Group magazine February 2020


Letter from Amanda


Church Events

Services at St Oswald

Sanctuary Flowers (St O's)

Community Bus

Breakfast Church

Carers Count

Connect Groups

A message from Duncan

Marriage Sunday

Choral Music

St Oswald's Walking group

Services - St John's

Sevices - Holy Trinity, Clifton

Services - St Mary and St Barlock,  Norbury and Roston


Matthew  the Tax Collector

A Quiet Masterpiece

World Day of Prayer

Derby Refugee Solidarity

Live Lent (from Australia)

Edward Bear

Mothers' Union

Asylum Refugees

One World Group

Asbourne Animal Welfare

Derby Hospital

Community Cafe

Letter from Amanda


True, whole prayer is nothing but love. – Saint Augustine

For those of us who love to pray, you will immediately resonate with this idea of Augustine’s.  When someone we love is hurting, we want to pray; when we feel passionate about an injustice, we pray; when we have been hurt, we pray.  

Prayer is the language of our souls, God designed us to be in communication with him.  Whether the garden of Eden is a reality or a picture, God shows us here that he wants to be in communion with us, to walk and talk with us, as if with friends walking in a garden.

When Jesus left this earth to go to the father, he said that he did not want to leave us as orphans, instead, he would send a helper to be with us – the Holy Spirit.  And in Romans it says the Spirit helps us when we pray with ‘groans that words can’t express’.  My mother died this week and I did not feel like praying.  But I did feel like groaning with the sadness and grief.  The Psalms are full of people groaning and wailing to God for themselves, for their friends, for situations.  ‘Whole prayer is nothing but love’.

So, we know that God wants to communicate with us, and we know we want to communicate with him, but in practice what does prayer look like?  I think prayer is as multi-faceted as our personalities.  Sometimes it is just looking at a sunset and breathing a thank you, or smelling a baby’s head after a bath, or hearing a beautiful piece of music.  And sometimes it is just reading the Bible and listening to what the Spirit is saying to us personally today through a passage written 2000 years ago or more.

Whatever prayer might be for you, we know that God wants us to pray, to communicate with him.  And as a church he wants us to communicate together.  When Jesus left this earth, he sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, but he also sent the Holy Spirit into our lives with gifts.  Those gifts are for the building up of the church.  In Ephesians 4, Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 the gifts are mentioned.  Have a look at those gifts and see which ones God has given you.   It says in I Corinthians that the gifts are given to build up the church.  And prayer is one of those gifts.  We need those who have the gift of prayer to teach us to pray, to encourage the church to pray, to lead the church on prayer.

So, I am calling all those who pray.  I believe God wants us to start to really pray for our church as we move into this exciting phase of growth in our church.  Would you be willing to join with me, meet and discuss how we can promote prayer in our church?  Might God be calling us to start prayer ministry after the services, perhaps He wants us to pray regularly together, perhaps we could put on a Quiet day in church for others, perhaps we could start a prayer chain. 

If you are interested in meeting with others to talk about promoting prayer at St Oswald’s, please catch me after a church service or email me on


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2 February


If Candlemas day be fair and bright,

Winter will have another flight.

If Candlemas day be shower and rain,

Winter is gone and will not come again.


What is Candlemas? Delving back into history, Jewish women went through a purification ceremony 40 days after the birth of a male child. So, in the 6th century, February 2 (which falls 39 days after Christmas) was declared the feast of the Purification of Mary.

This is the reason given for the custom of bringing candles to church to be blessed by the priest on February 2nd, and this is what we'll be doing at St. Oswald’s at 6.30pm. If you have candles that you'd like to be blessed, please bring them along: this custom of dedicating candles to God's service as a symbol of His light is the origin for the name Candle-mass.

