Church News and Information


Latest church news – 21/02/21

Resumption of Services at St Peter’s:    The PCC are continuing to review the local Covid statistics and with more people being vaccinated and risk levels diminishing, we hope to resume indoor services soon.  Until we are confident with all the safety aspects we have decided to hold our next service on Mothering Sunday, 14th March, outdoors at 9.30am.  This will be our first face to face Sunday service with our new rector, Revd. Jonathan Evans, and we would like to invite as many people to the service as possible to give Jonathan a special Shepton welcome.  Please make a note in your diary and come to meet Jonathan in the safety of the churchyard.  More details to follow.

Live Stream Services:    Each week Jonathan will be live streaming one service a week from St Mary’s Bruton, today at 9.30am and next week at 11.00am.  Available on the website

Plant Sale:   We now have confirmation that The Newt will allow us to hold our Plant Sale in the car park on Saturday 29th May.  More details to follow but please start propagating seeds, dividing perennials and growing on plants for the sale.

News and resources from the Diocese of Bath and Wells

The latest edition of the Connect newsletter from the Diocese of Bath and Wells contains information about what’s happening across the diocese and beyond

The full newsletter is available here.


Christmas Day Service 2020

Dear All.

Our next service will be on Christmas Day at 9.30am with Preb. Mark Ellis.

This service will be held outdoors and is a Communion Service, although this will be dependent on wind conditions! (never thought I would write that!!).

It was very helpful to know who was coming to the Carol Service for the ‘Trace System’, so can you please let me know if you are coming.

Please bring your carol sheets but fresh sheets will be available.  Service books will be handed out on arrival too.

We are unable to do a collection during the service so collection plates will be at each gate for you to leave your donations in.

Please wear face masks, sanitise hands as you arrive and respect each other by maintaining a 2 metre social distance.

Shepton Montague carol service 20th December 2020

The weather forecast looks good as it was for the Carol Service on 20th December, shown in the picture.  Thank you to everyone who attended and special thanks to Dan Richards, John Sykes, Mike Bowman and all the readers.  You all contributed to give us a memorable Shepton Montague experience.

Hope to see you all on Christmas Day. Readings available to download here.


Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and renewed strength for 2021.


Christmas news and resources from the Diocese of Bath and Wells

The latest edition of the Connect newsletter from the Diocese of Bath and Wells contains information about what’s happening across the diocese during the Christmas period and beyond

The full newsletter is available here.

Christmas Services 2020

We are very pleased to tell you we will be holding an outdoor Carol Service on Sunday 20th December at 3.00pm and on Christmas Day the Communion Service will also be outdoors at 9.30am.  Both services to be held in the churchyard at St Peter’s Church.

Singing outdoors IS allowed at an organised service.

These services will comply with current Government advice and guidance from the Church of England .

Please ensure you sanitise your hands as you enter the churchyard.

Please wear a mask.

Be aware of the uneven surface and grass so wear appropriate footwear.

Dress for cold and wet, hope for warm and dry and bring umbrellas.

Maintain 2 metre social distance between individuals and family “bubbles “.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes

Jeremy and the PCC of Shepton Montague.


Dear all

Lockdown restrictions have forced the closure of the church so there will not be a church service this Sunday.

However, Susie and I have consulted the latest guidelines, as of yesterday, and we will hold an outdoor act of remembrance in the churchyard.

This will be a short form of our planned service to be lead by Roger Ketley.

We have to comply with national guidelines. This means that we have to maintain 2 metre separation and wear face coverings, unless you attend within your family bubble where 6 people can be together but still wear masks please.

Please respect the 2 metre spacing for everyone’s comfort and safety.

We will gather in the road and in the churchyard at 9.30am.

We will have the short form of the service, lay the wreath and observe moments of silence.

We are allowed to sing the National Anthem!!!

Please let me know if you are planning to attend and please observe the guidelines.

You can download the complete service that Roger has prepared for you.  Please print and bring your own copy. 

Let us hope for fair weather on Sunday and please continue to pray for Sean O’Callaghan, critically ill following surgery last Friday.

If you need help in lockdown please contact us.

Best wishes

Jeremy Collyer and Susie Dowding




 Residents of the Parish are warmly invited to the Church’s AGM

  1. ANNUAL PARISHIONERS’ MEETING, to be held in St Peter’s Church, Shepton Montague, on Thursday 29 October 2020 at 6.30pm.



  • Introduction
  • Election of two Churchwardens
  • Acceptance of Annual Financial Report
  1. ANNUAL PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING (APCM), to be held in the Church following the above-mentioned meeting.


