Chesterfield Crooked Spire Church
St Thomas' Brampton and St Peter's Holymoorside, Chesterfield
From Chesterfield
Our vision statement: Sharing the love of Jesus
Chesterfield Market Hall

Church Magazine
A series of articles about happenings in Chesterfield. Taken from the Church Magazine

1989 Walton Evangelical Opens -a new Church in Chesterfield
1992 The Archbishop of Canterbury in Chesterfield
1993 Homelessness and Nightstop
1994 Jim Challenge '94
1994 The Methodist 'Cornerstone' Bookshop and Coffee Bar.
1995 Chesterfield twinned with Tsumeb (Namibia)
1996 SAYIT -SS Augustine Youth Interview Team
1998 When One Twin Suffers…The Other Twin Feels The Pain -Concern for Tsumeb in Namibia
2001 Chesterfield twinned with Tsumeb (Namibia)
2002 Bishop in Mission - visiting the Chesterfield
2002 Procession of Witness
2005 Join a Procession of Witness -Chesterfield's Whit Walk
2006 Mission Bus
2006 Pathways -Reaching out to the homeless
2007 Church on the (Mission) Bus
2008 Hope 2008
2008 Hope 2008 with Cliff College in Brampton
2008 Hope 2008 with Cliff College in Holymoorside
2008 Hope 2008 -an Evening with Shaun Murphy
2010 The Queen Distributes the Maundy Money at Derby Cathedral

Walton Evangelical Opens -a new Church in Chesterfield (June 1989 edition of magazine)

The new Church has sprung up rapidly.

We welcome it and look forward to sharing in outreach and fellowship with its members.

The fine new building on Moorland View Road, opened on Sat 27th May, has been the result of hard labour, much of it by Church members, and much prayer! We pray that God will use this church to advance his Kingdom in our parish.

The Archbishop of Canterbury in Chesterfield (June 1992 edition of magazine)

Those passing through the churchyard of the Crooked Spire the other Friday evening would have seen a long queue of people. At the head of this queue and

shaking hands with its members under the benign gaze of the doormen at the Avenue and representatives of the Derbyshire Constabulary was the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He had just come out of a packed church after addressing clergy and laity from all over North Derbyshire. The Archbishop had talked to us for an hour about the nature of our church and its mission.

He gave us a Charter for the Church, using Charter in the sense of the United Nations Charter, a foundation document incorporating a mission statement.

The Charter had five points. We are to be:
  • A church rooted in historic Christianity
  • A church open to the world and society in which we live
  • A worshipping church
  • A witnessing, growing body
  • A people committed to unity
It didn't seem like an hour. The Archbishop spoke in a very straightforward way, there were some good jokes and there were illustrations from his own experience. There had been the minimum of ceremonial and although he spoke from the pulpit I felt talked to rather than preached at. I felt talked to by someone who could express himself logically, was clear where he stood, and who had a great regard for the Anglican church in all its many guises.

It is impossible to summarise an hour's talk here so I will just list a few points that particularly struck me.
  • We should remain a church which allows people to ask questions.
  • Our worship must be accessible. Christian worship can sometimes be a terrifying experience for people who only occasionally encounter it.
  • We must set ourselves targets for growth.
  • We must be capable of staying together even when we disagree sharply, as we are likely to do over the decision on the ordination of women this coming year.
The public doesn't really yet know what to think of George Carey. TV sound bites and articles by newspaper reporters with closed minds do not give you the real picture. Having actually seen and heard him in action I have no doubt that our Archbishop is the right man in the right place.

Robin Dawson

Homelessness and Nightstop (August 1993 edition of magazine)

Ecumenical and Local Churches Housing Coalition Takes Up the Call For Crusade

Churchgoers across Derbyshire are being called to take part in what Archbishop Carey recently called a "moral crusade to rid society of the evil of homelessness".

An ecumenical group calling itself "The Housing Coalition" has been formed in response to this call. The Coalition is now extending the call to parishes and other Christian communities throughout the county.

Nationally, the churches have already made their mark in the political arena in which so much policy affecting the availability of housing is made. In December, 3.000 church members from across the denominations and the country went to Westminster to lobby their MPs. Over 90% of the MPs agreed to undertake some sort of follow up action and 103 signed an Early Day motion expressing support for the policy objectives of the church lobby.

At the local level the call is for a two pronged approach: prayer and action. In addition to continued lobbying and awareness raising, the Coalition hopes to encourage increased provision of essential facilities for the homeless, action through Housing Associations, and greater flexibility in the use of glebe land and other church owned properties.

The hope now is that this modern "crusade", founded as it is in Kingdom values (particularly the teachings and example of Jesus in His relations with His own society's outsiders), will grow through the development of a network of local link representatives.

Some statistics
1. In 1991, 145,790 households were accepted as homeless: this amounts to about 418,400 people (double the figure for 1981).

2. The official figures do not include households without children, most single homeless nor those officially "intentionally homeless". CHAR estimates that there are around 2 million single homeless in Britain.

