The Ashfords Benefice embraces some of the loveliest rural scenery in the country, extending from Knowbury, high on the flanks of Titterstone Clee Hill, to the verdant pastures of Richards Castle which straddles the Shropshire/Herefordshire border, and up to Ludford which is divided from the splendid historic market town of Ludlow only by the picturesque River Teme. The six parishes work closely together and enjoy many joint activities and initiatives, as well as the benefits of a mutual support network. Our churches are diverse in age and architecture; all are historically interesting, and the services they offer range from Messy Church to the Book of Common Prayer.
Formed in 2017, the benefice was only six months old when we welcomed Reverend Lynn Money as our Rector. In 2019 we were very fortunate to be joined as part-time Assistant Priest by the Reverend Prebendary Nick Helm. The parishes are also served by Lay Readers Stephen Ashton, Roger Hall and Stephen Treasure, as well as a team of Lay Leaders of Worship.
The benefice is part of the Ludlow Deanery, under the Rural Dean, the Reverend Prebendary Ashley Buck.
Churches in Benefice
Ludford: St Giles
Nestling on the edge of the Shropshire market town of Ludlow, and overlooking the picturesque River Teme, we are a small church with a big heart - welcoming, busy, comfortable and warm! With our five sister churches in the Ashfords Benefice we offer a range of styles of worship, often followed by social time and seasonal refreshments. Recent special services have included Celtic and Lutheran liturgy, Candlemas, and the agricultural year celebrations of Plough Sunday, Rogation and Lammas.
St. Giles' is fully accessible for those with restricted mobility, and caters for a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. Our church decorations for festivals have earned a reputation locally for being well worth a visit.
For details of forthcoming services and events in our Parish, see the One-off Events section in the Services & Events page.
This week's Benefice Pewsheet covers our sister churches as well.
Current news stories are in the News & Notices section, and on our Facebook page.
Information about other events and activities that may be of interest are on the Other Events page.
COVID-19: PLEASE SEE THE 'KEEPING GOING!' PAGE FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.
Ashford Carbonell: St Mary Magdalene
Richards Castle: All Saints
Welcome to this beautiful Church where Christians have worshipped for over 100 years. All Saints' was built in 1892 to the design of the famous Victorian architect Norman Shaw. It was given to the parish by Mrs Hannah Foster in memory of her husband and daughter; a stone recording this can be seen behind the lectern.
All Saints is built in the decorated style of the 14th century. You probably entered the Church from the north door off the road. Take a moment to un-bolt the opposite door and take in the impressive porch under the tower and the yew walk leading up to it. This was originally the main entrance. Don't forget to bolt the door again afterwards!
The interior is dominated by the reredos, the painted panels above the altar. It was painted by one Charles Buckeridge. The centre panel depicts the Crucifixion with Our Lady and St John. On the left-hand panel are St Catherine and St Cecilia and on the right-hand panel, St James and St Peter. Either side are pairs of angels.
There is one bell in the tower, which weighs two tons - the largest in the diocese of Hereford.
The parish of Richards Castle is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of Hereford’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.
Knowbury: St Paul
Ashford Bowdler: St Andrew