St. John the Baptist, Bamford with Derwent Church, Main Road, Bamford, Hope Valley, Derbyshire.
Bamford Anglican Church dedicated to St John the Baptist is unique in Derbyshire, being the only church in the county designed by the renowned gothic architect, William Butterfield, who designed many churches and chapels notably St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Melbourne Australia, Keble College Oxford and Rugby School.
The Church is delicate and slender. Seen from the outside the spire reaches high into the sky and inside there is a feeling of great space and airiness; the long chancel being slightly non rectangular to increase the impression of length. The décor and furniture were all designed by Butterfield giving a harmonious feeling to the building.Built in 1860 by the Moore family, who owned Bamford Mill, the church still has a direct descendant of the Moores as its patron. Originally the Parish Church of the village, it became St John the Baptist, Bamford with Derwent when the Derwent dams were built and Derwent and Ashopton villages submerged in the 1940s; then in 1999 Bamford became part of a joint benefice with Hathersage; in 2007 the benefice was being further expanded to include Grindleford. All three churches share Revd Jude Davis who lives in Hathersage. Assisting her with regular services are Readers John Brunskill and Roger Mather.
Bamford has a twice monthly 8am communion service (1st and 3rd Sundays) and an 11am service which may be Communion or Morning Prayer. On the first Sunday of each month we have 'First Sunday Service' which is a simpler, more relaxed time. \we start at 10.45am with (proper) coffee and cake and the Service itself begins at 11.00am Each First Sunday Service has a theme and often involves some interactive input. We do some services together, every time there is a 5th Sunday in the month, or a patronal festival the three churches join together for a 10am service. Joint services with the other Bamford churches are also becoming more common. On the 3rd Sunday of each month at 3.30pm there is 'Messy Church' in the Moore Memorial Hall, a joint venture by us and the Methodist Church. This is a more relaxed time with activities, stories, prayers and refreshments for all the family.
The Church notice board is the place to watch for week by week details.
The Church plays an important part in village life with the usual special services for Remembrance,
Mothering Sunday, Harvest and Christmas but in addition there are services at the times of Carnival and Sheepdog Trials. Sharing with the other Christian groups, Roman Catholic, Quakers and Methodists is growing all the time through the Christians Together in Bamford initiative. We have joint worship several times in the year and the Churches work together for the open air gatherings: Christmas Eve carol singing and Blessing of the Crib, and the Well Blessing in Carnival week. We host many visiting campanologists (bell ringers!), as we had new bells and a bell frame fitted for the Millennium celebrations. There is a ring of 6 bells, fairly light since the steeple is slender. They are rung every Sunday and on special occasions. Practice night is Wednesday at 7.30 pm. There is a dedicated team of ringers who are always willing to share their enthusiasm and expertise with others. From the hills all around, Butterfield’s Church stands out in the centre of the village, rising well above all the other buildings; a reminder of the central importance of faith and spirituality in today’s materialistic culture.