This is an archived press release
Wednesday 15 March 2006
15 March 2006
Bishop's first tour of Peak District National Park
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Dr Alastair Redfern, paid tribute to the treasures of the Peak District National Park on his first official visit since being installed last year.
“The National Park is a major feature of Derbyshire, and I was keen to see how it contributes to our concern for the quality of life in the communities here,” he said. “It’s also a major focus for people to visit, and I need to know what treasures we have, both in people and the natural world, how we conserve them and what we’ve got to offer the rest of the world.
“The National Park, with its emphasis on the beauty of the landscape, its wildlife and heritage, gives people a better appreciation of the mystery and purpose of life, which is what we in the Church also strive to do.”
The Bishop spent the day touring with National Park chief executive Jim Dixon and deputy chair Hilda Gaddum, including visits to an affordable housing scheme in Bradwell, the Peak District Rural Deprivation Forum, and Losehill Hall centre for environmental education.
The Bishop also met young people from Buxton on a walk with National Park rangers at Edale, he visited a National Park tourist information centre at Bakewell, and saw spectacular beauty-spots such as Monsal Head along the way.
“I’m very conscious that the National Park is not only a beautiful place to visit,” said Dr Redfern, “but it’s a home to 38,000 people, and there’s a balance to be struck between providing for their needs, caring for the environment and dealing with commercial pressures for development.
“It also creates opportunities for engaging with ways of living which are rooted in the natural beauty of our common environment.”
Jim Dixon said: “We were delighted to introduce the Bishop to places he may not have seen before in this important part of his diocese. The Church plays a very significant part in community life in the National Park and looks after some of our most treasured buildings – we look forward to a long and fruitful connection.”