Yule Festivities: all welcome!

Hail good folks,

You may have realised by now that the next celebration in the wheel’s turn is Yule, traditionally for us in Derbyshire a time of much merriment, food and the odd bit of dancing.  Good news everyone!  It’s that time again.  This year it will be on the 19th December in the evening at Eyre Chapel, Newbold.

The usual applies – for those new to the festivities, that means a short ritual to mark the occasion (the serious bit) followed by a foodshare, light entertainments, and a bit of a boogie at Jay’s Cheesy Wheels of Steel Disco to finish the evening off.  So; dust off your glad rags, bring out your bling and get ready to celebrate midwinter in our usual fashion.  All are welcome, whether pagan or not, druid, shaman, wiccan, witch, heathen, eclectic or just plain nutty ;)  The more the merrier!

In short: bling is the order of the season, or fancy dress, whichever you prefer ;)  The ritual will be outdoors but for a short time only, and then it’s inside to celebrate in true fashion.  Bring a spot of food – something to share, it doesn’t have to be homemade, as long as you can categorise it as meativore, veggivore or dessert (not the sandy kind…).  If you’d like to do a turn on the stage for a few minutes, get in touch you talented people you.   Also: bring your appetites :)  We traditionally tend to have a lot of food!

The place will be Eyre Chapel, Newbold, which is behind the Nags Head pub.  For those who haven’t been before, turn into the pub car park immediately next to the pub, go to the far end and you should see a big set of open iron bar gates.  Through those, you’ll find a car park covered in crushed pale stone (as opposed to the pub car park of tarmac).  Follow the path lights to the small building on the left hand side of the car park as you enter the gates, and you should see a crowd of people already there :)

More news as we get the entertainments confirmed, watch this space :)

Buddha Buckets and bed-posts:The Oseberg Ship Burial

The site at Oseberg is one of great importance to those wanting to study Viking Age culture, as it contains excellent examples of tapestries and fabrics, not to mention a complete cart (the only complete one recovered thus far) two female burials with extensive grave goods and the  ship itself wasn’t in bad nick either:

Note the lovely carvings at the prow, and the shallow/ wide shape?  Not made for going across oceans, (as a modern replica built to the same specifications sank twice…you can see a replica being sailed HERE and HERE)

oseberg replica

certainly not designed for warfare, nor carrying many people (approx 30 rowers), the current theory is that the craft was used for coastal journeys before it was used to hold a double burial.

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Samhain Ritual and Celebration reminder

Just a little reminder folks that the open Samhain ritual and celebration evening is fast approaching. In simple words, it means that everyone is welcome.  All traditions, paths, beliefs and hair lengths, we’d love to see you there :)

We will be up at Eyre Chapel, Newbold, Chesterfield from 7.30pm on 1st November with a ritual and foodshare marking the occasion, along with our famous pumpkin carving competition (with prize for the best one), fancy dress competition (for those that fancy it, also with a prize) and new for this year – the Spookiest Named Food, with, you’ve guessed it, a prize up for grabs :)

There will probably be music and dancing somewhere along the way, so come along to mark the occasion with your community, dance, sample spooky food and present your pumpkin!

Looking forward to seeing you all there :D

Samhain Celebration Approaches

The Wheel turns and Samhain approaches, so for the festival, Chesterfield Pagans are planning an open gathering and ritual celebration night.  This will be at Eyre Chapel, Newbold, Chesterfield (the same place that the monthly drumming takes place) on 1st November at 7.30pm.

As usual, there will be a ritual marking the occasion, together with music and dancing afterwards, and some fun, family orientated activities:

Fancy Dress Competition – for those that fancy it!  For children and adults alike, with a prize being awarded for the best costume

The return (or should that be revenge) of the Pumpkin Carving Competition – with a prize awarded for the best one

And a new competition for this year – Spookiest Named Food – as this one’s new,  we’ll explain: the celebration will be a food share, so please bring a little something with you.  It doesn’t have to be enough to feed everyone and if it’s homemade, please mark your food meaty, veggie or dessert!  For those wanting to enter this competition we’d like you to bring a themed item and present it with it’s title, an example could be hotdogs wrapped in pastry bands with eyes put on with a little food colouring presented as ‘Mummified Hot-Dogs’.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, or expensive, and there’ll be a prize awarded for the best one.

Looking forward to seeing you all there (and sampling your spooky food!)

Food Banks

In the current economic climate, paying for food is becoming increasingly difficult for those on a tight budget.  As Winter approaches, some are having to make the decision to either pay for food, or pay for heating.

There are places which provide food and support through crisis, within 5 miles of Chesterfield centre, there are 9 food banks available to help.  Most of them provide a hamper with 3-4 days worth of food, including tinned and dry goods, fresh fruit and veg and bread, to help that person or family cope either in a crisis, or long term.  The majority of food banks in this area are based at Christian churches or community centres, relying on public donations to help support those in need.

The centres will happily take donations of tinned and dry goods, however small, and usually have a list of preferred donations so just give them a call to make that your donations are suitable first!  You can sometimes see them at major supermarkets, where they will offer a list of suitable donations and invite you to pick one up with your weekly shop and donate it.

If you find yourself in crisis, you can talk to the Citizens Advice Bureau about managing money and debt.  To access a food bank service, you must be given a voucher which you can take to the centre.  You can obtain a voucher and a referral from the CAB, your GP, Sure Start, your health visitor, or social care professionals.

You can find a list of available food banks in your area of Derbyshire HERE

The Chatsworth Road Festival: Tales from the Tea Room

The Chatsworth Road Festival is nearly upon us again!  Running from 4-12th October 2014, the festival covers business and services down the length of Chatsworth Road with events such as food tastings, an archaeological dig, discounts, late night openings, storytelling, theatre and music performances, a seed swap, apple pressing, beer tasting and the return of Man Vs. Meringue.

You can pick up a handy guide to the festival or for more information, follow them on Facebook: Chatsworth-Road-Festival, on Twitter @chatsrdfestival or on their website www.chatsworthroadfestival.co.uk

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Ahem, as part of the festival, Open Book Writers (what your lovely web team belongs to) will be launching their first anthology and performing their work at ‘Tales from the Tea Room’ at St Thomas Church Cafe, Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield.  This will be on Tuesday 7th October at 7-9pm.  Tickets are £2, you can reserve by contacting them on openbookwriters@aol.co.uk or Dawn on 01246 569705.  Come and listen to the authors performing a selection of their work, ask them questions, buy your own copy (for six of your finest English pounds, all right £5.99 to you…) have it autographed, and have coffee and cake :)

Don’t say we never do anything nice for you ;p