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Church Events in the Benefice of Ashbourne


2nd November              St Oswald’s                              Lottie Finnegan

3rd November               St Oswald’s                              Ella Spencer

17th November             St Mary & St Barlok’s              Georgina Brown

24th November             St Oswald’s                              Alariah Toombes


1st December               St Mary’s                                 Reggie Sellers




16th November             St Oswald’s                  Anna Jones & Peter Blundell

28th December             St Oswald’s                  Fraser Hodby & Kate Gregory



1st November               St John’s                      Rosa Williams, 88 years

19th November             St Peter’s                      Robert Redfern, 75 years

25th November             St Oswald’s                  Raymond Tunnicliffe, 84 years

29th November             St Mary’s                     Mary Sherratt, 87 years


16th December             St Oswald’s                  Clive Tougher, 85 years


To arrange for Christenings, Weddings or Funerals please contact the Parish Office Tel. 01335 343052

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St Oswald’s Church, Ashbourne


Church Services for February

Sunday 2 February 8.00 am  Holy Communion

                               10.30 am   Holy Communion / Common Worship

                               6.30 pm Evensong - Candlemas

Sunday 9 February 8.00 am  Holy Communion

                               9.00 am  Breakfast Church with Bishop Jan

                               10.30 am   Holy Communion with Bishop Jan

                               6.30 pm Evensong

Sunday 16 February             8.00 am  Holy Communion

                               10.30 am   Holy Communion

                               6.30 pm Evensong

Sunday 23 February             8.00 am  Holy Communion

                               10.30 am   Holy Communion

                               6.30 pm Evensong

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Sanctuary Flowers for February

2nd February                                          Mrs S. Miller

9th February                                          Miss C. Yates

16th February                                        Mrs N. Bell


No flowers for the rest of February and March as it is the period of Lent.


If anyone would like to donate flowers in memory of a loved one or to celebrate a special occasion, please contact Margaret Dawson   Telephone 01335 342339 or

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We operate a community bus once a month for the 10:30am service at St Oswald’s.  The bus collects passengers from their homes, starting from 9:30am arriving at St Oswald’s church about 10:20 am.  The bus returns passengers to their home after coffee.  If you would like to use this service please contact Paul and Gill Elliott on 01335 343059.

Future Dates: Sunday 16 February,

Sunday 15 March,

Sunday 19 April



Breakfast Church on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the Church Centre!

God a bacon butty and a fresh mug of coffee – all welcome. 9h00 – 9h40


9th February 2020            ‘God loves every one of us’
8th March 2020                 ‘God gives us a new start’
Please note:  April 2020 Special Breakfast Church on Good Friday 10 April – 9.00 am to 10.15 am (not on Easter Day 12 April)

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The next meeting of Carers Count will be on Wednesday, 5th February 2020. For further information give Maggie or Nigel a call on 01335 664159.




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Thursday Evening Connect Group

We coordinate a group which meets on a Thursday evening. The group meets weekly, but takes a break often coinciding with school holidays. We have shared the hosting (meeting in 3 different homes), shared the leadership of the sessions, and taken it in turns to provide cake!

A typical session begins with ‘Check in’ when we each have the opportunity to share the highs and lows of the previous week. A short time of worship (commentary/ meditation / prayer) leads into our main topic for discussion. We use published short courses for discussion groups, usually with a CD/DVD to watch and course booklet to read. So far we have asked ‘What does it mean to live as a child of the kingdom of God?’ and ‘What does it mean to live life to the full?’ We close by praying for each other.

At some point during the evening we share drinks and cake, but we also share so much more. We are getting to know each other, learning from each other and being prompted to grow in our faith.

Janet and Andy Wright

If you are interested to be part of a Connect group, please contact or speak to one of the clergy.

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A Message from Duncan

Celebration of Marriage Sunday 9 February


I’m calling out to everyone who was married at St Oswald’s or is thinking of getting married here.  Our Bishop (Jan) wants to come to St Oswald’s to celebrate marriage, and we’d like you to celebrate with us!


Sunday 9th February -

9am Breakfast church (bacon baps and coffee in the hall) and/or 10.30am for parish Communion (in the church!)

We are inviting all the couples who have been married in St Oswald’s over the last three years back for that Sunday, but the services are not just for them! Anyone who would like to give thanks for their marriage (wherever, whenever or however they were married), renew their vows or simply want to celebrate love and commitment - you’re all welcome.  Children, as always, are very welcome - and we’d love you to bring along your wedding albums to share with the congregation after the service during refreshments in the Church Centre.

