Category: Events

Church Crawl in September

Stop Press – a new Church Crawl is planned for September in the Wiveliscombe and Langley Marsh area. The proposed date is 24th September and we hope this and further details can be confirmed shortly.

This is excellent news and we hope this crawl will enjoy the support of members who may already know how wonderful and informative these church crawls are!

What are church crawls?

When I became a Trustee of the Somerset Churches Trust I didn’t know what a ‘Church Crawl’ actually was. I am learning that they provide an opportunity to enjoy the peace, beauty and craftsmanship evident in so many places of worship in Somerset.

I couldn’t possibly put it better than did Athena – Cultural Crusader – recently in an article in Country Life edition dated March 30th 2022. With the kind permission of Country Life an extract from this beautifully written piece follows:

With one surprise following another on a church crawl Athena found that ‘what crowned her enjoyment of these lovingly maintained buildings and their contents was the fact that every single church door she tried was open. That’s something she would not necessarily have expected in times gone by and is testimony to the unsung labours of parishioners. Athena both thanks and salutes them. She wonders retrospectively whether this reality reflects something of a change in the perceived importance of these buildings: during lockdown, all of us became aware of the things that existed on our doorstep and in the process, came to value them more than before.

Church buildings are part of our common inheritance that we can all enjoy. As places of worship, they are more than museums, as monuments, they are more than venues for services and, as public buildings, they are more than the possession of their congregations. It further adds to their appeal that, as buildings with a deep history, they don’t entirely belong to one generation or, indeed, to one family or group. Instead, they transcend time and society, embodying in our landscape and streets collective possession, history and identity.

These are not – to state the obvious – qualitites susceptible to quantification on a spreadsheet. We need to cherish churches as much as we can, particularly at the present moment, when the future of these buildings is once again in the headlines.’

Well said. And do join a Somerset Churches Trust Church Crawl and sample our own county treasures!

Marion Jeffrey

 

Sedgemoor Church Crawl announced!

CHURCH CRAWL SEDGEMOOR CHURCHES – ALL WITH RECENT SCT GRANTS!

Start at St Mary, Church Road, East Brent TA9 4HZ.  A Grade I listed church dating from the 15th century.  Amongst its fine features are the mediaeval glass in the north windows, the Gothic revival decorated plaster ceiling in the nave, and the 15th century carved bench ends.  The SCT grant helped with roof repairs and lead replacement.

On to St Michael, Church Lane, Brent Knoll TA9 4DG.  Another Grade I listed church, with a Norman arched doorway and other Norman features; a fine wooden ceiling to the north aisle; the Jacobean pulpit; 14th century carved bench ends; and a memorial to John Somerset on the south wall.  The SCT grant was again to assist with lead repair.

Finally to Holy Trinity, Church Street, Blackford BS28 4NR – a quite different church, built 200 years ago as a chapel of ease to Wedmore church.  This is a Grade II listed, octagonal, Georgian Gothic Revival church.  Both the exterior and interior have benefitted from major restoration this century.  The centre of the roof has an arcaded cupola with a single bell.  The SCT grant helped to improve disabled access to the church.  Tea here – donations please.

More details to follow!

Holy Trinity, Blackford

St Mary, East Brent

The Somerset Churches Trust supports St Cuthbert’s Church Event Saturday 19th March 2022

St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells is holding a special celebration of their extraordinary painted statues on Saturday 19th March from 10.00am to 4.00pm. These statues are 550 years old and survived a determined attempt to destroy them during the reformation. Trustees of the Somerset Churches Trust visited St Cuthbert’s recently to learn more about this stunning collection of statuary.

In 2020 the extraordinary painted statues of St Cuthbert’s Church should have celebrated their 550th birthday but we all know what happened that year!  We tried to hold the celebration a year late in 2021 but yet again we were defeated by covid.   So here we go with a third attempt – on Saturday 19th March 2022 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

 

Back in 1470, of course,  it would have been quite usual to have plans messed up by an outbreak of plague, so the medieval fragments of prophets and princes will probably be very forgiving about the delay to their party caused by our modern pandemic!  These unique painted statue fragments have already had an amazing history.  They were destroyed in the Reformation and hidden behind plaster until 1848 when they were re-discovered.  Miraculously they were kept and now form probably the largest collection of 15th century painted sculptures in the country.

 

The celebration event takes the form of a study day looking at the story of these rare survivors from quarried stone to a digital future.  Church archaeologist, Jerry Sampson, is one of the speakers; together with Lynne Humphries and Emma Norris who are experts in medieval paint.  There will be a demonstration of stone carving and local chamber choir, the Swan Singers, will perform a short concert of appropriate music.  The day will end with a son et lumière when a light display will give a glimpse into the stones’ colourful past and future.

The cost of the day (including coffee and a soup lunch) is £15.

Book tickets here 

 

Annual Meeting November 2021

On a chilly autumn evening at the Wells Museum, the Somerset Churches Trust held its Annual Meeting followed by a lecture on the subject of Romanesque Churches in Somerset.  This was a particularly special opportunity for members and trustees to meet as no such meeting had been possible in 2020 owing to covid restrictions. This was well attended and members were brought up to date on the activities of the Trust over the last year. Thank you to everyone who attended and for the positive and helpful comments which were made.

The Annual Meeting was very well attended and the Newsletter compiled by Chair Axel Palmer is available to read here. 

Treasurer Tony Davies reported on the trust’s finances. Click here to read the Annual Report and Accounts for the Year Ending 30 June 2021.