A Community with living
and loving spirituality
that engages both the
Heart and the Mind
October – November
A Floral Tribute to Her Majesty
Evening will come, however determined the late afternoon,
Limes and oaks in their last green flush, pearled in September mist.
I have conjured a lily to light these hours, a token of thanks,
Zones and auras of soft glare framing the brilliant globes.
A promise made and kept for life – that was your gift –
Because of which, here is a gift in return, glovewort to some,
Each shining bonnet guarded by stern lance-like leaves.
The country loaded its whole self into your slender hands,
Hands that can rest, now, relieved of a century’s weight.
Evening has come. Rain on the black lochs and dark Munros.
Lily of the Valley, a namesake almost, a favourite flower
Interlaced with your famous bouquets, the restrained
Zeal and forceful grace of its lanterns, each inflorescence
A silent bell disguising a singular voice. A blurred new day
Breaks uncrowned on remote peaks and public parks, and
Everything turns on these luminous petals and deep roots,
This lily that thrives between spire and tree, whose brightness
Holds and glows beyond the life and border of its bloom.
1 Poet laureate
Back in September it was a delight to have Derek & Pauline Smith, leading a
special morning service celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the first holiday for
the Unitarian Charity “ Send A Child To Hucklow “
At this service our Chapel Treasurer, Frances, presented a £100 Cheque to Rev.
Derek Smith who, in 1963 led a group of disadvantaged children from Leicester
to the beautiful village of Great Hucklow for a weeks holiday.
Our District Association, East Midland Unitarians, will hold its Annual General
Meeting on Saturday 1st October 2pm at Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, East
Bond Street, Leicester. The guest speaker on this occasion is Simon Bland –
National Ministry & Congregational Officer of The General Assembly of Unitarian
& Free Christian Churches.
With our official voting representatives, any member of the Belper Chapel is
welcome to attend.
This year our Harvest Festival will take place on Sunday 2nd October at 11am.
As usual we will welcome gifts of flowers, vegetables, fruit or other offerings for
our central table.
These gifts will be auctioned off immediately after our shorter Harvest Service to
support the charity “Send A Child To Hucklow”.
The yearly meeting of our Chapel Trustees will take place on Tuesday 8th
November at 10.30 am.
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CHAPEL MEMBERSHIP – It is that time of year we offer anyone who worships
with us the opportunity of becoming a member of the Chapel should they wish –
If this is something that interests you then please speak to David Burton.
For a number of us it is that time of year when we renew our commitment to
Please see Alison Hemstock who has kindly agreed to distribute the relevant
A PRAYER FOR OUR CHAPEL
“ Here May the weary find rest, and the strong be renewed.
May the aged be strengthened, and the young inspired.
May there be courage without harshness
Conviction without Bigotry;
Faith without credulity
Reason without coldness of heart
warmth of Spirit without weakness of mind “
THIS CHURCH ( Words from Eugene Sander )
What is this Church ? A place of love and gladness where all May meet to seek the
A source of strength to face each doubt and sadness. Where every dream is known
What is this Church ? Ask those who came before and found themselves by walking
through its door.
Here in this Church we raise our joyous voices to praise the God that lives within
The way is long, but every soul rejoices when we press on together, not apart.
Here in this Church we join the growing throng that seeks the right and fights
against all wrong.
What is this Church ? A place of perfect freedom to follow truth wherever it may
A place to celebrate the best in every faith and creed.
What is this Church ? A place to see the light that shines for ever through the
darkest night ! “
A PRAYER FOR US ALL
In the midst of the outrageous lead us in peace. In the face of dereliction grant us
In the presence of sinister forces and vile happenings strengthen our peace.
When our souls know despair and our belief is suspended replenish our peace.
When we can take no more, tired of this world’s brokenness, forever renew our
peace, and in that peace, the faith to know that God is Love and in that love is
promise and. healing and hope for all humankind – Amen
Annual Report to East Midland Unitarians – Introduction
Each year the Belper Chapel with other constituent congregations of our District
Association – “ East Midland Unitarians “ submit an annual report which is
This year’s District Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 1st October
2pm at Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, East Bond Street, Leicester. The official
voting representatives for Belper Chapel are Matt & Frances, with David Burton, a
past President. However, any member of the Belper Chapel is welcome to attend the
A.G.M. should they so wish.
