Around 5,000 clay figures, depicting players and spectators of Ashbourne’s Shrovetide football game, have gone on display in St Oswald’s church in the town.

The ‘Our Game’ project, launched by Ashbourne Festival and The Clayrooms, is the culmination of four months’ work involving more than 2,000 school children and hundreds of adults from communities in and around Ashbourne.

Between them they have created the individual small clay figures, which have been installed in the church and will remain there until September.

The figures include players in the hug, followers of the game, mums carrying babies and even some ‘out-of-town’ characters, such as Gandalf and ET. Each figure is unique and has its own character.

The Revd Duncan Ballard, vicar of St Oswald’s said: “In a fast-changing, busy world some communities struggle to retain their identity; however, Ashbourne is a place where tradition, community and pride come together every year for Shrovetide Football.

“It’s therefore very fitting that the clay figures, symbolically representing the whole of the town, have found a home surrounding the high altar at St Oswald’s church.

“St Oswald’s church is delighted to be a part of this project, demonstrating that the church is here for everyone, and that our doors will always be wide open.”

This ambitious project was developed for the Ashbourne Festival in partnership with The Clayrooms pottery in Ashbourne. Local ceramicists and teachers, Helen Cammiss and Sarah Heaton, who founded the pottery last year, originated the idea for ‘Our Game’.


st oswald clay figures 6895 full res

The 5,000 small figures have been created by schoolchildren, local residents and visitors during school visits, ‘pop-up’ workshops and in The Clayrooms studio.

It represents the sense of community involvement and inclusiveness and, of course, the pride in celebrating ‘Our Game’ shown by every maker of every figure.

To top off the centrepiece of the ‘hug’, a special ‘Our Game’ ball has been painted by Shrovetide ball painter Tim Baker.

The Revd Jude Davis, Rector of Hathersage with Bamford and Derwent, and Grindleford, Diocese of Derby, has also been appointed Adviser for Women in Ministry with immediate effect.

The Revd Toby May will be collated as Vicar of the benefice of Whitfield, Diocese of Derby, on Tuesday 18th September at 7 pm at St James’ Whitfield by the Bishop of Repton and inducted by the Archdeacon of Chesterfield.

The Revd Andy Murphie, Vicar of Hilton with Marston on Dove, Diocese of Derby, has been appointed Priest-in-Charge in the Keswick Mission Community and of Crosthwaite St Kentigern, Diocese of Carlisle. Mr Murphie hopes to take up his new appointment in September.

The Revd Canon Richard Andrews, Team Rector of Dunstable Team Ministry, Diocese of St Albans, has been appointed Canon for Liturgy at Derby Cathedral, Diocese of Derby. Canon Andrews will be collated, installed and inducted on Sunday 2nd September at 3 pm at Derby Cathedral by the Bishop of Repton and installed and inducted by the Dean of Derby. 

The Revd Sue Ives-Smith, Assistant Curate of Tideswell, Diocese of Derby, has been appointed  Priest-in-Charge of Newbold de Verdun, Barlestone, Kirby Mallory and Peckleton, Diocese of Leicester. Mrs Ives-Smith hopes to take up her new post in late summer.

The Revd Fran Grant, Assistant Curate (SSM) of Etwall and Egginton, Diocese of Derby, has been appointed Assistant Curate (SMM-to be known as Associate Priest) of Brailsford with Shirley, Osmaston with Edlaston and Yeaveley in the same diocese. Miss Grant was licensed on Monday 14 May 2018 by the Bishop of Derby in the Bishop’s Chapel, Duffield. Miss Grant’s contact details remain the same.

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Elections for the new, three-year session of the Diocesan Synod are now taking place.

The Diocesan Synod is the main forum for discussion on Diocesan policy and its members are also members of the Diocesan Board of Finance which deals with financial matters relating to the Diocese.

If you would like to be nominated for election to Diocesan Synod please contact a Deanery Synod member in your parish, or your incumbent, if you are a member of the laity, and you will be guided through the process.

