Mark Ashton, Vicar of St Andrew the Great Church in Cambridge (STAG) since 1987, died this last Saturday from cancer at the age of 62. He had known he was dying for over a year, and used that time to strengthen his witness to the Christian hope of salvation through the death and Resurrection of Jesus – a hope which he offered faithfully throughout his ministry. He has served the Lord and the Lord’s people with faithfulness and distinction, and many others have come to the Lord through him. Alleluia!
His long service at St Andrew’s showed his commitment to the local church and its members. Mark’s focus was firmly on preaching Christ and opening the Scriptures, and he was bold in his pastoral care, challenging others and himself alike with the gospel. During his time, the church grew considerably, and he successfully led its move from its original premises at the Round Church to its present home at St Andrew’s.
Mark’s robust and warm character also came through in his strong interest in sport and the outdoors. He was a member of a winning Goldie boat-race crew in his time. It seems appropriate that the news of Mark’s own passage through death to a greater life was shared with the church he loved just after another famous Goldie victory, and on the day of resurrection itself, Easter Day.
We have been privileged in the Diocese of Ely to have had Mark as one of our company. Now our thoughts and prayers are with his church and many friends, but most especially with his wife Fiona and their children Chris, Claire and Nick.
+ David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon in the Diocese of Ely