Uniting the Diocese of Derby during the Covid-19 pandemic Issue 1 - May 2020
Covid-19 turns ministry on its head!
Support your church in these difficult times
Meet Peter Robinson, the next Dean of Derby
A warm welcome to this edition of the new “Our Diocese Together”. Due to the CofE recommended guidelines regarding the distribution of printed documents, we have merged our monthly “Our Diocese” and quarterly “Together Magazine” publications to form a new online monthly “Our Diocese Together”. We really encourage you to send in your good news (Covid-19 related or other) for us to share across the diocese. Please send us any news or stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Diocese of Derby also produces a fortnightly eNews that brings the latest news, events and resources directly to your inbox. You can register to receive it by completing a simple online form at derby.anglican.org/publications. We hope you enjoy this launch issue of “Our Diocese Together”.
A different-looking church ‘Church’ looks a bit different right now.
At the start of the year, who would have thought that priests would be swapping the Communion table for their kitchen table? And using cameras instead of pulpits? This is working from home in a way they never imagined! Some of those initial online services were somewhat rough and ready but, since lockdown, literally hundreds of services, acts of worship and prayer meetings have been streamed (broadcast) by our churches on Facebook, YouTube and their websites. Clergy have adapted in a very short space of time and magnificently so. Not all clergy and churches are streaming their services - nor should they be otherwise there would be far too many of them! There are plenty of services for you to choose from. Congregations have adapted too. In fact, many churches have reported that the numbers of people joining in their virtual services are greater than the numbers they are used to on Sunday mornings. Archdeacon Carol, who herself has streamed services and sermons from her home in Chesterfield, said: “It’s been hugely rewarding to see how many people have found that they have time to be part of online church. Maybe it’s because they don’t have to travel; maybe because they simply aren’t in the habit of going to church. But we do know that people are taking the opportunity to be part of the church community and are really appreciating this way of gathering with others and having some special time with God.” If you would like to do the same, then you’ll find a list of service streams on the diocesan website derby.anglican.org/streams - and you will be more than welcome to be part of any of them. And if you don’t have internet access, there are phone numbers you can dial for prayers, sermons, services and hymns (see back page).
Bishop Libby writes... Easter season, between Easter Sunday and Pentecost, is our time to discover what it means in practice to be a resurrection people. The consequences of Covid-19 continue to shape our lives. As we think about resurfacing from ‘lockdown’, we begin to weigh up the farreaching costs of this pandemic. For many those costs will be deeply personal: mourning loved ones, and coming to terms with having been unable to say those goodbyes as we would have wished; coping with real financial difficulty, from redundancy, loss of income, business collapse – perhaps for the first time; recognising the trauma of working through a health and social crisis on the front line; suffering abuse without respite. And all of us will face the wider implications: readjusting after the kind of social upheaval not previously seen in peacetime; long term impacts on budgets – from domestic to global, different expectations of government at every level, changes in ways of working, the shifting of focus and priorities. The Church, our diocese, our congregations, schools and communities – as well as every household and individual within them – will be affected. We have important contributions to make to what comes next. We have a unique perspective, drawn from experience across every aspect of life, the lessons we have learnt. We also have a vital role in responding to continuing need and offering support. Everything may have changed – but everything stays the same. We seek first the Kingdom of God; as we pray, learn, tell and serve, we offer good news - being deeply rooted and generously fruitful; we work so that our communities are transformed for good, that we each grow in confidence as disciples of Jesus, that our congregations flourish. In this Easter season, ‘Alleluia’ is our refrain. ‘Alleluia’ is not blind to reality but deeply rooted in it. Easter day is only possible after Good Friday. Not that we praise God for pain and uncertainty, but somehow despite it. This may not feel possible for some of us individually some of the time. And that’s OK. We are the Body of Christ together. We weep with those who weep, and sometimes the tune of our ‘Alleluia’ song is a lament. But still we sing. For the Easter story is the ultimate reminder that love conquers all - and nothing, nothing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. ‘Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.’
“Covid-19 turned my ministry on it’s head!” Sally-Anne Beecham, Curate in Bakewell Benefice and SS Augustine Chesterfield, reflects on how the coronavirus outbreak has shaped her curacy.