Hope you can join us! - Duncan

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Choral Music at St Oswald’s


Sunday 2nd February              Presentation of Christ in the Temple


8.00     Holy Communion

10.30   Parish Communion      Nunc Dimittis

We are marching in the light of God

6.30     Evensong                     Like a candle flame/Kendrick

                                                When to the temple Mary went/Eccard


Sunday 9th February              3rd Sunday before Lent

8.00     Holy Communion       

9.00     Breakfast Church

10.30   Parish Communion       A Wedding Celebration with Bishop Jan

Christ be with me/Rawsthorne

Christ be our light/Farrell

6.30     Choral Evensong        Noble in B minor         Smith responses

                                                Teach me O Lord/Attwood

                                                I give to you a new commandment. Nardone


Sunday 16th February            2nd Sunday before Lent

8.00     Holy Communion                   

10.30   Parish Communion      Fairest Lord Jesus/How

6.30     Evensong                     O worship the Lord/Shepherd

                                                Gaelic Blessing/Rutter


Sunday 23rd                             Sunday next before Lent

8.00     Holy Communion

10.30   Parish Communion      Panis Angelicus/Franck

6.30     Evensong                     Awake thou wintry earth/Bach                                                            Holy is the true light/Harris           


Wednesday 26th                      Ash Wednesday         

7.00     Holy Communion and             View me Lord/Lloyd

Imposition of Ashes


Thank you                                                                              Michael Halls

                        Director of Music


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Saturday November 30th 2019

At last the weather was forecast to be dry after what seemed like weeks of rain! Eight of us (plus Fly) had a foggy start from Millfields car park on Carsington Water. Walking in an anti-clockwise direction we skirted the reservoir as far as Oldfield Lane, here heading away from the water towards Kirk Ireton. Walking through the main street we passed the Barley Mow pub with its local shop in an outbuilding, and visited St. James’ church. Emerging from the church we found that the fog had lifted and the sun had made a hazy appearance.

Continuing north along quiet country lanes (which would on a clearer day have afforded lovely views over Wirksworth and the Ecclesbourne Valley) we eventually reached the north end of Carsington Water and regained the reservoir path, continuing in an anti-clockwise direction. The water level was high and the path busy with others enjoying the rare fine day.

We enjoyed a pleasant picnic lunch overlooking the water at Sheepwash car park before returning past the Visitor centre and across the dam to our cars. Some of us then went back to the visitor centre for welcome tea and cake in the excellent New Leaf restaurant.

Total distance: 9 miles; total ascent: 775 feet.

Saturday January 4th 2020

As has become the norm our “New Year” walk was followed by a late lunch, this time at the Royal Oak, Hurdlow, from where 13 of us, plus Fly and Rustie set off.

Heading north up the High Peak Trail we kept up a brisk pace in an effort to keep warm in the biting north westerly wind. After a mile and a half, we left the trail, crossed the A515 and took the Midshires Way towards Chelmorton, a typical White Peak village on the slopes of Chelmorton Low. Having plenty of time in hand we decided to detour into the village, taking shelter at St. John the Baptist’s Church, with its unusual weathervane topped by a locust. We enjoyed exploring the 13th century church, said to be the highest church in Derbyshire at 1,200 feet above sea level. The porch contains some Saxon coffin lids, while in the south transept there is a superb display of embroidery charting the history and geology of the locality. The Church Inn opposite also looked worthy of future exploration!

Next onward and upward north eastwards along a bridleway with splendid views over the Peak District, to Buxton in the north and beyond.  Quiet lanes, including sections of the Pennine Bridleway and the Limestone Way, took us to and through the village of Flagg, before the final mile along the deeply rutted footpath named “Hutmoor Butts”. Nearing the A515 once more we passed a branch of the national Donkey Sanctuary.

We arrived back at the Royal Oak in perfect time for an excellent lunch – many thanks to Judy for organising that. We were certainly glad of the warmth after a rather chilly hike, completed at a very swift average moving pace!

Total distance: 8.5 miles; total ascent: 590 feet.

Future Walks:

Saturdays February 29th, March 28th, and April 18th (?).

Saturday May 2nd – 9th: The Cateran Trail, Scotland.