  • Introduction
  • Apologies for absence
  • Minutes of the meetings of 19 March 2019
  • Matters arising, where not covered by the following agenda items
  • The Parochial Church Council (PCC) will present the Annual Report including the following:
    • Churchwardens’ Report
    • Financial Report
    • Electoral Roll Report
  • Elections and Appointments:
    • Election of PCC members
    • Election of members of the Deanery Synod
  • Other Business
  • Close


M F Bowman, Secretary                                                                     15 October 2020

Memo from the Archdeacon of Wells

 To:       The Parish representatives and Churchwardens of the Benefice of Bruton, Brewham, Pitcombe and Shepton Montague
The Revd Kevin Rogers, Area Dean of Bruton and Cary Deanery
Mr Rob Sage, Lay Dean of Bruton and Cary Deanery

cc:        The Revd Jonathan Evans, Rector designate

 Notice to be read by a Churchwarden or one of the Parish Representatives or the officiating minister at all the services in the parishes of the Benefice of Bruton, Brewham, Pitcombe and Shepton Montague on Sunday 4 October 2020 and only thereafter released for publication in notice sheets/parish magazines.

 Following the recent interviews and the recommendation of the Parish representatives, we are pleased to announce that the Bishop has appointed the Reverend Jonathan Evans to the post of Rector of the Benefice of Bruton, Brewham, Pitcombe and Shepton Montague.  This appointment is subject to a satisfactory completion of the usual statutory checks made on all clergy taking up a new post.

Details of a Service of Welcome and Institution will be announced in due course.

Please hold Jonathan and his family in your prayers as he prepares to begin a new ministry among us and pray too for his current congregations to whom this announcement will also be made today.

Archdeacon Anne has asked me to thank everyone involved in the process of bringing this new appointment to fruition.


Don’t forget that our church annual meetings are in the church at 6.30pm on Thursday 29 October – ALL WELCOME!

(sorry no wine this year…bring your masks)

Cheers, Mike Bowman

A Message from Prebendary Mark Ellis, Benefice Associate Priest.

I was so sorry that we were ordered to close all our church buildings, but I think we have a responsibility in setting a good example by following the government advice while this pandemic continues to cause such harm. I must admit that I really miss the opportunity to join with you in worshipping together – especially in the beautiful and greatly loved churches of our Benefice. Let us hope it is not too long before we can ensure those precious buildings ring out with praise once more.

During this long Easter season I have been able to take more time in meditating and studying what the Four Gospels tell us about the Resurrection appearances of Our Lord. One of the most striking features about those accounts, I discover, is that the Risen Lord was found in the most ordinary, everyday, common place situations. Those first disciples were just going about their way of life when they suddenly experienced the presence of the Risen Lord.

A bereaved woman weeping in the garden.
Two of them walking back to their home village of Emmaus.
A group of them meeting in the Upper Room.
Some of them carrying on with their old job of fishing.

In all these routine situations they were made aware that they were not alone because the Risen Lord was with them.

I think we can learn so much from what took place then. For the Good News of the Lord’s Resurrection is for all of us here and now. At what point do we bring the Risen Lord into our lives? Remember Jesus said “ I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” However difficult we may find life at this moment with the corona pandemic, let us remember that the Risen Lord is with us, not simply as an idea but as a living presence. I think it is well expressed in the well known words of St Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Please feel free to call me at any time – I always have callminder on the telephone – sadly our normal parochial visiting is not possible at the present , but we can always have a chat on the phone. I would be particularly glad to hear of any names for my intercessions.

With my prayers and blessing.

Telephone chaplaincy during Covid – 19

The latest edition of the Connect newsletter from the Diocese of Bath and Wells contains information about a new service set up by representatives of all the different faith communities in the Avon and Somerset police area, offering telephone based 1-2-1 pastoral and spiritual support to people of all faiths and none.

The full newsletter is available here.


23 March 2020

Dear all

Events are moving so fast it has been difficult to keep you all up to date.

Sadly all services in the church have been abandoned until further notice.  However, St. Peter’s church and churchyard will remain open every day for people to have access for private prayer.

We have also taken the difficult decision to cancel the plant sale planned for 23rd May.  This function is one of our best fund raisers and a chance to meet socially with friends, neighbours and welcome others to the village. We are sorry to announce this news but we needed to make a decision before too much time and effort had been expended growing flowers and veg for sale.   However, Vanessa and I, plus others, will probably have plants ready from time to time that you are welcome to have, in exchange for a donation to the church.

We will send round lists when ready. If you want us to start some seeds for you, please ask.

Anne and I have a selection of homemade marmalade for sale; plain orange, orange plus apple and ginger and orange with prize winning somerset cider.  All at £3.00 a jar to church funds.

If you are worried about leaving home or are having to self isolate and you need food or supplies, please contact me or one of the emergency aid group being assembled. We will find someone to help you.

Best wishes and please keep safe and well.



Shepton Montague Church Plant Sale Raffle – 25 May 2019

This note is to register in public our thanks for the support we received from local traders and individuals who gave us such good prizes for the raffle which formed part of the Plant Sale.

Many of those who bought tickets (£1 for a strip of five) said how useful and attractive the prizes were. I list the businesses (and their prizes) here so that people can use their services knowing that they do give back to the community.

Please mention to them that you are aware of their support!