Old Brampton Youth Ringing
Like all clergy, the Covid-19 outbreak turned my ministry on its head. However, when most churches were asked to close their doors, the one I’m working in had an exemption to stay very much open. Overnight, Gussie’s Kitchen, the food project being run from SS Augustine in Chesterfield, became the main food distribution hub for the town. Yesterday we delivered to 200 vulnerable households using a fantastic team of volunteer drivers and packers. My job has been to give information and offer support over the phone in my role as Chaplain - an incredible opportunity to reach out into the community. I’ve had many significant conversations and I pray that relationships built during these days will bear fruit in the future. Despite the many challenges, the shift in focus has created opportunities to model faith that were not present before, and it’s exciting to dream about how these can be progressed. Since my ordination last year, the months have flown by, learning what it means to be a Christian presence in a rural town. Relationship building is crucial. My highlights before lockdown have been out in the community getting used to my collar. As well as the usual services, I had been raft-racing, dressed up in the carnival, led school assemblies, processed through the town on Remembrance Sunday and I was also involved in the beginning of a new congregation aimed at young families. Overall, I’ve had my eyes opened to the challenges of juggling multiple churches and been overwhelmed by the faithfulness of those keeping the show on the road. I’m also learning that Jesus’ model of relationship building is crucial and is what our communities are crying out for, so I’m excited to see what God has in store for us next.
Youth bell ringing at Old Brampton has been 'highly commended' by the Association of Ringing Teachers. The young ringers were nominated for the Sarah Beacham Youth Group Award, for youth groups who are successfully recruiting, retaining and developing young ringers, at an awards ceremony in March. They were awarded a prize of £200 to be spent on benefitting youth ringing at Old Brampton. The young ringers take part in local and national ringing events, as well as enjoying ringing at Old Brampton and at other towers in Derbyshire. Tower Captain Sue Hall said: "I am so proud of the young ringers for this achievement. "The judges were particularly impressed that the youngsters included ringing in their school projects and presentations, and that they continue to enjoy ringing at university and take part in ringing events across the country." As well as being fun, ringing provides confidence and builds teamwork and leadership skills. One ringer, Ruby, said: "It makes me feel happy, it's different from anything else I do, and I enjoy seeing my friends." Whilst another, Rowan, added: "There are loads of opportunities to try different things in different places with your friends." A flexible approach to attendance allows the young people to pursue other activities as well as ringing Ringers from Old Brampton who are now at university also enjoy the friendship and support of their university ringing societies. The young ringers have been voting to decide how the award money should be spent to benefit youth ringing at Old Brampton. Ringing at Old Brampton will resume in due course, including lessons for any young person or adult who wishes to give it a try. For more info and contacts, please visit facebook.com/BellRingingDerbyshire or bellringing.org
Meet the next Dean of Derby “My hope and prayer is that we will be able to reimagine the life of our cathedral in the years to come.”
It’s always nice to have some positive news in times of crisis and Derby Cathedral’s announcement that a new dean has been appointed has been well received throughout the diocese. He is The Venerable Peter Robinson, currently the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne in the Diocese of Newcastle, a position he has held since 2008. There, Peter holds responsibility as chair of the Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education, as lead for community engagement in Northumberland, and for rural delivery of the diocesan vision. He worked in the oil industry before being ordained in 1995 and trained for ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham before serving his curacy in North Shields. Peter said: “I feel honoured to have been appointed Dean of Derby. I look forward to working with new colleagues and to engaging with the all Derby Cathedral’s stakeholders in the city, across Derbyshire, the whole diocese and beyond.” Peter grew up in New Malden, south-west London, and attended Tiffin Boys’ Grammar School, in Kingston upon Thames, before studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. Peter’s coming to faith was a gradual experience as he grew up in a Christian family: “I understood that I was being called to ministry while I was at university, but I also always wanted to work in industry.
“My conviction about my faith grew during my 20s and so I started training in 1990, sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford.” He will take up his new position in the summer, as the coronavirus restrictions allow: “I am only too aware that my arrival coincides with a time when we are having to imagine new ways of worshiping and relating to each other as Christian people. “My hope and prayer is that we will be able to reimagine the life of our cathedral in the years to come, to deepen its local impact and to serve the communities and parishes of the diocese.” Peter is married to Sarah, a dyslexia practitioner and trained adult teacher. They look forward to making the family home in Derby. They have two sons in their late 20s, Charles and Richard. In his spare time Peter enjoys arts and culture, reading contemporary fiction, and his mountain bike. You’ll probably see him at Derbyshire County Cricket Club, at Pride Park or even trying to improve his golf! Bishop Libby said: “I am delighted to welcome Peter as Dean of Derby. He is a man of inspiring faith, with a remarkable breadth of ministerial and professional experience. Peter is someone with a combination of deep love for people and place, and the capacity to think and act with strategic clarity. I look forward to working with him in the city and across the diocese.”