Jackie Burns.

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St John’s Church, Ashbourne

Church Services for February

Sunday 2 February      9.15 am    Holy Communion    - Amanda Marshall

Sunday 9 February      9.15 am    Matins – Linda Herbert

Sunday 16 February    9.15 am    Holy Communion – Duncan Ballard

Sunday 23 February    9.15 am    Holy Communion – Nigel Rode

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Holy Trinity Church, Clifton

Church Services for February

Sunday 9 February      10.45 am  Holy Communion / Baptism – Maggie Rode

Sunday 23 February    10.45 am  Holy Communion – Maggie Rode

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St Mary & St Barlok, Norbury and Roston

Norbury & Roston Parish Council

There are two very long-established Charitable Trusts in the Parish, namely Bills Charity and Williams Charity.  Bills Charity derives its income from a parcel of land in the village.  The original aim of this charity was “to provide coal for the widows and spinsters of the Parish”.  Although the need for coal is not as relevant in this day and age, the eligible recipients receive a cheque and a Christmas card every year.  The trustees are members of the Parish Council.

Williams Charity, again this is an ancient charity which goes way back in history.  It derived its money originally from land and property in the village but is now managed by the Charities Commission Investment Fund.  This charity is an educational charity which gives money for the purchase of books, etc. to students in higher education who live in the Parish.  If you would like to benefit from funding from this charity then please apply to one of the trustees who are:  Richard Ward, Ann Weaver, Jayne Anders and the Rev. Duncan Ballard.

Dates for your diary:  a fundraising event for the village hall is The Chinese Auction on Saturday 7th March.  If you have anything that would be suitable please give Joy a ring on 01335 324288 and Doveridge Village Fair on Sunday 5th April 2020. 

Church Services for February

Sunday 2 February 11 am     Morning Prayer - Linda Herbert

Sunday 9 February 11 am     Holy Communion – Nigel Rode

Sunday 16 February             11 am     Morning Prayer – Linda Herbert

Sunday 23 February             11 am     Holy Communion – Duncan Ballard

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Wedding Vow Renewal

Renew your wedding vows and love and commitment to one another.

St. Mary and St Barlok (Norbury) Church are having a fun event to celebrate joining together, either in marriage or commitment to one another on

16th February at 11 am.

This will be an exciting new adventure. Hopefully to be repeated annually.

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Fairtrade Church

St Oswald’s is a Fairtrade Church. We know we can change the lives of people in other parts of the world simply by choosing a Fairtrade option when we are shopping. Fairtrade tea, coffee and chocolate are well established but there are many more items we can choose. Look out for the Fairtrade symbol:

We have decided not to try and hold small stalls of Traidcraft goods every week after the 10.30 service, but to organise a larger stall on a couple of occasions during the year.

Thank you to all the customers for our Traidcraft stall in December. £177 worth of Fairtrade items were sold.

Fairtrade Fortnight this year is Monday 24th February to Sunday 8th March. To join in the celebrations there will be another opportunity to buy Traidcraft goods at the beginning of March

Special Traidcraft Stall  -  Sunday 1st March 2020

in St Oswald’s Church Centre after 10.30 am service

A chance to buy Fairtrade food, drinks, crafts… and Fairtrade chocolate for Easter


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Matthew - the tax collector?

I hope you’ve noticed that we’re now following Matthew’s Gospel in our readings. The church marked the beginning of its new year on Advent Sunday not only visually - purple vestments, no flowers, - but also with the start of the next three-year cycle of readings in the lectionary, the Bible passages set for each Sunday.

But who was Matthew?  No one really knows as the gospel writers do not give us their names. The writer of the gospel and ancient Christian tradition - not often a very reliable source of accurate information - identified him with Levi the tax collector, who appears in the list of disciples in Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27,29. It seems unlikely, since a tax collector would not have been very well educated nor very religious and the gospel is quite a sophisticated piece of work. It is written in good literary Greek and the writer has arranged the events and stories carefully e.g. he divides Jesus’s teachings and actions into five clearly defined sections which each end with the phrase, “Now when Jesus had finished these sayings…’ (or similar) e.g.7:28,19:1, 26:1. He probably intended they should mirror in short form the five books of teaching in the Jewish Torah, Genesis to Deuteronomy. The writer clearly knew his Bible well and more than other gospel writers quotes directly and indirectly from the scriptures to prove that Jesus fulfilled the promises of the Hebrew prophets that God would send his Messiah to redeem the people from slavery.


