The recently formed North East Derbyshire parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace celebrated its first Holy Week and Easter since the dedication of the newly reordered Church of the Annunciation in Chesterfield by Bishop Ralph Heskett, on 2 December, 2017.
Parish Priest, Fr Adrian Tomlinson said, “This first Easter in our newly reordered church, we are also celebrating the Parish community. We are the Church, the workers in the vineyard, the living stones building a spiritual house. Together we are working to spread the message of Christ and proclaim the kingdom of God in this town and its outlying communities.”
In 1580 when the Jesuits began their Mission in England, Catholicism was outlawed and the task was daunting. Although there were dark times ahead, 1829 saw Catholic emancipation and 1850 the restoration of the Hierarchy. The Mission of North East Derbyshire and Yorkshire was placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By 1842 the college and Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception were built.
In 1851 Fr Thomas Hill was appointed Jesuit Missioner to Chesterfield and commenced an ambitious campaign, raising funds from donors and benefactors of all denominations, as well as organising and preaching sermons further afield, including Sheffield, Wakefield and Spinkhill, to beg for financial support. A report in the Derbyshire Times described the Reverend Hill as having ‘…energy combined with a good-humoured, hopeful manner that won him the good will and affection of all.’ The report goes on to state that ‘…By great self-sacrifice and labour he succeeded in purchasing a piece of rough ground at the top of Spencer Street, and built upon it a plain, solid, Gothic structure…’ In 1854 the church building was finished and certified for Roman Catholic worship under the dedication of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“We have begun a new and exciting chapter in the story of the Church and Her mission in North East Derbyshire,” added Fr Adrian. “Once more we turn to the Mother of God and consecrate our church, our parish and ourselves to her maternal care. Today amid a world ravaged by wars and violence we commit our new parish to the intercession and patronage of Our Lady Queen of Peace. Under her gentle and motherly gaze, we take up the challenge passed to our generation and time. We dedicate ourselves as well as this place of worship to advance the Kingdom of God and the spreading of the Gospel.
“Let us take the motto of our fore bearers in this task and proclaim our Catholic Faith by lives well lived and the praise of God well sung: ‘Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam’ – to the greater glory of God.”
The Parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace
Tel: 01246 232686