Padfield Congregational Church

I recently visited the village of Padfield in High Peak, Derbyshire for a meeting of Congregational ministers and officials. It’s a small village with a pub named after the great Lancastrian Prime Minister Robert Peel. Nearby is an ancient road called Redgate, named after Almand, a local leader who fell fighting here in ancient times, whose blood ran down the lane as the sun set. This is little more than local tradition, but not far from the chapel is Mouselow Hill, a Scheduled Ancient Monument with iron age foundations.

Next door is the village’s bigger brother, Hadfield. There I saw a Methodist Church which had evidently bought a shop for its premises, an AoG church called Carmel, the aim of which is to ‘desire to share God's love with our neighbours’. The town was made famous by the filming of The League of Gentleman in the late nineties which I loved as a student, but would be embarrassed to endorse as a pastor.

Being high up, and in the spring, it snowed all day. Thankfully, it was the powdery snow that swirls around the pavements and roads like Dry Ice on the stage of a school production. So apart from stinging the eyes, it caused little nuisance. I have no doubt that these mountain folk are accustomed to living with snow. The chapel itself was warm and friendly, a welcome gospel witness in a remote part. Perhaps in keeping with the story of Almand, the church’s minister wore a black t-shirt upon which was written words to the effect: ‘I was saved by a blood donor’, that donor being Christ.

I wish the congregation at Padfield well. Its website is here: http://www.padfieldchapel.btck.co.uk/