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.


What's happening in the Benefice:                      
  • Celebrating a new Ministry
    On Monday 27 April, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, presided over the Institution of Reverend Jim Fallon as the Rector of the Blackdown Benefice in a service held at St Mary's Church, Buckland St Mary. We welcome Jim and his family to the Blackdowns and trust they will have a happy and fruitful ministry with us.

    Interestingly, the word 'Rector' derives from the Latin for 'to set straight, guide, direct' and Jim is now tasked with keeping the churches at Buckland St Mary, Birchwood, Corfe, Churchstanton, Otterford and Pitminster on the 'straight and narrow path'.

    The service of Institution had several phases: some are symbolic, such as the formal presentation of Jim as the prospective new Rector to the Bishop. At this point the priest, church wardens and congregation are each asked to confirm their wish for the Rector to be installed and that the ministry would be supported. Jim was presented by Angela Leroy, Chair of the Diocesan Board of Patronage, and by Reverend Sue Tucker, as the representative of the Chard Benefice where Jim was Curate.

    Thanks to all those who prepared the church for the service, procured the service sheets, organised parking, acted as sidesmen, played the organ and sang in the choir, and any others who played a part, large or small, in making the service a joyous celebration and a rousing welcome for Jim as he began his new ministry.
    Posted 24 Jun 2015, 02:51 by Sue Green
  • Easter Activity Day at Buckland St Mary
    At the beginning of the Easter Holidays we ran an activity days in the village hall at Buckland St Mary. A great bunch of children attended. We spent time thinking about the Easter story, making things, playing games and having fun together. The children hunted for Easter eggs, took part in egg and spoon races, decorated biscuits, made crowns, plus much more. We heard the sad part of the Easter story in the morning, where Jesus died an horrific death and in the afternoon we remembered the happy day, when Jesus came back to life again. As part of time together, we used colours to think about the Easter story, using the ideas below:

    BLUE – CREATION: reminds us of the perfect world that God created.
    BLACK – MESSED UP WORLD: reminds us that humans have messed up and our world is not the way God designed it to be.RED – JESUS’ BLOOD: reminds us that Jesus gave his blood for us, he died on the cross for every person on earth.
    PURPLE – JESUS IS KING: reminds us that Jesus is and was a King, yet a king that died.
    WHITE – JESUS MAKES US CLEAN: reminds us that Jesus didn’t stay dead, he came back to life and because of this our lives can be made brand new and clean.
    YELLOW – NEW BEGINNINGS: reminds us of new beginnings. If we choose to follow Jesus he helps us to become like brand new people.
    GREEN – GROW: once we have Jesus in our life, he helps us to grow and develop to be more like him!

    A huge thank you goes to all the children who made the day so much fun and also to the great volunteers who came along to make this day possible.

    - Cheryl Govier

    Posted 22 Apr 2015, 02:46 by Blackdown Benefice
  • Institution of the Revd James Fallon

    The Churchwardens and Parochial Church Councils

    of the Blackdown Benefice

    of Buckland St Mary, Churchstanton, Corfe, Otterford and Pitminster


    All Parishioners

    to the Institution and Licensing of the

    Reverend James Fallon

    as Rector of the Blackdown Benefice

    by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt. Revd. Peter Hancock

    on Monday 27 April 2015 at 7.00pm

    at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Buckland St Mary

    and afterwards at the Village Hall, Buckland St Mary

    Posted 16 Apr 2015, 07:29 by Blackdown Benefice
  • Good causes needed!
    The Buckland St Mary Church building belongs to the whole community and we like it to be used!

    We encourage its use for the Community Coffee Mornings, but this year as yet there are a large number of gaps.

    If you would like to hold a coffee morning on the second Saturday of the month in aid of a charity of your choice, please contact Margery Harkness on 01460 234599 and she will let you know which second Saturdays are free.
    Posted 8 Apr 2015, 02:26 by Blackdown Benefice
  • Christmas Services
    The number of people attending Christmas services throughout the Benefice was considerably up on previous years and, at Buckland, we were wonderfully overwhelmed by the turn out at our Community Carol Service. We had to delay the start of the service in order to fetch chairs from the school so that everyone could be seated!

    During the service, Ash Class acted out the Christmas story and we had two carols from the children and one from the choir, as well as carols for the whole congregation, and we ended up with the Community Choir singing 'Christmas Bells'.

    We hope the service, and gathering afterwards, was enjoyable and made a good start to Christmas celebrations for all who came.
    Posted 21 Jan 2015, 05:20 by Blackdown Benefice
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Coming up:

Cream Teas
Enjoy scones, cream, jam and a cuppa on Wednesday 24 June at Gibbs, Corfe, from 3pm: cost £5 with all proceeds to Musgrove Park Hospital.

Benefice Prayers
Friday 26 June at 10am in Corfe Church. All are welcome to join the clergy and reader team as we pray for the work of our parishes.

Benefice Prayers
Friday 3 July at 10am in Birchwood Church. All are welcome to join the clergy and reader team as we pray for the work of our parishes.

Buckland St Mary Church Fete
Saturday 4 July from 2pm at Buckland House (in the church and school if wet). Cream teas, plants, raffle, tombola and much more besides!

Pitminster PCC
Tuesday 7 July from 7.30pm, Pitminster Old School

Benefice Prayers
Friday 10 July at 10am in Pitminster Church. All are welcome to join the clergy and reader team as we pray for the work of our parishes.

Community Coffee Morning
Saturday 11 July, Buckland St Mary Church, for Macmillan Cancer Support