Ashton Hayes (1874)

sir. Will you allow me to give, in your valuable paper a brief account of a "mission" which I have had the privilege to conduct in a little country village in Cheshire?

The Lord has so greatly blessed the work that I feel it would encourage many of the brethren to have such a work in their parishes. The village of Ashton Hayes, in Cheshire, consists of some 600 population and is under the pastoral care of an earnest and faithful man of God, the Rev. Arthur C Pittar. 

For weeks beforehand he was making preparations for the Mission. Not only did he set to work all the helpers he had, but himself went to every house in this parish with notices of the Mission, which he nailed up against the wall himself.

He also sent a notice of the Mission to all the neighbouring little villages, inviting the clergy, schoolmasters, and others, to help. The Society for Promoting Christian special service books, etc, for our work,

On the Monday evening, the first of my week, the weather was terribly wet, and it blew almost a gale of wind, the night also being dark and dreary. Yet the church was nearly filled, some 350 persons having assembled. Every night afterwards, up to the following Monday night, the church was quite full: but on the Sunday and Monday nights, the overflow was such that every inch of space was taken up.

Our after-meetings-at which several excellent clergy helped us, amongst whom were the Rev. Mr Rogers, and the Rev. Mr Milford, of Barrow: the Rev. Hugh Falloon, of Chester; and the Rev. Mr Davidson, of Chester--were marvellously blessed of God.

Each night some were impressed and gave their hearts to the Lord. All through the week some who had never attended a place of worship for years have come night after night. There were over fifty communicants at the evening communion at the close of the Sunday erening service, and at a morning communion we had sixteen, and at the thanksgiving service on the Monday, when the general congregation had dispersed, I asked all who had in that Mission received blessing to stay and shake hands with me. There were more than fifty who did so!

Nine more communicants in the village itself have been added to the vicar's list, and, as a result of the week's Mission, he has been able to form two classes, one of men and the other of women, comprising together some forty persons.

Upwards of forty mothers attended a special service for them, and about the same number of servants were present at one I held for them during the week.

The special service for teachers was largely attended, as was also that for children. All these were in the afternoons of the days when the little church was full in the evenings.

Who shall tell what blessing may come upon our country if, in the rural as well as town parishes of it, such special efforts can be made to win, by the simple lifting up of Jesus before the people, precious souls to Him? Surely these are but the droppings of the shower of blessing yet to be poured out. Yours in the Lord. 

"The Christians," December 17th, 1874.


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