News & Views - May 1980 - Issue 13


Dear Friends,

From earliest times, the four major Festivals of the Christian Church were Christmas, Easter, Whitsun, and Ascension

 For centuries they were held in equal honour throughout  Christendom. Today, Christmas and Easter still maintain their supremacy and to a less degree, Whitsun also, especially this year when it coincides with the Spring Bank Holiday. But Ascension Day seems to have suffered widespread neglect. There are various reasons for this. For one thing, it is no longer a public holiday. At one period, the House of Commons adjourned  on Ascension Day. But the time came when they decided to work on this Christian Festival and gave themselves a holiday instead on Derby Day – which is probably a significant parablel For another thing, it always falls on a Thursday, and so does not receive the same emphasis as ^ster and Pentecost in Sunday  worship and preaching. Ascensiontide lights up two important  truths, which I would like to share with you.

Christ’s work on earth was finished. In the prayer of Jesus quoted in John 17:4,’ He says, “I have finished the work you gave me to do”. That work can be best summed up in a modern prayer which begins, “O Christ, the Master Carpenter , who at the last through…… the cross purchased man’s whole salvation“. When, at Calvary, Jesus cried’ out “It is finished”, He wasn’t saying “I’ve had it” but rather “I’ve done it”.

Christ’s work from heaven was about to begin. This may be said to have three aspects:- He is praying for us. See Hebrews 7:25. He is preparing to come back for us. Note John 14:2,3.                  He is working in us and through us.

There is a hymn which begins, “Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today….” Christian service is perhaps  the dominant theme of Ascensiontide, which of course, looks forward to Pentecost or Whitsuntide, when the Holy Spirit, God’s dynamic, was made available to every Christian.

My wife and I and 13 others from this area are looking forward to spending Pentecost in Jerusalem. We value your prayers for our safety in travel and during our 13 days in Israel. Upon our return we hope to share with you some of our experiences of waIking in the steps of the Master, Yours sincerely,



The Exhibition, of old tools, hand-operated machinery and other rural curiosities was a great success and Mr. and Mrs. George Stubbs and their helpers are to be congratulated on a splendid venture. There was considerable coverage in the local press and Radio Derby broadcast a fifteen minute slot in their programme “In the Country”, during which George took Simon Shaw on a conducted tour of the exhibits. Mr. David Sorrell, County-Museum Officer, attended the opening, gracious— -ly carried out by Mrs. E. Ireland of Highgate, London. In Mr. Sorrell’s opinion the grain mill probably dated from the 18th century. There was a steady flow of visitors and the admission charge for coffee and the exhibition, together with the proceeds of the bring and buy stall and other donations, raised £246.00 for the Biggin Church Clock appeal. By popular request the Museum was open again on May 5th, when general church funds benefited by £47.50.


Messrs D. Bradbury and W.A. Boden were re-elected wardens for the coming year. The following were elected to serve on the Parochial Church Council:- Messrs J.R. Broomhead, J.F. Shep- -herd and G.H. Stubbs, Mesdames G. Clayton, B. Gibson, R. Lamb, J. Prince, M. Stubbs and Miss B. Riley. Sidesmen re-elected were Messrs J.R. Broomhead, T. Naylor, J.F.Shepherd, G.H.Stubbs and G. Warrington. Mr. G.H.Stubbs was re-appointed treasurer, Mrs J.Prince,secretary and Mrs M.R. Broomfield, auditor. All church officers and helpers were thanked for their loyalty and service during the past year and appreciation was expressed to the Vicar for his work in the parish.

The annual accounts were presented by the treasurer and showed increased balances in the deposit and current accounts. The parish share towards diocesan expenses and clergy stipends and housing in 1980 has risen from £409 to £623 . During 1979 insurance cover on the church building had been reviewed and brought up to a realistic figure. It was agreed to increase the contribution towards the Vicar’s parochial expenses. The number on the church electoral roll now stands at 38.

Hopes were expressed that parishioners would continue to support the church in its witness and work. Coming events inc- -lude a Songs of Praise service on July 13 th and a Gift Day on September 14th.THANKSGIVING. SERVICE

A Service of Thanksgiving for the restoration, of Biggin church clock was held on Sunday, 27th April. Choral Evensong  was sung by the Ray Thorne Singers, a semi-professional group based on Derby. The Lessons were read by the Rev. Fred Ross, Vicar of Clifton, Rural Dean of Ashbourne and a member of the Singers, and by Mr. Fred Glossop, West Derbyshire  District Councillor, who along with his wife Mollie, has been a tireless worker for the Clock Appeal. The Introit was entitled, ’’Teach me 0 Lord” by Atwood, the Anthem, “He that shall endure to the end” by Mendlessohn and the Postlude “God be in my head”.

The Vicar reminded the large congregation that the service coincided with the 132nd anniversary of St. Thomas’ Biggin, for on Tuesday, 25th April 1843 the Bishop of Lichfield had consecrated the building for ths worship of God. The clock had been given 50 years later and, along with the brass tablet placed on the North wall of the Nave, had been dedicated on February 21st 1899. The donor was Margaret Wraith, wife of John Hargreave Wraith, a surgeon of Darwen,. Lancashire, It Was given in memory of her father, William Dain of Newhaven Mouse and her uncle, Henry Dain of Old House Farm, Newhaven.

Gratitude was expressed to all who had supported the Clock Appeal in any way. The Fund stood at £836.54 which had received £74.43 from the carol singers, £219,51 from the Social  Evening, £200.00 from Hartington Nether Quarter Parish Council, £97.00 in donations and £246.00 from the Woodscroft Exhibition and Coffee Day. Following the service,a small photographic exhibition, of clocks restored by Smiths of Derby was on display in the school.

Some words of appreciation from a member of the Hartington  congregation, several of whom led the service.

“For a while I was lost, lost in some great cathedral or city church; but then back in reality I was bowed in prayer along with my husband and friends in Biggin Church. Yes, it was the Thanksgiving Service for the restoration of the church clock, with Ray Thorpe and his Singers. What a wonderful service and time of fellowship we shared! The hospitality over coffee and biscuits in the school afterwards was great too. Thank you Biggin for this opportunity to share with you!!       Jean

On Ascension Day. 15th. May, there will be a service of Holy

Communion at Hartington at 10 a.m.

Whilst the Vicar is in Israel, the Rev. G. Prime will conduct the communion services at Hartington, whilst Mr. Ray Pawson will take Evensong at Hartington and Biggin on May 25th and Mr. Oswald Post on June 1st. Besides being a Reader at Hulland, Mr. Post is also deputation secretary of the Ruanda Mission CMS and will be sharing with our congregations some, of the experiences that he and his wife had on a x’ecent visit to East Africa.

Please note, that the monthly service of Holy Communion at Biggin has been moved to June 8th.

Biggin Parish Church’s Spring Pair will be held in the School on Friday 16th May. It will be opened at 7.30 p.m. by Mr. & Mrs. C.G.Truman. There will be stalls for,cakes, plants, groceries and white elephant, as well as skittles, welly— -wanging and other competitions. Admission, which includes coffee and biscuits is 25p (children 15p). Gifts for the stalls will be gratefully appreciated.