3. In 1991, 75,400 households had their homes repossessed in Britain.

4. In 1979, 98,771 new council houses were completed; in 1990, 25,177 new houses were built by local councils and Housing Associations together.

5. The underlying causes of homelessness among young people have been shown to be broken relationships, unemployment and low pay, innocence, ignorance, abuse and fear.

Nightstop Scheme

What would be your response if you were asked to provide a bed for a completely unknown homeless teenager? Could you even countenance it? What are the risks? Why should it even be necessary, can't the local authority deal with them?

These questions and many more were discussed at a meeting of the Churches' Association for Social Work. C.A.S.W, held at the Annunciation Parish Centre, on Tuesday 15 June. Mrs Hilary Wilner, the co ordinator of a successful Nightstop Scheme in Leeds, outlined the details.

Nightstop provides overnight accommodation for single homeless youngsters between the ages of 16 and 18 years on a one night only basis in private homes. With the gap between homelessness and available rehousing ever widening, the numbers of vulnerable youngsters on the streets is steadily increasing.

Nightstop hosts do not work in isolation, but in close conjunction with local statutory and voluntary organisations such as the Housing Department, Social Services and Child Care groups. These agencies then contact a well co ordinated rota of host volunteers who are prepared to accept these vulnerable youngsters for one night only, as part of a structured programme of rehabilitation.

Knowledge of the Leeds experience quickly dispelled our inhibitions and proved very reassuring. Far from being difficult to cope with, these teenagers have been extremely appreciative of the support offered at a very desperate time in their lives. It does not mean looking after mentally ill youngsters or those involved with drugs or violence, these are the sole responsibility of the statutory bodies.

What next? Well, the meeting certainly proved what can be achieved with a well structured scheme which can respond to a very desperate need in our society. This emergency service, run in conjunction with other support groups, identifies a practical role where the churches in Chesterfield can help by providing voluntary hosts and possibly funding as well.

C.A.S.W. will be taking the whole issue on board, arranging consultations with support agencies and looking particularly into the establishment of a suitable hostel in Chesterfield, without which the scheme would not work

Matthew 25:34-40:
"In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me".

Adrian Marsden-Jones

'Jim Challenge 1994' (December 1993 edition of magazine)

The Vision
Hundreds of churches, throughout Britain, working together to present the gospel to our nation in February and March 1994.

The Media
Jim Challenge '94 is based around a national media teaser advertising campaign. The idea is to get the nation asking "Who's Jim?" and this will open the door for Christians to share the gospel through their personal testimony of how Jesus makes a difference to them.

Our Town
A number of churches in Chesterfield are working towards a special week of united evangelism in the town, using this national advertising, under the banner "Challenge Chesterfield". This week, 12-20 March 1994 will be led by the international Evangelist Steve Chalke, who currently appears in 'Sunday Morning' on ITV. Our Church is committed to participate fully in this exciting event.

Our Prayers
More information will appear in the next issue. In the mean time pray about all the arrangements. Pray for Chesterfield. Pray about how you might be involved.

Keith Chappel

The Methodist 'Cornerstone' Bookshop and Coffee Bar (December 1994 edition of magazine)

Cornerstone is part of Central Methodist Church and exists to serve the local community. We provide a friendly Coffee Bar which is a meeting point and a place to make friends. The Bookshop stocks Christian Literature. Music, Posters and Stationery. Orders can be placed for specific items or regular publications. Cornerstone is staffed entirely by volunteers. All profit is used for Christian Outreach.

We offer a service to all Christians in the Chesterfield area. If you are not yet a customer, we encourage you to come in for refreshments and to browse our range of Christian literature and other items. Our staff will also be glad to tell you more about the work of Cornerstone.

Where are we?

Cornerstone is on Saltergate. You will find the entrance on the right hand side of the Central Methodist Church building.

Chesterfield and Tsumeb (Africa) (August 1995 edition of magazine)

An Unusual Link - Two towns with a similar background - mining, but very different in most other respects.

Both with the same official language - English; but for very few in Tsumeb is their home language English; the majority, Black Africans, speak their tribal language, and the small white population mostly speak German or Afrikaans.

'TSUMEB' No, it is not printed backwards! But it looks hard to say. Try it. First ignore the 'T', and then just put a touch of 'Y in the front. 't-soo-meb'. That's good.

Where is Tsumeb? It is an important town in Namibia, which is on the south-west coast of Africa, bordered by South Africa, the Atlantic, Angola and Botswana. After a war of liberation against South Africa, Namibia gained its independence in 1990.

The Link was made between Chesterfield and Tsumeb by the two town Councils and signed at the Winding Wheel' in September 1994 by the mayors of Chesterfield and Tsumeb. The purpose - mutual friendship and help, sharing information and experience.

The 'Chesterfield - Tsumeb Association' is established to express in practical ways the purpose of our Borough Council in twinning, and to make these activities known. St Thomas' is a group member of the association.

