Derby Cathedral aims to promote musical excellence. On a day-to-day basis, this is fulfilled by the singing of the cathedral choirs, who enrich the regular round of worship with their singing, renowned for its excellence. But they also sing for special occasions, have broadcast on BBC Radios 2, 3, and 4, and sing in a variety of concerts, both in the Cathedral and further afield. Recent collaborations have included singing with The Sixteen, and Jethro Tull. Tours to venues across the UK and abroad form a memorable part of the choir’s schedule. The cathedral choir also works to support music-making in the whole of the Derby diocese.

The top (treble) line of the choir is sung by the boys choir and the girls choir. Both choirs have a maximum of 20 places. Boys ideally join at the age of 7 or 8 and continue until their voices change. Girls join from Y5 at the age of 9 or 10 and continue until they reach the end of schooling aged 18.

Many of our choristers have gone on to do great things in music in the wider world and they look back on their time in Derby as being the best musical education that they could receive. The experience of the discipline and musical standards required by membership of the choir is second to none and friendships built during this time can prove to be lifetime links.

The Lay Clerks are a group of 12 skilled singers contributing the alto, tenor and bass lines underneath the trebles of the boys or girls. Many of the current Lay Clerks are ex-trebles and some are still at school, others have full-time employment from a variety of occupations in and around Derby. Enquiries from singers interested in becoming a Lay Clerk are welcome. We are also now pleased to offer choral scholarships to students at university in Derby and Nottingham. For further details, please contact Hugh Morris, Director of Music  or click HERE

For more details of the full choir weekly schedule, click here

Cathedral Music Scheme click here to see what's on.

 Junior Choir

The Cathedral's Junior Choir is open to children (boys and girls) aged 7+. It rehearses weekly on Mondays from 6.15-7.00, singing in occasional services in the Cathedral and at other events. It performs a wide range of sacred and secular music, includes work with percussion instruments, and is an ideal way to help young voices develop confidence and build skills. Children can join the choir at any point through the year. An application form can be downloaded HERE 

The Voluntary Choir is an all-adult group who rehearse on Friday evenings, and sing on some of the Sundays and other occasions when the Cathedral Choir is on holiday or unavailable. Enquiries for membership are welcome: please contact the Assistant Director of Music, Ed Turner

Visiting Choirs are warmly welcomed to the Cathedral to sing Evensong on Saturdays throughout the year or to sing Sunday services during school holiday periods. Please see the Visiting Choirs page click here.

A Stephen Hance

Welcome from The Very Revd. Dr. Stephen Hance, Dean of Derby

Welcome! Thank you for exploring this website where you will find lots of information about Derby Cathedral, one of Derby’s most beautiful and historic sites as well as the home of a vibrant Christian community and the venue for many exciting and innovative events today. I am so glad you are here!

Worship has been offered on this site for more than a thousand years, and the present building goes back nearly three hundred years with a tower which is considerably older. Inside the Cathedral you will find important monuments of Derby’s past, such as the tomb of Bess of Hardwick, the wrought iron screen by Robert Bakewell, and the memorial of Florence Nightingale. You will also find a place to be still and prayerful, either by yourself – the tiny St. Katherine’s Chapel in the crypt is perfect for this – or in one of the daily services, many of which include wonderful choral music. You can book a tour to the top of the tower and glimpse stunning views of Derby, or attend one of the many events which take place here each month. Many events, all services, and admission to the building are all free.

In 2017 we celebrated ninety years since All Saints’ Church was hallowed as a cathedral with the creation of the new Diocese of Derby. Over these ninety years, Derby Cathedral has sought to serve the bishops and parishes of the Diocese, together with all who live and work in the city and county.

We do this because of our faith in the God who we see most fully in the person of Jesus Christ. We have come to believe in Jesus not just as an inspiring figure from history, but as a living reality in the world and in our own lives today. We seek to reflect the love of God as fully as we can in all we say and do, in the hope that everyone we meet may know that God loves them too.

Do come and visit Derby Cathedral, and find out more about this wonderful place and the faith and the people who make it tick. Whoever you are, you are most welcome here.

With every good wish,




Bill Refurb resized 

From 8th April until the end of August Derby Cathedral will be closed from Monday to Friday to undertake a major refurbishment. The Cathedral will be re-lit and re-wired and the heating system will be overhauled. The Cathedral will then be completely redecorated.

Derby Cathedral will be open on Saturdays and Sundays for visits and worship as normal.

Services will continue as normal on Monday to Friday but will take place in either the Bridge Chapel on Sowter Road or St Mary’s Church on Bridge Gate.

