2013 Annual Report




The Annual Report of St Peter’s church presents the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved over the last twelve months and to thank people who have been involved in the life and work of the church.  The financial statements included in the report give details of the church receipts and expenditure for 2013.





The parish forms part of the United Benefice of Beercrocombe, with Curry Mallet, Hatch Beauchamp, Orchard Portman, Staple Fitzpaine, Stoke St Mary (with Thurlbear) and West Hatch.  The parish is part of the Ilminster Deanery, in the Diocese of Bath and Wells within the Church of England.


The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a charity exempted from registration with the Charity Commissioners.  The Benefice is part of a Local Ministry Group (LMG) with the adjoining Blackdown Benefice.




In 2013 the ministry team, led by Revd Paul Reynolds, organised two workshops to discuss and agree a plan for our Benefice.  These were facilitated by Rev Geoff Treasure and generated lots of good ideas and enthusiasm for taking the plan forward.  The plan has been discussed by each PCC and some areas of work have already started.  Revd Reynolds has asked each PCC to spend time and discuss and consider the service pattern for Sunday worship across the Benefice.  The outcome of the PCC’s discussions will be shared widely across the community.


Early in the year the team launched the ‘Four pints of milk’ appeal to secure funding for the Children and Families worker.  Through the generosity and support of people in the community this appeal was very successful and funding for the future has also been secured.


Revd Christabel Ager has continued to strengthen her ministry through prayer visiting.  Those involved in prayer visiting have said how positive the experience is and most people visited have welcomed the offer of support through prayer.


Revd Mary Godin had the wonderful idea of a Benefice lunch that is held regularly after the benefice Service on the third Sunday of each month.  This has proved very popular and reflects Mary’s thoughtfulness and care for people.


As well as supporting the community in many different ways and attending every type of fundraising function imaginable, the ministry team lead our worship every week and offer people a variety of different types of service.  We are very fortunate to have such dedicated people who give spiritual leadership with such care and devotion.





The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation rules.  Members are elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.  All Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll.  The PCC met on five occasions during 2013.


PCC members who served in 2013 were:


Chairman:                                         Revd Paul Reynolds


Churchwardens:                              Alison Brown

                                                            Mal Lee


Elected Members:   

Secretary                                           Nicky Baxter

                                                            Tami Boden Ellis

                                                            Chris Dunn

                                                            David Symmonds

Ex Officio                                           Revd Christabel Ager

                                                            Revd Mary Godin

Members of the PCC bring a wealth of different knowledge and experience and it is often the challenge from committee members that makes for clearer and more objective decision making. 




In 2013 twenty three people were registered on the church electoral roll.




The current typical service rota provides for a service for three out of the four Sundays each month as follows:


1st Sunday 10.00 am          Parish Communion

2nd Sunday 6.00pm             Inspire*, offering more modern, informal and experimental worship

3rd Wednesday                    Reflective worship

4th Sunday 8.30 am            BCP Communion


*The Inspire service was held at different venues this year including St Peter’s, Thurlbear School and the Rectory, Stoke St Mary.


During the year the PCC agreed to hold a weekday service for reflective worship.  The first service took place in July and the service is now becoming part of our regular worship pattern.  It is held on the third Wednesday of every month at 6.30pm.  On 3rd Sundays, a United Benefice Parish Communion Service is held at West Hatch at 10am.  A further United Benefice Parish Communion Service is held on 5th Sundays, which circulates around all the parish churches in the benefice.  Festival and special services continue to be very popular and the attendance over the last five years is as follows:









Easter Sunday







Harvest Festival







Remembrance Sunday







Carol Service
















In 2013 there were three baptism, three marriage and two funeral services


Communion by Extension continues to work well at St Peter’s.  It enables the congregation to receive communion in the absence of the priest.   The bread and wine are consecrated at an earlier service on the same day and is part of the earlier celebration of communion. Communion by Extension must be given by a person who has been trained.




Staple Fitzpaine tower is continuing to operate smoothly.  The bells are in good mechanical order as are the bell ropes although a couple have a small bit of wear at the garter hole on the bell wheel.  This can be solved by moving the rope a couple of inches and redoing the knot.  When the ropes wear (invariably near the bell) a good modern and much cheaper solution is polyester top ends which can be spliced onto the old lower end.  This may be worth looking at in a year or two.  The bells are looked over on a regular basis and all nuts checked for tightness which is particularly important when there are wide temperature and moisture variations due to weather.



Neroche Thursday lunches have continued through 2013 usually taking place on the first Thursday of the month.  A band of willing cooks and helpers serve a two course meal to an average of 40 people.  Although the marvellous home cooked food is the attraction for people both inside and outside the parish, the event creates a social occasion for many who are not so able to get out and meet others.  Twenty two or so people are on the Lunch Rotas each lunch involving about twelve helpers.


Thanks are due to all of those Friends of St Peter’s who are involved in this worthwhile project.  The Christmas lunch was especially memorable, the hall was beautifully decorated and 72 people were served with traditional fare.  After the meal diners were entertained by Vivian Spence with an amusing epilogue followed by the Neroche Hand bells and a sing-along of carols.


Thanks to God for the food & the company are given before or sometimes after the meal. Those who, through homelessness or circumstance, are unable to share such good fortune are remembered by a regular collection for “Open Door”.  

Extracts from the Church Comments Book

For which many thanks go to

Lovely church


All the people on the cleaning rota who turn out in all weathers to keep the church clean and polished.


All the people who maintain the church and churchyard

Love the Hunky Punks


What a lovely church.


Married and christened in this wonderful church.


Delighted to find the church open.

All the people who open and close the church every day of the year.

Lovely church, so nice to see a church which can be left open during the day.

Lovely church pleased to find it open.

Beautiful Christening


The clergy

Lovely Church.  Lovely Christmas Day Service

We came today to say goodbye to an amazing gentleman once of this parish


Everyone who gives their time to make the church welcoming.


Everyone who gives their time to decorate the church with flowers.


Everyone who gives their time to make sure the church is well loved.


Everyone who gives their time to talk to others about the work of the church in our community.

Charmed by the memorial tablets, the roof bosses and the spring churchyard.  You need a guidebook.

So beautiful and peaceful.

I forgot how beautiful it is in here. Can’t wait for the gig on 24th.

My ancestors lived here in 1800s.

Related to people in Curland.

Parish of my ancestors.

Our ancestors came from this area dating back to 1600s. So at peace here.

Lovely restoration of your handsome church.

My great uncle lived here

My family lived here.

Exciting to see what you are doing here.

Very pretty church.  Impressed.