BELPER UNITARIAN CHAPEL
A Community with living and loving spirituality
that engages both the Heart and the Mind
February – March 2023
Adrian Farmer, our good friend & Chapel Trustee, will be giving a talk in our Chapel
on Friday, 24th March at 7pm – Details of the talk & evening will be announced at
Services nearer the time – a good opportunity to invite friends or neighbours who
have never been in our historic Chapel.
Ruth Beck hopes to host another “ Taize “ evening in Chapel, around April / May.
East Midland Unitarians , our District Association – will hold its next Quarterly
Meeting at Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, Hinckley, on Saturday 4th March
2.30pm. Any member of Belper Chapel can attend – only our two nominated
representatives can vote.
The District Annual Joint Service will be held at Boston Unitarian Chapel on Sunday
18th June- Please book a space for this event in your diary. Belper Chapel hopes to
hire a Mini Bus in order to fully support this District event !
Our District Family Day will be hosted by the Belper Congregation on Saturday 19th
August from 10am until around 5.30 pm. A full programme has yet to be arranged.
WORDS FOR REFLECTION :
Let us now be quiet and let us be thoughtful.
May there come to our minds influences that have been good,
and people who have been good to us and for us.
Let us recall words that have elevated our own thinking.
Words that have encouraged us when we have been perplexed,
words that have lifted us up when we have been downcast.
We give thanks for all influences that have made life richer and more wonderful.
Help us to improve what we are, to help others to be what they want to be, and to
devote our energies at all times to the things that increase the spiritual stature of all
– From Robert Storer
He drew a circle that shut me out, heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit , we drew a circle that took him in !
From Edwin Markham
This picture, based on a photograph taken by Jan Barrett at a [fairly recent] Harvest
Festival, shows our small Chalice Table in a bright new light, displaying some of the
produce on sale, together with a stunning floral arrangement.
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Nurse at a Bus Stop
The slow traffic takes a good long look.
Jilted bride of public transport,
Alone in the shelter,
The fireproof bin and shatter-proof glass
Scrawled with the cave art of cocks and hearts.
It’s late, Friday, the graveyard shift, you’re
To dab blood from a split lip,
To hold the hand of cancer till the line goes flat
Cardigan, and sensible shoes, the kids
With a neighbour, fob watch pinned
Like a medal to your breast.
Winter sharpens the day.
The centuries crawl past,
None of them going your way
Page 3 Poem contributed by Helen Brown
WORSHIP SERVICES – FEBRUARY – MARCH 2023
Sunday 5th February Mr Francis Elliot- Wright
11.00 am Unitarian College – Ministry Student
Sunday 12th February Sir Peter Soulsby
11.00 am Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel Leicester
Sunday 19th February Rowan Beton
Sunday 26th February Congregational Service
Sunday 5th March Mike & Christine Everton
Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel Hinckley
Sunday 12th March Fred Barrett
11.00 am The rule of three in a clockwise direction@
Sunday 19th March Ed Fordham
11.00 am Leader, Old Chapel, Great Hucklow
Sunday 26th March Mr Francis Elliot- Wright
11.00 am Unitarian College – Ministry Student
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 8] by Sunday 19th March if they are intended for inclusion
in the April – May edition.
Just a reminder to everyone that we publicize our chapel presence in
many ways out there. Of course, if you are receiving this newsletter, you
are probably known to us, but do feel free to share it to someone else
and they may wish to be added to our subscription list – either
electronically or by paper copy delivery. Printed Newsletters are also
available in chapel from the first Sunday of each month – a sterling effort
of Ted’s to edit and print out the issues – huge thanks to him!
We also of course, have a website, which as a reminder is
www.belperunitarians.org which is updated at least every month. Lots to
explore there – including our fabulous ‘virtual online tour’ – a link from
our website will take you there, or directly go to:
In addition, we have an active Facebook page, where you can comment
and add your thoughts, responses and ideas. Updated several times a
week usually and has lots of global engagement.
We also have lots of photos of our chapel uploaded to Unsplash (a photosharing website,) as mentioned in previous newsletters. You can
download images for free from here, and use them as you wish, but it
would be great if you could credit our chapel too.
