A report from the General Synod


This is the title of a report written for and presented to the General Synod of the Church of England in 2017. It is picking up on a previous report written over 60 years ago called Towards the Conversion of England.  The main premise of the report is to affirm the ministry and calling of lay people in our church and to encourage, enable and equip lay people in their calling in their everyday lives. It is affirming the calling that we all have as baptised Christians to live out our faith in our daily lives from Monday to Saturday, in our homes, workplaces, leisure activities and all our relationships and interactions with others. It is seeking to recognise that we are all called, whether lay or ordained, and to affirm the calling of lay people, on an equal basis with those who are ordained.

Church gathered exists to equip us for church scattered.

Graham Cray

The primary action of the church in the world is the action of its members in their daily work. Lesslie Newbegin

All dioceses in the Church of England are promoting this teaching and in our own Diocese there will be opportunities to hear more about it and how we can engage with it at local level.

Consequently there will be two opportunities in Taunton to hear more about it: two different and complementary events:

On Saturday 9 February at St James church in Taunton from 9.30 am – 12.30 pm – we are invited, along with others across the Archdeaconry of Taunton, to hear from one of the authors of the report, Alison Coulter.

On Wednesday 13 February we have a special meeting of our Deanery Synod at St Michael’s church, Galmington at 7.30 pm. We have invited the new Team Leader for Discipleship, Mrs Julia Hill to address us and lead our discussion.

You are welcome to come to both events, as they will be different, or either. I shall be attending both and will be happy to give anyone a lift. I would particularly like to encourage churchwardens and PCC members to come to this, but anyone is very welcome to come along, as they are open to all.

Rebecca Harris

Thornfalcon Parish Church

Church restoration and development group to be formed

We should like to form a community group focusing on restoration work identified by the recent Quinquennial report, but also to develop our Grade One listed church and bring it closer to the community it serves.

Urgent needs identified in the Report:

Our priorities are dictated by the need to:-

 1. Re-roof the C16 Chancel roof where slates are missing causing leaks and damage to plasterwork as well as woodwork. “This roof is in bad condition and requires repair and re-roofing during the quinquennium.”

 2. Attend to the slippery and uneven path to the Porch where the steep step down could be eased for those with mobility needs by means of a short ramp.

Future needs:

The report also mentions the need for a simple kitchen area.

The PCC has discussed the need for better heating as well as other developments to enable the church to better serve the community.

The way forward

The PCC has been in touch with a helpful team in Wells Cathedral who will give assistance for the various grants needed for the work involved. Work has already been done to identify specialist providers but more needs to be done to order the priorities and enable these tasks.

If you are interested in being a member of this restoration group (regular churchgoers or not), please join members of the PCC at a ‘coffee cake and chat’ session at the church on Sat Nov 10th 10-12.

Kings College Music in Holy Cross

A concert of music by Kings College students has been arranged in Holy Cross church for Sat March 9th 6.30 – 8.30 p.m. followed by refreshments. We hope money raised from tickets sold will go towards the planned restoration work. More information will be provided in future magazines and on the church website.

The members of Creech Parish Church are looking for people who would be interested in being part of a team to help look after our beautiful ancient church building.  The team will oversee regular maintenance and the programme of work which will stem from the 5-yearly report, due soon, on the fabric of the building.

You do not necessarily have to be a church member and no building skills are required (there is a group of contractors whom we employ to do any work), just an enthusiasm for seeing that our (almost) 700 year old church is in good repair for future generations to enjoy.  If you are interested in joining us then please contact the Benefice Office.


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 to give away.  If so, please bring the Bible to one of our services or leave in one of the churches with a note indicating that it is a donation.

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 Eric via the Benefice office


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 Liz via the Benefice office.

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 Mervyn via the Benefice office.