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St Oswald's Church News: 18th October
Services this Sunday (18th October)

10.30am St Oswalds Ashbourne (Holy Communion)
11am St Mary and St Barlok Norbury (Harvest + APCM)


As soon as the rains began, I started to notice some little furry visitors .....

I don’t object to mice in general, but I object to them cohabiting with me. I object to their invasive nature. This means that I have been known to get a bit officious when they start mucking about in areas of the garden that border on what might loosely be described as ‘human habitation’.

“The problem is, that you don’t respect my boundaries.” I explain loudly to the scratching noise beneath the small section of decking in the vicarage garden. The scratching noise stops. “I respect yours.” I continue, “you don’t find me coming into your house and making a mess.” 

This, I think, is a very valid point which the mice should take on board: that’s if they are inclined towards logic. And if they can understand English. “Also, you attract other people’s cats into the garden” I continue to complain, “and that annoys me because they take liberties of their own and wind up our dogs.”

“He’s talking to the decking!” I hear Amber (14), who lives next door, informing my wife.

“I am talking to the mice,” I explain.

“Ooooh, mice, I like mice,” says the young person jogging towards me.

“You are part of the problem” I say. “You need to become part of the solution.”

Her face registers some scepticism, and scanning the ground for tiny rodents she replies: “What if the mice aren’t the problem? Maybe we are the problem, perhaps you need to look at this from the mouse’s perspective. They were living here long before we were. We’ve invaded their space, we’re the invasive species… What are you doing?” 

“I’m writing this down,” I say. 

“Why?” she asks

“Oh, never mind…”


St Oswald's church has been awarded the "We’re Good to Go" mark, a national scheme which shows that we have taken the required action to welcome our visitors in line with Government and Public Health England guidelines.

Gracious God, when the flame of our faith burns low; when we are tempted to despair, remind us that this is your world and that your love and justice will prevail.

Take our small flame of faith and fan it into life. Empower us to work for our common good. Amen.

Rev Jennie Hurd, Chair of the Cymru Methodist District

All Souls and Remembrance
We have been working hard to ensure that we can still hold All Souls and Remembrance day services this year, whilst still keeping people safe.

On All Souls Sunday (6.30pm, 1st Nov) we will be inviting everyone who has lost a loved one in 2020 to come to church, hear their name read aloud and light a candle in their memory. You can add the names of your loved ones to this service - please add their names to the list at the back of church. However, unless you receive a letter of invitation, please don't come to the service yourself, so we can ensure there are enough places for families. 

For Remembrance Sunday (10.30am, 8th Nov) we are limited to a maximum of 70 people, and so entry to this service can only be via a ticketing system. We have given 35 tickets to the Royal British Legion and various town organizations, and we have 35 tickets for members of the congregation. You will only be allowed into church if you have a ticket, to keep everyone safe. If you would like to apply for a ticket, please see a the person who welcomed you into church this morning - they will tick your name to show you want a ticket. If more than 35 people want tickets, there will be a draw.

I hope you'll understand that this is not ideal, but we feel it is the best way to enable us to  continue to mark these very important dates in our year, whilst still keeping everyone safe.
Church Annual Meeting

Well, we'd only just sorted out the details for our APCMS - in person, in church - when the Government changed the rules again and only six can meet! But we still need to run the church, and the law says we must conduct our APCMs before the 31st October. Therefore, our only option is to hold on-line APCMs.

St Oswalds APCM: 21st October @6pm

We know this will exclude some of our community, and its not what we want, but we can see no other option. In the next week or so I'll be writing to every person for whom we have an address (emailing you if we already have your email details) informing you of the meeting and giving you the link. In the letter I'll also be asking you to provide us with your email details if you have one, so we can communicate in the future (posting out letters every time we want to tell you something will surely bankrupt us!)  If you know someone who isn't receiving this email but who wants to be kept informed of church matters (particularly voting at the APCM) then please ask their permission and get their contact details to us.

