UNITED REFORMED CHURCHES COOPERATE ACROSS NORTH DERBYSHIRE
SHARING NEWS AND JOINT EVENTS
Seven United Reformed Churches meet together regularly in the North Derbyshire Cluster. Holymoorside, St Andrew's and Rose Hill Chesterfield, Calow, Wirksworth, Buxton and Fountain Square Tideswell share news and plan joint events, supporting and encouraging each other.
Last October the Cluster invited Niall Cooper of Church Action on Poverty to speak about the growing problems of poverty in the UK and think about what the churches can do to address this. Many of the churches collect supplies for their local Food Bank but Niall challenged us to do more to address the causes of poverty.
On Palm Sunday, 13th April, Rev Dr Michael Jagessar, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, will lead worship at Wirksworth. Holymoorside and St Andrew's have both decided not to worship in their own buildings that day and to join our friends at West Derbyshire URC Wirksworth. There will be a reminder on the website nearer the time.
NEW YEAR GREETINGS
The minister and members of St Andrew's and Holymoorside United Reformed Churches wish you a happy and peaceful New Year. May you know the love of God in every experience and respond to the call of Christ Jesus in all you do.
Read the minister's New Year Blog on this site.
Thank you to everyone who came to St Andrew's Carols by Candlelight service. You donated £410 for Christian Aid. This is an amazing result which will make a real difference to people's lives.
The churches are celebrating Christmas with services before Christmas and on Christmas Day. Carols or Communion or worship on Christmas morning - come and join us!
6.30pm Sunday 22nd December Carols by Candlelight at St Andrew's
11.30pm Christmas Eve Communion Service at St Andrew's
9.30am Christmas Day Service at Holymoorside
10.30am Christmas Day Service at St Andrew's
CHURCH CHRISTMAS BAZAARS
Both churches hold Christmas Bazaars this month. Read more for details. Come along and bring your friends
2.00pm Saturday 23rd November at St Andrew's URC, 187 Newbold Road, Chesterfield
2.00pm Saturday 30th November at Holymoorside Village Hall, Holymoor Road, Holymoorside
Stalls with home made cakes, plants, bric-a-brac, Christmas items, tombola, raffle. Santa will be visiting St Andrew's. Delicious teas will be served. Come along to either or both for a fun afternoon and buy a few gifts for Christmas. Bring your neighbours and friends.
VISITING THEOLOGICAL LECTURER ATTRACTS LARGE CONGREGATION
Nearly 70 adults and children crowded into St Andrew's URC on Sunday 27th October to hear visiting preacher, Rev Dr Janet Tollington. Janet teaches Old Testament at Westminister College in Cambridge. She spoke tellingly of our relationship with God and how we should pray, using texts from Luke's Gospel and Jeremiah. Her message was warmly received by the large congregation. The service was followed by a congregational lunch.
Janet describes herself as "passionate about the Old Testament" and regards "working with lay and ordained throughout the church as a privilege and a delight". Before entering the ministry she served as a police officer for 10 years, including time in Chesterfield.
Westminster College is a Resource Centre for Learning serving the United Reformed Church. It trains women and men for the ministry and also provides opportunities for study to ministers and lay people from the URC and partner churches in the UK and overseas. It is currently undergoing a major £7million refurbishment to make it fit for service in the twenty-first century.
For information about Westminster College go to: www.westminster.cam.ac.uk
HARVEST CELEBRATION HELPS FOOD BANK
Ben Martin receives harvest gifts from beavers and cubs at St Andrew's Harvest Festival Service.
Ben Martin, from the Order of the Black Sheep, an Anglican Pioneer ministry in Chesterfield, told a congregation of over 120 adults and children at St Andrew's Harvest Festival service about the work of the Food Banks in Chesterfield. The children from the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts of 1st Highfield St Andrew's Scout Group hung on his every word as he told stories of the desperate people who come to the Food Bank for help. Afterwards they brought forward their gifts of tins and packets of food to be taken to the warehouse where they will be sorted and prepared for distribution. Earlier scouts had shared in a short dramatic presentation of the parable of Dives and Lazarus, contrasting the comfortable rich with plenty to eat and the poor going hungry. Peter Dawson told the story of the Brazil nut tree and the damage to the livlihood of local people in the Amazon rain forest in Brazil, and to the world wide environment, by indiscriminate logging of the forest. Prayers were said for the Food Banks and for Christian Aid's work in Brazil.
