Ashes were offered on the streets in several parts of Derbyshire to mark Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.
Clergy and laity in Bakewell, Matlock, Ilkeston and Derby braved sleet and cold winds to offer prayers and ashes to shoppers, business people, cleaners, builders and tourists as they went about their daily lives.
Passers-by received a blessing and prayer card and were given the chance to receive ashes.
Some opted to have the sign of the cross, in ash, on their forehead, whilst others preferred to have it marked on the back of their hand.
“Ashes-To-Go” is a way of allowing those who are unable to attend services in churches to share a prayer, receive ashes, remember God and take a moment of reflection.
Some of the prayer stations also offered red chocolate hearts as a reminder of both Valentine's Day and God's love.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm crosses that were blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants as a sign of penitence.
The ashing is usually accompanied by the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return" - a reminder that our lives are short and we should live them to the fullest and change ourselves for the better.
The Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, was among those who formed part of the 'ashing' team in Derby, together with the Dean of Derby, the Very Revd Stephen Hance.
Also on the Streets was Derby's Canon Chancellor, the Revd Dr Simon Taylor.
He said: "We've met many different people. Some thought we were a bit mad and crossed the road to avoid us!
"Others were far more receptive.
"I bumped into one woman who had just got engaged this morning - Valentine's Day - and it's her birthday. She willingly showed off her ring - and as well as congratulating her, I also prayed for her.
"Her partner is an atheist, but even he seemed pleased his new fiancée had been blessed!"
In Matlock, the Revd Richard Reade said Ashes-To-Go had definitely been worth the effort, despite the cold wind and some snow: "We've done good trade! A good number of people have stopped to receive ashes - more than I expected. It's been heart-warming."
The Revd Chris Andrew, who holds the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate, has been appointed Interim Assistant Curate (to be known as Interim Priest) of Morton and Stonebroom with Shirland, Diocese of Derby, for a period of one year . Mr Andrew will be licensed on Monday 26th February by the Bishop of Derby in the Bishop’s Chapel, Duffield.
The Revd Alan Griggs, Assistant Curate (SSM) at Derby St Barnabas, Diocese of Derby, will transfer his curacy and become Assistant Curate (SSM) of Fenny Bentley, Thorpe, Tissington, Parwich and Alsop - e n - l e - Dale in the same Diocese with effect from Sunday 4 th March 2018. Mr Griggs’ contact details wil l remain the same.
The Revd Mark Taylor will be licensed as Priest - in - Charge of Alfreton , and Riddings and Ironville and Assistant Curate (to be known as Associate Priest) of Somercotes, Diocese of Derby, on Wednesday 25 th April at 7.30 pm at Christ Church Ironville by the Bishop of Repton assisted by the Archdeacon of Chesterfield.
The Revd Rowland Worrall, non - stipendiary minister of Chellaston 1986 - 1993, non - stipendiary minister of Barrow - on - Trent with Twyford and Swarkestone 1994 - 1997, who retired in 1997 and held the Bishop of Derby’ s Permission to Officiate in retirement, died on Tuesday 6th February. The funeral will be held on Monday 19th February at 12.30 pm at St Peter ’ s Chellaston .
The Revd Susan Bloomfield , Mission Chaplain amongst Deaf People , Diocese of Derby, retired on health grounds on 31st December, 2017.
February 7th - 14th is UK Marriage Week - and to celebrate, we're going answer some of the common questions about getting married in an Anglican church... and possibly dispel some myths for you!
For example, you really don't have to be baptised before you can get married in church. And divorcees can, with the agreement from the priest, remarry in church.
Revd Canon Karen Hamblin, from St Mark's, Brampton, will be guiding us all through what you can and can't do when it comes to church weddings, how to go about it and how much it costs.
And we'll be sharing a couple of stories from people who have already taken the plunge.
Look out each weekday fo a new short video or story, which we'll link to for you here.
And don't forget, we have a brilliant source of wedding information available that will give you loads of inspiration and help you plan your big day.
Find it at yourchurchwedding.org and start making plans!
