Parish News From The Pews

Helping us to keep our faith, keep in touch and be charitable.

If you have anything to share, you are welcome to either write via the church office or email to Please include your contact details when you email us.



Blog - Our Lady and St Werburgh

Lenten Lunches at Ashley


At the end of a long, cold and wet winter and as covid restrictions were lifted, it was decided that the Churches Together in Ashley would re-introduce the Lenten Lunches which had taken place so successfully in the past, as an opportunity to get together and also to raise funds for the relief effort in Ukraine.

It was decided that the lunches should be simple and that the focus of the days would be on fellowship rather than gastronomy!
Accordingly, the first lunch hosted by the Anglican community, set the tone for future events. Delicious home-made soups, along with home-made bread and cheese followed by fresh fruit became the standard. Old acquaintances were renewed and a great spirit of fellowship was enjoyed by those attending from the various Christian communities around the village.

The subsequent lunches hosted by St John the Baptist C of E church, Ashley Methodist Church and Our Lady and St. John The Baptist RC churches, followed in a similar vein. Various home-made soups and breads and cheeses followed by fresh fruit and coffee. Cakes kindly donated by the local Coop were presented at the final lunch and enjoyed by many of the assembled group!
The five lunches and periods of fellowship held on each Wednesday throughout Lent, were a great testimony to the belief that we have far more that joins us than divides us!

Whilst the food was delicious, I think that the consensus of everyone attending, was that it was the time of fellowship which particularly distinguished our times together. Thank you to all those who contributed in any way and to the £738 which was raised during the lunches! Thank you also to Loggerheads Coop, Morrisons of Market Drayton and to Barringtons Accountants for their kind donations.

Lenten Lunches 2022

By Bernard Bester

Blog - Our Lady and St Werburgh

Easter Parade by Bing Crosby

Music for Easter 2022


This is not a hymn, but it was written by Irving Berlin and taken from the film of the same name in 1942. Bing Crosby was a Catholic and he did play Father O'Malley in two of the most successful films of the 1940s. Catholics of a certain age will remember vividly the good ladies at Mass on Easter Sunday morning because it seemed obligatory for them all to wear their new Easter bonnets. It was of course usual for women to cover their heads then at Mass, but some of the concoctions worn still bring a smile to the lips. Optimism is always in the air after the season of Lent.

Blog - Our Lady and St Werburgh

The Old Rugged Cross by Alan Jackson

Music for Easter 2022


The hymn was written over a century ago in America by George Bennard. Since then it has become one of the most popular and well-known , and has lyrics which are most appropriate for today. Alan Jackson is labelled as a 'country' singer, who has become more involved in Evangelical Christianity in the past decade or so. We first heard him on a visit to Atlanta in 1996, and we were fortunate to hear him 'live' in Tennessee on one of our travels, and his stage presence lives strong in our memory.


Blog - Our Lady and St Werburgh



Last year we had Ella Fitzgerald's version, but this year's singer is Dolly Parton with the words printed for you to sing this last offering. For some reason there is always debate about when the Christmas festivities end and when the decorations should be taken down, - either January 5th or 6th. Some musical traditionalists even feel that this carol should not be sung until the Magi arrive on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany. The carol uses the term 'Kings' for the 'Magi,' but again there is discussion about whether they were 'Sorcerers' or 'Wise Men.'

Best wishes to you all for a safe and better year ahead.

Blog - Our Lady and St Werburgh



This music with its origins in early 20th century Gospel music is not technically a carol, but after the difficulties of almost the past two years the optimism expressed is important for a more normal future. This is the original 1938 recording by Louis Armstrong, and the radiance of his smile along with his incomparable horn playing is as joyous as any carol or hymn. The music has become a standard and many choirs and sports teams have adopted it, albeit with adapted words.