ANNUAL REPORT TO EAST MIDLAND UNITARIANS
For over a year now Belper Unitarian Chapel has successfully returned to its weekly
act of worship. Our Sunday Services have been well attended and received by our
members. We particularly thank the following Worship Leaders who have richly
enhanced our moments of worship – Rev. Patrick Timperley, Rev. Maria Pap, Rev.
Maud Robinson, Rev. Tony McNeile, Ed Fordham, Alan Ruston, Hugh Beavin with
members from the Belper Congregation.
Last October 2021 we did invite the National Quaker Historian Professor Hugh
McLeod to speak at our Chapel about Quakerism. Hugh is an active member of The
Friends’ Meeting Derby.
Sadly, we lost through death a very committed member Judge David Pugsley. We
will all at Belper Chapel miss his uplifting and generous presence. Our own
Chairman, David Burton did receive a dispensation to take part in David’s funeral
Service at Brailsford Parish Church, Derbyshire.
In early April we formally made a presentation of two poetry books by Mary Oliver,
to Winnie Green our Chapel Secretary who was moving to be near family at Alnwick,
At our National General Assembly Meetings held April 2022 at Birmingham our
Chapel was represented by Rowan Beton. At these meetings David Burton
successfully presented on behalf of East Midland Unitarians Notice of Motion 3.
This Notice of Motion simply seeks a National Consultation of all our constituent
places of worship as to retaining the traditional Chalice or adopting the new
rebranded “ Logo “.
Back in June it was a delight for us all at Belper Chapel to host the well attended
District Quarterly Meeting.
The Chapel’s Ukulele Group continues to flourish making contributions to special
services of worship such as Harvest. Also, periodically held on a Saturday Evening
favourite readings, poems with musical contributions culminating with a shared
supper table bring many of us socially together.
Our Communications / Publicity Officer Jan Barrett has worked hard to successfully
enable a “ Virtual Reality Tour of the Chapel “. This is truly remarkable. It was well
worth being adopted as already numerous people have explored and visited this
incredible site. [To enter, see the note on page 10 of this newsletter.] At the moment Belper Unitarian Chapel remains in good heart with an active base of
around 25 people.
Next year our Trustees will hopefully be embarking upon some significant interior
fabric improvements and maintenance work to our magnificent 1788 building. We
are convinced that as Unitarians we still have a legitimate religious role in Belper.
That role could well be strengthened from District support in the future by funding
and placing a Unitarian Minister based in Belper. This will indeed be a remarkable
achievement if a suitable candidate can now be found !
Again the chapel trustees & members of the Belper Congregation express their
appreciation of all the support given by our District Association – the East Midland
Chapel Trip to Hinckley
As mentioned in the previous Newsletter our friends at Great Meeting Unitarian
Chapel Hinckley will be celebrating their 300th Anniversary at 2pm on Saturday
November 5th. A 16 seater mini-bus has been booked in order to support this event.
We will be departing from Belper Chapel at 12 noon for the special Service at 2pm
after which refreshments will be served. We expect to be departing from Hinckley at
approx. 5.15 pm.
There will be a sign up sheet in the Chapel and if you wish to have your name added
to the list please contact me. (Details on back page)
On this occasion we will need to ask for a voluntary contribution of £7.00 to help
Many thanks, Frances
WORSHIP SERVICES – OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2022
Sunday 2nd October Celebration of Harvest
11.00 am Readings, Poems and Music
Sunday 9th October Revd Maud Robinson
11.00 am Minister of Stannington Unitarian Chapel
Sunday 16th October Ed Fordham
11.00 am Leader, Great Hucklow Old Chapel
Sunday 23rd October David Burton
11.00 am “Making Judgments”
Sunday 30th October Rowan Beton
Sunday 6th November Ruth Beck and Harry Pope
Sunday 13th November David Burton
11.00 am Remembrance Sunday
Sunday 20th November Ed Fordham
11.00 am Leader, Great Hucklow Old Chapel
Sunday 27th November Revd Maria Pap
11.00 am Minister, The Old Meeting House, Mansfield
All members and friends of the Chapel are welcome to offer contributions to our
newsletter. It could be a 350 word article, or a poem, or something arresting or
humorous you have read. Contributions should be in the hands of your editor
[contact details on page 12] by Sunday 13th November if they are intended for
inclusion in the December – January edition.