People in Derby city centre and Ilkeston on Ash Wednesday should prepare to be ‘ashed’ in a custom dating back centuries.
Members of the clergy will set up temporary prayer stations outside Derby Cathedral and St Peter’s Church in Derby, and outside St Mary's in lkeston, and invite passers-by to join them in a prayer, before having their forehead marked with the sign of a cross in ash.
“Ashes-to-Go” has featured in Derby for the last three years as a way of allowing those who are unable to attend services in churches to mark the start of Lent.
And, for the first time, Ashes to Go comes to Ilkeston, where stations will be set up in the Market Place, Matlock (Crown Square) and Bakewell.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from the previous year’s Palm crosses and placing them on the foreheads of participants as a sign of penitence.
Canon Elizabeth Thomson of Derby Cathedral said: “People are surprised, interested and a bit intrigued to see us out on Ash Wednesday.
“Many have no idea why we are there or know about the custom, but most are receptive to the idea and will stop to have a chat and share a prayer.
“Others are more knowledgeable – last year, one woman said she was in a terrible hurry “but please say a prayer for me” – and rushed off!”
“I also had a wonderful conversation with a Hindu woman and we compared notes about how ashes are used in our faiths.”
John Puxtey, a Reader at St Mary’s Church, said: “I helped with Ashes To Go in Derby a couple of years ago and thought we should try it in Ilkeston.
“It is a great way to relate to people and remind them that Lent has started.
“I found that even people of little faith were receptive to the idea. Some people appreciated the prayer – some found it quite moving.”
Revd Carole Lloyd, Interim Priest in Charge at St Mary’s, said: “Some will be inquisitive, others will see it as rather weird.
“But anything that gives us a visibility in the community, rather than behind doors, has to be positive.”
Ashes To Go will be stationed outside Derby Cathedral and St Peter’s Church, Derby, between 12 and 2 pm on Ash Wednesday. In Ilkeston, ashes will be offered in the Market Place between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm.
We can announce today that the next Dean of Liverpool will be Revd Canon Dr Sue Jones. Sue currently serves as Director of Mission and Ministry, Diocese of Derby.
Announcement from Liverpool Diocese
Welsh born Sue, a vastly experienced priest, is the first woman to hold the post of Dean here. She comes with plenty of cathedral experience having served as Acting Dean at Derby Cathedral and prior to that Dean of Bangor. We are expecting that Sue will bring a fresh style of Leadership that will continue to help our cathedral grow and serve Liverpool, our diocese and the surrounding region.
Sue said “when I came to be interviewed for this role I was struck by how suited Liverpool Cathedral is for the city. Its imposing physical stature is matched by the strong desire to serve the community. A people centred cathedral called to serve the people is a place that I felt God wanted me to be. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors stretching back to Dean Dwelly. I am looking forward to starting properly in the summer, working with the talented teams of volunteers, staff and clergy to continue the important work of the Cathedral”.
The Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, The Bishop of Derby said “Sue has done an outstanding job in transforming opportunities for learning and mission in our Diocese. We will miss her enormously. However this new challenge will provide an exciting opportunity for her wisdom and gifts to be deployed for the flourishing of Liverpool Cathedral. We wish her well and join our prayers with colleagues in Liverpool for God’s blessing.”
Bishop Paul, the Bishop of Liverpool said “We interviewed a number of outstanding candidates and I am delighted to say that Sue was the unanimous first choice of our appointment panel. The appointment of any ordained leader begins a new chapter in a community's life, and this is as true for a Cathedral as for a parish. It is a new venture for our Cathedral to have a woman as Dean - and Sue brings many team leadership qualities with her. It’s is also a new venture for us to receive someone who has been both an Acting Dean and Dean before - and I know Sue will make her extensive cathedral experience count here in Liverpool. Above all the appointments panel was convinced that Sue’s personal qualities and leadership skill will provide warmth and guidance to the life of the cathedral as we enter a new phase of its life. Liverpool cathedral is in good shape. I am impressed by its clear vision and sense of collegiality amongst clergy, staff and volunteers as they seek to serve the city, region and diocese. Sue wholeheartedly supports that vision and will be working to cement its reputation and build its ministry.”
