Parish Groups

Bell Ringers 

Bell ringing is a wonderful hobby and is also a service to the community and church. It is accessible to just about anyone from age 9 to 99. Bell ringing is a team activity that exercises both body and brain and it is great fun.


At St Mary’s we have a ring of 6 bells and St Matthew's has 5 bells. We practice on Thursday evenings, with a learner’s/improver’s practice from 19:00 to 19:30 (when needed) and the general practice from 19:30 to 20:30 (1,3&5 St Matthew's 2&4 St Mary's), followed by drinks in the pub. We ring for Sunday service at St Matthew's, 09:00 to 09:30, and for weddings.

Learning to ring

Tuition is free and is most effective if you are able to commit to an initial intensive course of one-to-one tuition for example over a weekend, or a couple of mornings or afternoons in the week or at the weekend. Typically, the basic handling takes most people between 10 and 20 hours but you may learn quicker or slower – it doesn’t matter. You will always have plenty of support and we make the bells available as much as we can to help our learners. 

How old do I have to be to start bell ringing?

Normally you need to be at least 9-10 years old, but more usually our young learners are between 12 and 14 years old. We have boxes you can stand on to help if you are a bit short. There is no upper limit on age, and there are many ringers who are in their nineties. Bell Ringing keeps you healthy in mind and body. 

How long will it take me to learn?

This very much depends upon how much “time on a rope” you can get as well as your aptitude. Some people naturally take to bell ringing and can reach “service ringing” standard within a months. Others may take much longer. But the vast majority of learners usually master the basic skills within 6-12 months. It depends a lot on your level of commitment.

Choir Social

St Matthew's Choir

St Matthew's Choir is a traditional mixed SATB choir of about 16 members. We sing anthems every Sunday at the 09:30 Mass (except in August) and at the 18:30 Evensong. Full choral Evensong is sung on the 2nd Sunday of the month.  We also sing at a variety of other services throughout the year.  The Choir Practice every Friday at 20:00.

We are affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, whose motto is from St Paul's 1st Letter to the Church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 14: 15): "I will sing with the spirit and with the understanding".

Our branch of this worldwide organisation was formed in 1959. 

The branch meets on the first Thursday of every month at 14:00.  

All meetings are open to everyone and usually start with prayers and a Bible reading followed by an invited speaker and conclude with a cup of tea and a chat with friends.  

We have a garden party and a Christmas lunch. Every second Thursday of the month we have our corporate Mass at 10:00 followed by coffee in the church. Meetings with other branches in the deanery and in the diocese take place throughout the year.

Qualification for membership has altered over the years to reflect the change in society and is open to all who have been baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity and believe in and uphold the aims and objects of the Mothers’ Union. Members who find themselves too busy with work and family to attend regular meetings can keep up to date on the Mothers’ Union website

The 3rd Ashford (St. Matthews) Scout Group started life in 1959 as a Cub Pack based at St. Matthew's Church hall, with Scouts some time afterwards. In late 1970, planning began for the Group to have it's own HQ.

Jaggin Base officially opened on Saturday, 11th November 1972 - 14 months after building work officially began. The base was named in memory of the late vicar of St. Matthew's Church, Father Victor Jaggin.

As a group, we have a clear determination that Scouting must be active and fun. We currently have leaders qualified in Camping, Kayaking, Archery and Fencing. For pictures of activities and recent events please see our Facebook Page.

We are a family-friendly group and when young people join us, so do their families. We aim to make life an adventure for all of our members. If you think you would like to join that adventure, why not get in touch.

Quick information:

  1. Beavers meet on a Monday 18:00 to 19:00.
  2. Cubs meet on a Tuesday 18:30 to 20:30.
  3. Scouts meet on Wednesday 19:30 to 20:45.

for more information please see our website: