Displaying items by tag: Latest News

“What have you been doing at school today?”

“We’ve been resurrecting dead bodies.”

Actually, the children of Crich Church of England Infants School had been helping Bishop Jan consecrate the new parish graveyard below the church.

On a perfect February afternoon with a pure blue sky and low winter sunlight pouring down the hill, the gathering of children and adults had witnessed an ancient rite which none had seen before nor were likely to see again.

Bishop Jan in her full regalia, complete with Doc Martens, first fielded such questions as ‘Why are you dressed like that?’ 

Once such matters had been cleared up she explained the nature of the ritual, held her crook aloft and announced she was a chief shepherd.

The children were encouraged to answer with a few bleats but from then on they were drawn into the beauty and the sacredness of the proceedings.

Bishop Jan led the procession along the hedgerows reciting psalms and pausing at each corner to mark a solemn cross in the wet grass.

Where the gas main bisected the burial ground the gathering was informed that this stretch could not be consecrated, because it might be necessary one day to disturb the pipeline.

The children, silent and respectful, carefully picked their way around the unhallowed plot.

At the conclusion, the Registrar in her wig and gown read the declaration and Bishop Jan told the children that this was now a place where the villagers could lie safe and at rest in Jesus.

And for a few minutes, the children and all the gathering stood quietly in that glorious winter sunlight and thought about the past and the present and the future and the eternal rest that Jesus gives.

Then Bishop Jan led her flock up the lane and into the church for drinks and cake.

Martyn Offord, Churchwarden, Crich St Mary.

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Each Holy Week and Easter in Spondon, St Werburgh's provides a full retreat experience for folk who otherwise cannot access going on retreat.

For some it's down to limitations of cost; for others it's because a full week away from family/work at somewhere like Launde Abbey is just beyond their reach.  

So St Werburgh's takes the retreat to them. The retreat is provided at no cost to the individual - the whole idea is to provide the experience of a guided retreat for anyone.

Each person who makes the retreat gets a spiritual director, with whom they meet each day at a time and a place that works for them around their daily life.  

Those who are able get together for morning/evening prayer and compline and, as a larger group, they gather to celebrate the Eucharist 'in the round’ each evening of Holy Week.  

This year, teaching is being led by Beth Honey and folk from Derwent Oak.

Retreatants and all the parish come together for Maundy Thursday (everybody gets their feet washed), Good Friday and the Easter Vigil and a bonfire on Saturday night, leaving folk free to return to home parishes for Easter Day.

For more details, please contact Revd Julian Hollywell: fatherjulian@btinternet.com 

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At Holy Trinity in Shirebrook, we have formed a partnership over the past four years with Junction Arts, a Chesterfield-based charity whose principal activity is the promotion and development of access and involvement in the arts through art and regeneration activity within the district of Bolsover.

We first worked together on a project to provide art and craft activities for children and young people during the school summer holiday. 

Junction Arts arranged artists and skilled crafts people to come each week and work with young people. 

Funding was also obtained to allow the town youth worker to attend and as a congregation we provided lunch for the young people who attended. 

Food was donated by the local Co-op so it was a real community collaboration.  At the end of the summer, we hosted an art exhibition in church and an Awards Evening where young people received recognition for their creative work and their growth in social and other skills.

Since then we have hosted a play ‘The Great Austerity Debate’ an interactive theatre piece that toured the country, the play challenged some of the views that were held about the situations many people in poverty find themselves in.

Then came the ‘Processions’ project, which marked 100 years since some women in this country were given the vote. 

We got together with women from across Bolsover District and worked together to produce a banner – not unlike the banners carried by the suffragettes. 

It was such a good time of coming together as women in a community with shared experience and it also crossed some of the cultural divides we have locally as women from the Polish community also got involved. 

The banner took many weeks and many hours of sewing to complete, but finally it was ready.  We travelled to London as a group and marched with women from up and down the country – there were 100 banners from 100 communities, and it was an inspiring day in all sorts of ways. 

The banner is now on tour – it has been to Derby Cathedral, Chesterfield Library, Holy Trinity church, and will end its journey in September.

Our partnership with Junction Arts has allowed us to engage with our community in ways which might not have been possible given the limited resources we have as a congregation. 

It has been a joy and I hope we continue a long and fruitful partnership. 

I would encourage any church approached by a local art/creative foundation to grab the opportunity!

Revd Karen Bradley, Team Vicar, East Scarsdale Team Ministry

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A group of 37 has arrived in Kolkata, India, to continue their work of training and support to slum schools and to strengthen links between schools in Kolkata and those in the Diocese of Derby.

The group is comprises of 25 from our schools, 11 health and social care students and 2 of their lecturers form the University of Derby.

We are all settled in our rooms, eating well and delighted to have met for the first time or to be reunited with our friends from the Cathedral Relief Service whose schools and health care projects we are here to work with.

The group aims to share ideas and resources with teachers who work in some of the slum schools there that are overseen by the Cathedral Relief Service (CRS).

This is largely done through teachers from Derby leading lessons in their link school and through of training days later in the week.

The visit will help build on the work done during similar trips over the last five years.

See also: The Kolkata Blog 2019

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The Bishop of Repton is moving on from the Diocese of Derby to become Residentiary Canon (House for Duty) at Lichfield Cathedral and Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield.