Our Link can be made with one or more of the churches of Tsumeb. In due time we shall make contact by letter, sending photos and audio tapes, making 'pen-pals', and sharing matters for praise and prayer.

Problems may arise, such as language, and the poverty of many of the Tsumeb people. The town's one big mine recently closed, although the smelter is still operating. Many people previously employed by the mine are now unemployed. The mine not only provided work, but also such things as water and electricity. Now the people in the townships have to pay for these services.

Namibia is mainly desert, with the Kalahari to the East and the Namib along the coast. Its wealth consists of its people, minerals including diamonds, cattle, fish and it natural beauty. The Etosha National Park, very close to Tsumeb, is a tourist attraction, with many African animals and superb scenery.

The total population of the country is 1.5 million, divided into eight African ethnic groups, and under 100,000 whites. The population of Tsumeb is 25,000.

Churches Tsumeb has churches of the denominations represented here, with the addition of Lutheran Churches, begun by German and Finnish missionaries when, before 1914, Namibia was a German colony.

Now begin to pray that we shall know how to make the link and with which of the churches in Tsumeb.

Horace Totterdell

SAYIT -SS Augustine Youth Interview Team (February 1996 edition of magazine)

Two years ago, a group of Birdholme teenagers got together to form Saints Augustine Youth Interview Team (SAYIT). At this stage in the project no one knew what we hoped to get out of this; it was just something for us to do. We met at Saints Augustine Church and for the first few weeks just talked about what we would do.

Together, and with the help of Jay MacLeod (the Church Curate), we decided that we would interview ex-miners, and use the interviews to help us understand what life was like then. As Birdholme is air old mining community, there was no problem in finding people who were willing to be interviewed. Before we started to interview people, we did some research into the best ways of asking questions and making people feel that they could trust us.

At this time, also, we were thinking of what the end product could be. We had loads of ideas, from a drama to a radio show. Eventually we decided to write a book.

We set to work interviewing ex-miners and their families. Many of them had amazing stories to share with us. The next stage was absolutely boring -it was the transcribing of our interviews.

As we taped all of our interviews, we then had to write back every word, though we did get some help. After this, we had to type up the interviews, so that we could edit them easily. That was the next stage, and it dragged on and on. I don't think one of us thought that we would actually finish the book, at this point, as it all seemed to be taking such a long time.

Now, finally we've finished and the book is at the printers. It is called: ‘PITFUL OF MEMORIES’: Chesterfield Teenagers Mine the Memories of a Dying Breed. Our book is being published by Derbyshire County Council's Department of Libraries, Archives and Arts, and Saints Augustine Church. The book costs £5.00 and can be bought. from our church or from the Library.

We had a big ceremony to officially launch Pitful of Memories. It took place in Ss Augustine Church, on Friday 8 December, 1995, at 3.30pm. Colliery banners flew; voices were raised in song and prayer; Tony Benn spoke; the book was unveiled; and refreshments were served. We do hope that you will all buy a copy of this book.

(First published in 'Together' magazine of Churches Together in the Chesterfield area.)

When One Twin Suffers…The Other Twin Feels The Pain (June 1998 edition of magazine)

Chesterfield and Tsumeb in Namibia signed a 'twinning' agreement in November 1993. The affinity was mining. Chesterfield and the area around has experienced the trauma of the closing of the coal mines.

Now Tsumeb, whose existence has depended on a productive copper mine and smelter, is experiencing the shock of the complete closure of all mining and its associated activity.

The owners and operators, TCL (Tsumeb Corp. Ltd) part of the Gold Fields Namibia Group, has gone into liquidation. Work at the mines in four areas, including Tsumeb, has stopped. 2,000 employees will be affected. There is little hope of reopening.

TCL has lost about £50 million two years as a result of: the fall in world copper prices, the effect of a six-week strike in 1996 and the damage done at that time to the plant and equipment.

Now we in Chesterfield can share the burden. Many in Tsumeb will be unemployed. There is the danger of violence and the looting of the TCL property. The churches will feel the loss and its effect on their members. The municipality will need wisdom to deal with the situation.

Let our churches in Chesterfield pray for our twin town of Tsumeb. Let us pray that the Peace and Power of God will work there for the good of the people and the calming of the situation.

St. Thomas' has a link Church in Tsumeb, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Nomtsoub Township. The pastor is Immanuel Hamunjela, who is to retire at the end of the year. In the present situation all the churches will need care and prayer. Our real need is for a group in St Thomas' to take responsibility for maintaining the link with the pastor and congregation in Tsumeb. Please consider this as you seek your sphere of service for His Church.

Horace Totterdell -Church Links Group Chesterfield Tsumeb Assoc.

Chesterfield twinned with Tsumeb (Namibia) (April 2001 edition of magazine)

The "twinning" was established in 1993 by the Chesterfield Borough Council and the Tsumeb Municipality. Namibia is in South West Africa and has borders with South Africa, Botswana and Angola. Churches Together in Chesterfield supports an Old Age Home in Tsumeb, which is managed by the Tsumeb Churches. From Chesterfield £8 a month supports one resident. St Thomas' has sent £200 a year for the last three years. At present there are 15 - 20 residents in the home. While most elderly people in Namibia live with relatives, the home provides for those who have nowhere else to go.

