Richard became Canon for Liturgy at Derby Cathedral in September 2018 and has the responsibility for worship and music including preparing the many special services which take place at the Cathedral in the course of a year.
Born in Bedford, Richard was a teacher before ordination and trained for the ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in California. After a curacy in Worcester Diocese, he moved to Derby for the first time to become Chaplain of what is now Derby University, before becoming vicar of Chellaston and then vicar of Spondon, when he was also chair of the Diocesan Board of Education. Immediately before coming to the Cathedral he spent thirteen years away from the Diocese as Team Rector of Dunstable in Bedfordshire.
Richard is married to Alison and they have two grown-up sons. As a family, they are keen Derby County FC supporters and love the Northumberland coast where they own a holiday property.
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All of us at Derby Cathedral were saddened to hear of the death of Mr. Mohammed Afzal at the end of December.
Mohammed Afzal was a pioneering leader in this city at a time when the Muslim community in Derby was beginning to grow. In his work creating the Derby Islamic Centre, and in many other ways, he laid out the groundwork for the strong friendship between the faith communities of Derby which exist today. He will be greatly missed.
The Very Revd Dr Stephen Hance
Dean of Derby
We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Director of Music at Derby Cathedral. Alexander Binns is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and held organ scholarships at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Marylebone Parish Church and Southwark Cathedral before taking up his present appointment as Assistant Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in 2016. Alex will be taking up his position at Derby Cathedral after Easter, when we look forward to welcoming him with his wife Dora and young son Peter.
The next Bishop of Derby will be the Right Reverend Libby Lane, Downing Street has announced.
Bishop Libby is currently the Suffragan Bishop of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester – a post she has occupied since 2015.
Libby describes Derbyshire as ‘the place that holds my heart’. She grew up in Glossop in the north-west of the county and was selected for ordination while working in the parish of St Thomas Brampton, Chesterfield.
Bishop Libby said: “I am excited and privileged to have been called to serve as Bishop of Derby.
“I grew up here and my vocation was fostered here. Derbyshire nurtured me and brought me to faith and I want to love Derbyshire back.
“I want to lead a church in Derbyshire where people find hope because they know they are loved by God in Christ, and I pray that hope sets us free to live our lives in ways that bring change for good.”
On hearing the news, the Dean of Derby, the Very Reverend Dr Stephen Hance, said: “I am thrilled that Libby is coming to be our bishop. Her roots are here in Derbyshire, and we are all very much looking forward to welcoming her home and working with her in the months and years ahead.
“This announcement presents us with an opportunity to think afresh, about who we are and who we hope to be, about the opportunities and challenges that face us as we move forward.”
Bishop Libby is marking today’s announcement by visiting a number of communities in the Diocese. She started the day, with her husband, George, her two grown-up children, Connie and Benedict, in her childhood hometown of Glossop, where her parents still live.
From there, she travelled to Bolsover, a former mining town, in the north-east of Derbyshire, meeting children and staff at Bolsover C of E Junior School and taking part in their assembly. She invited the children to help her with a short talk about the Nativity.
Libby is also revisiting the church of St Thomas in Brampton, Chesterfield, where she will meet women in their Knit and Natter meeting and a men’s social group, known as Thom’s Blokes, who will be enjoying a special Christmas lunch.
Later, she will meet members of the farming and agricultural communities in Alderwasley, before a reception at Derby Cathedral, where she will meet local faith and community leaders. Libby will end her day joining Evening Prayers at the Cathedral from 17:15.
The service to install Bishop Libby in Derby Cathedral will take place after Easter.
I am aware of online comments this morning claiming that Derby Cathedral has banned the Revd. Melvin Tinker from speaking at the Derby University Christian Union Carol Service.
The Dean invites all guest preachers for services to be held at the Cathedral. This remains the Dean’s responsibility even when the service is organised jointly with another organisation. Planning a service with an outside organisation always entails some back and forth including about whom the Dean might invite to preach. It is entirely wrong to claim that anyone has been ‘banned’ simply because the Dean has not chosen to invite them on this occasion.
I am delighted that the Revd. Neil Barber, the vicar of St. Giles Normanton, who is a well regarded preacher in the Conservative Evangelical tradition, has accepted my invitation to preach at this occasion.