Author: Marion Jeffrey

Mediaeval Monastic Houses in Somerset

With Ride+Stride this weekend, Philip Skelhorn, Trustee, has made available an abridged version of an article he will make available in full in due course , which can be read here about the mediaeval monastic houses in Somerset, with Woodspring Priory an important first visit on Saturday 11th at 9.45am.

 

Ride+Stride THIS month!

News of fund-raising plans for this year’s Ride+Stride.
Cycle rides, pilgrimages, abseiling (not!) and parachuting – what else is happening?
Across Somerset, many friends of the Trust are planning their weekend R+S activities.
The weather is ‘set fair’! So, what are we up to?
To read all about it, click here.

 

The Chairman’s A – Z of Somerset Churches

Trust Chairman, Axel Palmer, has set himself an objective of visiting a range of churches and chapels across Somerset to compile his own  A – Z!

This time:

The Bishop. The King. St Michael and … er .. Highland Cattle!
And a Dragon!

To read the whole story, click here to download

Summer Newsletter 2021

The latest newsletter is available by clicking here. Some headlines are below:

  • Good News from Boris – Open Churches and visitors permitted!
  • Summer is here, at last: more relaxation in prospect!
  • Baby steps, maybe, but let’s start to CRAWL!

New Website Launched August 2021

There’s nothing like a new broom for sweeping clean! And that broom turned out to be our newest trustee Marion Jeffrey.

We took advantage of the unexpected break in our activities to think about how we communicate with members – clearly, there are many platforms including Instagram and Facebook but we rapidly concluded that a proper, flexible, website was of utmost importance.

Our current website was created when we re-launched as Somerset Churches Trust back in 2013. At the time it seemed
very modern and has served us well over the years. However, technology has moved on and we were finding it increasingly
difficult to give the site the look we wanted and to incorporate the features expected with a modern website.

To read the whole notice click here to download.

The importance of church buildings – sermon by Rev Martin Beaumont 8th August 2021

Some of you may have read Robert Harris’ latest book “The Second Sleep”.   Opening its pages, you are returned to a world 500 years ago, an agricultural pre-industrial England where the church and its clergy exercise both spiritual and temporal power. However, it soon becomes apparent that the society about which we read is not 500 years ago but 500 years in the future. It is not pre-industrial pre-technological rather it is a society in which technology and industry have been and gone. England has suffered some cataclysmic disaster and the things upon which we rely, power, water, food, shelter, clothes and all take for granted have disappeared. Society has reverted to one that depends upon subsistence agriculture and stone buildings.

The reason behind the power of the church is that in most towns and villages the only surviving building is the church which during the cataclysm survivors sheltered in.   The church once again became the focus of a community. It offered safety and protection. People went to it to try and make sense of what had happened. The churches became places of understanding.

Well it’s fiction. It’s a story. But it also reminds us that our church buildings have survived cataclysms such as civil and world wars, pandemics, even neglect. All of them, hopefully, remain in use. All of them can be a safe and secure environment where people come to try and understand, to make sense, and be with themselves and with what they believe to be their God.

And I believe that offering such a space, whether it be to a local community, or to visitors who pass by, this offering of shared space is a ministry. It is what the church still today has to offer, a mission. It takes time, it takes money, and it takes care, but it is something we can do for others. Looking after a church building takes an enormous amount of time and effort. Many churches across the land are doing something similar to All Saints at Rockwell Green who are raising £20,000 for the Spire at the moment.  But this emphasis on preservation and maintenance of the building is only half of what is real.

The other half, the unknown, is the emotional and spiritual value preserved in our churches. It is their beauty, their witness to Christ, their inspiration to other Christians, and their silence. Nothing much happens here, and that’s no bad thing. If this place is a testament to the power and wisdom of God, rather than mere human invention, it can have been of use.

Jesus recognised the value and power of a building, when he cast out the money changers. When we, in our turn, focus our attention on the same such place, we may be doing what we can, in some small way, to continue in Christ’s work.