St Thomas', Brampton, is linked with the evangelical Lutheran Church in the Nomtsoub Township of Tsumeb. The pastor is the Rev. Jesaja Nashongo, who began his ministry at the church in 1999. The Church address is - PO Box 518, Tsumeb, Namibia. Mr Eino Hauuanga, an elder of the church, is one of the senior staff of the town local government; he has visited Chesterfield.

Helena Mazuva, also a member of the Church, is a Tsumeb Youth Worker, who visited Chesterfield in October 2000. Earlier in the year Helena won the title of Namibia's "Miss Millennium". She is the Administration Secretary of the Tsumeb Community Skills Development Centre, where unemployed young people learn crafts and other skills to enable them to provide for themselves and their families. Helena is also involved with the children and young people at the church. St Thomas' young people could write to Helena at PO Box 969, Tsumeb, Namibia.

In 1998' the Tsubeb Copper Mine and Smelter, the town's main employer, was closed due to financial failure. This resulted in unemployment and a great reduction in the income of the Municipality. Many have moved to their ancestral homes or to places of potential employment. There is a possibility that the smelter will be operational again, but the facilities need considerable repair and only a few of the workers would be employed.

Prayer for Tsumeb
  • Pray for Jesaja, the new minister, that he may know how to care for the church members and faithfully teach the Word of God.
  • Namibia has high unemployment; pray that the Municipality and the Churches will work together to develop new industries. Tsumeb is the gateway to the famous Etosha Game Park, 30 miles to the West. Tourism is therefore open to expansion in the town. Pray that the Smelter will be a viable project.
  • The Evangelical Church in Nomtsoub has a good number of children and young people. Confirmation is a step on their spiritual journey, but some stop attending soon after they have been confirmed. Pray that a programme for older teenagers will strengthen their faith in the Lord.
  • Pray for Helena Mazuva and others involved in the Skills Development Centre, and that young people will find work as a result of the training.
  • Pray for the Committee of the Tsumeb Churches that manages the Old Age Home, and for the matrons who give daily care to the residents. Pray for the completion of the building work that will enable more residents to be accommodated.
  • Pray that more organisations and individuals in Chesterfield will take a practical interest in Tsumeb, a town that needs friendship and support.
John Goodacre

Bishop in Mission - visiting the Chesterfield 2002 (June 2002 edition of magazine)
Bishop Jonathan This year is the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Derby. A whole range of different activities have been planned to mark the occasion, including the Party in the Park on 22na June. Earlier , the people of Chesterfield will also have an opportunity to meet Bishop Jonathan as he visits the Deanery as part of his Bishop in Mission tour.
The programme has been put together with a number of representatives from the deanery including two people well known to us - David Oldale and Neil Roper. The result is an imaginative and challenging two days! Here is a taster of what the Bishop is expecting: Thursday 13th morning prayer at St Mary's meeting with clergy meeting market traders visit to Dronfield School for lunch and forum with students afternoon meeting with the Mayor and officers of Chesterfield Borough Council 10.30pm - midnight - visit to Zanzibar Nightclub to meet staff and clientele Friday 14th morning free (to recover from the night before!) lunch with Chesterfield Rotary and address Rotarians afternoon meeting with North East Derbyshire District

Council tea at St John's, Walton with ecumenical leaders Nyam-yee choir at the Winding Wheel with Bishop Jonathan as speaker '

So, look out for him on his two days in our area, and let's hope the Bishop's visit sparks some interest in the good news of Jesus amongst non-church goers in all walks of life. Please pray for the Bishop, the arrangements and all those who will come into contact with him.

Julie Lomas

Procession of Witness 2002 (August 2002 edition of magazine)
Bryn Garland The annual Procession of Witness (Whit Walk) had a regal flavour this year as it coincided with the Jubilee celebration. The procession, once limited to the chapels, was opened up a few years ago to all the churches in Chesterfield as an opportunity for witness from the whole church movement.
Christian Education who organise the event themed the Procession "Kings and Queens of the Bible" and St Thomas's was given the subject of "The Wisdom of Solomon" portrayed by the story of the two women and the wise ruling of Solomon in deciding the fate of the child. (Kings 3: 16-28).

Costumes were a last minute problem but Chris Commons kindly volunteered her skills in making both the costumes and the backdrop on the lorry. Chris Rawson provided the lorry, which was driven by Maurice, through his Wheels for Work company.

An extra bonus this year was the provision of a trailer for the children to ride in, by Paul and Jenny Smedley.

Procession day started in hectic style at 7-30 a.m. with the preparation of the float and the children's trailer. The last piece of bunting was fixed as the trailer moved away to start the procession at 9.05 on Chatsworth Rd, joining the other churches and chapels from Brampton.

