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2022 July to December in the churches

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While Peter was on holiday, Neil took two weddings. Joshua and Laura were married at St Edmund's on Monday 4 July and Bethany and Reuben at St Matthew's on Saturday 9 July. 

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On Wednesday 13 July there was a service at St Francis Mackworth to swear in all the churchwardens serving across Derby (and beyond). Paul from St Edmund's, and Peter and David from St Matthew's, were presented to the Archdeacon by Peter. One of their practical tasks is maintenance of church and chuchyard. Here are Tony and Jane working hard at the July Groundforce morning at St Edmund's. Thank you to everyone who helps with our buildings and with God's acre (or, to be precise, acres). 

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St Edmund's was busy the next weekend. Mark and Susannah were married on Saturday 16 July, here with their son Harrison. On Sunday 17 July we baptised Hugo (with parents Alex and Lily and brother Oscar) and Henry (with parents Adam and Ruth and sister Emilie). We also had services in both churches at 10 am, a Zoom service at 11.45 am, and Choral Evensong at St Matthew's at 6 pm.

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Baby and Toddler Group remained busy until the end of term. We coloured lions, made necklaces, and some people got up close and personal to the story (picture posted with permission). 

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Refills on the Road parked at St Matthew's on Saturday 23 July and had a busy morning. 

On Sunday 24 July we had coffee after both 10 am services. Schools Out were preparing to start their Summer Holiday Club in St Edmund's Hall, but David clambered over to give us a tune on the Compton organ. 25 people came to the Vicarage for a Family Picnic in the afternoon - and it stayed dry!

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Another Monday wedding - James married Rachel at St Edmund's on 25 July. The photographer wanted a photo with Peter and the bridesmaids as we waited for the bride. We should note that the bridesmaids were early, and the bride on time.

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We ended July with a United Service at St Matthew's, and cake to celebrate the Vicar's 60th Birthday. A week later we had a Vicarage Picnic to continue to celebrations. 


On Sunday 14 August we baptised Albert at St Edmund's, with parents Rob and Jen, brother and Godparents. Two weeks later we had two weddings at St Matthew's - Louis and Beth, Andrew and Stephanie. Stephanie came in the horse-drawn carriage. 

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On Sunday 28 August we baptised Hugo at St Edmund's, with parents Jack and Sian, brothers and Godparents. He was closely folllowed by Ja'Veigh, with parents Rashaad and Tyler. 

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At the start of September we welcomed our new Archdeacon, Matthew Trick, and his family to St Matthew's. We also collected, as we do every month, for the Hope Centre Food Bank. Toddler Group restarted and they made fish.

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On Thursday 8 September we were shocked by the annoucement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Both churches were flying their flags at half mast by mid evening, and we produced a leaflet of prayers which went into both churches. On Saturday 10 September the flags went back to full mast as Charles III was proclaimed King, and we rang the church bells. Sunday morning's services were somewhat subdued, for although Her Majesty had a strong Christian faith, none of us find death easy. We also found it difficult to sing the National Anthem, "God save the King". After 24 hours, the flags went back to half mast and stayed there for the period of official mourning, through to Her Majesty's funeral on Monday 19 September. Both churches tolled their bells that morning.

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On Sunday 11 September we baptised Poppy at St Edmund's, with parents Adam and Billie. The following weekend we had two Memorial Services for people who had been at the heart of our churches - we thank God for them both. 

Peter the Vicar had to tell both congregations that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and he stopped undertaking public ministry at the end of the month. We are very grateful to the retired clergy and other local clergy, plus our wonderful Readers, who stepped in to ensure everything continued - a lot of work by a lot of people. 

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On Friday 23 September we lauched a monthly breakfast Community Cafe at St Matthew's - coffee, tea and toast.

On Saturday we had a wedding blessing for David and Sarah on the occasion of their 20th anniversary (right) - then weddings of Peter and Jennifer, and John and Evelyn. 

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We celebrated the Feast of St Matthew a few days late on Sunday 25 September. We baptised Hugo, with parents Richard and Natalie, and big sister Lyla. In the evening we had a joint Choral Evensong  with the new choir stalls in place. 

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The following week was used as a "Green Week" by many organisations. The Fellowship Room was full of information and we hosted a couple of events. 

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The first weekend of October saw the Harvest Celebrations at St Edmund's. The flower arrangers wove their magic on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon Peter baptised Joshua (with parents Daniel and Rebecca). We had a fish and chip supper in the evening, with entertainment by David on the Compton organ. (Gwen looks annoyed she is not getting fish and chips!). All Age Worship on Sunday morning was led by Julie, and Alex (Gwen's mum) did one of the talks. Mustard seeds were  planted and a Prayer Tree involved. As usual we collected for the Food Bank, and a full car went off on Tuesday - thank you everyone for your continued support. 