Please do call the Cathedral Office if you wish to find out more about the refurbishment.



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Within the Church of England, a diocese is a geographical area representing a regional worshipping community in the UK.

The Bishop of Derby has certain responsibilities for this whole area. Two Archdeacons who each supervise half of the Diocese assist the Bishop in these responsibilities. The two halves are therefore called Archdeaconries: the Northern, or Chesterfield Archdeaconry, and; the Southern, or Derby Archdeaconry.

The Diocese is then split further into 16 Deaneries, or smaller regions, each with a Rural Dean who can assist the Archdeacon in his role. They have special responsibilities in their region and are usually also parish priests.

Finally, each deanery is split into parishes. Each parish has a priest-in-charge or a vicar, although some parishes are joined with others under one priest and these are called united benefices.

Meet your Bishop

The Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, Lord Bishop of Derby

Bishop Alastair came to Derbyshire from the Diocese of Lincoln where he was the Bishop of Grantham.

As the Suffragan (or 'number two') Bishop in the Lincoln Diocese, Bishop Alastair already had eight years' experience of bishop's duties and an impressive resumé of expertise and knowledge in the areas of theology, church history, social justice, training clergy and developing the spiritual life and faith of lay Christians.

As well as having a broad range of experience in these and other areas of Church leadership, Bishop Alastair is also an accomplished lecturer, teacher, speaker and writer of books and papers on a variety of Christian themes, including the recently republished 'Being Anglican'.

In wider community circles he has volunteered for several roles throughout his ordained ministry, including work in night shelters for the homeless, working with Oxfam and Christian Aid, being a member of a steering group for regeneration in Lincolnshire communities and contributing to local radio, to name but a few.

In March 2005, at the time of his appointment as Bishop of Derby, he said: "In this day and age the Church recognises that it is important to be open to different ways of reaching out into the heart of community life, responding to human need at many levels. I have considered Derby's quite radical but realistic strategy for that mission and ministry in this part of the country, and this provides an excellent foundation on which to build. I am looking forward to following through with this work, while listening and learning at the same time. I am committed to a partnership style of working, so I am keen to come together with colleagues, fellow Christians and a whole host of people who want to make positive changes in Derbyshire."

Our Vision and Priorities

The Bishop's Council set itself the task of developing mission, ministry and discipleship in the Diocese of Derby. This was the outcome of a working day at Eyam in February 2002.

Ever since the Ministry Strategy, A Better Way, was adopted by the Diocesan Synod in March 1998, the Bishop's Council has wanted to focus successively on selected tasks in promoting the proposed developments.

The starting point was provided by the Diocesan Purpose and Vision statements which were affirmed by Synod and addressed by A Better Way:

Purpose: To love and worship God in unity with other Christians offering witness and service to those communities in which we live and work.

Vision: To be a Christian community recognised as experiencing and sharing God's salvation.

Building on this Purpose and Vision, the Bishop's Council has now adopted three priorities for its own work. These are:

• Enabling evangelism and witness
• Releasing new ministries and refreshing established ones
• Building confidence and growth in faith

As a result of this development there is much work to be done by Diocesan Boards and Councils and their related Advisers and Officers. First of all there is the need to consider how work in these three areas in parishes and beyond might be significantly resourced and enhanced.

The Bishop has often been challenged by those who have expressed a hope that the Diocese as a whole - parishes and people - might feel they have a sense of direction, of 'going somewhere'. These three priorities offer scope not only to focus the work of diocesan organisations and personnel, but also to inspire our prayer and life at large -through and beyond the remaining events in 2002.

May these priorities encourage us, in the words of the 75th Anniversary prayer, to 'open our eyes to a vision of tomorrow that will bring hope and faith in your world'.

For many years now, our feathered friends, nesting in the Cathedral tower have gathered quite a following.

A young pair of Peregrine Falcons first nested at Derby Cathedral in 2006 when a small wooden ledge was installed on the East face of the tower. In the following months three chicks were raised there. Those chicks fledged and left the city that summer and two more were raised in 2007. It was then that two web cams were installed, broadcasting the progress of the Peregrines through the day and night to hundreds of thousands of people from Derby to Timbuktu! A further two have since been added. So far over 3.5 million hits from over 70 countries have been recorded!

Click the link below to join the Peregrines and follow their progress through the 2016 nesting and breeding season on the web cam as well as via the official blog which gives the latest news.

Between late May and early July each summer, Watch Point events are held on Cathedral Green to allow visitors a close-up look at the chicks though telescopes. Details will be on the blog nearer the time.

