Meet the Minister
Greetings!  My name is Mark Lawrence and I am the minister here at Ashley Methodist Church as well as at Market Drayton.

I am married to Carolyn (pictured with me) and we are very much a team, working in leadership together.  We have two married daughters, three gorgeous grandchildren and two cats!  We both have a passion for the great commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:20, and seek to share the love of Jesus as well as to help people to grow in their faith wherever they are on their Christian journey.

In his spare time Mark enjoys running, cycling and is a transport enthusiast, especially railways and aviation. He also has a bus drivers’ licence. Together with Carolyn they enjoy taking time out walking and relaxing with family and friends over a good meal!

If you have any questions or want to know more about the Jesus and the amazing church here, do get in touch.



Ashley Methodist Church has a ‘blog’! Here you will find updates, posts and articles on all sorts of things we are up to, all contributed by our Ashley Methodist Church Family. View the most recent 3 posts by clicking on their thumbnails below or view the whole blog via the ‘News’ link in the Top Menu, or by clicking here

An Abundant Blessing

When Rev. Mark Lawrence became our new circuit minister last September he brought with him an additional and wonderful blessing, his wife Carolyn.  Carolyn supports Mark in every way she can as part of “Team Lawrence.”

Carolyn’s Christian journey began at a Dick Saunders crusade when she was 15.  Her relationship with God enabled her to overcome her teenage angsts so that a fun-loving girl became a vibrant, warm hearted, passionate follower of Christ.  When she married Mark four years later they discovered that he had been converted at the same crusade.  Family is very important to Carolyn,  so she was a full-time mum for most of the time before their two daughters were in full time education.  She now has three grandchildren and another one on the way and rejoices in being with them all whenever possible.

Mark’s decision to enter the ministry in 1995 meant that she had to leave her roots in Bedfordshire as they moved to Wesley College, Bristol.  While Mark was training Carolyn became involved with the George Muller Foundation helping in schools and toddler groups in areas of great social need.  During Mark’s ministry in the Isle of Wight & then Lincoln her involvement with children continued.  She undertook a degree in Education at Portsmouth University followed by a postgraduate course and then taught in schools for nine years.  In 2012 came a big move to Guyana where her teaching skills were really needed while Mark undertook church and circuit roles.  This was a testing experience for them both; they learned to rely deeply on God’s provision and sustenance.  This venture also aroused Carolyn’s interest in the global community.

Back in Devon in 2014 opportunities for teaching were lacking so Carolyn turned her attention to Methodist Women in Britain where she had a national role and gained international experience representing the UK on the World Federation of Methodist & Uniting Women.  This led on to working with the Global Relationships Team at Methodist Church House, linking with partner churches across the world through prayer support and hands-on action.  The next step, following promptings from God, was to allow her name to go forward for Vice-President of the Methodist Conference.  She was duly elected and began her year of office in June 2020.

This was not the best of times to be involved in activities on a national scale.  What should have been a year of personal visits, travel and exciting events became a time of zoom meetings, radio broadcasts, lecturing and preaching remotely.  Sadly she missed out on several once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as a Buckingham Palace garden party, COP 26, meeting refugees in Dover and a visit to Malawi for All We Can.  Hours spent in front of a computer screen were probably more taxing than a busy travel schedule.  However, a very different modus operandi meant that her recorded sermons could be shared simultaneously by several churches.  Working from home she could spend more time with each community she “visited,” joining in with small church groups via zoom thus getting to know many more individuals.  She and the President, Rev. Richard Teal, held regular live Facebook sessions and, for those without access to the internet, they recorded prayers and reflections on a phone line.

The responsibility of being called upon as a national leader for her opinion on all manner of topics was challenging but also a great privilege and Carolyn used every opportunity to bring glory to Jesus and to encourage ordinary Methodists in their walk with God.  Carolyn is particularly conscious of the negative and discouraging impressions a congregation may give, however unwittingly, thereby discouraging rather than welcoming newcomers.  She has long campaigned against abuse and bullying in church so one of her most satisfying achievements was the inclusion of an anti-bullying section in the Methodist Church’s safeguarding policy.

In the short time that Mark and Carolyn have been with us in the Market Drayton circuit we have come to appreciate their powerful preaching skills, the importance they give to prayer and their genuine interest and care for our community.  In addition Carolyn, very much a people person, thoroughly enjoys social occasions; they are a generous and hospitable couple.  Under their leadership we have an enjoyable as well as challenging future to look forward to.  Thanks be to God!

Christingle Joy

Joy to The World was the theme of the Christingle service held on 7th December.  We lit our Christingle candles, lowered the lights and sang “This Little Light of Mine”. The Christingle originated in the Eastern European church, it is a powerful symbol of God’s love. The candle signifies Jesus as the light of the world, the orange is the world and the red ribbon shows that He shed his blood for us.

Later in the service the young children used puppets, in a touching way, to enact the Nativity story and illustrate the moment when the shepherds heard the word from the angels and visited the new born baby Jesus in the manger.




The church was filled with the family and friends of Poppy May to share in her baptism on Sunday 21 November 2021. Poppy is the daughter of Nick and Tracy and granddaughter of Peter and Pauline, the much loved members of our church, Pauline being in charge of our Junior Church over many years.

Poppy is the little sister of George and niece of Richard and David, also our church members. The service was conducted by our new minister, the Revd Mark Lawrence, and it was a joyful occasion as Poppy was baptised into our Christian fellowship supported by her godparents.

Holy Communion was celebrated during the service, the elements of bread and wine given out to many of the congregation who wished to share in it.


2022 Healing Conference at Methodist Central Hall Westminster

Carolyn Lawrence (Vice President of Methodist Conference 2020-21 and Local Preacher in our Circuit) will be the keynote speaker for the Healing Conference which has a theme of ‘Transformation’ for 2022.

You can register for a ticket for the conference at:

Online Worship
As a Circuit we have been providing a live-streamed service throughout the pandemic. As of June 2021, with church now open for weekly services, it will change a little from what you are used to.  It will now be a recording of the service taking place at Market Drayton Methodist Church each week. Members of our congregations will be provided with a link to watch live on a Sunday morning via YouTube and a slightly edited version of the service will be available within a few days via our YouTube channel which you can also watch below.
All previous worship services from this online period can be found on our YouTube channel
What Can You Expect?

A Warm Welcome

An atmosphere of warmth, welcome and peace pervades this building and the people of Ashley Methodist Church.  We really enjoy meeting new people and welcoming visitors.  We are a sociable, welcoming and caring community.


Worship is never dull here.  With a team of local preachers as well as our minister to lead services there is variety in style and content.  We all enjoy a good sing of mostly traditional hymns but we are ready to try more modern ones. Services are held on Sunday mornings at 10.30am followed by fellowship over coffee and biscuits. An informal bible study takes place on Friday mornings in our own homes and is open to all regardless of church loyalty.

For Children

A team of dedicated folk take time out to teach our children in the Junior Church each week. We have occasional ‘All-In’ services where children actively participate in the worship. We also have a puppet ministry team who work with the young people in helping share the gospel.

We Look Forward To

Welcoming You

Contact Us

Address: Ashley Methodist Church, Wesleyan Road, Ashley, Market Drayton TF9 4JT

You’re always welcome to join us on a Sunday – but if you have a question to ask or simply want to get in touch, please use the contact form to do so.

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