Tuesday, 26 May 2015


The Archbishop’s Speech

Today’s blog is a one-off special, the text of the speech which the Archbishop of Canterbury made at the launch of the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit results last Wednesday.
8 Archbishop Quote 1“It’s quite embarrassing coming up on an occasion like this, because I sort of do the decorative bit, but the people who really do the work are the ones that we’re hearing about. I look around and see people like Pastor Agu Irukwu there, and many many others in this room, who have led and built great churches, who’ve transformed communities, who serve God in the most extraordinary way.
33 Justin CU speech happier croppedThen I hear that presentation just then, and read this report, and I’m reminded that the work of the church is emphatically not done by archbishops. It’s done by every local church community – and they do it in the most extraordinary way. That the work of faith groups is not done by the folk who appear on TV. It’s done by the local people – and they do it in the most extraordinary way.
I’m only talking principally about the church because it would be presumptuous of me to talk about other people who I have no right to speak for, except to say that it springs out of the work of the presence of God pushing, compelling, constraining people to love.

Einstein said many years ago, “It is extraordinary what can be achieved by people who don’t care whether they get the credit for it or not.” The thing about local faith communities and local church communities is that at their best they couldn’t give a hang who gets the credit. They just want to make sure that their community has been blessed. And I get to stand up here and say things and it’s overwhelming, it’s embarrassing, because it’s them that do the extraordinary work.
I also want to say thank you to Matt [Bird]… in the brief ten minutes that I was Bishop of Durham, I did just have time to be installed in Durham Cathedral, and in my sermon there – this was 2011 – I talked about the fact that the idols that we had built our society on, the idols of materialism, of wealth, had toppled, had been toppled, by the recession after the great crisis of 2008, and that as the idols were toppled the only thing that was left were the eternal values.

I was talking in a cathedral; I said all we find left is a cross on the horizon. It’s the only thing that’s not toppled. I talked about the need for – in that context, the church, but here, faith groups – meeting that huge gap which we could see opening around us and which opened from 2008 onwards. I’m not trying to ascribe blame. It’s simply a fact that, as we all know, that gap opened up.
9 Archbishop Quote 2I remember going back to my seat after the sermon, and waking up the people next to me … and saying thinking to myself, well, there was some good purple prose in there but it won’t have any effect. I could not have been more wrong. As usual.
The faith communities in this country have risen to the challenge in the last seven or eight years in the most extraordinary way, as they had done before, and will continue to do whatever happens in the future with the economy – because there will always be people in need, there will always be people who need not just provision but need provision wrapped up in love. And it’s when they get that that human dignity is preserved and humanity is lifted.
That is why faith is a force for good in our society.
First of all, Matt, thank you. You have demonstrated through Cinnamon Network the most extraordinary commitment to this country, and the most extraordinary ability to mobilise effort. That is a gift without which this country would be more than 3 billion pounds poorer instantly. So thank you very much indeed.
Secondly, thank you for the report, because it’s when we see what has been happening that our hearts lift with hope. And hope brings us back to the point where we believe that all can change and that there is a future of a society that is mutually flourishing, which is our dream – and the dream, I want to add here just after an election, of almost everyone I have ever met in politics.
So thank you. This is a wonderful report and it’s a wonderful thing to have.
34 Justin CU backlit speech VGThe public view of religion among young people, according to a YouGov poll – well, alright it’s a poll, but … the reputation of religion among young people is actually more negative than neutral: 41% – this was a poll in 2013, when they still got them right – 41% of 18-24 year olds agreed that “religion is more often the cause of evil in the world” and only 14% say it is a cause for good.

The Faith Action Audit reveals something different. It shows the breadth of commitment across the country, the depth of commitment, and above all the strength of experience and good practice. Thanks to Cinnamon and other bodies like it, this is not mere do-goodery. It is seeking to find best practice and put it into action in the most professional way that can be imagined.
We’ve heard some of the figures, but just a reminder: the faith sector collectively is delivering, according to the audit – I’ll round it – 220,000 social action projects, from which 47 million people benefit.

One hundred and twenty-five thousand people are paid by faith organisations to run these projects – that makes it a pretty significant industrial sector in its own right – and just under two million volunteers give their time, energy and commitment.
We’ve heard those figures twice already this evening. They bear hearing a third time. Incredibly good news should be repeated.

10 Archbishop Quote 3
While no one runs a project in order to make the headlines – taking us back to Einstein – the fact that so much effort is made to serve people in the community should be a headline in itself. It says something to the wealth and depth of social capital in this country, that many people have decried quite falsely.

However, it goes further than that. A very remarkable man that many of you will have heard of called Shane Claiborne – I can see some heads nodding … he’s someone who works with the poor in some of the most challenging areas in the United States. He recently said this: “The poor always have names.” It’s equivalent to what Napoleon said after one battle: “The loss of a division is a statistic; the loss of an individual is a tragedy.”

And Shane Claiborne asked the people to whom he was speaking the names of people they knew – and many were unable to name them. The figures are essential, but what is even deeper is in the same way as one of the Christian titles for Jesus is ‘Emmanuel’ – which is not God for us, God to us, but God with us. The best thing about the project about which we’re hearing is that they are with people. They know their names. Dignity is restored.
But we all know that, don’t we. When someone remembers our name it is a transforming thing. It says that we matter to them, not just that we’re an object of their compassion.
As a Christian my faith is the driver for all I do. It is because of who God is and what God has done for all that we Christians are motivated to do what we do.
11 Archbishop Quote 4
It’s because God knows every person by name that it is important to know names, and embarrassing and shameful when we forget them. It is because God shows his love for us by coming to be with us, that we go to be with people. It is because God’s love was shown in action by the compassion, kindness, healing, transformation, commitment and sacrifice of the life and death of Jesus Christ – and that hope, we believe as Christians, was raised because Jesus was raised from the dead – that we are inspired to lay our lives down for others.
This insight is a real gift that faith groups bring to a society that so easily gets obsessed with itself.