Matthew traces Jesus’s genealogy back to Abraham, while Luke, the Gentile, traces it back to Adam. He includes incidents in the life of Jesus which other gospels do not include, e.g. the visit of the magi, the flight into Egypt, Pilate’s wife’s dream, the Jewish nation willingly takes the blame for the crucifixion. Matthew was not fond of the Pharisees and other Jewish authorities; he is far more critical of them than the other gospels, exaggerating their faults. Biblical scholars suggest he was probably a converted Jew writing to encourage belief in Jesus among the Jews scattered throughout the empire. Whoever they were and wherever they gathered their material, we owe a debt of gratitude to Matthew and the other gospel writers, as they are our primary source of information about Jesus - though we often wish we knew more. Snoopy, that well-known canine theologian, when his friends Peanuts, Lucy etc. were wondering if some questions can ever have answers, mused, ‘… did Jesus ever own a dog?’ Matthew and the other evangelists don’t tell us this, but their aim was to proclaim the good news (euaggalion in Greek) of Jesus and the coming of God’s rule on earth, not to write a biography.

Deirdre Wilmore

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A Quiet Masterpiece

C. Baker 2013

This piece written by Chris Baker refers to the window on the west wall of the North Transept.


At a distant end of the transept,

In the darkest corner of the mighty building,

Almost on the periphery,

I’m tucked away.


Nobody recalls my history,

Save for some vague recollection of the Loire;

Borne out by my simple lines,

The vibrancy of my colours.


My narrative familiar

My five naïve scenes,

Mastery of a long dead glazier,

Still living, breathing, in me.


By enduring mix of sand and potash

My simple beauty recalls,

Here, the amazed shepherds, abiding,

There, the thwarted tyrant, scheming.


The bewildered, unshaven husband looks on, awed,

As the fond old man prepares to depart in peace,

The lowliness of the rose-radiant handmaiden regarded,

Her infant conversant with his purpose.


Around me the scent of candle,

The deep odour of aging paper,

Reverberations of incense and ancient memories,

All suspended in the dust of time.


By day, sensitive footsteps and hushed voices reach me,

Regular glories of soaring music shake me,

By night, darkness diminishes me

Calmly, I fortify.


Each new day the invigorating light reawakens my glory

My simple scenes of dazzling colour explode,

And I radiate once more across a millennium,




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World Day of Prayer 2020

Ashbourne Methodist Church Friday 6th March at 11am.

Rise, take your mat and walk

Women and men of all ages are called to “Rise, take your mat and walk” to join this day of prayer. Women of Zimbabwe have prepared this year’s service and they encourage us all to reflect on the difficulties and unrest that have plagued their country over many years. They share the challenges they have met and the hopes they have for the future. They encourage us to “Rise, take your mat and walk” with them as they continue their often turbulent journey towards full reconciliation.

World Day of Prayer is an international inter-church organisation, which enables us to hear the thoughts of women from all parts of the world; their hopes, concerns and prayers. The preparation for the day is vast. An international committee is based in New York and there are national committees in each participating country. Regional conferences meet to consider the service then local groups make their plans. Finally, at a church near you on Friday 6th March 2020, people will gather to celebrate the service prepared by the women of Zimbabwe.

The day of prayer is celebrated in over 170 countries. It begins in Samoa and prayer in native languages travels throughout the world –through Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas—before finishing in American Samoa 36 hours later.

Please join in this circle of prayer on Friday 6th March at 11am at Ashbourne Methodist Church. There will be a warm welcome and a chance to chat over refreshments afterwards.

For more details see WDP website: or contact Nancy Bell on 01335 347915

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Ashbourne Mothers Union and Edward Bear wish to give a big thank you to everyone who supported the Reverse Advent Calendar project in support of Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity.  Joan Hudson and I were made very welcome on Christmas Eve when we delivered a car boot full of goodies you had collected. In return they treated us to a mug of coffee and a mince pie.


