Ltd in partnership with 2buy2.
Foundation Grants of up to £10,000 are available for projects costing up to £20,000 (exc VAT). The maximum grant size is 50% of costs.
There are two ways for churches to engage with the grants:
- Standard Foundation Grant application to the NCT Grants Committee. The deadline for applications is 26 September 2019 for decisions in November 2019. Churches can use contractors previously selected through a competitive process where they can demonstrate that at least two quotes were received.
- Foundation Grant application to support tendering done through MaintenanceBooker. Applications received this way will not be bound by the 26 September 2019 deadline. Applications for contracts will be accepted on a rolling basis until 2 December 2019, when the funding campaign will end. Decisions will be made within 1 month, allowing for quicker turn around on maintenance and small repair projects.
Churches can apply for more than one Foundation Grant if they can demonstrate that the works being requested are distinct, and the works are being done by different contractors.
The NCT will be announcing some changes this autumn to the NCT grant programmes for 2020.
It is uncertain that the Foundation Grants programme will retain a £10,000 grant ceiling, so they strongly encourage churches to submit bids early this year. Visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org for more details.
Sally-Anne Beecham: ordained deacon on 30 June 2019
"God is on the move and I’m excited to be joining in!"
I’m Sally-Anne Beecham and live in Chesterfield with my husband and two children aged 12 and 14.
I became a Christian at 21 after a friend at University told me about her faith and I nervously tried her church one Sunday.
During the service the minister had a word for ‘someone new’ and then proceeded to speak of something only I could have known – it’s fair to say that Jesus had my full attention from then on!
I don’t come from a Christian family, had no experience of church growing up and will never forget how alien it all felt in the beginning. I pray I will never forget those experiences so I’ll always remain sensitive to those new to church.
My working life began as a secondary school teacher in performing arts in London, and then moved into education social work and youth offending support.
For the past eight years I’ve worked as Operations Manager at St Thomas’ Brampton, which is where the call to ordination crept up on me.
I loved my job but I realised I was becoming more and more interested in what the clergy were up to. Eventually I reached a point where the idea of not pursuing ordination left me feeling completely empty and so I began to push some doors. After local and national selection I began training at St Hild Theological College in Yorkshire in 2016.
My three years of training have been a challenging juggle of family, work, study and placements, but it’s also been an incredible experience.
The highlights were spending summer schools in Durham with the cathedral staff and spending weekends alongside the brothers at Mirfield Community of the Resurrection.
If I had to sum up what I’ve learnt I’d say - it’s not much about me and ALL about Jesus, and that if I’m flailing, it’s usually because I’m trying it in my own strength.
I’ve also been reminded of the value of community, in fact more than community - family – doing life with others, learning more about Jesus with others, and I look forward to being part of more and more families over the years.
The Ordination Service on 30 June was beyond special, made all the more so by the number of familiar faces. I’ve been truly humbled by the support and good wishes I’ve received from both my sending and receiving churches.
Since then I’ve started my curacy in Bakewell Benefice with one day a week in SS Augustines' parish, Chesterfield.
I hit Bakewell in carnival week and so induction has involved raft racing and fancy dress – what a start!
Ministry over in Chesterfield is also going to be interesting, I’ve been involved with a homeless project, Hope House Chesterfield, for the past two years and it’s great to be continuing with this.
I think ministry is going to be challenging and varied because so is life, but God is on the move and I’m excited to be joining in.
Favourite Bible verse:
Isaiah 42:16 -
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Be Thou my Vision
...both speak of God’s unremitting presence and his tenacious love, truths that keep me going.
The Right Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby, has been introduced to the House of Lords by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
The Lord Bishop was joined by her husband, Revd George Lane, senior chaplain of Manchester airport, and her parents who live in North Derbyshire.
Also in attendance were Stephen Hance, the Dean of Derby, Rachel Morris, Diocesan Secretary, and Mark Titterton, the Executive Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance.
The Very Revd Dr Stephen Hance, the Dean of Derby, has been appointed National Lead for Evangelism and Witness for the Church of England.