Our tableau of course was completed by our four biblical characters David Hardy as Solomon, David Sanderson as King's official in charge of air conditioning, (peacocks feathers courtesy of Les Grafton) Gaynor Roberts and Margy Foster as the women.

A short service was held at the Town Hall with the other 28 churches from all over the Chesterfield area. The full procession with some marching bands then set off around the town interspersed with the floats and the walkers from each church. (The largest procession of wit-ness in the country).

At a procession of witness there is great opportunity to evangelise to the watching crowds. Issues of the `Good News' were handed out along with balloons and pens for the children. Well done everyone, see you next year with a few new faces who want to show the Christian message in the town and have a good time.

Bryn Garland

Join a Procession of Witness (April 2005 edition of the magazine)
Sue Baker As a child I would go every year with my parents, aunties, uncles and cousins to watch the Whit Walk in Chesterfield. It was called the Whit Walk because it took place on Whit Monday.

How excited we children were, dressed in our 'Sunday best' awaiting the first band followed by lorry after lorry depicting some biblical theme or other, along with hundreds of people carrying banners. They seemed to go on forever. How I wished I could take part.
You see, I was Church of England and this was a procession of the Free Churches. In those days the Church of England and the Free Churches did not mix, at least in any formal way. Even as adults we still continued watch and be excited by the Whit Walk.

About fifteen years ago a change came, the church I belonged to, St Thomas, joined in the procession. I was delighted it was a dream come true! It did not matter that I did not hold a banner. I just enjoyed the privilege of taking part.

Then in the Millennium year St Thomas' entered a tableau for the first time. Our tableau was the calling of the first disciples and we even borrowed a boat from the lake at Queen's Park. Since then we have presented tableaux 'the wisdom of Solomon' and 'Peter's denial of Jesus'.

This year [2005] the theme is 'Make Poverty History' and the Whit Walk will be on Spring Bank Holiday Monday May 30th. So the challenge to us is to present a tableau on this subject. What do we need to make this happen? We need the use of a lorry, to design a set and make some costumes. Any help in these areas would be gratefully received. We also need people to walk with us on the day. So come and join in the procession!

Sue Baker, contact person for 'Making Poverty History' Whit Walk 30th May 2005

Mission Bus (April 2006 edition of the magazine)

Funded by members of Holy Trinity Church, Newbold.

Led by Alan Park, Church Army Captain.

Sharing the love of Jesus with the homeless and vulnerably.
housed in Chesterfield, by providing:-
  • Hot drinks and sandwiches
  • Clothing, bedding and toiletries
  • Friendship
  • Prayer support and outreach
On Monday and Thursday evenings 7-8pm outside Town Hall

Pathways -Reaching out to the Homeless (August 2006 edition of the magazine)

“Soup kitchens” have existed in Chesterfield for a number of years to provide vital meals for homeless people. Cross Street Baptist Church, Central Methodist Church, Holy Trinity, the Salvation Army, the Church Army, Zion Pentecostal Church and St. Hugh’s Roman Catholic Church have all been involved and the Mission Bus now provides food, drink, shelter, clothing, shoes, friendship and help one evening each week.

To complement the existing facilities a new day centre has recently opened next door to Gee Vee Travel and several members of St. Thomas are involved as volunteer workers with Pathways of Chesterfield, the day centre for homeless people, at 55 Vicar Lane Chesterfield. The centre is further evidence that it is essentially the Christian community in Chesterfield that deals with the issues that homeless people present.

Happily during the preparation of this article the Mayor of Chesterfield, Councillor Trudi Mulcaster, has announced that the appeal during her year of office will benefit Pathways providing a very welcome boost to funds in 2007.

The centre has been planned for a few years and during 2005 suitable premises were found, decorated, fitted out and furnished and volunteer staff recruited and trained. Father Terry Doherty and Captain Dr. Alex Cadogan, assisted by many committed helpers, have been prime movers in the project. It was officially opened by Terry Waite CBE on 29 March.

The centre is currently open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. From 10.30am until 1.00pm freshly prepared food and drinks are served to clients. The food and drink is variously donated by local businesses, churches and individuals. The essential bread and milk is normally purchased each day and other necessary provisions are bought out of the centre’s funds as required. In addition to the food bill, the larger items of expenditure for the centre arise from the rent, business rates, water rates and electricity.

Clients may wash, dry and iron their clothing/bedding at the centre. The machinery was donated and a High Street Bank provides the washing powder and fabric conditioner. Toilet and washing facilities are available to clients. The age range of clients is considerable but men outnumber women. An open yard area is available where clients may leave their dogs whilst they visit the centre.

Volunteers are drawn from all walks of life and from all religious denominations and none, although ladies easily outnumber men. There is a wide age range of volunteers but all are motivated by the calling to serve. Service may consist of preparing food or drink or serving it, helping with laundry or ironing, or acting as receptionist.

Other duties include meeting clients and talking with them either formally as a key worker or informally as a friend, general house-keeping, and teaching clients a skill such as reading. One volunteer offers a basic manicure to clients and another offers shoulder massage.

