BELPER UNITARIAN CHAPEL
A Community with living
and loving spirituality
that engages both the
Heart and the Mind
Love Is Indispensable
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a
resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and
if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may
boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it
keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there
are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a
child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is
NIV, Corinthians I; 1-13
Please by your presence welcome on Sunday 1st of October at 11am Unitarians
from Stannington Chapel Sheffield.
Their Minister Rev. Maud Robinson has on a number of occasions been our Worship
Leader at Belper.
David Burton will conduct the Service around the theme of “ Sharing The Journey “
with contributions from some of our own members.
EAST MIDLAND UNITARIANS : OUR District AssociaƟon oŌen known as EMU, will
hold its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 7th October 2pm at The Old Meeting
While the Belper Chapel has two Official Voting Representatives on this occasion any
Friend or Member of our Chapel is welcome to attend –
Our current secretary to the District is Rev. Patrick Timperley who has worked hard
to produce the 158th “ Annual Report “ of which copies are available on the Belper
BELPER CHAPEL HARVEST FESTIVAL : This Service will take place on Sunday 8th
October 2023 at 11am.
As usual we will welcome any gifts of Flowers, Fruit, Vegetables, Preserves, Cakes or
tinned items –
You are encouraged to arrive a little earlier in order to display any donated items.
On this occasion after a shorter service led by David Burton with various
contributions from members the traditional Belper Chapel Harvest Auction will take
This year we will support David Burton our Chapel Chairperson who was earlier this
year unanimously elected Civic Chair of Derbyshire Dales District Council. David has
chosen during his Civic Year the “ Send A Child To Hucklow Fund “ to raise money to
support the holidays provided each year to disadvantaged Children
The Revd Dr Giles Fraser, who often appears on BBC Radio programmes, was
recently played in our chapel by David Burton, giving us another profound “Thought
for the Day”. Helen Brown, clearly impressed, writes to remind us that all these wise
words can be replayed at home on the BBC I-Player, where you can also listen to a
podcast “This Old Heart of Mine” where Giles looks into the workings of this most
symbolic human organ in five 15 minute episodes, following his own heart attack
and bypass operation.
Dear friends, once again, it is the time of year when I would invite you to consider
becoming a member or a friend of our Chapel or renew your membership. If you
would like to know more about this subject, please find me at one of our services
over the next few weeks. Similarly, if you would like to renew. With best wishes,
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MESSAGE FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL TREASURER
Here are the bank details for anyone wishing to support the Chapel
by bank transfer:-
Nat West Derby St. Peter’s Street (C) Branch
58 St Peter’s Street
Derby DE1 1XL
Sort code: 60-02-18
Account No. 71273719
Thank you in advance and thank you to all those who continue to
support our community in so many different ways.
All good wishes
Frances St Lawrence
PS – we do still accept cash and cheques!!
WORSHIP SERVICES – October – November 2023
Sunday 1st October Cllr David Burton [Visit from Stannington –see p.2] 11.00 am Sharing the Journey
Sunday 8th October Harvest Festival -again, see p.2.
Sunday 15th October Kevin Stone
Sunday 22nd October Revd Maria Pap
11.00 am Minister, The Old Meeting House, Mansfield
Sunday 29th October Anne Brown
11.00am Member of our Congregation
Sunday 5th November Judith Pugsley
11.00 am “Books I have read”
Sunday 12th November Fred Barrett
10.55 am Remembrance Sunday
Sunday 19th November Kevin Stone
Sunday 26th November Rowan Beton
11.00 am Preparing for Winter
Sunday 3rd December Cllr David Burton
All members and friends of the Chapel are welcome to offer contributions to our
newsletter. It could be a 380 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 page12] by Sunday 12th November if they are intended for
inclusion in the December – January edition.
FAITH & FREEDOM
Our Chapel Chairperson David Burton found his “ Spiritual “ home in Unitarianism
some fifty years ago.
David very much enjoys reading the Progressive Journal of Religion called “ Faith &
Freedom “ Copies are always available on our Chapel Bookstall.
A recent edition “Faith & Freedom“ had a superb contribution from the retired
Unitarian Minister Rev. Frank Walker – the article is entitled, “ Outlooks on life that
still challenge and encourage us “ For David Burton, Frank Walker so well expresses
a Christology or view of Jesus which confirms his own Unitarian view of this
disturbing historical figure.
Jesus of Nazareth, the Galilean sage, teacher and healer – He never knew the word
Christianity, and never asked anyone to become a Christian He simply invited people
to “ follow me “ and his Way of utter loving generosity and human kindness.
He asked people to do, rather than to believe.
The human Jesus did not intend to create a new religion. He taught and lived
unconditional love amongst humans without regard to race, religion, class, gender
or age. He urged people to have second thoughts, think again, re-make their lives, to
think and decide for themselves, in their generosity to go far beyond what was
He taught by means of intriguing and unforgettable little stories to prompt his
hearers towards a new way of living. “
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NOW FOR SOMETHING SLIGHTLY LESS PROFOUND
There was a perfect man who met a perfect woman. After a perfect courtship,
they had a perfect wedding. Their life together was, of course, perfect.
One snowy, stormy Christmas Eve, this perfect couple was driving their perfect
car along a winding road, when they noticed someone at the side of the
roadside in distress. Being the perfect couple, they stopped to help. There stood
Santa Claus with a huge bundle of toys.