We are happy to receive feedback on any of these items – either contact
us via the website, Facebook page or contacts on the back of this
newsletter. Happy reading!
IS PRINCE HARRY’S “SPARE” HELPING US TO UNDERSTAND HIM?
“……..a children’s book club sent a volume about penguins to a 10-year-old girl,
enclosing a card seeking her opinion. She wrote: “This book gives me more information
about penguins than I care to have.” [James Thurber, 1944] My short answer to the question at the top of this page is “NO”. I feel like the 10-year
old girl, embarrassed with too much information. I do, however, have some reflections
about where power lies in our Society.
How about King Charles himself? Surely he has some power, since every law that is
introduced is signed and sealed by him? Well, not really. He only signs if he does so on
ministerial advice, so if the ministers are trustworthy and reliable, are we safe? It is
interesting that King Charles has been allowed to marry the woman of his choice –
whereas the last King that wanted to do this [King Edward VIII] upset the Prime Minister
and the Archbishop of Canterbury. On their advice, he was compelled to abdicate.
Given that the Monarch himself has no real power, the idea that Harry should not be
allowed to marry the woman of his choice is absurd – even though the woman
concerned is both American and Divorced, as was King Edward’s choice.
But, if power resides with Ministers -particularly the Prime Minister – what happens if
the Minister turns out to be untrustworthy and unreliable? Again, we have a recent
example. Boris Johnson went too far when he gave assurances to Parliament which
were patently false. Most of the ministers making up his government resigned and
forced him to do the same. So the ultimate power rests, not with the Prime Minister
himself, but with his supporters and advisers.
If power in royalty and in our parliamentary democracy is thus dispersed, can it be
found elsewhere? Is power really in the hands of the media? There is no doubt that
the press barons and publishers can assemble considerable fortunes by publishing
salacious details about the private lives of celebrities, including royals , ministers,
footballers – and they will pay very substantial sums of money those who offer them a
revealing photograph. If they publish something which is unfair and wrong, they will
pay the victim to refrain from taking legal action.
So, maybe the real power in our land rests not with senior ministers, or royals, or
footballers but with those who have money. That is where the power is. At this moment
in time Random House Penguin are selling millions of copies of Prince Harry’s book
“Spare” and assembling millions if not trillions of pounds in the process. Prince Harry
will receive a small share of this total – he has the right to deplore the activities of the
media in relation to his mother – that was a grievous and terrible loss – but now he will
enjoy the proceeds of similar activities today.
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE EDITOR TO HIS CHAPEL FRIENDS
IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITY, WE STILL HAVE LOVE
Whilst writing this editorial, I am thinking about the life of my son David. He was
intelligent, persuasive, agile and numerate but his gifts were never realised or
properly utilised in his 60 year life. He had a cardiac arrest, and his body was found
on the back seat of a bus. Also whilst writing this, my affectionate cat Tilly, who has
been my solace over the seven years since my wife died, is lying sadly in a corner of
the room with her life slipping away from her. I feel very weary. These things
Coincidentally, I was shocked and unhappy to learn that our Chapel Chairperson,
David Burton, has also suffered from a suspected heart attack – but nevertheless, in
hospital at Calow, he has been busy typing away to produce the news items for this
newsletter! Clearly, he still has his faculties, and is thinking about the needs of his
friends and colleagues. He has sent us, inter alia, the following poem:
TIME IS –
Too slow for those who Wait,
Too swift for those who Fear,
Too long for those who Grieve,
Too short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is Eternity.
Hours fly, flowers die,
New days, new ways pass by,
Love stays. –
Words From Henry Van Dyke
Chairman and Safeguarding Officer
David Burton, Ivy Cottage, 4 Wheatley Lane, Two Dales, Matlock DE42FF
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:01629 734072
Secretary Ruth Beck email@example.com 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
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01773 827831
Jean Hemming 144, Far Laund, Belper, DE56 1FJ Tel: 01773 827869
Ruth Beck email@example.com Tel: 07790 656350
Joan Blackham firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01629 733841
Ted Roadhouse email@example.com 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.
BELPER UNITARIAN CHAPEL