Canon Sue will be installed by the Bishop of Liverpool on May 5th at 3pm in Liverpool Cathedral
An appeal has gone out to church bell ringers around Britain to join in a major event later this year to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1.
The organisers of Battle's Over, a national and international event marking the armistice, wants to see more than 1,000 churches and cathedrals participate by ringing their bells simultaneously at 7.05pm on the night of November 11th 2018.
Pageantmaster Bruno Peek is encouraging bell ringers to take part in Ringing Out for Peace.
He said: "We want this to be the most widespread ringing of church bells since the First World War.
It would be a fitting and moving tribute to the 1,400 or so bell ringers that we understand lost their lives during that war," said Mr Peek. "I have no doubt that dedicated campanologists in Britain and around the world will want to join in this once-in-a-lifetime tribute to everyone who served on the battlefields, the high seas and the home front."
Ringing Out for Peace is part of Battle's Over, day-long, unique commemoration of the end of the first world war taking place throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Somaliland, the United States and Germany.
It begins at 6am on November 11th 2018 with lone pipers playing Battle's O'er, a traditional tune played after a battle, outside every cathedral in the country.
At the same time, pipers everywhere will be playing the same tune in their local communities around the world. The tribute is being organised with the assistance of Glasgow-based College of Piping, local pipe bands around the world, Air Training Corps and the Army Cadet Force.
That evening, at 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations across the country, this will be followed at 7pm with WW1 Beacons of Light signifying the light of peace that emerged from the dreadful darkness of war.
Then at 7.05pm church and cathedral bells will ring out in, Ringing Out for Peace, being organised with the assistance of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, the representative body for groups who ring bells in the English tradition with rope and wheel. It was founded in 1891 and represents 65 affiliated societies of local ringers from all over the British Isles and in Australia, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Italy.
Mr Peek said, "The stirring sound of church and cathedral bells will provide a fitting conclusion to a day of contemplation, commemoration and, ultimately, celebration as the United Kingdom and other nations reflect on events a century ago, on the battlefields of Europe and at home in our factories and farms.
"I hope as many people as possible will join us in the Battle's Over events to mark the conclusion of the first world war and pay tribute to the loved ones who played their part."
Churches can register their involvement by completing the Ringing out for Peace entry form found here.
Pageantmaster Bruno Peek has had the privilege of organising major national events and some of our country's most memorable spectacles for more than thirty years.
The event has four charities linked to it - The Royal Naval Association, Army Benevolent Fund - the Soldiers Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association.
More information on Battle's Over - A Nation's Tribute 11th November 2018, and how to take part, can be found here.
The Revd Tony Luke is Chaplain to Derby County – but what does he actually do?
Tony Luke spends most of his time serving in the Derby Diocese – specifically in the parishes of Aston on Trent, Weston on Trent, Elvaston, Shardlow, Swarkestone, Barrow upon Trent and Twyford – a job he loves.
But one of his other loves is serving Derby County - and there are few fans who get as close to the action as Tony.
On match days he can been seen and heard passionately shouting his support from his seat in the North Stand.
Between matches he can be found at Moor Farm, providing support for the players and coaching staff - in fact, anyone who works for the club.
So for him, it’s a perfect combination – being able to serve his faith, his calling and his favourite team at the same time.
“I’m there to be available,” says Tony. “I’m not there to preach or to be evangelistic, but as part of the support network that everyone needs from time to time – to listen and to talk.
“So, I’ll ask players how an injury is coming along, talk about the last match, chat about new members of the family, offer condolences on a bereavement or whatever it happens to be, to open up the lines of conversation.
“I’m pastorally proactive, but spiritually reactive. I don’t initiate talk about faith with anyone at the club – but I’m very happy to talk about it with an individual when they want to.
“And every so often, someone will decide – sometimes out of the blue – that they want to talk about faith or something that’s playing on their mind.”
Confidence is key
Tony believes that long-term injury and worrying about falling out of the manager’s plans are the two things that can weigh on a player’s mind most because of the potential effects on their careers: “When a player has those things on his mind, there are usually very few people they can talk to about it at the club.