Not wanting to disappoint any children on the eve of Christmas, the perfect
couple loaded Santa and his toys into their vehicle. Soon they were driving along
delivering the toys. Unfortunately, the driving conditions deteriorated and the
perfect couple and Santa Claus had an accident. Only one of them survived the
accident. Who was the survivor?
The perfect woman. She’s the only one that really existed in the first place.
Everyone knows there is no Santa Claus and there is no such thing as a perfect
DISTRICT FAMILY DAY HOSTED BY BELPER UNITARIANS
[Article published in the Mansfield Unitarian Newsletter] Nineteen people from Mansfield attended the Family Day at Belper with around a
total of 60 people. After a somewhat extended journey through the lovely
Derbyshire Countryside we arrived at our Field Row Chapel, Belper where we were
warmly greeted with cups of tea or coffee.
Unfortunately, David Burton could not be there, due to medical reasons, but he has
built up a very capable team around him and they provided a varied and interesting
program for the day.
Rev. Maria Pap led the Devotions which contained the story of the Pigs Bladder, this
involved the children as well as some adults and was enjoyed by all. These devotions
more or less set the tone of events for the whole day, because the program catered
for everyone’s tastes and ages.
There were talks about the Chapel and the outside garden, as well as guided walks
of interesting places around Belper, also a trip to the beautiful River Gardens.
If you didn’t wish to walk you could relax in the Chapel Gardens and listen to the
music and songs both outside and inside the Chapel !
East Midland Unitarians were represented by the following constituent
congregations including Belper, Boston, Hinckley, Leicester & Mansfield.
Unitarians are noted for their love of food and Belper once again played their part in
maintaining that tradition catering for vegan and diabetic diets. The refreshments
included various sandwiches, salad items, sausage rolls, pork pies, quiches with a
lovely selection of cakes & strawberries.
My profound congratulations to the Belper Chapel for an entertaining eventful day
which brought much happiness to all who attended !
The Old Meeting House, Mansfield
EAST MIDLANDS FAMILIES DAY…BELPER…19TH AUGUST 2023
This was a great day from start to finish. The amazing congregation at this Chapel
had put an enormous amount of effort into making our visit special. The
welcome was as always warm and inviting. A number of friends from across the
district had already arrived and the atmosphere was alive with chat. As we
entered to choose our pew for the day Fred was there to offer refreshment.
Sadly, David Burton was not well enough to attend but Ruth gave us an official
welcome in this place. Rev. Maria led devotions which were both spiritual and
amusing. I cannot remember a pigs bladder featuring in devotions before! We
sang, we laughed, we prayed….as one. It was getting close to lunch so a brief
resumé of the itinerary was explained and then the serious business of eating our
packed lunch was accomplished.
The choice of what to do was amazing…The garden story was told, Exploration of
the town began, various crafts were completed, shopping was offered in the
area known as King St, visits to the river gardens and park were available too.
Christine opted to stay at the Chapel and enjoyed conversation and music in the
relaxed atmosphere of friendship and community.
I decided a trip to the lower town was in order where a tempting antique and
record centre was located, though both were full of stuff I was unable to find
anything to my taste so a stroll back up the hill to sit for half an hour on the
platform at Belper station to observe both trains and passengers, before a slow
climb back to Chapel just in time for music in the grounds and then as we
awaited tea we were entertained by an impromptu concert, using both ancient
and modern instruments.
Soon the food was ready and plentiful and I am sure enjoyed by all participants.
Sadly, time to leave arrived and we duly said our farewells. But what a day we had
with this delightful bunch of Unitarians. Well done to everyone involved, you have
sure set a standard for future Family Days.
Mike & Christine Everton, Hinckley Unitarians
BELPER FAMILY DAY
We would like to thank everyone who worked very
hard to make the day a success for the 70 people
who attended –
The Craft Organiser
The conducted tour leader
The Minister from Mansfield
The Chapel Gardeners
The River Garden escort
especially the Organist
The guide to the
The Chapel Secretary
All the Children
If you wish to see these
pictures in colour, have a
look at the electronic
version, or seek on
AN APACHE BLESSING
May the sun bring you
New energy by day
May the moon softly restore you by night
May the rain Wash away your worries
May the breeze blow
Into your being
May you walk gently
Through the world
Know its beauty
All the days
Of your life
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Dave Walker, the Church Times Cartoonist, looks out at his parish
and remembers the days before computers.
A PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY
God of all that is seen and unseen,
At the beginning of this day,
make me attentive to the treasure you have in store
and give me grace to be surprised.
When the way is dark or unclear,
be the glint to guide me on.
In the midst of this day,
enable me always to work towards your light
and give me strength to be patient.
When life is difficult and progress slow,
help me to know how much I am treasured by you.
At the end of this day,
Show me again the treasures you and I have unearthed together
and give me a thankful heart.
This prayer has been kindly contributed by Ruth Burton who is Organist and a
Member of Darley Dale Methodist Church, Matlock.
This prayer is taken from “Hidden Treasures“ by Pru Cahill, a Methodist Deacon.
WHEN AUTUMN COMES
Should we be sad
When autumn comes
And winter looms ahead ?
Is it so bad
That days grow short
And verdant leaves grow red ?
We’ll miss the sun
And long, hot days
We’ll miss the sea and sand;
But soon will come
The starry nights
And wintry landscapes grand !
Perhaps it’s best
That nature sleeps
And things no longer grow;
We get a rest
From vibrant weeds
And grass we need not mow.
The Autumn seasons here !
It is a date
To mark, with joy
The turning of the year.
Chairman and Safeguarding Officer
Cllr 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
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07846 020153
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