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The second weekend of October saw the Harvest Celebrations at St Matthew's. They had a Saturday evening concert by the choir, but Peter wasn't there and no one sent us any photos for the website. Worship on Sunday morning was led by Julie and Alex - by now the Prayer Tree had more leaves and some of the cress grew! More material was collected for the Food Bank.

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On Sunday 16 October both our Zoom services and Choral Evening celebrated the life and music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, born on 12 October 1872. In the afternoon Rafferty was baptised at St Edmund's. We had a Community Cafe on Friday 21 October, and on Sunday 23 October we welcomed Archdeacon Matthew to St Edmund's.

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We celebrated All Saints and All Souls on Sunday 30 October. As usual on a fifth Sunday we had one morning service - this time at St Edmund's. Chris Halfpenny (who was the last Vicar here) came and took the service. Peter was too ill to attend, so in the last hymn everyone walked to the Vicarage for his blessing. In the afternoon Clive Lemmon and the choir led our annual Memorial Service. 


St Edmund's Big Book Sale in November raised £350 which was split between church funds and the National Deaf Children's Society - lots of books were purchased (even if these photos suggest that folk were only reading them).


Remembrance Sunday was busy in both churches. St Matthew's was packed, with a Deputy Lord Lieutenant, members of the Royal British Legion, and families from both Walter Evans and Old Vicarage School. The service was led by Clive Lemmon. At St Edmund's numbers were down on previous years - but still respectable - a Deputy Lord Lieutenant, local Councillors and members of the Royal British Legion joined the regular congregation. The service was led by John Rice. We are very grateful to Co-operative Funeralcare who sponsored (and helped produce) the Orders of Service for both services.

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We had a Community Cafe at St Matthew's on Friday 18 November, and on Sunday 20 November celebrated St Edmund's Feast Day at St Edmund's church. Peter talked about the imagery on the Wilton Dyptych, which includes Edmund. This was our final Zoom service - we started two years ago when the churches were closed, and have continued even though the majority of people are now worshipping back in our buildings. However the numbers watching have declined, and with Peter now signed off work for the foreseesable future, we don't have the resources to do them. Our thanks to those who have helped - you can watch them all on our youtube channel (links from the "Worship 2022" page of this website). We also baptised Alfied at St Edmund's church. 

Sunday 27 November was Advent Sunday. In the evening our choirs came together at St Matthew's for the Advent Procession. On Sunday 4 December, Voices choir gave a concert in St Edmund's, and the following week Old Vicarage School filled St Matthew's for their Christmas Celebrations. Walter Evans School cannot fit everyone into St Matthew's, so had their Christmas Celebration in Derby Cathedral. Fabia and Daniel were married at St Matthew's on Friday 9 December. The choirs spent a morning recording Christmas Carols together - you can find them on youtube, with links here (scroll down to find it).  

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On Sunday 4 December Clive Lemmon celebrated 40 years as a Reader - he preached in the morning and the evening, so both churches could thank him for his ministry. A week later St Matthew's choir sang Evensong on (this photo was taken before the service - there was a congregation later), and sang carols at Broadway Pub and Darley Abbey wine bar. 


Both churches had cribs in the churchyards, and St Edmund's had its annual Carols in the Churchyard on Wednesday 14 December - this year led by The Reverend Dawn Knight from St Nick's. It was a freezing evening - David the organist needed extra (non-alcholic) punch to warm him up, St Edmund's had a Christingle on 18 December - it was good fun making them and the service went very well (even though the attendance was not brilliant). St Matthew's had their Carol Service that morning, St Edmund's in the evening. 

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St Edmund's Luncheon Club had its Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 20 December. St Matthew's church received a bronze Eco-Award for all our work done to be "green". 


It was lovely to have our normal Christmas Eve pattern of worship again after two years when we had had to cancel our Crib Services because of Covid. Canon Nicky Fenton took the Crib Services at St Edmund's, Archdeacon Matthew Took the one at St Edmund's. Midnight Mass at St Matthew's was led by the Diocesan Bishop, The Right Reverend Libby Lane. On Christmas morning The Reverend Neil Broadbent came to St Edmund's and Canon Chris Halfpenny to St Matthew's. Our thanks to all of them, and to everyone who worked so hard ensuring our Christmas celebrations came together. 


Peter our Vicar had had major cancer surgery in November and was not well enough to attend church on Christmas morning. I had arranged that Chris would come to the Vicarage with communion after she had done the Christmas morning service at  St Matthew's. I wrote on the noticesheet that what I would miss this Christmas was singing the last verse of "O Come all ye faithful" - "Ye, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning." St Matthew's choir came with Chris, and we sang together on the Vicarage drive. Thank you!

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