Category: Our Members

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!

Mucheleny to Glastonbury Tor

Our intrepid organiser, Philip Skelhorn, decided to walk from the early Benedictine monastery in Muchelney, near Langport, to Glastonbury.

Many will remember Muchelney from national headlines in 2014 when the Somerset levels flooded. Thankfully, for Philip and friends, shorts were the order of the day rather than scuba gear! And, having undertaken a ‘risk assessment’, just in case of rain, Philip decided to end on the Isle of Avalon at Glastonbury Tor which has been a beacon of safety for millennia! (More pictures online).

Reporting on the latest campaign, Philip said “being the boss enables you to work through all those ideas which you were convinced were ‘game changers’ but which never quite managed to reach fruition. The well-tried, traditional, approach of walking and cycling between churches was not always possible as the Covid restrictions on our life began to bite.

However, there were a number of fantastic personal campaigns such as the churchwarden of Sparkford, St Mary Magdalene, Ted Marsh, who is 91 and visited eight churches on his disabled scooter in the benefices of Cam Vale and Six Pilgrims, a distance of approximately 25 miles, because he just wanted to help. He raised £860. And the associate vicar of St James, Yeovil, the Rev Ruth Chapman who cycled 52 miles around all the churches of the Yeovil deanery and raised £1,190 for the trust and her church.

But the top of the fundraisers across the county was the rural dean of Crewkerne and associate vicar of the Wulfric benefice the Rev Jonathan Morris who raised a magnificent £1,286.