Derby Refugee Solidarity is a local volunteer organisation supported by Derby Diocese MU that is part of a larger grassroots movement in response to the growing refugee crisis. Their aim is to provide aid and support displaced people by collecting and distributing donations, volunteering in camps, collaborating with other groups to send aid containers and through raising awareness of the crisis. They are always looking for new people to get involved.  Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity is run by 60 plus volunteers. Their only cost is their rent which is £200 per month. They are looking for monthly contributions to help cover this cost. A £1 or £2 contribution per month by Direct Debit could help them to offer even more aid and support to refugees in Derby and overseas. If you feel you can support them then please go to their website: for details.

Ashbourne Mothers Union next meeting is on Tuesday 4th February at 2.30 pm when we have our annual communion service. Rev Maggie Rode will lead us in an Iona service.

Nancy Bell
Branch Leader

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Lent Message

The Lent message from the Church of England this year is “# LIVE LENT CARE FOR GOD’S CREATION” as you will see on the cover of this month’s magazine.  With this in mind I wanted to include this article from The Sydney Morning Herald on 21 January written by Libby Swan, a beef cattle farmer in New South Wales.

I am a beef cattle farmer from near Inverell in north-western NSW. My farmhouse is near a creek line and I’ve always been lucky enough to have koalas.

Occasionally I spot one in the trees around my yard or listen to their calls during the night. They’re sleepy and content and I’ve even seen mothers with their babies. But now the trees are thinning, sky visible through leaves that should carry essential moisture for koalas. When gum trees start to drop leaves, that’s when it becomes serious. For our resident koalas, it means losing their food and water supply.

Last week my husband and I found a male koala in the yard, sitting at the base of the tree. He wouldn’t move, not when I walked up and not when I set a pot of water next to him. In the end I had to raise the pot to his head and finally he moved, leaning down to drink.

Up close, the claws of a koala are pretty sharp. Not wanting to test my luck about being near a wild animal who was clearly stressed, I tried to put the pot down so I could leave him in peace. He grabbed my hand. "Don’t take my water, stay with me," he was saying and so I stayed, not moving, his hand still resting on mine as he drank. For half an hour we sat like that.  Everything inside me was saying this was wrong. Wild animals avoid humans; they don’t ask them for help. All I could do was say, I’m sorry. I couldn’t believe what was happening to him, to all of them. I was seeing first-hand how this drought was slowly killing one of Australia’s most resilient animals. Finally, I managed to balance the pot so the koala wouldn’t spill it and left him to continue drinking. It was another hour before we spotted him wandering off to a tree. We’ve kept an eye out for him since and are happy to say he’s still around. Every time we see him we put another pot of water out.

But koalas aren’t the only animals that are altering their behaviour around here. Climate change is affecting all wildlife. We now have a resident echidna who often visits our garden, at least what’s left of it. The snakes are coming in force, looking for water and it seems to be that all the animals are happy to crowd in with us now. This includes Eastern rosellas, the odd crimson rosella, redwings, and the shy king parrots that have taken to eating our grapes off the vines on our verandah. They used to fly away whenever they saw us; now they just watch as we walk by.

Out in the paddocks, it’s worse. We still have dry standing grass, but all it’s doing is holding the soil together. We still have water, but it’s quickly disappearing. We still have kangaroos; in fact they’re coming in off the scrub to drink from our last water points. We counted 50 kangaroos around one of our last paddock dams, which has turned into a paddock pond.

Will we one day look back on this drought and think it was a small one?  Every year brings different challenges. Looking back, I’ve never experienced a drought like this. It really makes me think about the speed of the changes in our climate and our slow-footed response.

Australia has already warmed by one degree Celsius, and the Bureau of Meteorology tells us they are seeing long-term reductions in NSW’s rainfall. What will my paddocks look like when our country is two degrees warmer? Or three degrees? Would we even bother leaving the farm to the kids? Will we one day look back on this drought and think it was a small one?

Australia is known for extremes, but not like this. People say that Australia has always had droughts, but the drought cycles are inching closer together, bouncing from one drought to another with few "good times" in between. The rain that’s hit us now is not enough. I know this drought is far from over.

