Welcome to the website for the united benefice of Ashburnham with Penhurst. Here you will find information about our churches, and the events and activities which are part of our church and village life. Our desire is to know, love and to follow Jesus Christ in our homes, our church family and in the communities where we live and work.
Our aim is to be a church that is accessible to everyone, wherever they are coming from, and to be a place where people can experience healing and restoration. We want to provide the opportunity for all to grow in faith and commitment to Jesus Christ whatever their age.
We have one service each Sunday at 10.30 am.
Our services are informal yet orderly, often following the liturgy of Common Worship. We seek to be led by the Holy Spirit. All members are given the opportunity to share what God is doing in their lives if they wish.
Families with children are very welcome, and we have activities for younger people each Sunday, except when there is an All Age service on the first Sunday of the month. there are two house groups which meet on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Thursday of the month at 8.00pm.
Preist-in-Charge for the benefice of Ashburnham with Penhurst
At St. Peter's we often join with friends at Ashburnham Chapel for shared services and events. To contact them and find out lots more about The Chapel see their website here
Find out more about activities, groups and events in Ashburnham and Penhurst on the village website here
‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me’ (Matthew 16:24).
My first posting as a Rector was in the Fingal Valley, North Eastern Tasmania. I had eight churches spread across a valley 45 miles long. One of these churches was dedicated to ‘The Holy Cross’. It puzzled me at first that a church should have such a dedication. It was an old weatherboard building with a corrugated tin roof. It seated no more than 20 people – I say ‘seated’ because there were just wooden benches! Aservice was held once a month and about 6 people would turn up.
The church remembers Holy Cross Day on September 14th and commemorates the exposition of the relic of what was held to be the very cross upon which Christ suffered. It had been plundered by the King of Persia in 614, with other plunder from Jerusalem. In 629 it was returned to Jerusalem by Heraclius returning in triumph from his victorious campaign to retrieve the relic. Upon arriving at the Holy City, he found that the gates were closed. As he waited for the gates to open he heard a voice from heaven reminding him that the King of kings had not sought to enter the city in splendour but in meek and lowly guise, riding upon an ass. Immediately Heraclius dismounted and entered the City barefoot, carrying the sacred relic upon his shoulder. Holy Cross day thus observes this event.
Such an event is somewhat remote from everyday life, and yet it can be a timely reminder of that supreme symbol of sacrifice. A second century Christian writer wrote: ‘At every step and moment, whenever we come in or go out, when we dress, when we bathe, at the meal table, when lights are lit, whatever we work at, we sign ourselves with the sign of the cross, so our attention is caught at each and every stage of daily life’. Whether we accept this in the literal sense or whether we accept it symbolically, the challenge of the Cross remains with us, as it remained with those first disciples to whom Jesus said: ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’.
So I will think back to that little old church in the sticks which carried the name of the Holy Cross and recall with gratitude that a faithful handful, month by month, would gather to worship he who died that we might live.
With my prayers,