Welcome to St Matthew’s Church in Morley, Derbyshire.

The Church will be opening on Tuesdays during March for private prayer at 4 o clock and will open for Sunday Worship on Easter Day at 11:15.

Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards

In the Breadsall magazine last year I asked people to tell me why they thought people (or themselves) didn’t come to church. I was aware of deep levels of faith in the village and care for neighbour as well as a gratitude for what life has given. I asked people to let me have their thoughts on the matter.

When I see how much money has been raised for Morley Church’s heating system, raised because of your generosity, and I look at the size of the congregations in both again in both Morley and Smalley I am pondering the same question.

I write this in early December, a few days after All Saints Church at Mackworth burnt down. Such a very sad thing. As well as praying for members of their congregation and the culprit, (who I know Jesus will be particularly worried about), I have wondered what decision that community will make about whether to rebuild, or how to rebuild.

If a fire took either St Matthew’s or St John the Baptist Church, if the medieval glass was lost and tombs cracked, if the pews and the roof disappeared, what then? Would the community wish to rebuild and if so why? What would we build?

What does the church mean to you all I wonder? Is it a place of memories? Is it somewhere that stays the same (ish) whilst other things change, and there is some comfort in that? And if it were lost, would we sadly have to let it go, because something new wouldn’t do the trick?

We are so lucky to have two such beautiful churches and to lose them would be heart breaking. But I worry that because they are so beautiful and old, the truth that they hold is also seen as gently drifting backwards into the past. No longer relevant except as a cherished relic or keep sake.
And perhaps that is our fault, perhaps we have kept secret the power an encounter with a God who allows himself to be broken for us, transforms our lives. The way God’s love upholds us and leads us forward. The way relationships within the congregation teach us more of how to love, how to hope, how to live. It is a vibrant thing, a living thing, deep rooted yes, but still fresh and green.

Do we, or our buildings, hide this do you think?

As we start a new year, I wonder if you (and I am speaking to those of you who do not come often) I wonder if you could help us think how we could better use our buildings to articulate the life of our faith rather than just its past. I wonder what ideas you have. Can we or our Church buildings look backwards and forwards, in faith, for you? I genuinely would love to know. Will you think about it for me?

A Happy New year to you all!


As a church we take safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. If you have any concerns or queries, however small, please contact our vicar Rev. Kate Plant 01332 834928 / kateplant2610@gmail.com or safeguarding lead Chris Doyle on 07867 994181 / christineann123@btinternet.com.


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