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To introduce myself, I have been a member of the Church of England for 50 years, and have recently been placed as a Curate in Ironville, Riddings and Alfreton parishes.  My work involves taking services in the churches as well as being involved in the local communities and in some community activities.  In my spare time I enjoy walking and photography.   I live on a farm in Shirland, and that entails walking around the farm with my wife (who is a Methodist Minister) early every morning to make sure all the animals (cattle and hens at the moment) are fed and are healthy.

Until my hip replacement, with arthritis I often found it very difficult to get up in the morning, and often found it even harder to walk a distance into the village.  That meant that I generally had to miss anything that went on in the village in the morning – things like coffee mornings and bring and buys all were avoided simply because I couldn’t get ready to go out in time.

For many, and for one reason or another (health, child care etc.) it is often a problem in coming to church in time for the Sunday morning service. So am asking around to see if there is an interest in Ironville for me to come out to peoples homes or a community facility during the week  every so often to lead a service of one form or another. It could be café praise over a cup of tea, it could be a songs of praise or it could be communion. 

If you think that this is something that you would like, or just want to find out more, or for me to come and speak to a few folk in someone’s home then please do get in touch. My phone number is 01773 833242 .  Rev Julian Penfold


At last, as I am sitting at my desk writing this, it seems that summer has at arrived.  The sun is out, the cuckoos are calling and the swallows are swooping low above the ground feeding on flies.

I guess many of us are putting our minds to summer holidays and visits away to friends and relatives.  But I have lived in villages for many years and come across two very different attitudes.  One village was a small community and most of the residents lived, worked and retired in the area.  They knew pretty well everyone else and when summer came and folks went off on holidays there were still people around who looked after those who were confined to their homes, they did bits of shopping for them and looked out for strangers in the village.

In the second village that I lived in it couldn’t be more different. Most of the residents worked in the nearby town, they didn’t join in with village events and they knew no one and no one knew them.  In summer those who were confined to their homes got very lonely and felt isolated.

In Ironville I have been amazed at just how much is going on in the village, small groups are springing up everywhere, and if you know where to look, there are lots of people willing to lend a hand in all sort of ways.

What has that got to do with Christianity, well to me a lot.  Jesus called us to love our neighbour so looking after folks round about means so much.  God also made this planet and everything in it and I believe we are called to look after it for the benefit of our children.  There is much more, but not the space to write it!

So this summer when folks are going away, why not spend some time thinking about those who have difficulty in getting out and see what you can do to help them?  Perhaps you can also think about what we can do to help care for our community and the countryside around about us.