Our History

The Church in St Austell Parish has a long history. A Christian community possibly with Celtic roots was undoubtedly in existence in what is now St Austell in pre-Norman times. There has been a church building on the site of the town centre church – Holy Trinity since 1169. Part of the current building dates back as far as 1290. Even the list of vicars stretches to 1259!

One of the things we feel is important though is the understanding of what the ‘Church’ is. Whenever the word is used people tend to think of a building very like the fine structure we have in St Austell. To be accurate though the building we call ‘Holy Trinity’ in St Austell and the other two buildings which are used for worship in St Austell Parish – All Saints in Pentewan, and St Levan’s in Porthpean are not ‘Churches’ but buildings where ‘The Church’ meets for worship. The “Church” or “Ecclesia” always meant in the bible the gathering of the followers of Jesus. Our parish thinking also contains another important point. People frequently refer to a church building as “The house of God”, as if God lived in there. We prefer to follow the idea which is more true to what the early Christians believed. Our church buildings, rather than being ‘houses of God’ are more accurately ‘houses of the people of God’. They are places where people gather to worship Him. They are our homes to which we invite others to come and meet with God as well.

Down the years therefore the Christians in the parish have changed the insides of the ‘family homes’ to make them better suited to their purpose. Better heating, lighting etc. and facilities for hospitality. As culture and cultural expression changes so also changes have been made to the way we worship. In Holy Trinity for example whilst seeking to respect the old architecture we have installed TV’s and data projection equipment to help us sing modern songs without the need of books. We have an organ and that is the perfect instrument to accompany older hymns but a modern band will most likely be used for our worship songs in Sunday Services.

Our style is one of reverent informality. The present day disciples of Jesus are not locked in a time capsule. Following Jesus is as relevant today as it was when our buildings were first put up. Why not blend your history with ours and walk with us into the future?

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