Mr Roy Ellis from Shrewsbury led our worship last Sunday morning. It was a quiet and contemplative service which our congregation greatly appreciated. Roy was warmly welcomed by Sue Fox, and it was good to have him in our pulpit again after his absence due to the pandemic and illness. He was clearly glad to be back with us at Ashley. He used some words of the Psalmist as his call to worship “Praise the Lord Oh my Soul”. He had selected some much-loved hymns and we began with a hymns based on Psalm 100 “All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice”.

There followed a prayer of praise and thanksgiving and after our singing “Hark my soul! It is the Lord” Rod Smith read our morning’s bible reading, from Matthew chapter five, as well as providing our organ music. This was the Beatitudes contained in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Our prayers for others followed during which special prayers were said for the suffering at home and overseas especially those in the earthquake in Afghanistan and the suffering due to the war Ukraine for which Roy prayed for Peace and Honour for both sides in the conflict.

In his sermon Roy dwelt on the background to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount which he described as a manifesto for God’s Kingdom on Earth. “We would go for power and authority”, said Roy, “but God’s Kingdom is one of humility and love”. Jesus did not speak to the crowds but rather he drew away to a quiet place and he spoke to his disciples and helpers, both men and women. “Blessed are the poor in Sprit is about the poverty in our spiritual lives, and our need for Jesus. ‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth’ does not mean they may be struck down by the strong, rather it means being called to be aware of the needs of others and to be humble. ‘Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness sake’ speaks of those who show mercy, for God meets with you and you will receive mercy”. The sermon was most helpful to us all.