Events 2018

We started the year with a wedding – James and Gilly. A lovely service, with the church choir in good voice (after an excellent party the night before).

james gilly.jpg

We baptised India and Alexia on Saturday 13 January, and then raised £325 for the British Heart Foundation with two showings of Railway Films. The following day we had a Christingle service – Selwyn the Vicarage cat helped make them.

Christingle 2

Sunday 21 January was a day of snow. It started as we arrived for the Big Breakfast – which raised £272. We started the service by installing Miranda as our new Head Chorister, and giving Kionie, our newest chorister, her surplice. Here they are with John Gratton, our Director of Music. Kid’s Church made biscuit Christingles. The snow was getting thicker, and after coffee we struggled to get home. By the evening it was melting – and we had Choral Evensong. All these photos are posted with parental permission.

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We marked Candlemas on Sunday 28 January, and in the afternoon several of us went to St John’s Methodist Church for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service organised by Allestree Churches Together. We ended the month by taking possession of new – well, new to us – Common Praise hymnbooks. St Edmundbury Cathedral in Suffolk had replaced them, but they still have several years of life left. It now means that our two churches have the same hymnbook – we are very grateful.

common praise

St Matthew’s was the venue for a concert by the Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir on Friday 9 February. It was in aid of the 63rd Derby Scouts Hall Fund – our Darley Abbey Scouts are refurbishing the old Methodist chapel – and there were over 70 in the audience. As a Valentine’s Concert, all the ladies got flowers.

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On Shrove Tuesday St Edmund’s organised “Pancake Lite”. One of those eating too many pancakes was Caroline our new administrator. She is pictured here with husband Dave, son Noah – and with Peter the Vicar and Julie.


Ash Wednesday had four services – one at St Edmund’s and three at St Matthew’s – an evening Choral Communion, and two School services. The children read various prayers they had written, and these were displayed on the Fellowship Room noticeboard for Lent. During Lent we had two groups looking at the topic of Stewardship – 17 people squeezed into the Vicarage sitting room on Monday evening, and another group met at Clive and Gareth’s on Wednesday. We also supported the Nagpur Link Lent Lunches in the Allestree churches.

ash wed prayer

The Third Thursday lunch remains popular – served to members of our church and community with help of young people from Walter Evans school. Here is the team who served on Thursday 15 February (photo taken by David Brown, headteacher, and posted with permission of the school).


Kids’ Church met on Sunday 25 February – their noticeboard is very colourful. The choir sang traditional Choral Mattins – including the Benedicite for Lent.

kids church board

We had a few snow days at the beginning of March. It was melting by Sunday 4 March, but the temperature was still cold. Guess which Sunday the boiler decided it was going to sleep. 55 people sang loudly at 10 am in an attempt to keep ourselves warm. By the time the Baptism party arrived for 11.15 it was no long Arctic, and by Evensong at 6.15 it was almost Tropical. Here is Olivia with mum and dad Maddy and Stefan, Godparents Laura and William, and a very tempting candle.

olivia poole stefan maddy

Melonie led the All Age Worship on Mothering Sunday, and Peter took the wedding of James and Anna in the afternoon (photos posted with parental permission, and permission of the happy couple).





james anna wedding

Our final Thursday Lunch of the season was on 15 March. Sausage and mash, plus pudding and cake.


Sunday 18 March was Stewardship Sunday. There is lots of information on the “Stewardship” tab. It snowed, but we had envelopes to hand out, and (more) cake to eat.




The last week of term saw four Easter services for Walter Evans School, and an Easter assembly for the Old Vicarage. A wonderful selection of crosses from Walter Evans. The photo montage is posted by permission of OVS.


Easter Assembly

Adam and Laura were married on Saturday 24 March. In the evening Geoff and David climbed the tower to adjust the clock to British Summer Time, and Peter took some photos.












On Palm Sunday the clock was correct. We read the Passion Narrative at the main service, and then journeyed with Jesus to the Cross as we travelled through Holy Week (with Morning Prayer each day, a United Service at St Edmund’s on Maundy Thursday and a United Service at St Matthew’s on Good Friday).


We had a full church on Easter Sunday morning. The choir sang Karl Jenkins’ Armed Man: a mass for peace, which was well-received. It was a wonderful celebration that “Christ is Risen”. In the evening we had a United Evensong at St Edmund’s.


Julie Barham spoke to FOSM on Tuesday 3 April, and entertained with “Books – a passion for life”.


Marc and Olivia were married on Saturday 7 April – a very full church. The photos are by Matt Horan Photography, and are posted with permission of the couple.


We had our Church AGM after the morning service on Sunday 15 April. Trevor stood down as churchwarden – our thank to him for all his hard work – and no one came forward in his place. David remained as the other churchwarden. We received the accounts and annual report – then had lunch together.

Sunday 29 April was a Fifth Sunday. We had a United Service at St Edmund’s in the morning. In the afternoon we baptised Audrey (photo posted with permission of the family), and then a small congregation said the Office of Nones together. Nones is one of the old services of the monastery, the ninth hour, 3 pm.


The first weekend of May was busy. We were involved in the Local History Fair at the Village Hall, married Russell and Kelly, showed Railway Films, had our normal Sunday services, and married Adrian and Annabel.

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Ascension Day on Thursday 10 May saw two school services and an evening celebration. We stick to the old tradition of blowing out the Easter Candle – there is something wonderfully symbolic of the smoke drifting upwards out of sight.


Our choir had a trip to sing Evensong at Leicester Cathedral on Saturday 12 May.

Leicester, 12 May 18, photo 1

At Pentecost we had lovely flowers with the fire of the Spirit, an excellent Kids’ Church, and Choral Evensong followed by a party in Duffield.



On Saturday 26 May we married Megan and Sam.



At the end of the month we started opening St Matthew’s on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. We also had five World War One talks – Julie Barham talked about the War poets, Peter about Woodbine Willie, Peter about the sinking of the Lusitania and the memorial in our churchyard, Peter Taylor about the Somme Battlefields, and Adrian Farmer about the War in Belper and the Darley Abbey Millworkers strike of 1917. Each was attended by at least 20 people, from the church and village, and further afield.


Peter the Vicar started June by climbing Snowdon for the British Heart Foundation. Members of the churches, and other friends, helped him raise well over £1,100 – thank you.


Kids’ Church marked Father’s Day on Sunday 17 June by singing “Jesus is my superhero” (photo posted with everyone’s permission).

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Several members of the church were trained to be Darley Abbey Ambassadors, ambassadors for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.


On Saturday 23 June we married Anthony and Victoria at 1, then we had a blessing service for the 10th Wedding Anniversary of Edd and Phil at 4. A good party afterwards in the Village Hall.

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18.06.23 Blessing Phill Edd_0556

St Edmund’s Allestree had an Open Gardens event on Sunday 24 June, and a lot of people from Darley Abbey came and supported the event. The WW1 display in the Vicarage Garden is by Spiral Arts (and was then moved to St Matthew’s for the following month).



We started July with a Sunday Church Lunch at the Old Vicarage School. Excellent food! Then the Friends of St Matthew’s had a Tuesday afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream. On the Friday we came together to give thanks to God for the life of Barbara Martin, who had been our PCC Secretary for many years.


Since England was doing so well in the World Cup we took the decision to move Choral Evensong on 15 July to 3 pm – this could be why we didn’t make the Final! The choir had supper in Longford after the service.

choir after world cup evensong