ASHOVER: Chicks are stars of service at All Saints Church

Newly-hatched chickens in their own mobile incubator proved the stars of the Easter Sunday service at All Saints Church, Ashover. They were loaned for the occasion by local businessman David Bown and proved a great hit with the children at the service who also enjoyed a chocolate Easter egg hunt throughout the church as part of the celebration. The service was led by the Rector, the Rev. Ralph Lawrence and featured musical items by Ashover Celebration Choir and the Amber Bells team of ringers led by Jeff Singleton. The reading was by Molly Warwick and organist was Sarah Evans. As they left the church, members of the congregation were offered pieces of Fair Trade chocolate eggs by Susan Lawrence.

Easter Sunday’s traditional open-air sunrise service at the Fabric rock above Ashover was abandoned because of lingering amounts of snow and the difficulty of access to the high ground. Instead, the service was held in the warmth of All Saints Church. It was led by the Rector and Celia Kelly read the parable of the bamboo, an ancient Chinese Easter story. Music was provided by Ashover Band. After the service, the congregation moved to the nearby Bassett Rooms for a hot breakfast prepared by a team of volunteers headed by Andrew Lovell, Annette Fisher and Brenda Shaw.

Seasonal services began on Palm Sunday when palm crosses were distributed to every member of the congregation. Throughout Holy Week, a daily programme of readings and reflections was led by Celia Kelly and the Rector with readings by Ruth Russell, Mark Hillard, Ron Eyley, the Rector, Rosemary Blakesley and Peter Lord.

Maundy Thursday saw a special programme of music by Ashover Celebration Choir led by musical director Ruth Russell, who also read the lesson, and a sketch based on St John’s account of the washing of Simon Peter’s feet with Celia Kelly as narrator, Janet Bonsall as Simon Peter and Peter Lord as Jesus.

The Good Friday service led by the rector included modern readings of the Easter story by Sue Crookes, the Right Rev Bob Beak, Ron Eyley, David Russell, Peggy Beak and Ruth Russell.