Final Service

The following is taken from the Kentish Express, April 9, 1971:

The Mountains may depart
by Barbara Butcher

Sunday was a day for rejoicing among members of Ashford Congregational Church.
Although the Congregation met to worship for the last time in the church which is to be demolished and where service have been held since 1866, the theme of the service was one of looking forward to the future.
For now the Congregational church in Ashford is joined with the Methodist Church.
In the Bank-street church both denominations will worship together and share in church life.
The last service was evensong conducted by the Congregational minister the Reverend David Helyar.
In his address he pointed out that church buildings might disappear but the worship of God continued through the fellowship of the church.
Mr. Halyar chose his text from Isaiah. “The mountains may depart … the hills may be removed…”
Unity between the two churches was evident on Sunday. Many Methodists went to the service which was followed by Handel’s Lenten Cantata, sung by members of the two church choirs and boys from Ashford Grammar School.
The final words in the church were spoken by the Reverend William Robson, the Methodist minister, who gave the benendiction.
Silently, the congregation filed out of the building which has been sold to the county council and will eventually be used for the extension of Ashford police headquarters.
The Reverend David Halyar and teh Reverend William Robson share the ministry of the joint church, where the youth leader is the Reverend Bryan Coates.

After the last hymn "In the cross of Christ I glory" ... the Benediction
After the last hymn “In the cross of Christ I glory” … the Benediction

Picture: Denis Shadwell