A CHILDREN’S TRAIL HAS BEEN PRODUCED FOR LYDEARD ST LAWRENCE CHURCH, and today – Tuesday 9th July – four children from the village school tried out the trail with one of their teachers and a member of the St Lawrence congregation. The teacher was delighted, and the children enjoyed themselves – going round the church answering questions about all sort of interesting things within the building:




The Church trail was created by members of The Arts Society Taunton Vale and PCC members, with help from S.W. Adviser Pauline Stewart. The children loved finding the items listed and filling in the clues, especially the lovely carving of the fox and goose around one of the capitals. We hope this will be a useful resource for the children in our village, and others in the area. Copies in the church are available with an answer sheet for parents and teachers – just bring pencils or pens, and have some fun!


AT ST MARY’S BISHOPS LYDEARD AFTER THIS MORNING’S SERVICE, there was a double celebration in the Church Centre. Not only were we celebrating the Church Centre being 20 years old and giving thanks for the facilities which the building offers to anyone and everyone in so many ways; we were also saying thank you to Charlie Back on two counts: Charlie was the generous benefactor who gave the building to the church but he also taught a team of parishioners how to go about transforming the building into the Church Centre as we know it today; Charlie was also being thanked for 70 years’ service as a server and chalice assistant at St Mary’s Church – a huge achievement and example of devoted service, by any standards.

Many people stayed for refreshments after the service; a iced cake had been produced and prosecco was on offer – see pictures below:

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First picture: the cake!

Middle picture: David Smart, one of St Mary’s Churchwardens, showing Charlie the plaque which has been prepared and which will be displayed in the Church Centre to mark the occasion.

Lower picture: Charlie cutting the cake, helped by Roger Sleap who was one of the team who worked under Charlie’s teaching and instruction 20 years ago.




41 people from around our Benefice gathered at Shopnoller Farm on Sunday 26th May, and the rain held off though the sky looked threatening. Thanks to Dinah and her daughters for setting up the straw bales for our service, and for refreshments afterwards. On our walk to a field to bless the land and the village we encountered a couple of sheep and lambs and, as we skirted the pond, the ducks called out to us too. The collection raised £236.30 for Farming Crisis Network.



All five churches in our Benefice were represented in the congregation gathered outdoors at Shopnoller.


Two bottle-fed lambs, who were very curious to know what was going on!

Very attentive dogs – not listening to what was going on but watching intently for any biscuit crumbs from the refreshments on offer!


SATURDAY 18th MAY, LYDEARD ST LAWRENCE TOWER ABSEILING FUND-RAISING EVENT took place from 9am until 4.30pm. Sixty brave souls abseiled down the 75 feet high tower, aided and abetted by a professional team of abseilers from the Wellington Carnival organisation who led the activity completely free of church – all we had to do was to feed them across the day! The event was organised in conjunction with the new St Luke’s Centre, Cotford St Luke who needed to raise funds against loans which enabled that community to build their new worship centre and community resource. They needed a tower, and Lydeard St Lawrence church had a tower so the two churches worked together – a brilliant example of co-operation within Tone Deanery. Mission at it’s best! There were also many stalls set up within the church – Tombola, plants, cakes, books and odds and ends. Wonderful refreshments were on offer all day long, and many people came not just from Cotford but also from Lydeard St Lawrence and much further afield too as word spread about the event. At the moment, it isn’t known how much money was raised – the abseiling team encouraged us to raise £4,000 for each church to make it worthwhile. Lydeard St Lawrence raised just over £450 from the stalls alone, which far surpassed our expectations so watch this space for a note about the total raised through sponsorship. It is hoped to have some photographs of the event as well before too long. These are eagerly awaited! Many thanks are due to the planning team from Cotford who met with Revd. Maureen on several occasions and to Liz McConnell and her team here in Lydeard St Lawrence for their magnificent efforts on behalf of the church. It was a super day, reaching out to our community and welcoming those from Cotford and so many other areas. The weather was cool and cloudy, but that seemed to be perfect conditions for the abseilers. Many thanks too to the abseiling team who were totally professional, calm, friendly and encouraging to anyone who was nervous. For the church, thanks and congrats. must go to one of our Churchwardens – Pat Coles – for abseiling without any signs of nerves at all, and to Helen Foster and her grandson – all of whom raised substantial amounts of sponsorship for our Church Development Project. 




Don, our Church Treasurer at Lydeard St Lawrence: “My turn next …… I must watch carefully to get an idea of what I need to do.”








Baseball hat AND hard hat? Oh yes!









Kitted up and ready to go, with Andy from next door.






Don and Andy go “over the edge” together.







Final instructions given.

Concentrate Don!














Going down ……



“I think this wall needs re-pointing!”








Final push –

nearly there …..





Being de-kitted (is there such a word?)













So proud of him – and so say all of us ….. oh, and look – that’s sneaky, as Liz is holding a knitted kitted-out abseiling effigy of the Associate Priest! That went down the tower three times in all, as the Associate Priest was too much of a wuss to actually abseil in person – think of all the extra sponsorship she could have raised (if she’d been brave enough!).


And a certificate to prove you did it!








More photos to come folks – what a day!

As promised – more photos …..



Some of the youngsters from our village.









Last minute instructions and advice before beginning the descent!


And yet more photos! ….





After listening carefully to instructions and advice ……





… a copybook demonstration of how to abseil by one of Lydeard St Lawrence’s Churchwardens!







“Are you watching carefully, kids?”








Mmmmm – that looks an awfully long way up …. and down!











“I did it!”



The charity Christian Aid was supported in a couple of ways on Friday 17th May and Saturday 18th May. On Friday, there was a Beetle Drive in St Mary’s Church Centre which raised £130; on Saturday a Cup Cake Sale took place on the Rectory drive, and raised £146, both events giving a total of £276 for Christian Aid. Photos of both events, courtesy of Derek Cockell:































With over 3.2 thousand shops and sites on board, including: Amazon, eBay, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Virgin Trains and Aviva, you can get donations on everything from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – and it doesn’t cost you a penny extra!

Plus, if you join and support either “Combe Florey Church” or “St Lawrence Church, Lydeard St Lawrence” – each church will get an extra £2 when you raise your first donation. It’s really simple, all you have to do is:

1. Go to https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/invite/PBAHC6/IG9S76/ and join for free.

2. Every time you want to shop, go to easyfundraising first, find the site you want and start shopping!

3. When you check out, the church of your choice gets a donation for no extra cost whatsoever.

The shops and sites give easyfundraising a percentage of what you spend and they turn that into a donation. It’s that easy. There’s no catch or hidden charges and Combe Florey Church or St Lawrence Church will be really grateful for your donations. The amounts are not huge, but every little helps and the more you spend, the larger the donation. So – we may be able to make a few pounds for these two churches with all those forthcoming Christmas purchases! LET’S GET BUYING!