THE END OF AN ERA?
At a sad, unhappy time when we were all shocked to hear that our seemingly
indestructible sovereign had died, I heard people saying “It seemed as though she
had always been with us – I cannot remember a time when her reassuring presence
was not there!”
In fact, there are 3.2 million people (of which I am one) in the UK who can
remember what happened in the 1930s, when we had no less than three monarchs.
I can remember King George V’s silver jubilee, when, in the infants’ school, I was
given a large piece of chocolate in a tin with pictures of the King and Queen Mary on
the lid. I remember very clearly Edward VIII, who was obliged to abdicate since he
preferred to marry the woman he loved. Then George VI, nervous and stuttering,
who conscientiously took on a role he never expected, and led the country carefully
and well throughout the Second World War and into the troubled years beyond.
Acknowledging the remarkable record of Queen Elizabeth II as a constitutional
monarch, following her ministers’ advice yet offering her own confidential advice
from her long experience and knowledge, it is easy to argue that we have a superior
system to those countries who have an elected president. It would be fairer and
much more democratic if we were a republic, but it has to be conceded that
republics, however well designed their selection systems, sometimes elect ill judged
and even dangerous presidents. Those of us who rightly point out that our system is
completely undemocratic need to reflect that, whenever we institute a major
constitutional change, we need to identify not only those features we need to
change, but also we must consider,with great care, what we intend to put in their
place. Think, for example, about Brexit!
As the Summer
Fades to Autumn
And the leaves begin to fall
Birds fly southwards
Insects sleep and
Earth goes quiet
For one and all
But they’re only waiting
For the Winter’s end
Patiently just slumbering
To come to life again
Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don
Donna Donna Donner
Donna Donna Donna Don
Days grow shorter
Skies cloud over
Plants enrich the soil to come
But its only
While the light fades
One day soon
The warmth will come
EDITORIAL NOTE: Donna Donna is a
Yiddish folk song written by the
songwriters Aaron Zeitlin, Sholom
Secunda, Arthur Kevess and Teddi
Schwartz in 1940. It is also known as
“Dona Dona” but it is not about a girl,
but a calf on the way to market about to
be slaughtered. Some see this as a
metaphor for Jews in the Holocaust. The
catchy tune has often been borrowed,
as in this case, to present other themes.
WHEN YOU ARE OLD
When you are old and grey and full of
And nodding by the fire, take down this
And slowly read, and dream of the soft
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad
And loved your beauty with love false
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in
And loved the sorrows of your changing
And bending down beside the glowing
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, (born June 13,
1865, in Dublin—died January 28,
1939, in France. Irish poet, dramatist,
and prose writer, one of the greatest
English-language poets of the 20th
century. He received the Nobel Prize
for Literature in 1923.
The birds, they get up early
But the feeder’s not filled yet
They have to wait for me to get
My sleeping needs all met.
First there are the sparrows
Who bounce in hedge and grass
But the Starling teenage gangs arrive
In one almighty mass.
They flick the seeds, or stab the husks
And fight amongst each other
Then scatter in a wild swoop
To give way to another.
Next there comes the tame blackbird
Who shouts at us to say
‘Where are my mealworms?
Come on, you lot – I’ve chicks to feed
The pigeons crash land awkwardly
And eat whatever’s going
No stone unturned, no dish left full
Their swivelling eyes all-knowing.
A quiet pair of Bluetits dart
Inside the Fuscia bush
They venture to the feeding bowls
But leave all in a rush.
A Sparrowhawk swoops overhead
And all the birds then scatter
Though food’s around, and water too
It doesn’t seem to matter.
The Swallows never venture down
But we see them in the sky
Fed on the wing, all evening long
And screeching with a sigh.
The cawing of the Magpie warns
So all the masses scatter
Where are your eggs? I need them
My chicks they also matter!
Then as the evening draws to a close
The sun touches the hills
The birds are safe, another night
And all is quiet and stilled.
A MESSAGE FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL TREASURER
These are difficult times, when increasing costs are a concern for us all. It is
particularly stressful and unsettling not yet knowing the full implications of so many
So with this in mind, I want to thank everyone for their support for our Chapel
community. It is, in all it’s forms, very much appreciated.