Refreshments were served in the hall following the service.
HOLYMOORSIDE WELL DRESSING
Holymoorside celebrated its well dressing over the bank holiday weekend. The wells were blessed by URC minister, Rev John Cook. The main well celebrated 50 years of Dr Who and funds raised were donated to the Ashgate Hospice. Scarcrows were on display in gardens throughout the village. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday the URC opened in the afternoons with a display of village memorabilia and refreshments were served to visitors.
ST ANDREW'S CHURCH OPEN MORNINGS
From September, St Andrew's will be open every Monday morning from 10.00am - 12.00noon. You are welcome to come in. Have a cup of tea or coffee, look round the church, or sit quietly to reflect or pray. The minister, John Cook, will normally be there if you wish to talk. There will always be two church members present to sit with you if you wish but no one will bother you if you just want space to be quiet.
YOU ARE WELCOME
Christian Aid Week
Christian Aid Week in May proved very successful and we thank all out neighbours for their support.
£1,666 was raised in the house-to-house collection in the Newbold area, a record amount! Over £1000 raised on Holymoorside - another record! Of this £390 was raised by lunches hosted by Holymoorside members and a mammoth baking day.
A BIG THANKYOU to all who collected, ran events and gave so generously.
Go to www.christianaid.org.uk to learn more of what Christian Aid is doing.
From Cross to Resurrection!
In our churches this Holy Week, children, women and men came together to remember the last days of Jesus and then on Easter Sunday to celebrate his Resurrection.
As our minister writes in his Blog, it was the women who came to the tomb and their faithfulness found a risen friend and Redeemer. Reading in the Bible the story of those last days, we find a woman had washed and perfumed his feet, women waited by the cross, bearing the blood and brutality as he was dying, and women early on Sunday morning came to take care of his body. And then women were the first people to bear witness to his rising!
Come and join us any Sunday!
New Lectern Dedicated at St Andrew's
Mrs Joan Gray with her family surround the new adjustable lectern at St Andrew's. Mrs Gray donated the lectern in memory of her husband, Dr William Gray, known to everyone as Billy, who died aged 80 in 2010. Dr Gray was a well loved member of St Andrew's who served as an Elder for many years. His commitment to Christ, to the Bible and to prayer constantly upheld and refreshed the church.
Dr Gray, who came from Northern Ireland, served as a GP in Chesterfield and is remembered affectionately by his many patients.
Revd John Cook in dedicating the lectern on 27th January 2013 reminded the congregation that the Word of God in the Bible remains the focus of our faith as Christians in the Reformed tradition. We may no longer use a pulpit to preach from, but everyone is drawn into the church's worship, prayer and reflection on the Word of God. The lectern has been fitted with the fall from the pulpit, illustrating the the burning bush - the Word of God which is never consumed or put out.
Celebrating Holymoorside URC's 150 Years
A Communion service to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Holymoorside URC in 1862 was held on 2nd December 2012
The service was led by the Synod Moderator, Revd Peter Meek. Members of St Andrew's and St Peter's Holymoorside joined friends at Holymoorside. The service was also attended by civic leaders. This joyful service was the culmination of a year of celebration events and services. Holymoorside URC looks forward with confidence to the future.
DANCE FOR PARKINSON'S
Over 30 people attended a lecture at St Andrew's given by Dr Sara Houston, University of Roehampton, on her research on using dance to assist people with Parkinson's disease.
People suffering from the disease, health professionals and members of St Andrew's were warm in their appreciation of the presentation. Dr Houston was joined by her colleague, Danielle Jones, Learning and Development Officer for English National Ballet, who demonstrated some of the movements and encouraged the audience to participate - which they did with enthusiasm.
Dr Houston explained that dance is experienced as artistic practice not as therapy or treatment. Participants focus on the dance experience rather than their illness. The research also highlighted the value of dance as a means for enhancing social engagement and intellectual stimulation. Results from the 12 week pilot project in 2011 gave indications of improvements in the quality of life, confidence, movement capability and stability for participants in the project. The pilot study is now being followed up by a 3-year research project, led by Dr Houston in continued partnership with English National Ballet.
