St Leonard’s Church

If you would like to contact the Parochial Church Council or find out more about the church, please send a message via this page.

New Priest-in-Charge
The Rev’d Adele Barker will be licensed as interim Priest-in-Charge of the White Peak group and interim Priest-in-Charge of Youlgreave, Middleton, Stanton-in Peak and Birchover, diocese of Derby at All Saints Youlgreave by the Bishop of Derby assisted by the Archdeacon of Chesterfield, on Tuesday 24th May. The service starts at 19:30.

Church opening times and services
St Leonard’s reopened on 1st June 2021. The church is now open every day from 10:00 to 15:00. There will be two services/month on Sundays.
18:00 Sunday 1st May, Evening Service – led by Rev’d Andrew Parker
10:30 Sunday 8th May, Baptism of Poppy Mellors from our village family. All very welcome
10:00 Sunday 22nd May, Baptism of Birch family children Harry & Millie. All very welcome
19:30 Tuesday 24th May, Rev’d Adele Barker will be licensed as interim Priest-in-Charge, at All Saints Youlgreave
All May’s services are detailed in the flyer which you can view or download here.
We are looking forward to welcoming you inside our historic village church and know that you will help keep our village safe. Please take sensible precautions to avoid passing on any infection.

Archdeacon Appointments
The Right Reverend Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby, has announced the three archdeacons who will help oversee and shape ministry in the Diocese of Derby. The new Archdeacons are expected to formally take up their roles in early June. The Archdeacon of Derbyshire Peak and Dales will be the Venerable Carol Coslett, who has served as the Archdeacon of Chesterfield for the past four years. You can read the full announcement, including a statement posted by Carol, on this page on the Diocese website.

Ukraine. Hope, and Unchanging Truth
The church shares “A new light arrives”, a poem from Gideon Heugh, who writes for Tearfund and is a poet and environmentalist. You can read or download it here.

The invasion of Ukraine
Please read this statement following Thursday’s chilling events.
Prayers will be said at the 10 am service held in church this coming Sunday & church is open every day from 10 am for anyone to come in for private prayer.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell have condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine as “an act of great evil”.
They are urging Christians to make this Sunday a special day of prayer for Ukraine, Russia and for peace. They are also supporting a global day of prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday.
In a joint statement, they said: “The horrific and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is an act of great evil.
“Placing our trust in Jesus Christ, the author of peace, we pray for an urgent ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian forces. We call for a public decision to choose the way of peace and an international conference to secure long term agreements for stability and lasting peace.who
“We invite Christians to make this Sunday a day for prayer for Ukraine, Russia and for peace.
“We also give our support to the call from Pope Francis for a global day of prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2.”
Their statement was published on this page on the Church of England website, where you can also find a link to Archbishop Justin’s “Thought for the Day” on Radio 4’s Today Programme broadcast 24/2/2022.

From the north

Photograph by Shirley Johnston

St Leonard’s is a surprisingly large church for such a small village and has an equally surprising history. It contains many unusual and intriguing features including a sedilia and piscina which were installed around 1199. The church, built out of local limestone, dates back to before 1200 when it comprised a chancel and nave. By the end of the 14th century, the church had grown to its present size with north and south aisles and transepts and a three-stage tower capped by an octagonal spire. The church is a grade II* listed building of national importance.

View from Behind Bars #62 – Harvest Festival
Villagers may remember that articles from our previous vicar in Chinley featured regularly in Contact Magazine. This is her latest, which you can download here, talking about Harvest Festival. We thought it might be of interest, especially to those villagers who supported our own food bank harvest appeal.

Church and climate change
The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment, said: “The message of today’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report is loud and clear: ‘Wake up world!’” You can see his full statement in the Church of England’s press release here. The Church of England also has a set of web pages dedicated to Environment and climate change, starting here.

Majority of mourners during pandemic unable to say goodbye properly
The Church of England has published research from a sample of over 2000 adults which showed that more than 70% of people wanted to attend a funeral but were unable to do so. The findings have been released as Church of England cathedrals and parishes prepare to help mark the National Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23rd March marking the first anniversary of lockdown. The day is being led by the Marie Curie charity and supported by a number of organisations. More information at this page on the Church of England’s website.

Giving thanks for our vaccines in Derbyshire
The Diocese of Derby is supporting an initiative by Christian Aid to give both thanks and a donation once they have received the vaccine. More information on this page on the Diocese’s website.

Churchwarden Vacancy
St. Leonard’s now has a vacancy for a churchwarden and the PCC (Parochial Church Council) are looking for someone from within the village to fill this position, as described in the flyer which you can download here. If you’re interested in the position or would just like more information, send a message via our Contact Us page here.

Restoration Project

A major restoration project was completed in 2006. It involved major work to the tower, the repair of crumbling stone work around some of the medieval windows, an improved heating system and improvements to the interior, including new lighting, lime washing of the rendered wall surfaces, the relocation of the organ, restoration of the woodwork, new carpets and kneelers.
(Click here for a full report of the 1996-2006 restoration and information about more recent maintenance work and future plans.)

Seeing the Chancel in a New Light

Photographs by Robert Johnston

The Redecorated Church
Organ relocated, new carpets and kneelers