Category: Latest News

The Annual Meeting of the Somerset Churches Trust

Details of the forthcoming Annual Meeting are shown here.

We look forward to meeting you.

The Trust would love to have the email contact details for all their members so if it is possible, please do let us have your email details for ease of communication.

Your name, address and email address should be sent to somersetchurchestrust@gmail.com

Thank you!

Sedgemoor Church Crawl

Last month Somerset Churches Trust Treasurer, Tony Davies, led a Church Crawl which was very much enjoyed by a group of church enthusiasts on a day where the weather held up admirably. We show here some images taken on the day by fellow Trustee Emma Brown. Our thanks go to Tony for arranging such a successful day.

Presentation by William Newsom on “Somerset Churches: Forgotten Little Gems”

The Somerset Churches Trust is absolutely delighted that William Newsom has kindly agreed to give the keynote lecture, after the Annual Meeting of the Trust on Wednesday 23rd November, at 7.30pm at the Wells and Mendip Museum in Wells. Doors open at 6.30pm with refreshments available and the Annual Meeting will commence at 6.45pm. Further information will be posted shortly.

William Newsom has the distinction of having visited over the last five years every parish church (bar two) in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, taking numerous photographs along the way. Having taken 30,000 photographs covering 556 churches, he has an unrivalled database to draw upon for the benefit of this presentation. Somerset is well known for its larger churches with magnificent towers, but William leaves those to others to cover elsewhere and instead will be providing a celebration of small churches from all across Somerset covering both ancient and modern.

We look forward to welcoming you there!

Porlock gets ready to Ride+Stride!

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

 

Somerset Churches Trust AGM – Wednesday 23rd November

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 the distinction of having visited over the last five years every parish church (bar two) in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, taking numerous photographs along the way. Having taken 30,000 photographs covering 556 churches, he has an unrivalled database to draw upon for the benefit of this presentation. Somerset is well known for its larger churches with magnificent towers, but William leaves those to others to cover elsewhere and instead will be providing a celebration of small churches from all across Somerset covering both ancient and modern.

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

A Thank You to our long-serving Vice Chairman

Chris Hawkings retired from the position of Trustee and Vice Chairman in April 2022 after many years of service to the Somerset Churches Trust. But, as Chris’ interest in churches and chapels is undiminished,
we wanted to give Chris encouragement to further explore (even further afield) with a token of our appreciation, this took the form of a copy of Simon Jenkins’ Europe’s 100 Best Cathedrals signed by fellow Trustees. As Chris said ‘This book is a wonderful momento of my time not just at SCT but during my career and on my travels! As for the cathedrals, whilst I have seen a few of them, a European Grand Tour could be in the offing!’

The Trust is very grateful that Chris will continue to volunteer by helping our Grants Secretary with Church Assessment visits from time to time.

This is a timely reminder of the immense value of volunteers to our charity. Please consider if you could assist us in a capacity which matches enthusiam and support for the maintenance and resilience of our churches and chapels in this historic county of Somerset. Make yourself known to us via the Contact Us page and we will be in touch very soon!

Somerset Churches Trust – could you make a difference?

Like all voluntary organisations, this charity relies on the expertise and enthusiasm of people who are willing to give their time and commitment to ensure the continued future and careful development of historic church buildings in the county of Somerset. Trustees and Officers of the SCT are all volunteers and we are now looking for new volunteers to join in our work. We are interested in filling a number of key positions and welcome your expression of interest if you feel you might be willing and able to help.

Important areas concern overall Trust direction and strategy (Chair), Membership Secretary, Trust Secretary and a Trustee with Ride+Stride responsibilities. Ride+Stride is a key fundraising mechanism for the Trust and the ability to co-ordinate county wide is essential.

In general, enthusiasm and a passion for the continued existence and access to our historic churches and chapels is as important as any technical or professional skills which you may also possess.

If you are interested please do let us know via the Contact Us page and we will be in touch promptly. The next meeting of the Trustees is on October 18th and expressions of interest will then be considered. We appreciate that volunteering can be burdensome but with a committed group who have the aims of the Trust at their heart, these roles can also be very rewarding. If you know someone you think may be interested and suitable, please do let them know about this opportunity. Thank you.

We are grateful to Bath and Wells for helping advertise our volunteer roles through their online Connect magazine and we hope this will help extend our reach to potential Trustees.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Somerset Churches celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

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.

Wiveliscombe Church Crawl kicks off 2023 Church Crawls!

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!