As you know, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a sabbatical last summer. As part of my time away, I undertook some research into how rural churches grow. I wanted to see what other rural parishes were doing elsewhere and see examples of good practice which we could draw on and learn from here. I read a report called “Released for Mission” and put together a questionnaire based on the report which I then took with me to form a framework for discussions with clergy in various rural benefices. I also sent some out by post and email to other clergy and lay leaders I wasn’t able to visit.

I finished collating the responses in the autumn and am now ready to share the results of my findings with you. We would like to invite as many of our church members as are interested and available to come to an evening on Monday 22 January at Creech Baptist Church hall, starting with a meal together at 6.30 pm. There will be a slide presentation and discussion around tables about our responses to the findings. We aim to finish the evening by 9.00 pm. I hope that many will come. This is not just for PCC members (although I do hope they will make it a priority) but for everyone!  I hope that the discussions we have together will feed into the review of our mission action planning for this year. I have invited some other local clergy and lay leaders to this evening, as well as the Diocesan Rural Affairs Advisor and the Archdeacon, who have said they are coming.

There will be sign-up sheets in each of our churches in the New Year as we will need to have an idea of how many people are coming for catering purposes. We shall also be looking for some people to offer to help with the catering. More of this will be announced in our church services nearer the time. Looking forward to seeing you!

Rebecca Harris

Lee Abbey Parish Weekend 2018

Join us and be refreshed, renewed and resourced!

Due to popular demand we are planning a return visit to Lee Abbey in 2018. We have provisionally booked places on the weekend of 25th to 27th May. If you would like to join us, do get in touch with Julia on 444496 and let her have a deposit of £25 to secure a place. Please specify if you would prefer a single room for which there is a small supplement.

Our past two visits were times of great blessing for those who went along. Blessing, both in terms of a beautiful location and of a close encounter with God. You are free to join in with as much or little of the programme offered by the Lee Abbey Community.


We have now received the final version of the Ruishton Churchyard and Cemetery plan. Mr Eric Chown presented it to me at the end of May and a copy is now in our church for anyone to view when the church is open. To view the plan online please click here.  We are very grateful to Eric for producing this for us. It will be a great help to anyone wanting to research their family history, or find a relative’s grave. In case anyone is not aware, the cemetery is found through the gates of the Old Vicarage and behind the church meeting room. This is now in the hands of Taunton Deane Borough Council as it is now closed to new burials.

Eric has made a meticulous and detailed plan for us which will make it much easier for us to maintain and for future generations to research their family history. We have given a small gift to Eric to thank him for all his hard work.

Rebecca Harris

Bible Recycling

A homelbibleess person recently asked me whether I could give him copy of the Bible. He had lost his copy and wanted to read more. I was not sure where to find one in the church to give him at that moment and was frustrated at not being able to help

This led me to think about people coming off the street into our churches. People who might feel prompted to read more and don’t have God’s Word to take with them. They may not have enough money to buy their own Bible or they might just be desperate at that moment. It seems to me a bit bizarre that as an open church we might not be able to spread God’s word.

If our local churches were to offer free Bibles I think this might meet people’s need and so I feel nudged to collect and distribute them. Now I always carry a spare one, but would love to be able to offer more.

So I wonder whether you have an unmarked spare copy of the Bible you could donate me to give away? If so contact Shelly by email at or bring the Bible to a service at Ruishton Church and give it to me personally.

Shelly Froom

Creech St Michael in two World Wars

It has recently been announced that the War Memorial in Creech St Michael has been granted a Grade II listing by Historic England so perhaps it is fitting to ask about all the names of the men of the parish who lost their lives during the two major conflicts of the last century.

I am doing research into all the names on the memorial in the churchyard. Sadly so little detail has survived about them, who they were and their family lives before the war.

Do you have any of these local names in your family?





I am trying to trace all the family connections in the parish and to compile a commemorative book to be available in the church. I already have some details for all of the named men from the parish.

My aim is to give a very short biography of each serviceman, family connections to the parish and add details of their military service including the circumstances of their death. To include the military unit, rank, medals and any honours etc.

Most of the service records for the men of the Great War (1914 – 1918) were lost, being burnt during the Blitz on London during the 1939 – 1945 war, so military details are very sparse. But by using local sources, census information, newspapers and other lists available from the Somerset Heritage Centre, a picture of these men’s lives has emerged.

Anything that those with family connections can add either as a direct descendant, relative, friends or marriage lines will help to bring the memories back to the parish for us all to share.

Some of the families may have lost their ties to the village so if anyone reading this can add or give details of known family members who served and lost their life in the two world wars it would help to complete our knowledge of these brave men.

My list includes limited stories about the six men from the parish who are named during the Second World War (1939 – 1945). These men’s military details are closed* for 100 years so less personal information is known. *Families can apply for early release of sealed information from the National Archives, the current cost is about £30.

The on-going research is continuous, seeking details that will add to our understanding of the lives the men and families. Every endeavour will be made to ensure that the individual histories are correct. This is the reason for this appeal in the Church magazine.

If you have any details you wish to share please contact me via the Church magazine, phone or email me direct.

Thank you in advance

Eric R J Chown Bsc (Hons)

01823 442770;


St  Michaels Church now has a book of remembrance. If anyone would like a loved one’s name added please fill in a form available in Church or contact Maggie Savage 442523 or Liz Evans 442595.

Bell-ringing at Ruishton

If anyone is interested in bell-ringing, the new bell tower captain at Ruishton would be pleased to hear from you! Please contact Mr Mervyn Arscott at  He would be happy to teach you. We would love to get a band of local ringers together to ring as soon as the bells are able to be rung again.

Rebecca Harris