Details for donations are:-
Belper Unitarian Chapel
Nat West St Peter’s Street, Derby
Sort code 60-02-18
Account no 71273719
These can be used for a BACS payment or a regular standing order.
We do still take cash and cheques.
As always do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions,
With many thanks
Frances St Lawrence
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VIRTUAL TOUR OF BELPER CHAPEL
To see every detail and look round every corner
of our historic ancient building:
1. Open belperunitarians.org; 2. Press the triple bar, top left
3. Select “About” 4. Select “Virtual Tour”
THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – SAN FRANCISCO 1.7 MILE WALK ONE WAY
“If someone had looked into my eyes and smiled during my walk across the bridge, I
would have kept on walking to the other side and started a new life.
But no-one looked at me. No-one smiled.”
This note was found on the body of the suicide when it was fished out of the sea. It
is supposed to be a true story. Reading it, in the context of the Good Samaritan,
I am supposed to reflect upon our need to care for our fellow human beings, and
maybe draw conclusions about the sort of people walking across the bridge. But,
being me, I keep asking questions. When did he write the note? If it was before he
set off, he was already anticipating no looks and no smiles. He was profoundly
depressed. Did he look hopefully, quizzically and make eye contact with the people
he met or did he keep his eyes on the ground? Was he a good way across? This is
the only place where he would have a good idea that no-one would take any notice
of him. It is consistent with his phrase “kept on walking” in his note – but it must be
windy and difficult to rest his notepad firmly as he wrote the words. It seems
improbable, though not impossible. Did he in fact get to the other side and know
for certain that nobody cared? If so, he would have to turn back and gain enough
height to achieve a fatal fall.
Or maybe he had walked that bridge before, and he thought that, once again, noone would look, and no-one would smile.
I think that a lot would depend on how the victim looked at the people he was
passing. I remember, the first time I ever walked in the Lake District, how other
ramblers would greet me as I passed them on the paths – more so than in the Peak
District, I thought – although the last time I walked with my mother from Stanage
Cottage down to North Lees she remarked that she had forgotten how ramblers
greet each other on the moors. A lot depends on whether you expect them to speak
to you. I do not think that many pedestrians on the bridge would be walking to work
or going on a business trip. Americans normally drive with this sort of purpose. The
bridge is a tourist attraction, and I would imagine that tourists would be looking
around more, and have more time to chat to people they meet. Oh – assumptions,
assumptions! I think there is something in Pilgrims Progress about this. As
Unitarians, we often reach for quotations and put our ideas in someone else’s words
– escaping, to some extent any potential criticism of our own ideas and opinions.
Chairman and Safeguarding Officer
David Burton, Ivy Cottage, 4 Wheatley Lane, Two Dales, Matlock DE42FF
email@example.com Tel:01629 734072
Secretary Ruth Beck firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07790 656350
Frances St Lawrence
fmstlawrence@gmaiLcom Tel: 01773 824548 or 07410 699931
Asst. Treasurer Matt St Lawrence contact details as above
Communications/Publicity Jan Barrett
email@example.com Tel: 01773 827831
Jean Hemming 144, Far Laund, Belper, DE56 1FJ Tel: 01773 827869
Ruth Beck firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07790 656350
Joan Blackham email@example.com Tel: 01629 733841
Ted Roadhouse firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07835 727987
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Belper Unitarians aim to be a loving community of spiritual seekers. We are diverse in
our opinions yet united in our common search for truth and our desire to support each
other, and sometimes challenge each other, in that search.
We have our roots in those Christian non-conformists who gathered in Belper in the
late 1660s following the ejection from the established church as a result of the 1662 Act
of Uniformity of belief and worship. The famous industrialist, Jedediah Strutt, had the
central section of the present chapel built in 1788 to replace a Meeting House that had
been built at the other end of Green Lane in 1721, and which still stands there. Today
our present Chapel is a Grade II* listed building.
We are on the Belper Poetry Trail, displaying on the front chapel railings the poem “To
Nature” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
*Please contact David Burton to enquire about chapel hire, Christenings, Namings,
Weddings/Civil Partnership Ceremonies, or Funeral Services.