The Future

Planning the future of St Anne’s

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

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