Book today for the Sedgemoor Church Crawl this coming weekend organised by Trust Treasurer Tony Davies. Full details available here
This is the first year that Porlock churches have participated in Ride+Stride and we wish them all the very best of luck!
Porlock St Dubricius is in the High Street, Porlock and is a Grade I Listed C12 church with a notable truncated wooden spire. There are facilities in the village for visitors. Post code TA24 8QJ
Stoke Pero Church is on Exmoor and is a Grade 2 Listed C13 church, south of Porlock but isolated and high up on in the national park. There are no facilities for visitors here. Map grid reference SS 87835 4395.
St Nicholas Church is on Worthy Toll Road in Porlock Weir and is a late C19 Tin Tabernacle in a conservation area. Facilities are in Porlock Weir, 100 yards away. Post code TA24 8PA.
All three churches are well worth visiting and we wish you happy walking between them!
Stoke Pero Church and St Nicholas Church, Porlock Weir
The Somerset Churches Trust Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd November at the Lecture Room at Wells Museum from 7pm.
William Newsom has kindly agreed to give a lecture on ‘Somerset Churches: Forgotten Little Gems’ which will draw on his extensive knowledge of parish churches in Somerset. William has visited and extensively photographed every parish church in the county bar 9, so his illustrated talk will be extremely interesting to all.
The AGM will follow after the lecture and the evening will conclude by 9pm.
More details will follow but all members are warmly invited to attend.
Left: St Mary, Charlcombe Right: All Saints, Aisholt
Left: St Mary, Chesterblade Right: Church at Locking Castle, multi-denominational, no dedication
St Nicholas, Bratton Seymour
Somerset Churches and Chapels can all benefit from the monies raised during an active Ride+Stride event, traditionally held in September. Let this Saturday September 10th be no different and now is the time to be sure you are organised with your family and friends and fellow churchgoers to have a healthy outdoor event when visiting local places of worship. This can help raise valuable funds to assist and secure our immense county heritage.
Posters advertising this event along with Sponsorship Forms and Remittance Forms are now available to download along with a full suite of supporting documentation.
Good Luck everybody!
Round Somerset towns and villages, not to mention the cities, there was great celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on 2nd – 5th June. For our member churches and chapels in particular we would like to showcase some of the ways in which this took place. Please do let us know about your event and add some photos.
In West Somerset, our local church, St Petrock’s in Timberscombe, had a heritage exhibition including church records dating back to 1656 on show alongside the village schoolchildrens representations of the Queen and with a large selection of royal and Jubilee memorabilia loaned by villagers which all made a stunning display. Beautiful flower arrangements and the original Coronation music provided a fitting backdrop to the event. The bellringers pealed to open the exhibition and again as required on 3rd at 11.30am. The Somerset Churches Trust supported this church with a grant in 2018 to help provide a servery and an accessible toilet. It is absolutely certain that without their support the PCC would have found it very hard to access support from the National Churches Trust as this SCT grant gave credibility to the project. Our visitors commented on how welcoming it was to have a servery with non stop refreshments and a ‘comfort stop’.
This all goes to exemplify the important work the SCT does and how it enables communities to thrive. We welcome your support – whether in the form of donations or as a volunteer. And do please send those records of your church events for us to showcase as well. Thank you.
A new Church Crawl is planned for Saturday 1st April 2023 in the Wiveliscombe and Langley Marsh area. Further details will be confirmed as soon as they become available but this will be led by the highly knowledgeable and experienced County Archaeologist for Somerset, Bob Croft, who is also a Somerset Churches Trustee.
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!
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!
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.
For any enquiries about this Crawl please contact Tony Davies 01225 336124.
Trustees from the Somerset Churches Trust were delighted to support the day of talks, demonstrations, colour and music to celebrate the survival and exposition of the fragments at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells.
Visiting churches continues in our second January Newsletter. Our Chairman, Axel Palmer, journeys to North East Somerset to visit Langridge, Woolley and Upper Swainswick.
For this and other news follow in his footsteps here