Link for the zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6850987925

Please remember - we can't communicate with you if we don't have your details so please share!

Please see later on in this newsletter for more details about the PCC and ways to serve the church.

Update on Ashbourne Churches and COVID

Services this Sunday (18th October)

St Oswald's Ashbourne 10.30am (Holy Communion)
St Mary and St Barlok Norbury 11am (Harvest and APCM)

Ashbourne is (at the time of writing) classed as 'Tier One' under the Government regulations. Advice issued by the Church of England states that even if we were to enter Tier Two or Three, public worship may still continue (with appropriate safeguards). Therefore THERE ARE NO PLANS TO CEASE SUNDAY SERVICES. 

You’ll be aware that schools are unable to allow visitors to enter their premises, which obviously makes taking assemblies rather tricky! Therefore the clergy from across the town are working together to create an on-line store of pre-recorded assemblies. Please remember of schools during this very difficult time.

Plans are beginning to be made for Remembrance, Advent and Christmas – important seasons for us in church. Although I’m afraid some of the old favourites – the packed Remembrance service in church, pet blessing service, children’s crib to name only a few – cannot take place, the PCC and clergy team are working hard to find creative alternatives.

Throughout the Autumn and winter we will need your continued support: in the month of December we normally receive over a quarter of our total income, so the loss of these popular services will be a severe blow.

We hope to find ways of continuing with our Christmas tree festival, and holding an outdoor Carol service – please spread the word and support us where you can.


The Bishop of Derby’s Harvest Appeal 2020 
‘Peace of Mind’: supporting wellbeing in Derbyshire 

Thank you for the positive reactions to the launch of The Bishop of Derby’s Harvest Appeal 2020. 

The Bishop has challenged us to raise £15,000 to support Derbyshire Mind’s wellbeing programme ‘Enjoying Derbyshire’. Enjoying Derbyshire is a project that offers a diverse menu of activities and workshops aimed at improving mental wellbeing. Donations can be made online – please share the page across your networks to raise awareness. 

There are a variety of free online events with a mental health and wellbeing focus from Christian partners including an online reading group, examples of community sport and activity projects, ‘Managing anxiety and trauma using Christian principles’ and ‘Poetry for Health’ workshops amongst others. The workshops are free and will be held via Zoom. To book your place please visit the Learning in Faith pages of the diocesan website.

Date for your Diary: Ashbourne Treasure Hunt
The One World Group is organising an Ashbourne Treasure Hunt – make a team and join us on Zoom. 2pm on Sunday 18th October.

To join a team from our church, contact Janet Wright (346506).

Re-imagining the Promised Land: Green Christian festival

23 - 25 October 

Covid-19 has brought dark times, yet we have seen positives emerge through lockdown: breathing space for nature, renewed community spirit, a focus on the local.

Please book through Eventbrite. This Zoom event is free of charge.  
>> Learn more about the festival


Growing faith and developing ministry

Sign up now for January 2021

Three options available:

Diocesan Certificate in Mission and Ministry course to help with growth in faith and the development of ministry.
100% online modular course. Each module consists of seven sessions which you complete on your own and three which you complete with other students on study days via Zoom.
Keen to deepen your faith and increase your knowledge?
Take single modules as and when they are running. The modules running next term (16 January 2021 to 20 March 2021) are:
  • Introductory Level Module: Called to be the People of God
  • Advanced Level Module: Mission and Evangelism
  • Note - Modules each cost a flat fee of £25, payable prior to commencement of each one (you only pay for the modules you study).
Think you may have a calling to be a Reader?
The new Reader Training course starts in January. The first year is a discernment year which you can take while working with a Vocations Adviser and the supervision of your incumbent. This gives you the opportunity to explore whether Reader ministry is for you. You will need the support of your incumbent (or the equivalent in a vacancy) in order to sign up for this course.