Friends of Kolkata
Jennie Gill, a teacher from South Darley VC Primary School, reflects on a group of teachers and students in Derbyshire Church Schools with a shared concern for a community of Kolkata slum schools. As part of the Diocese of Derby’s long-term link with the Church of North India, a growing number of Derbyshire schools have been partnered with a Kolkata school, one of approximately 20 that are run and resourced by the Kolkata Cathedral Relief Service (CRS). For the last five years we have visited them, worked with them, come to know and love their teachers and children. Now in the midst of the pandemic we worry for them, especially because we know that so many of the measures we have put into place to keep ourselves safer will be impossible for them. You may have seen a social media post from an Indian doctor who points out that to practise social distancing or to wash your hands more often, with soap in clean water, means that you have privileges not enjoyed by a large proportion of the world’s population. It is those who were the poorest to begin with who are most at risk from this illness. But here too, there are helpers. The CRS staff, led by Rig David, are always inspiringly creative and completely relentless in their mission to support the communities around them. Gradually news is filtering through to the Derbyshire teachers about deliveries of food parcels, even to the most remote of the CRS projects, supported by the local police who have given permission for the CRS staff to make those journeys during the lockdown. Some messages have arrived from individual Kolkata teachers to let us know that they are safe. Many of us, and our schools, have donated to the emergency appeal set up by the Friends of CRS and sent our own messages of encouragement. And each time a little snippet of news arrives it is shared excitedly around the network of Derbyshire teachers. As we cheer on Rig and his team and continue to pray for them, we could not be more proud to be part of this global community and the work that God is doing here with the people we love. The scary things in the news are going to carry on for a while but we are thankful for so many opportunities, even in lockdown, to be part of the much more powerful story of hope being written by all of God’s helpers around the world.
“Virtual coffee anyone?” Revd Louise Petheram, Priest-in-charge of Hope, Castleton and Bradwell recognised the value of the “after-service coffee time” for her parishoners. After the streamed service, everyone took five minutes to make a brew and then came back to spend time having a catch-up and chat. A great idea!
A regular gift for your church?
During this difficult time when our church buildings are closed, we are still a church, meeting for virtual services, worship and fellowship and loving our neighbours by providing practical support to the vulnerable and caring for our communities. The work of our church is reliant on people’s generosity – a generosity that is the hallmark of a lived-out faith and a testament to it. We give to our church in a variety of ways but with the closure of our buildings we cannot receive all the gifts that we usually would. And we have no idea yet how long the current restrictions will last. Clergy continue to work tirelessly and the church still needs an income. Buildings may be closed, but they still need to be maintained – and bills still need to be paid. So we really need your help now. If you are able to give at this time, please do remember to help your church. The easiest way is by Direct Debit using the Parish Giving Scheme.
The PGS has launched a new telephone service, designed to enable prospective donors to set up a regular Direct Debit donation to your parish over the phone. How will it work? The service is live and operates weekdays between 9 - 5pm. Prospective donors can set up a regular gift to your parish by calling the dedicated telephone line: 0333 002 1271. The simple sign-up process takes approx. 15 minutes and the following information is needed • Personal bank account details • The name of the parish they wish to donate to • They will need to confirm if they want to increase their gift in line with inflation each year • Confirm if they are eligible for Gift Aid • The PGS code for their parish (please ensure you give donors this information to guarantee the gift goes to the correct parish) What happens next? Donors will receive written confirmation (by email or post) of their Direct Debit, including details of the parish they are supporting, the amount of their gift and the date of their first donation. How will our parish be notified of the donation? The parish’s Planned Giving representative will receive a monthly statement, detailing the names of those who have donated (unless they choose to remain anonymous) and all the gifts given through the PGS. What if they need to change their donation? Donors can make any changes to their Direct Debit by post, phone or by email to email@example.com.
Dial to worship The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line - 24 hours a day. The line has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on Covid-19. Options available include Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service. A section called Hymn Line offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by the Connections group Archbishop Justin said: “With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are.
“The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season. “I want to urge people to spread the news about this service. If there is someone you know who is particularly struggling, give them a call and let them know about the Daily Hope. I’m going to phone a friend; will you join me?”
Did you know? In the first 72 hours since launch...
12,000 calls received 100,000 call minutes
Local Dial-A-Sermon numbers A number of local churches are providing a special “Dial-A-Sermon” phone service for parishoners to call and listen to a recorded sermon, prayers and readings. Why not give it a try?
Ashbourne, St Oswald - 01335 216854
Barlborough & Clowne - 01246 388487 Sandiacre, St Giles - 0115 871 1891
Our Diocese Together - Uniting the Diocese of Derby during the Covid-19 pandemic