Welcome to St John the Baptist Church in Smalley, Derbyshire.


The May meeting was our annual lunch and this was once again held at Derby Garden Centre in Little Eaton. Several members were unable to be with us, either because of illness or holidays, but eleven of us enjoyed a hearty meal, lots of chat and shared fellowship followed for some by a little retail therapy.

The next day three members attended Ripley Mothers’ Union Songs of Praise, followed by Afternoon Tea together with members from other MU Branches in the Ilkeston with Erewash Deanery. Jan and Mary chose their favourite hymns, New every morning is the love and Be still, for the presence of the Lord and were invited to say why they were special to them. Tea followed giving members time to chat with friends old and new.

Once again a most enjoyable afternoon.

The next meeting, the last until September, will be our Garden Meeting to be held at Stainsby Lodge on Tuesday 12th June at 2.00 pm, to which all are welcome. One of the things that our members do is knit squares which are sewn together to make colourful blankets which are then sent to overseas projects supported by the Mothers’ Union. By chance the Parish Pump website for this month includes the following interesting article which I thought was worth reproducing here:


Knitting can be astonishingly good for you. This gentle hobby has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce depression, keep your mind alert, slow the onset of dementia, distracts from chronic pain (such as arthritis), boost well being, and reduce loneliness. A major study by the organisation Knit for Peace has found that knitting lowers the heart rate by an average of 11 beats per minute and induces ‘an enhanced state of calm.’ The repetitive movement also boosts calming serotonin, which lifts your mood and dulls any pain. Knitting also boosts the reward centres of the brain, because it allows people to feel that they can still make a contribution to society.

In Britain, where the NHS spends more than £2 billion each year on blood pressure treatments, around £300 million on antidepressants, and about £26 billion on dementia, and unknown billions on various chronic pain, perhaps more people should take up knitting. As one expert says: ‘Research has shown that there is a growing crisis in primary care. As a skilled and creative occupation, knitting has therapeutic potential. There is an enormous amount of research showing that knitting has physical and mental health benefits.