Closing date for applications is Friday, 8 January 2021.

>> Visit the Discipleship Training website

>> Contact Fiona Bennett, Course Administrator


Online services

We hope that you’re finding our on-line services helpful:
this week, we return to Church! 

How are we doing? Easter Sunday saw the highest on-line viewing figures , and the virtual congregation has now settled down to something like 100.  The Church of England techno-gurus reckon that every Youtube viewing represents 1.6 people (the average occupancy in these lock-down days), so from an Easter Sunday high of 640 people, to this week’s 150, many people are joining with us as we worship God.  

Services, including daily prayers, a weekly blog and Breakfast Church can be found on the front page of our website https://www.ashbournechurch.org.uk/ - for past services, click on 'Our Church' then 'Services' 

A Guide to all things PCC and APCM!

This is a brief guide to all things to do with the Annual Meeting and the Church council that are charged with the day-to-day running of the Church.

We thought we’d start with some simple Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


What is the PCC?

PCC stands for ‘Parochial Church Council’
The group that has the responsibility for managing the fnancial and legal responsibilities of the parish. Also responsible for vision, staf management, building management, resources management and so on. Members of the PCC are elected for 3-year terms at the APCM.

What is the APCM?

The APCM is the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. Actually it comprises two meetings the ‘Vestry Meeting’ which elects the Church Wardens for the coming year and the APCM itself which is the business meeting of the Church, it’s a sort of AGM for St Oswald’s. It’s a meeting we’re legally required to have and must take place before the 30th April each year. The meeting is only open to members of the Church electoral roll, and those present vote on the appointment of PCC members, Deanery Synod representatives once every 3 year or when there is a vacancy and to accept the audited accounts of the Church. It is also an opportunity to catch up with the events of the last year and to explore the vision for the coming year together. Most of all it’s a CELEBRATION of all God has been doing in the life of the Church as we look forward to the coming year.

What is the electoral roll?

The electoral roll is the membership list of the Church. It is revised every year just prior to the APCM and once every 6 years the entire membership list is deleted and everyone has to re-apply (this will next happen in 2022). You are only on the electoral roll if you have flled in a form since the last full-revision in 2019. Only members of the electoral roll are permitted to attend and vote at the APCM. You can join the electoral roll at St Oswald’s by flling in the form available at the back of the service you regularly attend or by requesting a form from the Church Ofce.

What is Deanery Synod?

A Deanery is an administrative grouping of local Church of England Churches within the Diocese. The Deanery Synod is part of the governance structure of the Church made up of parish representatives and clergy from within that Deanery. Deanery Synod is the third tier of Synodical Government of the Church of England with the Diocesan Synod and the national General Synod. Members of Deanery Synod are elected at the APCM once every three years. Deanery Synod representatives are automatically members of the PCC.

What is a Church Warden?

A Church Warden is a legal ofcer of the Church. They are charged with responsibility for a wide range of things that happen at Church from buildings to services and more. These days we try to share those responsibilities out amongst the whole family of God, so while retaining the responsibility for things it doesn't mean the wardens must personally do everything that falls within their role. A full role description is included in the following pages.

What is a Church Treasurer?

The Treasurer acts on behalf of the PCC and implements the fnancial policy and decisions by the PCC. The Treasurer reports back to the PCC on the ongoing fnancial situation of the Church and helps informed decisions about money take place.

Being a treasurer often involves book keeping and banking, but often these roles are shared with other members of the Church. However the Treasurer remains responsible for these roles.

Situations vacant

  • Church Warden
  • 3 PCC members
  • 1 Safeguarding Officer
  • 1 Deanery Synod Representative for a two year Term until 2022

Please prayerfully consider standing for one of these important roles in the life of the Church. For a job description and further details, please see any member of the clergy team, or Claire in the office (01335 343052).


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Carsington Deanery · School Lane · Ashbourne · Derbyshire, DE6 1AN · United Kingdom

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