“Blokes aren’t always good at talking about their feelings at the best of times – and when they’re worried that their concern might get back to the boss, they’re even more cagey about expressing how they feel – about opening up.
“But the value of me, as the chaplain, is that they know I’m here - but not on the payroll of the club. So they know they can talk about things openly and not have to worry about it getting back to the coaching staff. That’s a huge thing.”
Having that trust between the staff and himself is key to Tony and he’s keen to ensure the players are as comfortable as possible: “A happy player is going to perform better on a Saturday afternoon and the team is feeling very positive at the moment.”
Tony says this positivity, along with the manager’s coaching style, is giving him plenty of cause for optimism about promotion: “Since Gary Rowett has come along, there is a very strong feeling of togetherness which also manifests itself on the field of play. There’s a very grounded set of lads there right now.
“Gary is very level-headed and a really good people manager – good at encouraging players and getting them to play to their strengths - and I am there for him as much as the players.
“We have a lot of strength and depth now. Some key people have been brought in to the spine of the team who have not only achieved promotion before but also bring a lot of experience in terms of game management – how to see a game out.
“With less than half of the season left and Derby County currently occupying 2nd spot in the Championship, our dreams of playing Premiership football next year are very much alive.
“Yes, I know we’ve been here in previous seasons and faded come February or March, but I have confidence in this current squad, precisely because they have confidence in themselves, in one another and in the manager.
“Add to this the attacking flair of Vydra, Lawrence, Winnall and Russell and we have a team, who both know that they can score goals and also keep clean sheets. That is a formula for promotion. Let’s hope I am right when April arrives!”
Danger at The Den?
As for the next week: “We mustn’t let the fact that we comfortably beat the East End Lions 3-0 at Pride Park before Christmas, lead us into thinking that this will be a walk over.
“Millwall at home in The Den can be one of the more intimidating places to play. Indeed, one young player a few years ago always asked me to pray for him before going to Millwall, such was his anxiety! Of course, I did.
“Millwall (15th in the table) have recently pulled off some good results, so nothing can be taken for granted.
“However, I am sure that the Rams’ experience and confidence will see us get a result at The Den and help cement our 2nd spot.”
Do you agree with Tony? Have your say here.
Next time: Chaplain to the fans –Tony’s calling and how his work extends beyond Moor Farm.
Parishioners in Church Gresley have been settling in to their new place of worship.
Following the closure of St George and St Mary’s Church before Christmas, some of the church’s activities have moved to a temporary home at the Pingle Academy.
The Academy, on Coronation Street, Swadlincote, will host Sunday morning services for the foreseeable future, providing church-goers with a regular place of worship.
Evening services will continue at the church’s community centre on Church Street, Church Gresley.
But the church’s vicar, Revd Mike Firbank, stressed that despite the temporary move, it is still very much business as usual: “Many have made the transition and are enjoying our worship at the school.
“95 people joined us for our first Sunday at Pingle, which was fantastic, though there are still some who are grieving St George’s and not quite ready yet to take that step.”
The Sunday morning services are open to all to join in prayer, non-liturgical worship, socialising and the sharing of togetherness, peace and reflection. Children are able to join in special activities and there is a creche available for toddlers.
Mike Firbank believes the move to Pingle should be seen as an opportunity rather than a setback: “There is something extraordinary about God going before us and leading the way – helping us to see things from a different perspective.”
The church building was closed in December 2017 because it was discovered that the structure needs significant work to repair damage, thought to have been caused by a combination of ageing, weathering and vibration from nearby heavy traffic.
The repair bill is likely to be in the region of 300,000, which will include new roofs and new stone work and it is hoped that Heritage Lottery Funding will be available to finance much of the work.
It is likely to be around two years before the main church building can be brought back into regular use.
The Crooked Spire, Chesterfield
St John's Church Walton
10am - 3.30pm
St Nicholas Church, Allestree
St Helen's Church, Darley Dale
10, 17, 24 April
1, 8 May
7.30pm - 9pm
The Red Lion, Stonedge, Chesterfield
10am - 4pm