The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane will move to Lichfield with her husband Andrew and take on her new role in April, after almost four years as Bishop of Repton.

It will be a return to Diocese of Lichfield for Bishop Jan who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and began parish ministry in Stafford following her ordination as a priest in 1994. From there she served in Ely and Norwich dioceses before becoming the Bishop of Repton in 2016.

Bishop Jan said: “Andrew and I will be very sorry to leave the beautiful county of Derbyshire where we have been so happy. I feel blessed to have worked with some excellent colleagues and wonderful congregations. I came to the diocese knowing there would be a vacancy-in-see to cover. The completion of that task has coincided with the silver anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, and much reflection during my recent sabbatical on the past 26 years since I was ordained at Lichfield Cathedral.

“In addition, following five years of hospital visits I have been formally declared in remission from cancer. All of this together has led to a desire to live life at a different pace. I look forward to being able to carve out time for writing and to return to the rhythm of preaching, praying, presiding and pastoring for which I was first ordained. I’m much looking forward to returning to my home county and diocese, journeying from Repton to Lichfield quite literally in the footsteps of St Chad.”

Bishop Jan will have a formal farewell at the meeting of the Derby Diocesan Synod on Saturday 7 March. She will preach at Evensong at Derby Cathedral on Sunday 8 March at 6pm and hopes to be able to say a less formal farewell after that service, to which everyone is welcome.

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Libby Lane, said: “Bishop Jan has been a rich blessing for the Diocese of Derby. With compassion and courage she has offered both care and challenge in a time of transition. She is a good friend, and has been a generous colleague - especially for me as I arrived in the diocese. She is greatly valued and appreciated, and her ministry has been a gift to us: we thank God for her. We recognise the cost of the past few years, and honour her integrity as she moves to this new ministry in Lichfield. She will be greatly missed, but travels in the steps of St Chad with our love and prayers for her and Andrew.”

Bishop Jan will be installed as Residentiary Canon (House for Duty) at Lichfield Cathedral on Friday 3 April during Choral Evensong. She will be welcomed as Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield at Chrism Eucharist at the cathedral on Maundy Thursday, 9 April.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “It is a joy to welcome Bishop Jan back to the Diocese of Lichfield, where she was born, baptised, and ordained as a deacon and a priest. I am very pleased that she has agreed to assist in an honorary capacity with episcopal ministry, and I know that we will be greatly enriched by her wisdom, teaching and pastoral gifts. It is fitting that she will be commissioned during the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, an occasion on which we pray for all who exercise ordained and licensed ministries.”

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield Cathedral, said: “Lichfield Cathedral is honoured and delighted to receive Bishop Jan as our new Canon Custos. Her role will be primarily pastoral helping develop our links and concern for all associated with the Cathedral. We look forward to benefitting from her wisdom and experience and having her as a valued colleague. Her arrival will be a bit of a homecoming and we hope she and Andrew will enjoy this return to Jan’s roots.”

Bishops Libby and Jan at the ordination of priests in 2019

Bishop Libby said Bishop Jan has been a "good friend and a generous colleague"

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Every parish and every church in the Diocese of Derby has a tale to tell.  

Some are historical fact, some are legend, others are traditions now etched in time. 

We’ve been asking people in the diocese to tell us about those places and events you really should experience at least once in a lifetime. 

So here are some of the most popular. We call it the Diocese of Derby’s Bucket List.


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The Bishop’s office has announced that the Revd Carolyn Baker, Assistant Curate in the Dronfield with Holmesfield Team Ministry, has died.

She passed away on Saturday 4th January 2020, having lost her battle against cancer.

Revd Carolyn, 60, was ordained deacon in 2018 and as a priest the following year.

She leaves two sons, Aidan and Kiran.

The Service of Thanksgiving for Revd Carolyn will be held on Monday, 20th January 2020 at 1.15 pm at St John the Baptist Dronfield (Church Street, S18 1QB) following a private family cremation. 


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The Venerable Dr Christopher Cunliffe, Archdeacon of Derby, reflects on Epiphany.

Epiphany is the poor relation of Christmas. This is a shame, not least because the carols and music of Epiphany are very special.

And the symbolism of the Epiphany, with the Three Kings or Wise Men bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, is equally memorable.

The Epiphany – or, to give it its other title, the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles - gives Christians the opportunity to consider a crucial question; how is Christ to be born in the world today?

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The Bishop of Derby's office has announced that a Thanksgiving Service for the Revd Ian Mountford will be held on Thursday, 9th January at 12.45 pm at St Alkmund’s Derby (DE22 1GU).

A private family funeral service will take place earlier that day.

Refreshments will be provided in the church hall. Any donations will go to the Nightingale Macmillan Unit – Royal Derby Hospital.

Revd Ian Mountford died on 7th December, 2019.

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For many people, attending a carol services in a church or at Derbys Cathedral is where Christmas really starts and there’s something magical about listening to the sound of choristers singing carols at Christmas.

But what is it like for those who are working hard behind the scenes to produce such music at this busy time of year?

The Cathedral's director of Music, Alexander Binns, gives us a festive flavour of what Derby Cathedral Choir get up to over the Christmas period.

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