Our thriving church serves the ancient village of Lydeard St Lawrence together with the surrounding hamlets of Westowe, Pyleigh, West Leigh and Chapel Leigh.
The present church building is believed to be the third on the present site, the first being a Saxon church which later gave way to a Norman one which, in turn, gave way to the present building. It is of traditional design with a Somerset tower built of local red stone.
Services alternate with those at Combe Florey and typically we have Morning Prayer at 11:15 on the first Sunday of the month and Holy Communion at 11:15 on the third Sunday. Children are very welcome on our church and we have a carpeted children’s area with tables and chairs, stocked with soft cuddly toys, books and art materials for young, enthusiastic and energetic visitors.
Church Development Project - 2021
We want to provide the facilities to make the church more suitable to meet the needs of our community in the 21st century.
During 2018 we ran a community engagement project with funding from a Big Lottery “awards for all” grant. Our opinion survey received 103 responses, almost all very supportive of our draft proposals, and including some helpful suggestions. The feedback we received is included in the Opinion Survey Report.
Our ideas include a toilet, refreshment facilities, some more flexible seating, improvements to accessibility and heating.
Thanks to a second grant from the National Lottery Community Fund we have been working our way through various processes to get the approvals and permissions that we need. This has involved some survey work, consultations and feedback from Historic England, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Victorian Society and the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). We have also designed and obtained a licence for the drainage system from the Environment Agency.
We have introduced some changes in the church with temporary permissions from the Archdeacon, to remove a pew at the front of the church and put in a dais to make a level surface with more space for performances and events.
The faculty application has now been recommended for formal advertising by the DAC. If there are no objections the application will be presented to the Chancellor of the Bath and Wells Diocese for approval.
The next job is to raise the funding necessary for the main work to take place. We expect this work to cost about £120,000 though current trends in the construction industry may push this higher. We are working on a Heritage Lottery application as the outcomes that they are promoting fit in well with our project.
Church Development Project Team
Rev Mark Hurley, Rev Maureen Young, David Young, Paul Yeomans, Don Hobson, Pat Coles, Helen Foster and Kate Campbell.
Church Pew Removal
On Tuesday 12th January 2021 work began to remove the two front pews and frontals in the nave of the church.
As may be seen from the photo this has given us a valuable space which gives more flexibility for worship, weddings, funerals as well as giving the village school more space when they visit us (in normal times) for their end of terms services and good work assemblies. A dais of several independent units will fill the spaces between the platforms on which the pews were fixed.
Our thanks go to Andy Coleman and Susie Bythell-Wixey for their skilled carpentry and a week of labour, and to the National Lottery Community Fund for the grant.
Bell Ringing at Lydeard St Lawrence
The church has a beautiful set of 8 bells, plus a semitone bell to give a lighter middle 6. We practice on a Monday evening and ring for weekly services at Lydeard St Lawrence and Combe Florey. We welcome both visiting ringers and potential new ringers. See the Contacts Page to get in touch with the Tower Captain.