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We are a group of five Anglican parishes (Pitminster, Corfe, Churchstanton, Buckland St Mary and Otterford) just south of Taunton in the Blackdown Hills.

We are part of the Diocese of Bath & Wells.

All are welcome in our churches, which are open during the day, either to attend services or for solitary peace and quiet. We seek to serve our communities in many different ways, and our Benefice Statement of Purpose can be found here.

Welcome to our new website!
We are still developing these pages and some are not yet fully functional. But we hope you'll still find some useful information, and thank you for your patience while we continue working on it. 

 
What's happening in the Benefice:                      
  • Volunteers needed!
    As many of you know, 'Open the Book' has been running in Churchstanton Primary School for over 5 years.

    It has been a great success, enjoyed by the children and staff as well as those taking part.

    It has continued due to a committed group of volunteers who have given up their Wednesday mornings to help act out the bible stories for the school to enjoy.

    We do stories every other week during term time, but due to circumstances changing for some of our team, we need others to join us to ensure this ministry can continue.

    You don't have to be an experienced actor or actress, you don't need to worry about learning lines (we all find ways of getting around that!), you just need to be enthusiastic and willing, plus have a free slot on Wednesday mornings between 10.25 am and 11.00 am.

    If you don't know what 'Open the Book' is, have a look on their website (www.openthebook.net) or have a chat to either Sue or myself.

    Even if this makes you feel apprehensive or nervous, please don't be afraid to get in touch, we need you and would love you to join our team!

    - Cheryl, Children and Families Worker
    Posted 26 Feb 2014 03:59 by Sue Green
  • Volunteers' third visit to Sri Lanka
    Orphans with Matron at Paynter Home
    Well, as the weather gets colder we are hunting out our summer clothes, ready to return to Sri Lanka on 30th January for three weeks.

    We will again be visiting Elders homes and advising on ‘Keeping Fit for Life’, with activities and talks.  This time we also expect to be working with the church Board Members who oversee the running of the various homes, the Matrons and staff, and discussing with them ways to raise the standards in the homes. 

    We plan to visit the children’s centres and orphanages and to distribute the contributions that we have raised from Pitminster, Corfe (Benefice Service) and Buckland St Mary School.

    We would be grateful for your prayers while we are away, for safety while travelling, good relationships, successful visits, and for it not to be too hot.  Also for our programme to become clear on arrival as at present we do not have one! 

    - Rosanne and Sandy

    Posted 29 Jan 2014 03:24 by Sue Green
  • Walking in a winter wonderland
    Thank you very much to everyone who came to our walk, it was a very happy occasion with good weather after all the storms, and all the walkers enjoyed it very much after the excesses of Christmas!
    Thank you to Elizabeth and Richard for organizing the route and leading the walk.

    In all, 58 people sat down to a delicious soup and pudding lunch - many thanks to all who helped to do shopping set up the hall, make puddings etc., and especially clearing up afterwards - thanks to the new dishwasher this was a much easier task. We made a grand total of £252 for Church funds - a brilliant effort. Thank you very much, and see you all again next year!
    Posted 22 Jan 2014 04:53 by Sue Green
  • Hope 2014
    In 2008, a difficult year for countries and individuals, Christians in the UK launched a campaign to carry the message of HOPE for the future into their communities.

    It was so successful that church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, asked for a repeat and this is happening in 2014 with even more denominations and organisations involved.

    Many of the ideas are ones that we already use, or have planned for the coming year in our benefice, e.g. celebration of the rhythm of the seasons, and the commemoration of the First World War.

    Indeed our special services such as Open on Sunday, our Open the Book teams, our funding for a Families and Children's Worker in the Benefice and our individual pastoral care for our neighbours are all tools for this HOPE 2014 campaign.

    We will be reporting your activities to the diocese to encourage others.

    Thank you for your part in this service to our communities.

    For more information on HOPE 2014 click here.
    Posted 15 Jan 2014 05:00 by Sue Green
  • A Hearty Harvest!
    Our Harvest Supper at Pitminster was a great success and a most enjoyable evening for a group of pleasant and sociable people from both Corfe and Pitminster - without any of the tensions between the two villages reputed to have disturbed the peace during the English Civil War!

    Thanks go to the quizmaster, Harry Yoxall, who entertained us and certainly tested us; the noble staff who prepared the splendid meal; and to Charlotte Willson-Pepper and Cathy Crosby who tidied up and restored the hall to its normal immaculate state on Sunday morning.

