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2019 July to December in the churches

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After the Bicentenary celebrations life quietened down a little. On Wednesday 3 July, the Feast of St Thomas, Peter celebrated the 25th anniversary of his deaconing - we had cake after the 10 am service at St Edmund's. On Saturday 6 July we had a Prayer Walk from St Matthew's round the churches of Allestree. Rowan was baptised in the 10 am service at St Matthew's on Sunday morning (here with Peter, parents Sarah and Matthew and brother Findlay). There was also All Age Worship at St Edmund's.

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The Family Service at St Matthew's on Sunday 14 July had the theme of 'mugs'. We baptised Conor at St Edmund's (here with brother Bradley and parents Kieran and Laura). Joint Choral Evensong at St Matthew's in the evening - Stanford in C was wonderful.

On Thursday 18 July Toddler's term ended with the Teddy Bears' Picnic in the Vicarage garden. The great attraction this year were Hannah's tortoises, Livingstone and Stanhope. We said farewell to the youngsters going up to school or nursery, and to some of their parents. A huge thanks to Olivia, Kath, Michelle and Phil who have done a lot of work on the committee and Thursday-by-Thursday, (Photos posted with permissions).


St Edmund's Pre-School celebrated their 50th birthday with a party in the Church Hall on Saturday 20 July. Jill and Audrey, who were involved at the start, were present, as were the current staff. Lots of families attended (the photos of the children are posted with their parents' permission) and there were lots of activities based on the Moon landing and the Beatles last concert. Left over cake was enjoyed on the Sunday morning too. We wonder how many lives have been enriched in the last fifty years and thank everyone involved. 


St Edmund's choir and friends gave a concert in the Church on Saturday evening. The highlight for many was the Toy Symphony by Leopold Mozart, with the Vicar on cuckoo. 

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Victoria and Oliver got married at St Matthew's on Thursday 25 July.


We had six services across the two churches on Sunday 21 July, and we baptised Evelyn and Braxton at a seventh service (below), and Maxley at an eighth (left)!


Saturday 27 July saw the launch of Legacy Makers - an HLF funded project run by Bright Ideas in Nottingham. It will look at the history of the Mill, the Village, and the Slave Trade legacy.

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On Sunday 28 July we baptised Amelia at St Edmund's, here with Nicholas, Natalie and big brother Archie (photograph left posted with permission).

St Edmund's was full for the 60th wedding anniversary celebration for Robert and Elizabeth on Saturday 3 August. They are regular members of the congregation, so it was a celebration for their family, friends, and all of us.  On Sunday we had the baptism of Madeline, here with parents Oliver and Lucy and big brother Alexander (photograph right)

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The first week of August saw people from both congregations involved in the annual Allestree Churches Together Holiday at Home at Broadway Baptist Church. The theme was 'messing about on the water', and included a trip on the River Trent. An owl met the Vicar's wife. 

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We had two weddings at St Matthew's on Saturday 10 August. Matthew and Kirsty first (left), Stephen and Julie second (right). On Sunday 18 we baptised Arlo at the 10 am service, photographed with parents James and Rosalie, big sister Ruby, and Godparents

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The weather for the Bank Holiday weekend was lovely. At St Edmund's we baptised Charlie, here with his parents Richard and Jessica. The St Edmund’s Handbell ringers played at the Walled Garden at Markeaton Park. Last year they got soaked. This year they reported that the heat was excessive. 

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Last year we had several weeks of bone-dry weather, put the marquee up for the Vicarage Garden Party, and the heavens opened. We all got soaked. This year (Saturday 31 August) we looked up at the sky at 12 noon and decided to put up the marquees. An hour later they were up. 15 minutes after that, the heavens opened. Then the rain stopped, and by 3 pm the sun was shining. 83 people came - people from both churches, and an age range from under 1 to over 90. We had a surfeit of cake, Robert played his accordion, conversations we enjoyed, and £295 was raised for the British Heart Foundation. We were able to say “farewell” to Jo after her stint in the Church Office, and give her a leaving present with our grateful thanks. The marquees were down and the garden tidy by 6.30. 


Allestree had a Scarecrow Festival on Saturday 7 September - the first for many years. Scarecrow HQ was at the Red Cow (with the chef watching over proceedings), and Neil Armstrong made his "small step for man" just across the road from St Edmund's. In church you were invited to have tea with the Vicar - and 381 people came into church to do just that. Becky, the Vicar of St Nick's, wondered why the Vicar of St Edmund's wasn't speaking to her. 

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Heidi (here with Neil and Sam) was baptised at St Edmund's on Sunday 8 September, In the evening our choirs went to sing with the choir at St Oswald's in Ashbourne.


St Matthew's celebrated their Patronal Festival on Sunday 22 September, Chris Dyer came and took the morning service, and we had a Joint Choral Evensong. The food afterwards was a superb spread, but no one got a photo (they were too busy eating). On Sunday 29 September, we had our fifth Sunday Joint Choral Communion at St Edmund's. Canon Geraldine Pond was our preacher, her last service before her retirement - it was lovely to have her with us, and at coffee. In the afternoon we baptised Chloe, with parents Stephen and Katie, and big brother George, and Charlotte , with parents Matthew and Frances, and sister Evie.

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Harvest Supper at St Edmund's on Saturday 5 October - George’s fish and chips followed by some music and films. David Redfern  played us some nautical and West Country music, we had a film of Johnny Morris on a Cornish coach trip, then Seaspeed Express (1980) and French music to end with - which other church ends a Harvest Supper with the Can Can? Little Horatio loved his food!