Any confirmed person who is on the electoral roll of a parish within the Diocese is eligible for nomination, although it is the membership of the deanery synods which is the electorate.

Clergy who are members of a deanery synod are eligible for nomination also.

Nominations close on 22nd June, elections will take place by 10th July and the new Diocesan Synod comes in to being on 1st August.

Video courtesy of BBC East Midlands Today

Drivers are being encouraged to join an unprecedented national information-gathering campaign launched by the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales aimed at eradicating modern slavery in hand car washes.

Anti-slavery campaigners and other key agencies, including the police and councils, are backing the Safe Car Wash App, launched by The Clewer Initiative, the Church of England’s campaign against modern slavery, and the Santa Marta Group, the Catholic Church’s anti-slavery project.

From Monday, 4 June the Safe Car Wash app can be downloaded for free on to Apple and Android devices.

Users can open the app when they are at a car wash and pinpoint their exact location using GPS.

They will be then taken through a series of indicators of modern slavery.

They range from practical details - such as whether workers have suitable protective clothing - to behavioural clues, such as whether they appear withdrawn.

If the answers indicate a high likelihood, users will be directed to the Modern Slavery Helpline.

Get the app: Android Play Store | iOS App Store

Data from the app will be anonymised and shared with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Clergy will also be asked to raise awareness of the campaign in sermons and Sunday School lessons and hold events to publicise the app.

Estimates now suggest that there are more than 18,000 in Britain’s high streets, at the sides of motorways, and on abandoned garage forecourts.

Many are run as legitimate businesses, but some exploit, force and threaten their workers, trapping them in modern slavery.

No reliable data currently exists as to the scale of the problem, with the result that subsequent responses have proved inadequate.

Kevin Hyland, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner said: “The value of this app is that in addition to immeasurably improving the lives of victims of modern slavery being cruelly exploited in car washes today, it also empowers a community to act.”

Professor Zoe Trodd, Director of the Rights Lab, a University of Nottingham Beacon of Excellence, said: “Car washes are completely unregulated territory and we don’t know how big the sector is, how many hand car washes operate or how many persons are registered to work in them. This citizen engagement in data collection is a powerful technique with potential for mapping other vulnerable services such as nail bars.”

The App is also endorsed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Local Government Association and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

When it comes to getting married, not every bride can tie the knot in their first choice of church. One lucky bride who did is Kelly Hewitt.

As did her mum. And her grandmother. And her great grandma and three previous generations before her.

It’s understood that no fewer than seven generations of Kelly’s family have taken their vows in Tissington parish church - St Mary’s. For some reason, brides-to-be just seem to want to get married there.

The small village of Tissington is nestled in the western part of the Diocese - around 160 people live in the parish as a whole (Tissington and Lea Hall). Kelly was born and baptised there before tying the knot there in 2017.

“I’ve always been part of the church and would not have wanted to marry anywhere else,” she said.

“In fact, I remember telling Chris, ‘if you don’t marry me in Tissington church, I won’t marry you at all!’”

But as well as being her parish church, St Mary’s holds another special significance for Kelly.

Sadly, Kelly’s dad, Paul Greatorex, died suddenly when she was only 9 – and he is buried at the church.

She recalls: “After he died, Mum wanted to get something for the church where they had got married.

She decided on a kneeler and an Advent wreath and I used the kneeler at my wedding. “The vicar, Carollyn McDonald, then took the wreath and placed a lighted candle in it in remembrance of my dad.”

It was Kelly’s granddad, Kenneth Unwin, who also married in St Mary’s in 1966, that gave her away – so for Kelly, it was like the church had brought them all together again: “It was very emotional – though I managed to hold it together!

“It was the most lovely day and it really felt like Dad was present.”

For Kelly’s mum, Wendy, it was an emotional day, too: “The memories came flooding back, but I felt really proud of the way I’d brought her up and that she married in the same church as me.

“I would always tell people to marry in church. It’s part of my faith and, to me, you’re not getting married unless you’re in a church.”