The Derby Peregrine project is a joint partnership between Derby Cathedral, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and The Cathedral Quarter and Derby City Council’s IT team.

To find out what the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust does to manage and support The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project please follow the link to


The first chapel on the site was probably built late in the 13th century alongside the original stone bridge, which had been completed some years earlier.  Late in the 14th century this chapel was replaced by the present, somewhat larger, building.  The principal purpose of the chapel was to serve the needs of travellers who, on leaving the safety of the town and mindful of the uncertain dangers in the countryside beyond, would call there to hear mass and pray for a safe journey.  Many of the incoming travellers would doubtless have spent a few minutes in the chapel to give thanks for a safe journey.  They might also have received a pot of refreshing ale from the so-called hermit, who acted as the caretaker of the building.  One of his less popular duties was the collection of tolls, levied on goods and animals, for the maintenance of the bridge.

Soon after the present chapel was built a cell was constructed to house an anchoress, a woman who had withdrawn from the world to live a solitary life of silence and prayer.  In the 15th century the chapel became a noted centre of pilgrimage, second only in local importance to the nearby shrine of St. Alkmund.  The chapel was richly endowed through the efforts of many benefactors during the Middle Ages and thanks to their generosity the chapel also housed the much-revered figure known as the Black Virgin of Derby.  When the Reformation took hold, the practices associated with the chapel were regarded as idolatrous and it was closed in 1547; a few years later it and the adjoining house were handed back to the burgesses of Derby.

On 25th July 1588 the most notorious event in the history of the chapel took place when the bodies of three Roman Catholic priests, who had been executed as traitors the day before, were draped around its entrance.  Two of these priests, Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam, had been arrested at Padley Manor, in the north of Derbyshire, and were brought to Derby for trial together with Richard Simpson who had already been imprisoned.  Unfortunately for them the country was in a state of turmoil because of the approaching Spanish Armada and so there was no hope of a reprieve.  Collectively they became known as the Padley Martyrs.

Subsequently the chapel lapsed into relative obscurity.  After being used for some years as a meeting room for Presbyterians it was converted to domestic use.  During the 17th Century the present Bridge Chapel House was built to replace the former priest’s house.  At the end of the 18th century the original bridge, which by then was in a poor state, was replaced by the present bridge which was designed by Thomas Harrison.  Somewhat later the chapel was used as a workshop and storeroom for a local engineering works and then in 1873 it became once again a place of worship.  In 1912 the chapel was closed and allowed to deteriorate so that by the 1920s it was in a ruinous state.  Eventually it was rescued through the efforts of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society and the generosity of the children of the late Sir Alfred Seale Haslam, a former mayor of Derby.  The restoration of the chapel was carried out in 1930 under the direction of local architects Percy Currey and Charles Thompson, in close cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

The chapel has been used as a place of worship ever since and now is often regarded as the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral.  The interior is notable for its simplicity; of particular interest are the east window, designed by Mary Dobson, and the altar, designed by Ronald Pope.

A warm welcome awaits you at the Chapel.

For services at the Bridge Chapel please see the Services page.



 Images from left to right: The Organ at Dethick Church and one of the many trains Peter has travelled on on his travels.


Derby Cathedral’s Master of Music, Canon Peter Gould, has embarked
on a unique tour across the Diocese of Derby visiting all the Anglican
churches with pipe organs and playing each for around 15 minutes
over the next 12 months.  We will be following Peter on his adventures and he will give us regular
updates of his progress which will appear on this page

Peter said “I intend to do a Deanery at a time and play each
organ for about 15 minutes, some Bach plus something suitable for the

He added: “I hope that local congregations, visitors and school parties
will all be encouraged to listen and give a donation at the end which
will be shared 50/50 with the local music and the Cathedral music

So far Peter has raised a total of £294. His next visits are listed below;

15th May

10.00am                Edale

11.00am                 Hope

11.30am                Castleton

12.00noon            Bradwell

1.45pm                  Bamford

2.15pm                  Hathersage

2.45pm                  Grindelford

1st June

9.45am                  Crich

10.30am                South Wingfield

11.00am                Shirland

11.30am                Morton

12.00noon            Stonebroom

1.00pm                  Tibshelf

1.30pm                  Blackwell

2.00pm                  Alfreton

3rd June

If you would like to donate money to Peter’s cause, there will be a
collection plate at the back of each church Peter plays at. Alternatively
please call the Derby Cathedral Office on 01332 341201 for further information.

Page 13 of 14

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Contact Us

Derby Cathedral
Centre 18-19 Iron Gate, 

Cathedral Office: 01332 341201

Cathedral Bookshop & Café : 01332 227660


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