We need a government willing to listen and act, provide help in crisis and ensure the safety of people and animals. That is the pact we make when we elect them. We don’t want them to throw money at publicity stunts and one-off projects. We need support to change our practices so the environment becomes a priority and we build resilience to drought. We want help that will make a lasting change.

Putting pressure on our politicians is what we can all do to help farmers and our wildlife. Voices matter. I urge you to make yours heard today.

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Praise and Play

at St Oswald’s Church

Edward Bear finished the year by having a Christmas party and a very special visit from Father Christmas. Much excitement as presents were given by Father Christmas before he continued on his busy day.

CRIB SERVICE on Christmas Eve - Edward Bear organised the Crib Service with Duncan, our Vicar. We chose to use the ‘Hands-on Nativity’, as the story of the Nativity unfolds families and all those present actively take part in the story and meaning making of the Nativity.

Amanda appeared as Angel Gabriel with Duncan and Peter narrating and Michael playing the organ. The Edward Bear Team dressed many children into the Nativity character of their choice whilst others came already dressed as kings, Spiderman, shepherds and more.  We also welcomed one or two mums from the congregation with their new-born babies to sit amongst our vast cast of characters to complete the scene and bring tangible new life into the event.

The atmosphere was packed full of anticipation and wonder! Our beautiful church decorated with twinkling Christmas trees was packed with standing room only. A glorious way to celebrate the arrival of God’s son, Jesus Christ.

EDWARD BEAR is now all set to begin the new year. The ‘team’ have met and arranged a new programme which can be seen on the noticeboards.

We are already welcoming new families and celebrate the safe arrival of twins Emily and Olivia, sisters for Milo. Our attendance fluctuates but averages on 26 children (0 – 4) each week with their parents and carers. On average there are 10 volunteers present each week as well as Duncan and Amanda when they are available. Edward Bear Thursdays are busy and bustle with life and love.

Several parents and carers from Edward Bear and from St Oswald’s Church together with the Scouts are about to attend a First Aid Course at the Church Centre. Their new and current knowledge will assist with the well-being and safe environment that Edward Bear and St Oswald’s Church aims to achieve.

We are already planning for the Spring which will include:

  • Mothering Sunday - Sunday 22nd March
  • Toddle through the tunnel Thursday (tba)
  • 20 years Edward Bear Celebration on Saturday 16th May
  • Teddy Parachuting Saturday June 27th
  • Farm trip in early July (tba)


RUTHA, how Edward Bear will miss you!

Many of you will already know that Rutha Titterton died on Sunday 12th January. Rutha was a founder member of Edward Bear 20 years ago and was integral within its formation and beginning. Rutha was full of energy and ideas and never happier than when surrounded by mums and their little ones. She was creative and generous and her legacy will live on at Edward Bear in her ‘patchwork’. We have bags for our musical instruments, altar cloth, cushions, a whole set of knitted animals for Noa’s Ark and much more.

Rutha had a wonderful way of ‘being’ with the families, walking alongside them. meeting them where they found themselves at the time. Celebrated and shared the good and positive times and was able to reach down deep into the sad times and places too. This was a real ‘gift’ Rutha had and one we will all miss dreadfully.

If you would like more information about EDWARD BEAR, please look on the Church website or contact the church office on 01335 343052.

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The Ashbourne Branch of the Mothers’ Union meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month in St Oswald’s Church Centre at 2:30 pm and on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm at different venues. A warm welcome to anyone wishing to join us either in the afternoon or in the evening.  Please contact Nancy Bell on 01335 347915

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Asylum Seekers in Derbyshire

Those seeking asylum in the UK have experienced untold horrors in their home countries, fled their homes and travelled with great difficulty across the world to find safety here. Host Derby provides temporary accommodation with volunteer hosts in their own homes, offering a lifeline for vulnerable individuals. Hosts are supported to welcome an individual in their home, from a few days to a few months. Guests are supported to access the right help and move on with their lives. All hosts receive training and are matched with the right person who needs their support. Each host family can decide how long they host people for, and how often they take a new guest.

