Welcome to the URC web page
The United Reformed Church in Aston Tirrold worships here every Sunday, at the regular time of 11.00. There are occasional evening services instead in the summer (6pm). The congregation welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds who are journeying in faith.
The Centre for Reflection offers a place for visiting church away days, quiet days and advertised Friday events and Saturday workshops. It is also the home base of the village toddler group and the Centre also welcomes other bookings, for example National Childbirth Trust (NCT) courses meet there. There is a quiet garden associated with the Quiet Garden Trust. Occasional concerts are held in the Centre and in the church.
Forthcoming events are on the web sites (the church at www.aturc.freeuk.com and the Centre at www.reflect.freeuk.com) and in the monthly village news.
Although there was a worshipping congregation from the 1660s at a time of religious turmoil through England, the present building dates from 1728.
The history of the United Reformed Church, Aston Tirrold
Known until 1972 as the Presbyterian Church, it is a modest and very pleasing brick building of 1728 and is of considerable interest, being the second Non-conformist church building in the neighbourhood (the oldest being the Waterside Chapel in Newbury, built in 1697). It preserves, with its galleries, much of the atmosphere of 18th century worship. It was altered in 1865 by the addition of the two porches, and the moving of the pulpit from the west to the east wall. This meant the removal of one of the three galleries, from which the fiddlers used to lead the music.
The refurbishment in 1972 concealed the Victorian woodwork of the galleries and restored the old light fittings. The Dissenting congregation in the Astons dates from 1662 when two local clergymen, Richard Comyns of Cholsey and Thomas Cheesman of East Garston, were among many incumbents thrown out of their livings for refusing to subscribe to the Act of Uniformity. They were welcomed here by John Fuller, one of the family whose members up to the beginning of this century were the principal landowners and farmers in the Astons.
At first a barn was used for worship, then a bigger barn in the yard of William Pope, maltster, was fitted up. It is recorded that in 1717 "there were two hundred hearers". When the present "meeting house" was built, Joseph and Richard Fuller also provided a Manse (the same house was so used until 1971) and an orchard for the Minister. There were regular ministers, some of intellectual distinction, from 1705. George Marris of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, started the first School in the village in 1827. This (the 'British' School, as opposed to the 'National' school started by the Rector in 1847) survived until 1907. Since 1972, the Astons children have gone to South Moreton. From 1873 the congregation became a "sanctioned charge" of the Presbyterian Church in England (North London Presbytery) and so remained for 99 years until the formation of the United Reformed Church (Presbyterian and Congregational).
You may also wish to visit our page for the CENTRE FOR REFLECTION HERE