After a three month sabbatical I have just put my feet under the desk and have started working again. And it is great to be back. It is lovely to see familiar faces and catch up with the last few months’ news.
In the Lord of the Rings, the novel (which has a different ending to the film) Sam finds his way back from the ship that has sent Bilbo and Frodo, together with Gandalf, to the Grey Havens. He returns to his wife and daughter in the middle of the night, draws a deep breath and says “well I am back”.
Whilst I obviously have not had quite such an adventure as the hobbits I have done a fair few things.
I have run across the country in a 190 mile race, cycled across most of the country, walked the 60 miles of the St Cuthbert’s Way to Lindisfarne, as well as spending time in France.
Whilst doing all this I have had space to pray and reflect, read and think. This has partly been around the idea of pilgrimages and how journeying in faith, whether it’s a physical or spiritual journey, is part of what makes us human. It was also partly a chance to think of the life of the church and what journey we need to take so that we can become more fully the church God wants us to be.
One of my favourite poets, TS Eliot, whom I love to read but don’t understand most of the time, once wrote in a poem called Little Gidding these words that resonate with me:
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
It is good to be back so please do come and ask me about my adventures. I would be happy to share them with you.
Mike GilbertRector of St Anne’s
Protecting our heritage
We have a wonderful building in our midst but keeping it in a proper state of repair is a major task. Do we ignore this type of problem or do we, as a village, ensure that our next generation take over a well maintained building? You may have noticed that roof works have recently been carried out on the current phase of the overall building maintenance plan.
Please contact us via this form if you would like to financially support our project to maintain an important part of our village’s heritage.
St Anne's Church Choir Welcomes New Members
We welcome new members who might like to join the church choir. We rehearse once a week at Tuesday teatime from 6.00pm to 6.45pm and sing for one choral communion each month, as well as the Palm Sunday, Harvest and Christmas Carol Services.
St Anne’s Church is the Parish Church of Baslow Village and therefore is the church for all residents of the Village. It is your Parish Church.
For some time now there has been a process of change and positive development underway within the church which has been very welcome but this process has highlighted some weaknesses which the church now wishes to address.
The external climate with the Diocese of Derby, continues to be one of controlled contraction, with many churches now becoming unsustainable financially as congregation sizes and revenue streams continue to shrink. So there continues to be pressure to reorganise to allow a more sustainable structure for the future. The benefice structure, for example, within the Diocese, is under review once again and no doubt in time this will lead to a different shape of the church in those parishes which are struggling.
St Anne’s Church is not one of those parishes but this is not to say that we will not be affected by the outcome of any review.
We expect to be consulted on the review process and can see that there are issues to be addressed in the current benefice structure which includes Baslow, Eyam and Foolow. The obvious questions are clearly to do with the geography of this organisation since it seems that parishes of Curbar, Stoney Middleton and even Edensor have been missed when considering possible local structures.
The result is that three very different churches in size, style and location, which reside in the two parishes, have been linked together under one leader (the Rector), which in itself, produces both strengths but also weaknesses. The strengths in this Benefice, at their best, are very good indeed, but the weaknesses are issues which have been largely side-lined until now.
There is no doubt that in recent years St Anne’s has undergone something of a recovery from a very difficult period in its history but it is now time that we look to see if it is possible to progress further by addressing some fundamental questions such as:
What are the features and strengths within St Anne’s Church presently and how should we develop them further?
How does the Church relate to the village population and what could we do to improve the relationship with the village and become a greater part of village life?
How do we secure our future in this ever- changing world and look forward with confidence with God’s Guidance?
In an attempt to address these issues a process of consultation is taking place.
In July, the church congregation started a consultation process on their views and proposals. No doubt this will lead to follow-up discussions.
It is the intention also, to consult the village residents, and so during the coming weeks you will be invited to participate in discussion so that we hear clearly, those comments and criticisms which can help us to improve our position in village life and become more relevant to individual residents of all ages.
It is vital that we find relevance to the younger sector of the village population in our future plan.
Please accept this article as an open invitation to present and past church members and to parish residents of the village to join us in this discussion with the objective of finding “a new direction of travel” for St Anne’s Church and its place within the Village in the future.
Bill Campbell Parochial Church Council Secretary
Christmas Tree Lights Big Switch On
St Anne’s Church, Baslow
Friday 30 November 7pm in church for music and singing
led by the Rector with St Anne’s School Singers
followed by Cressbrook Brass Band at the Church Rooms
Mulled Wine, Hot Dogs, Burgers, Coffee/Tea Soft drinks
No charge but donations welcome
More information from June or Richard Powell 01246 583375
The 'Old' Churchyard
In Baslow we have two churchyards which come under separate governance. The ‘Old’ churchyard, immediately adjacent to the church itself, has been closed for many years and by law no further burials can take place unless there is already a double plot in place to accept a new interment. This churchyard is now the responsibility of the local council which in our case is Derbyshire Dales District Council. DDDC are responsible for cutting the grass, trimming the trees and all issues associated with its daily running.
Adjacent to this is the ‘New’ churchyard which is the responsibility of Baslow & Bubnell Parish Council. This responsibility they take very seriously and I am sure you will agree that it is very well kept.
DDDC reduced the frequency of grass cutting, blaming a shrinking budget. The result? the appalling state that we were faced with in May.
When the law was passed that the local council had to take responsibility for closed burial grounds there were just 4 churchyards that were closed. This number has now increased to 22. Last year the council declared that they would no longer cut the river bank, leaving it as a wild flower area, neither would they trim the yew trees. Unfortunately they overlooked the fact that many loved ones had had their ashes interred and visits to the graves in those areas still took place on a regular basis.
We are very fortunate that we have two volunteers who, over the past year, have taken on the task of cutting the central area of the river bank. We will have to pay an independent contractor to trim the Yew trees. We have had many discussions with DDDC and have even offered to take over the management of the ‘Old’ churchyard on the proviso that some funds were attached. They refused this offer.
We have looked at supplementing their cutting schedule to ensure that the grass is kept to a reasonable height but to do this we will need to raise £2,000 per annum from the parish. St. Anne’s does not have this amount of cash available as we have a major commitment in having to repair the roof of the church before winter descends upon us. We would welcome your views on such a proposal. Please contact us via this form.
If you would like to join our Prayer Chain, praying for a variety of situations, please contact us for further information.
Prayer & Bible Study
There is a regular prayer and Bible study group that meets in St Anne's Church on Fridays at 3pm. Please follow this link for further information >
All are welcome.
Lending library for books and magazines in Baslow St Anne’s Church
Access:Before and after services, and through the week when the church is open. The library will be clearly marked on the left as you walk into the church.
Borrowing:For a maximum of 4 weeks. Honesty book for the details of the book, your name and your contact info (in case someone else needs the book you have borrowed)