The Ancient Chapelry of St. John at Aust
St John’s Church at Aust offers you a warm welcome. On the second and fourth Sunday of every month at 10am we have a sung service, followed by refreshments – see details of services below. There is a children’s corner, and children are most welcome at these ten o’clock services, and children contribute to the annual carol service. There is a quiet Holy Communion service every other Sunday at 8am.
Pattern of Services
2nd Sunday 10am Morning Prayer
4th Sunday 10am Holy Communion
St John’s is part of the ecclesiastical parish of Olveston with Aust, with Rev Philip Rowe as vicar, but Aust has its own district church council and its own church officers, and Rev Ann Parker (01291329569 , email: firstname.lastname@example.org) serves as Focal Minister here. The choir of St Mary’s Olveston visits for some of the major festivals.
Because of its location at the ‘old passage’ (the ferry crossing of the River Severn at its narrowest for forty miles upstream) Aust has had a fascinating history since Roman times. Some 800 years ago, the ‘ancient chapelry’ was linked to the bishops of Worcester, who had a palace at Henbury (long before there were bishops of Bristol), and a little later it was linked to the medieval priory at Westbury-on-Trym.
John Wycliffe, a pre-Reformation reformer who with his followers was the first to translate the Bible into English, drew some income from being the Prebend of Aust – ie he had a ‘stall’ at Westbury Priory (though scholars now think it is unlikely he ever visited Aust).
Though a small village, seemingly truncated by the M48 motorway over the Severn Bridge, and a dual carriageway to Avonmouth, Aust is a thriving community. The old church school is now a village hall, used by local groups and available for hire.
St John’s was a major venue during the 1400th anniversary of St Augustine’s mission to England in 597AD, because Augustine may have met the Welsh bishops here. The church was fortunate to receive a major grant from English Heritage for its extensive repairs some ten years ago; and is currently planning to improve its basic facilities.