There has been a church on this spot since at least the middle of the twelfth century.
The church was substantially rebuilt in Victorian times, although parts of the former buildings remain, including the twelfth century font and fifteenth century tower. Here people down the generations have come to seek the deep peace of God.
As the congregation at St Giles, we try to combine traditional and modern forms of worship. We aim to make the gospel available to contemporary society whilst being aware of the ancient traditions of the Christian faith. A warm welcome awaits anyone who wishes to use the church and what it has to offer. We are delighted that we have a lot of weddings and baptisms at Saint Giles.
The church is open most mornings for quiet contemplation and prayer and also in the summer months during afternoons.
On the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm children and their families enjoy an activity and story session with tea in what is called ‘Godly Play’. We also have a number of social events. We share our Rector and work together with the Parish of Dethick, Lea and Holloway.
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As the nights lengthen and the weather deteriorates, it is tempting to wish the winter over quickly and to look forward to the coming of spring. Some of us dread the long dark nights of winter and the possibility of being immobilised by the ice and snow. When we wish the months of winter away, however, we are wishing our lives away. We are dreading four or five months each year.
To a certain extent, our ancestors were wiser about this than we are. They didn’t have the ability to exclude the winter with the two switches that we use: the lights and the heating system. When the sun set, there was an all encompassing darkness. And they must have wondered what winter would bring and whether they would make it through to spring.
On the other hand, they responded to the winter in a spiritual way. As winter approached with its darkness when it was impossible to work very much, they created certain seasons in which they could renew their spiritual lives. Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, became a time of stillness and quiet when they prepared for Christmas within themselves.
At the other end of winter, they also had Lent, again a time of inner spiritual preparation for Easter. The absence of food at the end of winter and the still short days were made into a virtue and the time was turned into a time of prayer and reflection. In between these two sombre seasons, there were the twelve days of Christmas celebration, the only time in the year when people who worked on and for the land could enjoy an extensive holiday. The rest of the year they were far too busy.
I determined a few years ago to stop wishing winter gone. It felt like wishing the year shorter by five months. Instead, I have learnt to enjoy the stillness of nature in December. In winter there are some aspects of nature that we don’t see the rest of the year if we look carefully. And then there are the first, almost imperceptible, signs of new life in January. The long nights are a reminder that work and activity aren’t the only reason we are here. That we need to learn to be still in order to listen to our inner selves, and to God. Psalm 18 goes: ‘my God lights up my darkness’
At the beginning of Advent we will have the ancient Advent Candle Lit Service at 6.30 pm on Sunday 1st December. The Advent hymns and music are perhaps the most beautiful of the whole year. Do please join us.
1st November is one of the major festivals of
the Church’s year. It is All Saints Day when we remember all those who have
been heroically faithful to Christ during their lives. On 2nd November we keep
All Souls Day. That is when we remember all our departed friends and relatives.
We will be celebrating All Saints Day on Thursday 31st October at All Saints Church Matlock Bank at 7.30 pm.
We will then be observing All Souls Day at the service at the Family Eucharist on Sunday 3rd November at 9.30 am. During the intercessions I will invite members of the congregation to come forward and light a lamp in memory of their departed, and to read out their names. This beautiful ceremony reminds us that we are all united, living and departed, in Jesus Christ who said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’.