​A full church on Sunday for Harvest Festival. After lunch we baptised Rudy, with parents Jake and Sophie, and we had a lovely joint Evensong.

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The following Saturday we married Nicholas and Katie at St Edmund's. St Matthew’s Harvest Supper and Barn Dance in the evening, then a Harvest Festival with pictures of Bicentenary celebrations, In the evening we had a Joint Harvest Songs of Praise on wind and watermills - from hand-powered mills of the Bible, through to the power of the river and the Derwent Valley Mills.

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​​Friday 18 October, Last Night of the Proms at St Matthew’s. We had a good evening with a transport theme, a full church, and £310 raised for church and choir funds.

Chapel Anniversary with their new minister, David Owens.

Sunday 20 October was a pretty normal Sunday. We baptised Alice at St Matthew's (with Richard and Kimberley, big sister Emily) and Blair and Quinn at St Edmund's, mum and dad Marie and Ross (right). In the evening St Edmund's went to Allestree Methodists for a Chapel Anniversary led by their new minister, David Owens. The month ended with a Book Sale in St Edmund's Hall (raising money for Save the Children and the school we support in Burkino Faso), Discovery Days in Darley Abbey, the baptism of Thomas (with parents Stuart and Sarah, Godparents, etc.), our normal Sunday worship, and the final Edmund rose in the Vicarage garden. 

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On Saturday 2 November St Matthew’s had an Organ Recital with Daniel Bishop and Daniel Greenaway from Liverpool Cathedral. 70 people attended, and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon. With it being All Souls’ Day, the programme included the Prelude on the Londonderry Air by Noel Rawsthorne, played in memory of the composer who died in January this year. The following day, St Edmund's hosted our All Souls' service, welcoming families for whom we have taken funerals over the last year.

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It has been a very wet autumn, and the River Derwent flooded (photo by Liz Lockwood). Kristian and Sara married in St Edmund's on Saturday 9 November, We had a dry Remembrance Sunday with well-attended services in both churches.

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St Edmund's had a French Cheese and Wine evening on Saturday 16 November - with fizz and pate for the non cheese-eating, teetotal Vicar. We celebrated St Edmund's Feast Day on Sunday 17 November with a Service of the Word, a Joint Choral Evensong, and we baptised Harpur (parents Jonathan and Jade). This picture is by Brian Whelan and is in St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Suffolk. Celebrations continued on Tuesday evening with a concert in the Church Hall by the Derventio Choir under their new Director of Music Alex Binns. Alex is DoM at the Cathedral and a talented organist, so he played the Compton organ as well. On Thursday Peter and Julie received their MAs from Derby University (having studied Public History and Heritage in their spare time). Here they are with their children Hannah and Harry.

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St Edmund's held a Crib Festival on Saturday 23 November. JACK, our Children's Church, made a wooden spoon nativity, and Portway Junior School 'A Star is born'. 


Every month a team from St Edmund's lead a Communion service at Abbeydale and Stanley House Residential Homes ). Peter led a Memorial Service at both houses, and they posted this photo on their facebook page. On Saturday 30 November Peter held two showings of Railway Films at St Matthew's. As it was St Andrew's Day the theme was Scotland, and £225 was raised for the Derby Churches Night Shelter.

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Advent Sunday, 1 December, saw an excellent variety of worship across our churches. St Edmund's had both traditional Book of Common Prayer Communion and a Christingle, St Matthew's had a morning Communion and we lit the first Candle on a new Advent Crown purchased in memory of Christine, a lovely member of our congregation who died earlier in the year. We baptised Solomon (with parents Marc and Olivia), and the churches came together for the Advent Procession. It starts in the dark as we wait for the coming of Christ. 

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St Matthew's held their Christmas Coffee Morning on Saturday 7 December, and the following day Julie led their Family Service with the story of the Grumpy Innkeeper. The Friends of St Matthew's had their Christmas Party, and the choir sang at the Papermill and the Wine Bar. The Fellowship Room was used as the Village Polling Station for the General Election. 

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The following week we married Caroline and Tomi at St Edmund's and baptised their daughter Abigail. On Sunday 15 December St Matthew's had their Carol Service, and Kionie and Emily received their RSCM ribbons. Then we baptised Claudia (parents Laura and Matthew). In the afternoon St Edmund's hosted a Memorial Service for Coop Funeral Directors. 

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St Matthew's had another busy week. Hothouse Gospel Choir, Saxophone players, Walter Evans School Choir and the Church Choir came together for a wonderful Carol Concert with a packed church - £840 raised, split between LATCH and the Derby Nightshelter. 

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St Edmund's Toddler group came to church (with the Pre-school) for a Christmas service, and the Grumpy Innkeeper came too. The Santa came to the party (here with Caroline, our administrator). St Matthew's had a Christmas Casserole Cafe and hosted a concert by Derventio Brass, raising money for the Darley Abbey Scouts. 

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St Edmund's Carol Service on Sunday 22 December, then three Christmas Eve Crib services, two Midnight Masses and two Christmas morning services across our two churches. On Sunday 29 December we had a United Service at St Matthew's - a lovely choral service. We finished the year with two funerals at St Matthew - not the way we would choose to end our Bi-centenary year, but part of the work and ministry of our churches.

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