A paid manager deals with the day to day management of the centre. She was engaged and is supported by a Committee of Management who decide upon policy issues. Smoking, alcohol, bad language and all drug related activities are banned on the premises.

A stock of clothes, shoes, sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries and similar items is stored at the centre for appropriate distribution. As well as being a warm, welcoming centre the premises have an important social function enabling clients to meet up and chat over a meal or rest and read in a quiet room. Volunteers are encouraged to socialise with clients.

There is a computer room housing a number of computers (donated by St. Mary’s Roman Catholic High School) but some work has to be done loading and networking them before they can be brought into use.

The main objective is to encourage marginalised people to move on in life by helping them to assess their needs and access the specific type of assistance they require, through Social Services, the Probation Service, the Jobcentre, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Drug Abuse Team, or Housing Department. The centre uses “Putting an end in sight” as its motto. The manager and a number of key workers regularly meet with the clients in order to help them make that important assessment.

In the short time it has been open there have been one or two success stories where clients have announced that they would not be returning because they had found housing or work.

Regrettably abuse of the centre has occurred (as it has up and down the country in similar centres) and so from 1 June a new policy has been introduced which requires each client to have a specific referral to the centre manager from a recognised agency or professional. The manager has discretion to decide whether anyone without a referral has a genuine need.

The Management Committee will review each referral on a regular basis. Activities during the afternoon are to be introduced. The list so far includes arts and crafts, gardening, cooking and possibly a music club and client newsletter.

Church on the (Mission) Bus (April 2007 edition of the magazine)
The Bus Alan Park Alan Park “Plenty of Room on Top” or A Church with a Difference
Denise Glover writes about a different type of church in Chesterfield.

My memories of being on the top floor of a double-decker bus are of a crowded space, steamy windows and cry of the conductor “plenty of room on top”.
However in Chesterfield there is now a double-decker with a difference. “The Church on the Bus” is the latest addition to the Christian witness in the town centre.

Where is this church? In front of the Town Hall, you will find the green bus parked there on Monday and Thursday evenings from 7-8pm.

The church is run by Church Army Captain Alan Park with support and management from members of Holy Trinity and Christ Church who also finance the project in conjunction with the Church Army. “Church on the Bus” is also one of St Thomas’ Mission Partners.

The ministry is aimed at caring for the spiritual and physical needs of the homeless, needy and addicted people of Chesterfield. It is first and foremost a church, the top floor of the converted bus is reserved as a quiet space for prayer, individual ministry and reflection, whilst downstairs is for sharing hot drinks, food and fellowship.

It is hoped that the members of the church will see the bus as their church and come to the variety of services and meetings. The DVD based course “Start!” which explores the Christian faith is planned, also the one-to-one course “A Life Worth Living” has been tried and as a result some members have started to attend a local church.

The occasion I attended the Church was a bitter November evening, the wind whipping across the Town Hall car park. I was glad of my warm clothes and the promise of central heating when I returned home. However once inside the bus it was very different, the welcome given to and by everyone, and the unconditional acceptance of people -no questions asked, coupled with the hot drinks provided the warmth which we all needed. There was cheerful fellowship as the congregation shared experiences, hopes and fears.

Upstairs the quiet area was a place of stillness and sanctuary, the open prayer session gave opportunity for individual intercessions to be made, prayers of heartfelt thanks were said and the joy of being a member of a Christian fellowship was apparent -it was a moving experience and one which reflected the warmth of Christian love and fellowship.

The following testimony by Mick, a member of the church speaks volumes to the ministry of the “Church on the Bus”. “I accepted Jesus into my life, and he is my Lord; and I’ll do anything I can to spread his love to others. We all need Jesus in our lives so all praise and glory to the Lord, he’s the one who keeps us from sin, and pray his light will shine on everyone for ever.”

Captain Alan Park was commissioned by the Bishop of Derby to carry out this work in February 2007.

Alan spoke at a Men’s Breakfast at St Thomas’ last year. He told of how he became a Christian. It is a remarkable story.

Denise Glover

Hope 2008 (January 2008 edition of the magazine)
Hope Logo Hope 2008 is a national campaign to encourage imaginative outreach. It is supported by the main Christian denominations and many of the mission and support agencies in the UK. To put it briefly the aim is to encourage church members to share their faith in word and deed.

Churches and Christians in about 1,200 villages, towns and cities across the UK have registered to express interest in taking part in Hope 2008 initiatives in their community. Hope 2008 is intended as a catalyst for local churches to engage with the Gospel through working together and communicating the Gospel in both words and actions. A good cross section of people in Chesterfield and over 30 churches have indicated an interest in the project. A number of events have already taken place in the build up to 2008 including the launch of the project in Chesterfield on New Year’s Eve at the Winding Wheel when over 250 people met. The next big event will be the visit of a team of 60 people from Cliff College who will visit Chesterfield from March 8th-16th. There will be central events in Chesterfield and in local churches including St Thomas’.
At St Thomas’ there will be ‘Fun and Food’ (Wednesday 12th), Over 55’s event (Thursday 13th) and a Family Activity Day (Saturday 15th). Details can be found in the Diary Dates, page 12.

