Church of England Diocese of Derby Wirksworth With Alderwasley

St Mary's Tops Out

19 Aug 2020, 4 p.m.
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On Tuesday 18 August, we gathered to give thanks for the repairs that have made the nave roof watertight once again. The Right Reverend Libby Lane, bishop of Derby, took a day from her holiday to join us and blessed the repairs as part of the ceremony. Bishop Libby relished the chance to climb up onto the roof and view the town.

Topping Out is a ceremony that originates from Scandinavia, but has been adopted in this country. We chose to include tying a bough of oak- a symbol of endurance and strength- to the apex of the nave roof. Before it was hoisted up, we decorated it with coloured  tape made at the town's historic Haarlem mill. The bough was supplied by local company Full Grown, who have gained an international reputation for their grown furniture.

With lead being so important to the town of Wirksworth, as well as the fabric of the building, we were delighted that the T'owd men- ghosts of lead miners made an appearance.

You can hear a report on the celebration on BBC Radio Derby. Move the timer to 3.40.18 to find them.