You can read more about Kelly and Wendy in the first issue of Together Magazine - available free in churches in the Diocese of Derby from 1st May.

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Inside Tissington church

The Revd Phyllis Bainbridge, who holds the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate, has been appointed Assistant Curate (known as Interim Minister) for Hucknall, Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, for a period of six months commencing on 1 May 2018. 

Mrs Bainbridge will continue to hold the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate during this period. Her contact details will remain unchanged.


The Revd Toby May, Vicar of Christ Church Alsager, Diocese of Chester, has been appointed Vicar of the benefice of Whitfield, Diocese of Derby. Mr May hopes to take up his new post in September. 


The Venerable Carol Coslett, Archdeacon of Chesterfield, has new contact details: 


Archdeacon Carol is sharing a secretary with the Archdeacon of Derby. At present, there is an interim appointment, Mrs Carol Johnston, who can be contacted on the Church House number above every weekday morning, or by using: for any matters concerning the Archdeacon of Chesterfield. 

Out of hours or in an emergency please use the home number and leave a message or use the Archdeacon’s email.

The Revd Jill Needle, Assistant Curate (SSM) of Allestree St Nicholas and Quarndon St Paul,resigned from this post with effect from 30 September 2017. Mrs Needle holds the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate as from 9 April 2018. Mrs Needle’s contact details remain the same.

The Revd Ruth Turner, Team Vicar of the Dronfield with Holmesfield Team Ministry, Diocese of Derby, has been appointed Assistant Curate (to be known as Associate Vicar) of Battersea Fields, Diocese of Southwark. Miss Turner will be licensed to her new post on 4 September 2018.

What have you been up to this month?

There is always so much going on in our Diocese - from flower festivals to fun days.

If you have some great pictures of an event in your parish or deanery, then why not share them with us so we can add them to our gallery?

Send your images and a little text about the event to:


Guidelines for images:

Ideally, we should have written permission from anyone who can be identified before using their photo on line. However, this is not always practical.

Children: Before we use an image showing a child (ie someone under 18) who can be identified, we must have written permission from the parent or legal guardian. Permission is not usually needed if the child cannot be identified - eg if they have their back to the camera. Some youth organisations and schools will already have parental permission as part of their overall safeguarding policies and this will suffice as long as ALL the children in the photo are covered by the permission held. Please check with the group's leader or teacher beforehand.

Adults: At church and parish events, permission should be obtained from adults who can be identified when the photo is taken (verbal permission will usually suffice). We should never use pictures of people who prefer not to have their pictures on display to the public.

Download our brand guidelines for more guidance on correct logo usage and fonts. If you have any queries, please contact 

OldBramptonRingers RingingChamber brightChurches across the Diocese of Derby are recruiting new bell ringers as part of a nationwide campaign to honour the ringers who lost their lives in the First World War.

In total, 1,400 bell ringers died - including a number from Derbyshire.

Ringing Remembers is a nation-wide campaign to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers in their honour to ring in November 2018 for the centenary of the Armistice.

Churches across the Diocese of Derby are recruiting now.

Bell ringing is an inclusive community with people of all faiths and none, and there is no need to be musical or strong. It is a family-friendly, social activity that is good for you and your church community:

  • For all ages (10+), teens and adults
  • Children and parents/carers can learn togetherGreat all-year round exercise for the mind and body
  • Builds teamwork and leadership skills as part of a friendly team
  • Opportunities to visit new places and try new things.

Recent recruits have said:

“It forces me to go out, exercise my mind and my body and there’s something about being part of a group of people that have a focus and it’s very satisfying to be a part of that. It’s not that hard to learn – the more you practise the easier it gets, but personally I find it very enjoyable and I look forward to coming to practise.” - an adult bell ringer.

“Bell ringing has helped me with my shyness – I’ve had to conduct and shout at people I don’t know so it’s taught me to speak up a bit. It’s helped me build my teamwork skills too when I’m doing complicated patterns. I want to try and carry it on because it’s a fun thing to do. People are nice and everyone is involved with what’s going on." - a teenage bell ringer.