S Morris Ltd, Concrete Products (Pimm’s hamper)

Bruton Motor Services Ltd (free MOT test)

The Montague Inn (£25 voucher)

Phillips Tyres, Castle Cary (£25 fuel voucher)

The Bakehouse Restaurant, Castle Cary (£20 voucher)

At The Chapel, Bruton (£20 voucher for restaurant, bakery or winestore)

Godminster Farm (cheese and chutney)

With thanks also to the 100 or so people who bought tickets!

Mike Bowman


I have been asked by many people, what is happening at the church?  The observant among you will be aware that the tower is clad with scaffolding and builders are busy.

In our last Quinquennial survey of the church in 2015 and in the previous survey in 2010, we were warned that the roof of the tower was showing signs of degradation, the asbestos tiles were beginning to flake and break up and the pointing to the tower was in need of repair.  The last major pointing was undertaken in the 1960’s after the fire.

The architect lists all findings in order of priority and the priority of the roof and walls was moving up the list.  The top items were tackled and sorted between 2016 – 2017, some jobs done by PCC members and a builder was employed to do more demanding tasks.  Having cleared all the jobs high on the priority lists we, as a PCC, decided the time was right to do the repairs to the tower roof and walls.

A survey was carried out to classify the asbestos, ecologists have surveyed for bat activity, with 3 species identified, the architect, Nicola Paxton, drew up a schedule of works, appropriate permissions were sought and granted from the Diocese and tenders were invited for the work.  These steps seemed to take ages, we started the process in November 2017.  However, in late September 2018 we selected our preferred builders, Minerva Stone, and they started work in late October.  The scaffolding is likely to remain until late January, possibly into February depending on the weather.

Today I was shown over the works by Andy, the boss.  The roof tiles have been removed and the new rubber membrane already fitted.  Areas of damaged stone have been removed and new stone is being fashioned on site to replace the damaged areas.  Much of the pointing has been removed from the West and South faces of the tower and most of the west face has been re-pointed.  The attention to the detail of stone repair and selection of the right mortar; colour and consistency is truly inspiring.  All the crew I have met are keen and enthusiastic about the job they are doing.  If you would like to know more, I am sure they would be happy to talk if they have time.

All this work comes at a price.  The anticipated costs are around £87,000.  Much of this will be met from reserves that the PCC have built up over the past few years and a large chunk will be met by a grant from Shepton Montague Church Trust.  Grant applications have been lodged with Somerset Church Trust and All Churches Trust Ltd and the majority of the £14,000 VAT will be reclaimed through the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme.

Our fund-raising activities, the Plant Sale and Fete will continue to help replenish reserves over the coming years.  We are also very grateful to a number of parishioners who make regular donations to the church through the gift aids scheme, whereby we can reclaim an additional 25% of any donation back from the government.  If you would like to set up a regular donation please contact me or one of the other PCC members.

We will be hosting a fund-raising evening in the new year, so please look out for the invitation and come to join us to celebrate the completed works.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Jeremy Collyer – Churchwarden                                                                           27 November 2018


The Church Commissioners have approved alterations to the Benefices of Evercreech and of Bruton, and from 1 July 2017 the Parish of Shepton Montague has become part of the newly created Benefice of Bruton, Brewham, Pitcombe and Shepton Montague. The Benefice of Bruton and District, of which we hitherto formed part, has been dissolved.  Fr Justin Bailey is appointed our Rector. Patronage is vested in the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

I shall put a copy of the formal notice on the church notice board; it also contains details of the new Benefice of Alham Vale.

Mike Bowman, PCC Secretary


The Church of St. Peter Building

The parish Church of Saint Peter has 13th century origins and has been designated as a Grade II listed building. It was seriously damaged by a fire in 1964 and restored two years later.

King James Bible  400th. anniversary

Published by Robert Barker, ‘printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty’, in 1611.

The media is excited with anniversaries, natural or man- made disasters or the life and death of renowned composers, but this coming 400th. anniversary has so far attracted little attention. Here is a reminder as this anniversary year now becomes imminent

The commissioning of this new translation of the bible in 1604 arose out of the great meeting in Hampton Court of the King and representatives of  the various sections of the Protestant churches  in England. It was intended to help to define the relationship between  the Monarch and his Church, to bring greater unity to the Church and to distinguish between it and the Catholic one of Rome.  The one new, uniform translation was to replace pre-existing ones, such as the Bishop’s bible, the Geneva and Tyndale’s. It was to be shaped by the learned authority of Oxford and Cambridge, revised by the bishops and finally approved by James himself.

Teams of translators were appointed, allocated a section of the bible to translate from the original Greek and Hebrew texts and rules to control their methods, the aim being to retain a natural harmony of style throughout. In this they were remarkably successful. The author of the preface wrote ‘translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light, it breaketh the shell so that we may eat the kernel ‘.

The translation lasted until the revision in Victorian times, published in 1885. Further revision took place after the Second World War to produce the New English Bible, the child of committees, translating panels, literary advisers and representatives.  It was deemed by T.S.Eliot at the time ‘to astonish in its combination of the vulgar, trivial and the pedantic’.

Roger Ketley