We will need to find bed and breakfast accommodation for the mission team during their visit. Can you help? If you can help contact: David Sanderson.

St Thomas’ Open House Groups
In January St Thomas’ Open House Groups met to discover ways in which they could further God’s mission in the Brampton area. While the events of March 8th to 16th remain our immediate focus, after we have celebrated Easter we will be taking things further, not simply in terms of what happens on St Thomas’ patch, but a number of town wide events. Watch this space!

Royal interest in 2008
During 2007, the Hope 2008 leadership team have been in conversation with The Prince of Wales’s office to arrange for him to meet a small group of people from across the country in the summer of 2008 who have been involved in the acts of kindness carried out by churches during May. Plans for a reception at Clarence House are still at an early stage but we expect to provide more information early in 2008.

More information can be found at and

David Sanderson

Hope 2008 with Cliff College in Brampton (June 2008 edition of the magazine)

As the last edition of Ploughshare went to press in March we were looking forward to students from Cliff College coming to Chesterfield for a week to be part of HOPE for Chesterfield. They duly arrived and a number were ‘allocated’ to Brampton and a number to Walton and Holymoorside.

Events in Brampton included Friday The week started with an informal welcome to the team at Storrs Road Methodist Church.

Saturday The team were hard at work litter picking at Walton Dam together with members of the local churches and the 3rd Brampton Scouts. An amazing amount of litter was cleared. In the afternoon all the members from Cliff were commissioned at Central Methodist Church.

Sunday Team member Clive Osborne preached at St Thomas’ and Rev Gabriel Boakye from Ghana was interviewed about his ministry.

Wednesday An evening entitled ‘Fun, Food and a Window on the World’ was held. This was a time of fellowship, worship and an opportunity to find out about evangelism in Africa. We were particularly fortunate to have the Rev Hilary Adeba, Bishop of South Sudan, with us for the evening.

Thursday The more senior members of the community enjoyed some nostalgia at the ‘The Way They Were’ afternoon.

Saturday This was a family day, ‘Join in the Cheering’. There were games, crafts and fun. Also preparations for the Palm Sunday service were made.

Palm Sunday The Cliff team were involved in the 11am service at St Thomas’. Neil Draper preached and Laura Poxon gave her testimony. The week was concluded with a Celebration Service at St Mary’s school.

Also during the week there were lunchtime ‘drop in’ sessions for members of Brookfield school at Storrs Road Methodist Church.

See some more pictures and listen to recordings from some of the events here.

Hope 2008 with Cliff College in Holymoorside (June 2008 edition of the magazine)

"Hope" descended on us rather unexpectedly, probably because we are not in the metropolis of Chesterfield. By the time we were teamed up with St John’s Walton, much had already been organised and put in place. However, we were thrown onto our own initiative and the results were quite surprising thanks to a team of committed and adaptable students ably led by their tutor Steve Wild.

We started our venture on Saturday morning with an open meeting in the village hall to discuss the results of our Village Survey and draw tentative conclusions. Three students assisted in the discussions which followed and obtained a useful insight into the structure and needs of the community.

On the Saturday Evening a prayer walk round the village had been arranged. Unfortunately, this coincided with our Barn Dance in the village hall, held to raise funds for the rebuilding of our vestry. Seven students joined in fun and pie and pea supper, later confessing that they didn’t really feel comfortable knocking on doors. I think we can all relate to that!

Monday, this provided the opportunity for two students and their tutor to enjoy the social aspect of a traditional Lent Lunch, held in a home. These are always well attended in the village and this year raised £653 for Christian Aid.

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, the students organised ‘fun’ sessions in the URC for children aged from 10-15 years. This proved very successful and enabled us to obtain uninhibited feedback of the children’s problems and aspirations, (something missing from our survey).

Thursday evening at St. Peter’s there was an evening discussion on ‘new approach to outreach’, led by Steve Wild which proved lively and profitable.

On the final Friday seven students had a real ‘hands on’ experience helping us erect the Easter Garden out in the village. They finished their week with us by leading the blessing of the Easter Garden following our Palm Sunday service.

I think you will gather from this report that everyone involved in the week benefited greatly from the Christian interaction and involvement.

Adrian Marsden-Jones

Hope 2008 -an Evening with Shaun Murphy (June 2008 edition of the magazine)

Shaun Murphy As part of HOPE 2008 the Acorn Fellowship arranged in April for Shaun to come to Queens Park Leisure Centre to talk about his career as a professional snooker player and his Christian Faith. Shaun was Snooker World Champion in 2005 at the age of twenty two. He was ranked number one in the world in April.

During the evening three members of the four hundred strong audience were selected to play against Shaun. Phil Foster, one of our St Thomas’ church family members was one of the lucky ones chosen!

