Treasurer - John Ashworth

John Ashworth- Church treasurer and Caretaker


Did you know that the very fact you are alive means God has a purpose for your life?. It took me fifty six years to find this out, which is when Jesus came into my life.

When I finished  my education I started work at a local textile mill and worked there for forty six years. I always strived for more,  and moved up the leadership ladder, and  eventually  reached the top. This was my goal,  it made me happy,  or so I thought  looking back this was a myth. You can  usually  succeed  in reaching a goal if you put your mind to it,  but I did not know that being  successful  and fulfilling your  life purpose are not at all the same issue.

It was Christmas 1999 I collapsed playing golf and was rushed to hospital with a brain  haemorrhage.  Unknown to me it was a life or death situation, Janet my wife did know.  She, throughout her life,  has always gone to Church and believed in Jesus Christ , she has been a member at Sion for many years.  She became my guardian angel, visiting me twice a day for nine weeks whilst I was in hospital.

When able to read again, Janet gave me a book, passed on by a lady at Church, it was called Daily Strength, and it gave quotes from the Bible to read every day.  I had never read the Bible, but these words gave me comfort, I had plenty of time in hospital to think and an imprint was stamped in the corner of my mind. My top ten things in life began to change.

I returned to work (after being  away for approx eight month ) to worrying situations, as the textile industry was on the slide like many other firms, however with cuts made we limped on.

In 2003 my friend was diagnosed with cancer, he was told he had six weeks to live, I did not know that my life was going to change in a big way along with his.  Janet asked our then minister the Rev Ron Phillips to pray for him along with the members of the Church.  Within weeks he got the all clear from the medical staff who were amazed and said it was a miracle. He told me how he had felt so rough in hospital and then he said he had this wonderful warm feeling running through him  and was walking around the next day. Ron asked Janet if she would write a testimony about our friend and read it out at Church and also we wanted to thank all the people who had prayed for him. I said very little to Janet about this, but I kept getting these words in my head which said, “ you have to be with Janet at Church to help her read the testimony”. Sunday came and Janet set off for Church, though a little nervous, “Good luck” I said, Gosh!  Ten minutes later I was on my way to Church!   The only time I had been to Sion was the Christmas Carol Service!, funny, when I went into Church I felt full of warmth I found Janet and sat down to her saying ”what are you doing here?” I have come to help you read the testimony I answered, which I duly read to the congregation.

Later Ron had a word with me and asked what had made me come that morning, he then gave me a Bible and pointed out to me various places to read. I started to become a regular member at Sion and developed a very strong bond with Rev Ron,  I was always asking questions-  though the thing I did find difficult was praying.

Five months on

I could see the business was starting to fail and called the accountants in for advise, which proved the right thing to do. It was Christmas again and I had a serious nervous breakdown, I went to the lowest point anybody can go!  It was dark  and I was so  cold and  so lonely, I blamed myself for the company downfall, I had many discussions with Janet,  my friends,  and most of all with Rev Ron, who tried to tell me it was not  my fault .  My Niece at church (now a deacon) sent me this passage to read from Daily Bread dated December 2003.

A man was going through an extremely difficult time at work. It was a crisis of major proportions that had ominous implications for him and for the future of his company. He just couldn’t resolve it. Finally he said I’ve tried everything I know to get through this situation and nothing has worked. It’s time to start praying. Prayer was seen as a last ditch effort to resolve the problem. Only after all other options were eliminated did the person decide to pray, it was a desperate grasping of straws.

I started to pray and I slowly came to life again, we closed the company in March 2004 and all creditors were paid.

I got more involved at church in many ways, as people know, I was baptized on the 23 May 2004. God is now in my life all the time I have had my ups and downs with people, not agreed with all, but I am slowly learning how to have grace and to know what it means to have it. I feel privileged to know what it feels like to follow Jesus, In this short period of time God has  worked in me,   “ God is good all the time - all the time God is good”.

 God, please bless us all here at Sion, we are all connected to each other. Dear God help us to build your Church.

John Ashworth