St Barbara's, Ashton under Hill

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The villagers of Ashton have worshipped here in St Barbara's for almost 1000 years and the churches of Ashton and nearby Beckford have been linked since the 8th Century; Ashton church was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The dedication to St Barbara, patron saint of armourers, gunners and blacksmiths, is an unusual one and first appears in the 18th Century. According to legend, she was the daughter of a pagan father who killed her with his own sword because of her Christian beliefs. As he did so, lightning flashed down on to his sword and he was also killed. Images of the tower in which she was imprisoned, and the lightning flash, can be seen on our banner and kneelers.

Over the centuries, St Barbara's has evolved into the church you see today. The South doorway with its characteristic rounded arch dates from Norman times. The Tower, which houses a fine ring of six bells, was begun in the 13th century. The Chancel was rebuilt in 1624 by Sir John Franklin, then Lord of the Manor. The striking Arts and Crafts stained glass windows at the East end of the church date from the late 19th/early 20th Centuries. The church is open every day from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (or dusk in winter) and all are welcome to come in and enjoy the atmosphere of peace and centuries of worship.


Since 1985 Ashton has been a member of the wider Beckford Group Parish (Church of England) which also includes Beckford, Overbury, Teddington, Alstone and Little Washbourne. In November 2008 the Beckford Group became part of the Bredon Hill Group of Churches.

Our Priest in Charge for the parish is Canon Matthew Baynes, Rector of Bredon with Bredon's Norton, Rural Dean of Pershore. Tel: 01684 772237.

Revd Richard Worsley, Priest in Charge of Elmley Castle with Bricklehampton and The Combertons, is an Associate Priest in our parish and has pastoral responsibility for Ashton under Hill. Tel: 01386 710394.

Canon Susan Renshaw, Vicar of Eckington with Defford and Besford is also part of our clergy team, and we have support from lay readers John Dodge and Roger Palmer.


As well as regular services at which everyone is welcome, there are special services at St. Barbara's for Festivals and other significant events in Ashton's year. Our church also serves the community for Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals. The church has a regular organist and choir; refreshments are served after morning services. Please come and join us!

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Canon Matthew Baynes
The Rectory
01684 772237 (Priest in charge, Beckford Group Parish)

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  • Regular Services
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Morning Prayer
Morning Prayer in the winter months (Evening Prayer in the summer).
Every first Sunday at 9:30 AM for 1 hour
Refreshments Book of Common Prayer
Holy Communion
Common Worship
Every second Sunday at 9:30 AM for 1 hour
Refreshments Common Worship
United Parish Worship Holy Communion
This service rotates around the five churches of the parish on a monthly basis.
Twice a year at St Barbara's, Ashton under Hill
Every fourth Sunday at 10:00 AM for 1 hour
Refreshments Common Worship
Family Service
Every third Sunday at 11:00 AM for ¾ hour
Family Friendly Refreshments
Evening Prayer
Evening Prayer in the summer (Morning Prayer in the winter months).
Every first Sunday at 6:00 PM for 1 hour
Book of Common Prayer


(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)

Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome
Stained Glass

Church Open The church is open for visitors from around 0900 to 1800 each day, or dusk if earlier
Other information
Priest in charge: The Revd Richard John WORSLEY
Priest in charge: The Revd Canon Matthew Thomas Crispin BAYNES
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 18664
Built: circa 1000 AD
Archdeaconry: WORCESTER (421)
Deanery: PERSHORE (42104)
CofE Church Info: (642290 42/290)
Short URL:
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The current editor is: Malcolm Nelson

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This page was last updated on Wednesday 30th November 2016
St Barbara's : Elmley Road, Ashton under Hill, Worcestershire, WR11 7SX - (Approaching the village of Ashton under Hill from the main A46 Evesham-Tewkesbury road, the church is straight ahead of you when you reach a T-junction, behind trees at the top of a short path from the lychgate)

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