The call is clear: we are to make choices and commitments that are to be with other people. We are to join the two million people who regularly experience life to be better when they are with those in need – who were strangers, were in prison, were hungry, naked, sick. In the words of Jesus’s great parable in Matthew 25: and we went to visit them, not knowing that we were visiting him.
Change in our society isn’t primarily brought by structures, policies or legislation – although they are essential. But they are ineffective unless people are part of that – in fact people are at the core of it. I’m very, very grateful that I’m here, because I find hope renewed in me by what we are seeing and hearing.

I hope that as the next few years come through, that in the grace and power of God, the faith communities of this land will demonstrate that faith is a power for good in our society. Thank you.

The summary of the evening, together with the film of the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit results can be seen HERE. The full National Report of the Audits can be viewed HERE.

Monday, 18 May 2015


Love Your Neighbour
Come and join this joyful procession of witness through Chesterfield on Bank Holiday Monday 25th May.
Meet outside the Town Hall at 9.45 to pray and worship together before the walk and then set off together as a visible demonstration of the love of God at work in our town through the Church.
We finish back where we started at the Town Hall for a couple of songs to finish around 11am and then you can relax and enjoy a cuppa to the strains of Ashover Brass Band at Rose Hill URC.
It only works because you are there!


Summer Mini Mart
at Hasland Methodist Church
Join us for our morning of shopping and family fun.
Saturday 20th June 10am - 1.30pm
Bacon Butties & Toasted Sandwiches, Cake Stall, Bric-a-brac, Accessories, Books, Tombola, Plant Stall, Raffle and Games for all the family


Hasland Gala Weekend
Saturday 13th to Sunday 14th June 2015
Hasland Methodist Church
Rules of Competition 
1.    Competition is open to all ages.
2.    There are four age groups.
a)       Under 7.
b)      Age 7 to under 11.
c)       Age 11 to under 16.
d)      Age 16 and over. 
3.    There is no set theme.
4.    Photographs can be black and white or colour
5.    Entries to be mounted on card stating name, address and age group
6.    There will be a prize for the winner of each group.
7.    Entry forms to be handed in at Church by Monday 8th June.  Please post forms through the Church letter box; this is situated in the door on the left hand side of the Church car park on Hampton Street.  All exhibits should be handed in at Church on Friday 12th June from 2.45pm to 4pm so they can be displayed.
8.    Please complete the tear off portion below and hand it in with your entry.  Parents to complete for young entrants (age at parents’ discretion).
9.    All entries will be judged on Saturday 13th June, and will be available for viewing in Church on Saturday 13th from 2pm–5pm and 10am–4pm on Sunday of the Gala weekend.  Prizes will be awarded during the Community Songs of Praise Service at 4pm.
10.  Refreshments will be served both days
   Any enquiries - please contact…..Mobile - 07516 488377 or 07827 324028.

Thursday, 14 May 2015


 The Big Sing
Songs and Hymns to Sing Together - around the hymn book in (about) 80 minutes
More music from 'Singing the Faith' - the new Methodist hymn book
Old favourites and familiar tunes - new hymns and songs - find out how those songs really go!
Especially for non musicians (that's most of us )
Saturday 13th June at Central Methodist Church
Bring and share tea at 4pm *  BIG Sing at 5pm
Further information 01246 273317


Tuesday, 12 May 2015


Dear all,

The Equality and Diversity Forum is hosting a dementia awareness event in partnership with Chesterfield Dementia Action Alliance. The event will be the official launch of Chesterfield Dementia Action Alliance and will include short talks about the local and regional Dementia Action Alliances followed by a Dementia Friends training session (https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/). 

The event will take place in the Assembly Rooms (upstairs in Chesterfield Market Hall-map attached) from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on 21st May 2105.    There will be light refreshments, so please let me know if you are planning to come along, and I will book you a place. If you know of anyone else who may be interested in attending, please pass on the invitation – the event is open to all.

Chesterfield Dementia Action Alliance is part of the regional and national Dementia Action Alliance programme which brings together organisations across England committed to transforming the lives of people with dementia and their carers. You can find out more about the regional and national Dementia Action Alliance at: http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/

There are also opportunities to have a stall at the event.  If you would like to enquire about this, please contact me directly.

Kind regards,

Katy Marshall

Policy Officer

Chesterfield Borough Council

01246 345247


Monday, 11 May 2015


It would be great to have representatives from every Chesterfield church at the AGM of Christians Together for Chesterfield on Wednesday 20th May 7.30pm at The Saints Coffee Shop on St Mary's Gate. It is an open meeting and everyone is welcome to attend.

It's a good opportunity to look back over the last year and to look forward to the coming year and what we would like to do.  Hear updates on Street Pastors, School Pastors, Chesterfield Foodbank, ROC Cafe and ROC Care etc.

Hope to see you there.


Procession of Witness 2015  ‘Briefing Night’  Tuesday 12 May 2015  7.30 pm

The briefing night will be held at  Gospel Mission, Old Road, Brampton. (next to serpent motors)
Please come along to collect all the necessary paperwork (posters, programmes, plans for the position of churches at the town hall, etc).  We will also be going through some of the hymns/songs which have been chosen for this years event. There will be opportunity for you to deal with any problems/questions you may have. Refreshments will be served during the evening.
Christian Education:Chesterfield

p.s. there is still time to enter your tableau!!