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The Bishops Lydeard Benefice comprises the parishes of Bishops Lydeard, Lydeard St Lawrence, Combe Florey, West Bagborough and Cothelstone.
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Our Mission Statement for the United Benefice of Bishops Lydeard, with Lydeard St Lawrence, Bagborough, Combe Florey and Cothelstone is to provide:
opportunities for Christian worship and prayer; a quiet and prayerful space for all; a warm welcome for both local people and visitors; and an environment for everyone to express themselves and their faith.
We aim to do this by:
providing a wide range of worship opportunities across our churches to reflect the variety of worship within the Anglican community; teaching the faith and fostering personal spiritual development through prayer and Bible study; showing love and care to all in our communities, especially in times of trouble; engaging with families and children, and forging links with our schools to support and nurture the faith of those youngest in our community and ensure that what is important about faith is passed on; and making sure that the Church remains an important focus of the community.
The benefice of Bishops Lydeard, West Bagborough and Cothelstone with Lydeard St Lawrence and Combe Florey is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Somerset, lies at the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, tucked under the south-western edge of the Quantock Hills, with Exmoor National Park a few miles to the west. The north Somerset coast has its own rugged beauty, and at Minehead the South West Coast footpath begins. The area is a favourite with holiday-makers whether they are sun-seekers, fossil hunters or walkers, and the terminus of the West Somerset Railway at Bishops Lydeard is a mecca for railway enthusiasts.
Bishops Lydeard, West Bagborough and Cothelstone have been independent parishes in the united benefice since the last century. Lydeard St Lawrence and Combe Florey were welcomed into it in Summer 2012, in a diocesan reorganisation.