Dr Houston won the prestigious BUPA Foundation Vitality for Life Award 2011 for her work.
HOLYMOORSIDE FLOWER FESTIVAL 2012.
Holymoorside Flower Festival Holymoorside Well Dressing
Holymoorside URC celebrated the Flower Festival and Well Dressing at the bank holiday weekend with many visitors - and much rain!
Remembering the Great ejection of 1662
Members of Rose Hill and St Andrew's URCs and Elder Yard Unitarian congregation remembered the Great Ejection of clergy from the Church of England in 1662 with a Prayer Walk from St Mary's - the Crooked Spire - via Elder Yard, Froggats Yard and Rose Hill. At St Mary's Canon Michael Knight praised the integrity of John BIllingsley who chose to leave the church on 24th August 1662 in obedience to the call of God. Amid the rain, walkers gathered under a market stall canopy to pray at the location of Froggats Yard, where the first Congregational Church in Chesterfield met in a barn.
Support for Youth Centre: In August, despite torrential rain, St Andrew's hosted Afternoon Tea for Churches Together in Newbold which raised £260 to purchase equipment for the Eagle Centre youth club in Newbold, initiated by the Community Police.
MEDA STAMPER PERFORMS MARK'S GOSPEL
Wirksworth Town Hall
Interviewed about the performance, Meda Stamper said "This is a piece of theatre with the biblical text itself as the script. I am the narrator and act out the story as I tell it. There is a gifted percussionist, Stuart Wood, who supports the movement of the story. It's not like a reading in church - it's more accessible and engaging and audiences seem to feel it is wonderful to experience the sweep of the gospel." Asked whether it would be interesting to non-Christians, she replied:
" One-person performances generally have a marvellous intensity and vulnerability. It is an interesting text and piece of theatre. For me as the performer it feels as if there is more space opened up for grace and goodness and joy. It is a blessing."
MODERATOR OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY VISITS HOLYMOORSIDE
Mrs Val Morrison, Moderator of the Geberal Assembly of the United Reformed Church led worship at Holymoorside United Reformed Church at 2.30pm on Sunday 20th May. Her visit was part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the church which was founded in 1862. Representatives of St Peter's Church of England in Holymoorside, St Andrew's URC Chesterfield and the URC East Midlands Synod were present at the service, which was followed by afternoon tea.
Mrs Morrison was elected nearly four years ago to serve as one of the two Moderators of General Assembly from 2010-12. She has visited churches throughout England, Wales and Scotland, made visits to partner churches overseas, including the FJKM in Madagascar, and has represented the URC at national and ecumenical events. Stories of her visits can be found in the Moderators Blog on the URC website: www.urc.org.uk. She has planted a tree in Brockadale Nature Reserve in Yorkshire for Holymoorside as she has for every church she has visited.
Mrs Morrison's visit is one of a series of events organised by Holymoorside URC to celebrate the anniversary. Details of the events can be found in the Events section of the website.
JOHN COOK INDUCTED TO PASTORATE
Revd John Cook, second right, with the Moderator of the East Midlands Synod, Revd Peter Meek, and Church Secretaries, Mrs Gaynor Nunn, left and Mrs Helen Lidgett, right, following the service at St Andrew's on 3rd March 2012.
Up to 170 people crammed into St Andrew's Church to share in the Induction Service for their new minister, Revd John Cook. Greetings were brought by civic guests, the Mayor of Chesterfield, Cllr Peter Barr, the Chairman of North East Derbyshire District Council, Cllr Brian Wright, and the Chairman of Walton and Holymoorside Parish Council, Cllr Martin Thacker. Representatives of United Reformed Churches in north Derbyshire and ecumenical partners from Chesterfield, Newbold and Holymoorside also brought greetings. The service was led by the Moderator of the URC East Midlands Synod, Revd Peter Meek and the preacher was Revd Chris Wood, minister of Clacton-on-Sea URC, Essex. The service was followed by refreshments in the church hall.
NEW MINISTER FOR ST ANDREW'S AND HOLYMOORSIDE
We are delighted to report that Revd John Cook has accepted a call to be minister of the two churches.
John and his wife Ann will be moved to Chesterfield in February and he took up his ministry here on 1st March 2012. Please pray for John and Ann and for the churches as they move towards a new phase in their lives.