Host Derby is run by Upbeat Communities, in partnership with The British Red Cross, Derby Refugee Advice Centre, Metropolitan Housing, Derby City Mission and Derby City of Sanctuary.

If you have space in your home and would like more information about whether this is something you could help with, we’d like to invite you to meet with Delphis from Host Derby on Wednesday 5th February at 1900 in The Cornerstone.

This has been arranged by Ashbourne One World Group (Part of Ashbourne Churches Together) who have been working with Upbeat Communities to help support the refugee families who are living in Ashbourne.

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Ashbourne’s One World Group exists to raise awareness of world development issues by organising events and talks. We’re part of Ashbourne Churches Together and, since we started in 1984, we’ve been organised a huge number of events.

Our plans for 2020 include Ashbourne’s first “One World Festival”, an exciting new event which will celebrate our links with the wider world, and an evening exploring whether we should be bothered about climate change.

The group also raises funds for Christian Aid through our cake stall at the Tissington Well Dressings, and have raised over £50,000 for the charity since 1984. Our cake stall this year will be held from 21st – 25th May 2020.

We really need your help!   We are looking for people to get involved in the group – we’re very friendly and we meet 3-4 times a year to plan our events.

Most urgently, we need help with Tissington Well Dressings as John & Liz Hurfurt will be stepping down from coordinating the cakes. We need someone who’s available during the Well Dressings to take delivery of cakes and make sure we have enough cakes each day from our team of willing bakers (you don’t need to do any baking yourself).

If you think you might be interested, please contact Stuart Green on 01335 300338 or

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Ashbourne Animal Welfare



Sunday 11th February 2020   11am – 4pm

The Ark, Wyaston Rd, Ashbourne DE6 1NB


Visit the Cattery and Kennels

Let one of our cats or dogs steal your heart
Homemade lunches and teas – Gifts, books & Bric a Brac

Free Admission

For more info telephone 01335 300494 or go to the website:

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I have been lucky in life in that I have not had a stay in hospital in the last fifty-eight years ago when I brought my first son into the world. Today, the media has endless reports of the NHS letting us down. These cases may be true, but I would like to counter them with my own recent experience.

When the ambulance was called, a first responder arrived at my house within minutes. He was a caring chap, the first in a succession of caring people who all gave “that extra mile” while attending to me. The ambulance arrived with a couple of reassuring para-medics who took me through necessary procedures, helped by my gallant friend, who was staying to lock up the house. What luck that she was coming to see me that Friday afternoon, and that she had the presence of mind to act so quickly.

The many pot-holes in the A52 to Derby made it rather a bumpy ride. Throughout the journey, the young para-medic sat at my side and kept me talking, though the answers he got were somewhat confused.  We arrived at A&E, where my son, thank God, was already waiting. I don’t remember much of the next bit, but was aware that the room was packed with people while I was receiving attention from various medics. Through the haze, I heard a noisy disturbance. Later, my son told me that a belligerent patient was arguing with a nurse. The patient was big and burly and hairy, none too clean. She was small but forceful and probably prepared to jump up and punch him on the nose - not in her job description, I’m sure. Poor nursing staff, having to put up with that. From there to intensive care, then a quiet single ward, I received nothing but first-class attention for three days and two nights, of which I’ll spare the details.

Since coming home, the hospital follow up has been remarkable:  phone calls to come in for another heart scan, a call from a physiotherapist to see if I needed any advice and an hour-long interview in my home by a speech therapist. She was pleased with my progress, and gave me various things to do to complete my recovery. What a marvellous setup. We are so lucky to have Royal Derby Hospital.

In Praise of Royal Derby                                                      Di Deighton

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Community Café in Ashbourne

Please note change of date for February so as not to clash with Shrovetide!!


Come and join us for a three-course meal

Family friendly  -  Open to All

between 4pm and 6pm

TUESDAY 11th February

And then on fourth Tuesday of the month – March 24th.

St Oswald’s Church Centre, School Lane, DE6 1AN

Suggested donations of £3 per adult and £1 per child

For enquiries & to request transport

call Maggie or Nigel on 01335 664159

St Oswald’s Church, Derbyshire CC & FareShare

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