ST PETROCK’S CHURCH TIMBERSCOMBE
Click on this link to read the Dunster Benefice Newsletter 21st August 2020
There is a small rota of dedicated flower arrangers but further volunteers would be extremely welcome.
Contact: Maureen Waters 01643 841656 or Joy Booth 01643 841043
For full details about the activities and other information relating to St Petrock’s and to our sister church, All Saints’ in Wootton Courtenay, please refer to the Dunkery Tidings which is a monthly publication available at an annual subscription of £4 or for 40p per copy.
We have reached an important moment in the life of our village church and community asset – St Petrock’s Church.
With valuable National Lottery Heritage Fund support secured in October 2018, the PCC has been able to embark on the much-needed roof repairs to the south aisle roof and the vestry roof which commenced in October 2019. A delay to the work was unavoidable whilst the issue of whether there were bats in the roof spaces was thoroughly investigated and resolved by a series of three separate ecological investigations which concluded that there was no evidence of bat habitat in the roof areas in need of urgent repair. Meanwhile the PCC have been engaged in promoting and leading a variety of heritage engagement activities in St Petrock’s and the village of Timberscombe which have been facilitated through funding from the NLHF and all Lottery Players, but still only possible with the help of a fabulous range of local volunteers who have offered enthusiasm, positivity, expertise and masses of practical support. We thank them all and promise to have a wonderful party for them especially, and indeed for all the community to enjoy, once the major part of the active engagement activities are completed. The date is under discussion now and will be confirmed shortly.
The PCC was extremely grateful to receive helpful targeted guidance from the NLHF to make sure the application for funding was as well presented as possible. There was no doubt about the importance and necessity of the repair to the roof of the church, but at a time when there is strong competition for funding assistance, it was crucial to make a compelling case for community engagement in a restored church building.
There are limited funding opportunities from major grant-awarding bodies who will welcome applications from places of worship and it was important that this was successful. With funding support secured the PCC knows that the roofing and heritage projects will be completed by February 2020 although the benefits of both to our community will endure for a very long time.
As everyone knows, the PCC has also been working hard on a distinct and separate project since June 2017 to raise funds to provide an accessible toilet and servery in the church. A National Churches Trust Opinion Poll compiled September 2018 shows that almost a quarter of British people said they would be more inclined to visit a church as a leisure activity or tourist attraction if there were better visitor-friendly facilities such as accessible toilets. There is no doubt that this is the right way forward and will prove to be a huge asset to our village. Of course, without a watertight roof there would have been little point in pursuing this objective. Fundraising for the toilet and servery continued and the final 10% of funding was achieved just before Christmas 2019 which is a tremendous achievement. St Petrock’s will be fully prepared to face the future as a secure, modern and welcoming community asset when work is completed in 2020.
Could you volunteer? Your support is always welcomed and our timetables are flexible so that we can best use the talent and the willingness of all who come forward. The opportunity is there to meet other people, support youngsters, learn creative and collaborative skills, have fun doing something different, enjoy new activities, reflect on our heritage and how important what we are doing is for our community and for heritage engagement. This is a community project and we will train volunteers to acquire heritage skills, interact socially and enjoyably, and create enduring heritage outcomes for the village. Would you like to deliver a musical evening in the church? Would you like to help organise a community celebration in February 2020 at the conclusion of the NLHF project? Think of ways to help achieve, unite and celebrate in our community?
We can be proud of what we have achieved as a church and a community over the last year. Some examples include:
- An Oral History project with local volunteers trained by the Oral History Society over 2 days to interview local Exmoor voices and help preserve a portrait of life in our rural Exmoor community for the future to be available at the Somerset Heritage Centre.
- A Timberscombe Cooks! village heritage recipe book which is so much more. With anecdotes, photographs of contributors and local events, this was the result of over 70 entries and carefully put together by a team of volunteers who did such a great job the 100 copies sold out in an hour when the book was launched in Timberscombe in October 2019. A second re-print has almost sold out by January 2020 which is quite a testament to the quality and production standard achieved by the volunteers.
- A St Petrock’s History Group has been running successfully for a year now with a variety of local topics for lectures and talks and well supported with 50 members. New subjects and speakers are always welcomed. Please look at the History Group page for a record of previous talks and forthcoming events.
- Our local school children have learnt about the childrens’ author and Methodist Minister Rev JP Martin who lived in Timberscombe until 1968 and each now has a copy of one of his cult ‘Uncle’ books.
- A recent photography session for the children meant they could explore and record key artefacts in the church and churchyard to enhance their heritage awareness.
- A new Village Heritage pamphlet will be available in the next few weeks so we can explore our village and make it easily accessible to walkers and tourists.
- A new walking map, beautifully written by our own Churchwarden and his wife, linking the six churches which form the Dunster Benefice. We are planning a spring walk when all the six churches could welcome walkers out to explore our links and heritage.
- Our St Petrock’s Church pamphlet is in the process of being updated, assisted by a fantastic act of generosity from a volunteer archaeological historian who provided clear well researched information, much of it new. He used a History Group invitation to prepare a pilot study for the Somerset Churches Project.
There is always more to be done, but this has been a very busy year and very rewarding for all the volunteers who have taken part. We thank you all for taking part, for reading this and for all that you do and will do for our community.
Please contact Marion Jeffrey on 841500, John Gratton 841490, Marion Moncrieff 841318 or any member of the PCC. Thank you.