    It was a very worthwhile and enjoyable occasion for everyone involved.
    Posted 7 Nov 2013 02:50 by Sue Green
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 19. View more »
                                                                                                               
Coming up:

Lenten Study Courses #1
We're holding Lent groups once again this year, with our thoughts guided by the BBC series 'The Passion'.
Churchinford: Mondays 7.30pm on 7 April and 28 April at the home of Elizabeth and Richard Badman at The Tallett, Moor Lane, Churchinford TA3 7RE (01823 601264)
Pitminster: Wednesdays 7.30pm on 2 April, 9 April and 30 April
at the home of Sarah and John Wakefield, Pitminster Lodge, Pitminster TA3 7AZ (bring and share supper)
Buckland St Mary: Thursdays 7.30pm on 3 April and 10 April
at the home of Andrew and Vicki Bell, Moorseek Cottage, Buckland St Mary TA20 3QE (01460 234463)
All are welcome at any venue

Lenten Study Courses #2
Come and share a short time of prayer and reflection on the Sunday readings at The Tallet, Moor Lane, Churchinford. Each Thursday during Lent, at 12 midday, commencing Thursday 6 March. Stay to share soup and a roll afterwards. Contact Elizabeth Badman 01823 601264.

Village and Churchyard Clean-up
at Buckland St Mary Church on Saturday 5 April, 10am

Benefice Prayers
Friday 4 April, 10am in Pitminster Church. All welcome to join the Clergy & Reader team as we pray for the work of our parishes.

Coffee and Chat
St Nicholas Church, Corfe, 10am-11.30am on Saturday 5 April. All proceeds to Church funds.

Otterford Annual Parochial Church Meeting
Sunday 6 April, 12pm at the Church

Open on Sunday
Open on Sunday in April falls on Palm Sunday, 13 April. We are hoping to spend some time in the Village Hall in Corfe from 10.15am with the story and a song or two, then making palms to wave before crossing the road into church.

Holy Week
Events and services for Holy Week are as follows:
Meditations for Holy Week and Easter, 6.30pm at the following churches:
Monday 14 April: Churchstanton
Tuesday 15 April: Birchwood
Wednesday 16 April: Buckland St Mary
Maundy Thursday (17 April):
7.30pm Pitminster Holy Communion
Good Friday: Prayer Walks (see below)
Holy Saturday: 7.30pm Service of Light at Corfe Church
We hope to see you at any or all of the above.

Prayer Walks at Otterford
On Good Friday, 18 April, we will be walking through the countryside to converge on Otterford Church for a Good Friday Devotion at 2pm.
Walks leave from:
Birchwood Church, 1pm
Bishopswood Village Hall, 12.30pm
Churchinford (Five Ways Crossroad) 1pm
Holman Clavel (1pm)

Easter Bingo
Saturday 19 April at the Buckland St Mary Village Hall. Doors open 7.30pm with eyes down at 8pm. There will be half-time refreshments and a raffle. All proceeds to church funds.

Easter Sunday
6am: Sunrise Service at Otterford
    (followed by a bacon butty             breakfast)
9am: Holy Communion, Buckland        St Mary
11am: Holy Communion,          Churchstanton
11am: Holy Communion, Pitminster

Around the Table
A group for all meeting for discussion, exchange of ideas, prayer and a light meal. The next meeting is on Wednesday 30 April, 7.30pm at Moorseek Cottage, Buckland St Mary. For details please contact Andrew or Vicki Bell on 01460 234463.


Russian Choir visits Buckland St Mary
Thursday 1 May, 7.30pm at Buckland St Mary Church, the Hermitage Ensemble of St Petersburg will be giving a concert of Russian Orthodox and folk music. Book tickets early to make sure you get a place - email pennyhart@btopenworld or phone 01460 234639.

Otterford Open Church
is taking place on Saturday 10 May from 10am to 4pm.
This is a chance for all comers to experience something of the atmosphere and ministry of Otterford Church. We'll have refreshments and creative areas for drawing or writing poetry, plus a quiet area for simple reflection and up to four prayer stations dotted through the church.

Flowers and Art at Corfe
Corfe Church is holding a fundraising weekend on 24, 25 and 26 May. There will be a flower festival in the Church, Open Gardens, Art and Drama in the Village Hall (see below!).

Under Milk Wood
A highlight of the Corfe Festival will be two performances of Under Milk Wood to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. Taking place on Friday 23 May and Sunday 25 May at 7pm in the Church, you can buy tickets for £6 (children £2) from Brian Lewis (01823 421277). Drinks will be served after each performance.