18th May 2020

From Rev’d Carollyn McDonald, DRC Steering Group Member

Tissington Well Dressings

Derbyshire is known for many traditions, carried out for generations, and one of these is Well Dressings.

My local service is on Ascension Day in Tissington, this year Thursday 21st May. Of course, due to COVID19 we are not able to hold either the service, the walk around the village to bless the wells, or the week-long hospitality offered by the whole village to visitors from far and wide, many of whom return annually.

The skill and dedication to designing and decorating the clay boards, the care and strength to safely erect them, and the delight they bring to locals and visitors alike, will be sadly missed this year.

So, to restore a little of that feeling, we have put together a video of the service and a virtual walk around the village. We do this as a tribute to Sir Richard, St Mary’s Church, all the villagers of Tissington and those who help during the week, in car park and tea rooms, signage and local shops alike. As in so many different walks of life, we have found a new way of doing things.

The village is still cared for, tended and loved, although the streets and paths are nearly empty. I imagine that soon there will be more walkers, social distancing, bringing some visitors back, but we also pray that the residents will be safe during the additional pressure.

This is a very different year indeed, with many sacrifices being made. It looks like measures will be in place for many months.

We will all continue to have to make difficult choices, and adjustments, finding new ways of being and achieving our tasks, while carrying on with the essential work of food production, animal welfare, healthcare, childcare, care for vulnerable people in our communities and care for each otherThat is the longest standing tradition in rural communities, whether in snow or drought, pandemic or disaster.

I am proud to still be part of rural life, and part of Derbyshire Rural Chaplaincy, a rock during hard times, and there to help us celebrate joyful times too.

…we will give thanks to You God forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. Psalm 79 verse 13     Amen

You are invited to watch the Tissington virtual service and well blessings. The video will be available from 11.00am  on Thursday 21st May 2020.