Shaun was interviewed in a ‘chat programme’ setting and below is an abridged version of what he said.
What is your current number one ranking based on?
It’s based on the number of points I have gained from competitions this season. However whether I will still be number one after the World Championships in May is another matter. [Following the World Championships Shaun is now ranked 3rd -Ed]

When did you start playing snooker?
It was at Christmas when I was eight. I had asked for a Commodore 64 electronic game but was given a small snooker table from Toys R Us. I fell in love with the game from then. I progressed up the ranks and was playing for Northamptonshire under 19’s when I was twelve. I could hardly reach the table so I had a box to stand on.

How old were you when you turned pro?
I was fifteen, the youngest ever pro. They had to bend the rules because the official age is sixteen. I hated being a pro at first. Not just because I lost my first match 5-3 but because it was so tough. My goal had always been to become a professional but now I was one what was there to focus on? People see the best players on the television but below them are many journeyman players, as I was, playing lots of qualifying matches in front of a handful of spectators.

Your cue has quite a history.
My first cue was from Toys R Us and my second cue came from a jumble sale. My current cue I discovered in the workshop of the person who was adjusting my second cue. It belonged to a billiards player called Tom Newman who was World Billiards Champion six times in the 1920’s. Ray Reardon the six times World Snooker Champion in the 1970's, then owned it –so it’s got a good pedigree!

Things weren’t easy at home when you were growing up.
My parents divorced when I was fourteen. We were made bankrupt and sometimes it was only the money I made from snooker kept us from being turned out of our rented house. Things did get a bit easier when I got my first sponsorship deal from Doc Martins.

How did you become a Christian?
Well my parents weren’t Christians but I did go to a Catholic school. However we met a family on holiday one year and the following year I went and stayed with them. On the first Sunday they asked if I wanted to go to church with them. The first thing I asked was “Do I have to genuflect?” The people who I was staying with looked bemused –they did not know what genuflect meant! Anyway I went to church with them. It was completely different from what I knew of church –it was fun and the people seemed to show a love for God. I learned that I didn’t have to earn God’s love, I did not have to carry round unforgiveness and that God could help me. I wish I had found this out earlier –I am sure I would not have made so many mistakes. A one week stay turned out to be a three month stay!

How does your faith affect your life, especially being a World Champion?
I believe God gave me the talent to play snooker. I always pray before a match. I used to pray that I would win but it did not always happen! So I now pray that I will do my best. I have to admit that before the World Final I prayed Matthew Stevens would fall over and break his leg I was so nervous!

On the snooker circuit most people are apathetic to my faith but a few are interested and a few are hostile. We tend to travel as a family and go to church if we can wherever we are. We invite people to come with us and sometimes they do accept and come along.

Now I am well known I have an opportunity to be an influence on people. So I have to make sure that I am a good role model.

How do you handle being a World Champion?
I don’t think I have really changed as a person, its peoples’ perceptions of me that have changed. The other day I was shopping in Asda and a lady recognised me and came up to me and said “What are you doing shopping in here?” I am still a normal person wearing normal clothes, eating normal food and doing normal things.

You met Clare your wife in an interesting way!
Yes it was on a Christian chat website! Clare was in Rotherham and I was in Northampton and we had both put ourselves on the site for fun. Clare caught my eye and two months later we met and a few months later I moved up to Rotherham and we got married. Up to then I didn’t believe in ‘love at first sight’ –but I do now!

Have you any plans for the future?
At the moment it’s to try to stay number one in the World and try to win the World Championship. It’s physically and mentally demanding. I’ve no plans beyond snooker yet but Clare and I have missionary friends in Zimbabwe and we do believe we should do as much as we can to help as many people as we can –so who knows what the future holds.

See some more pictures here

The Queen Distributes the Maundy Money at Derby Cathedral (June 2010 edition of the magazine)

queen Every year at Easter The Queen presents special gifts of 'Maundy Money' to local pensioners at a service in a cathedral or abbey. This year the service took place at Derby Cathedral on 1 April.

The gifts are given in recognition of the service of elderly people to their community and their church. The selection of recipients is co-ordinated by the diocese hosting Royal Maundy. The number of recipients is related to the Sovereign's age; this year there were 84 male and 84 female recipients.
Maundy coins have remained in much the same form since 1670. They have traditionally been struck in sterling silver, except for the brief interruptions of Henry's Vlll's debasement of the coinage and the general change to 50% silver coins in 1920. The sterling silver standard was resumed following the Coinage Act of 1946.

The effigy of The Queen on ordinary circulating coinage has undergone three changes, but Maundy coins still bear the same portrait of Her Majesty prepared by Mary Gillick for the first coins issued in the year of her coronation in 1953.

The Royal Maundy Service used to take place in London, but early in her reign The Queen decided that the service should take place at a different venue every year.

The word 'Maundy' comes from the command or 'mandatum' by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another. The tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the thirteenth century. The Sovereign also used to give food and clothing, and even washed the recipients' feet. The last monarch to do so was James II.