Would you like to come along and play a part in it?

To get involved visit

Find us on Facebook: BellRingingDerbyshire


IMG 8963 preview.jpegThe Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, Bishop of Derby, has received the Langton Award for Community Service, for national and international work in combating human trafficking and modern slavery.

Bishop Alastair, who will retire later this year, was honoured by Archbishop Justin Welby at Lambeth Palace on Friday.

The citation on the Archbishop of Canterbury's website reads: "Alastair Redfern has been the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative for combating modern slavery, both nationally and internationally, for a number of years.

"As a member of the House of Lords, he was on the Select Committee that scrutinised the draft Modern Slavery Bill and worked exceptionally hard to take it through Parliament for enactment in 2015. This was only the second piece of anti-slavery legislation in British history since 1807 and the first in Europe."

It concludes: "Alastair Redfern has made an outstanding personal contribution to the Church of England and wider society in combating modern slavery."

Bishop Alastair founded the Clewer Initiative, a national project linked to the Church of England, working with dioceses to tackle modern slavery. 

Read the full citation here

Poppy opening 2 1500 72dpi socialA unique poppy memorial has been unveiled in Chesterfield's Crooked Spire.

Chesterfield Parish Church has partnered with the Royal British Legion to commemorate the 1,574 soldiers from Chesterfield killed in the First World War. 

To mark the centenary of the end of the war, local volunteers have knitted an individual poppy for each serviceperson from the town who gave their life.

The 1,574 poppies have been pieced together to create a magnificent handcrafted sculpture, hanging in the medieval church.

The cascade of flowers was formally blessed and opened by Revd Patrick Coleman, vicar of Chesterfield, on Saturday with Councillor Maureen Davenport, the mayor of Chesterfield, in attendance.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Revd Patrick Coleman said: “This display is an important remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice made by over 1,500 people from this town - around one in seventy of the local population at the time.

“It also gives us, today, the opportunity to pledge to redouble our resolve to pray and work for peace, so that this disastrous loss of life isn’t repeated.

“I thank all the volunteers – aged from 18 months to over 90 – for creating this poignant piece of art.” 

The poppy installation can be viewed whenever the church is open.

Opening times are from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday (closing is at 6pm on Thursdays), and for services at 10.30 am and 6.30 pm on Sundays.

See also: The Crooked Spire | Follow the Crooked Spire on Facebook


Belper Passion 2018 - all images copyright Ashley Franklin Photography

(Click the main image to enlarge)


The Belper Passion play returned to the town this year following a three-year break.

Starting with the Walk Of Witness through the town, the Easter Story made its way to St Peter's Church for the performance of the play.

This year saw a move to a more traditional setting, including Roman soldiers and period costumes.

The play was put on by Churches Together in Belper, directed by Jannice Richtof and written by George Gunby.

The Revd Sally Mason , Associate Priest of Blackwell and Tibshelf, has resigned as Spiritual Director for Derby Anglican Cursillo. The Revd Ross Clayton , who holds the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate, has been appointed to fill this position and took up his duties on 10th March .


The Revd Jo Whitehead, formally Priest-in-Charge of Newhall and Lead Police and Fire Chaplain, has been granted the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate to act as the Diocesan Enablement Officer with effect from 19th March . The aim of the Enablement Officer is to provide a local source of information on disability and learning difficulties and access, and provide support for ministry with and among people with disabiliti es and difficulties to enable them to be part of the church community. Her contact details for this role will be:, 01332 388650, mobile for urgent issues: 07816 281023 The Revd Jo Whitehead has also been granted the Bishop of Derby’s Permission to Officiate at Derby St Werburgh's BMO from this same date . Her contact details for this role will be: 078 16 281023

 Mrs Whitehead’s postal address is : 4 Bromyard Drive, Chellaston, Derby DE73 6PF


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The Diocese of Derby

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Derby Church House

Full Street, Derby DE1 3DR

01332 388650 (reception)

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