The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Chiselborough is close to the centre of the village. Our Church is part of the Benefice which includes the nearby parishes of Norton sub Hamdon, Stoke sub Hamdon, West and Middle Chinnock, Odcombe and Montacute. Services and events are shared by the whole Benefice.
We regret that all public services in the church have been suspended until further notice on the advice of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The church will stay open where possible for prayer and quiet times. Please see notices at the church for further information
Our types of service:
BCP - Communion service taken from the Book of Common Prayer, dating from 1662 which remains the official prayer book of the Church of England
Open Doors - An informal service of praise, readings and teaching
Common Worship - Communion service authorised by the General Synod of the Church of England and launched in 2000. It represents the most recent stage of development of the Liturgical Movement within the Church and is the successor to the Alternative Service Book (ASB) of 1980
Gateway - A meeting for children in the church vestry for childen to hear bible stories and enjoy associated craft activities. Very young children are also welcome as a creche. The childen and helpers return to the main service for the distribution of the bread and wine
Taize - A short quiet service of prayer, contemplation and taize songs
Benefice Prayer Chain - We have a confidential prayer chain in the Benefice. It is a group of people who will, confidentially, undertake to pray about any needs. Please contact Marilyn Trust 881243 with your request or if you wish to join the chain and pray for others
March 21st - Visit by the Somerset Churches Trust at approximately 3 to 3.15 p.m.
May 24th - Visit by the Bishop of Bath and Wells to the Benefice inluding a United Benefice Service in St Mary.s Stoke sub Hamdon
A description and history of the church:
The original Norman church probably consistered of a low central tower with a chancel and short nave. The present church has been much restored in modern times, notably in 1842, in 1911/12 with an extension of the nave and in 1980/81 with the repair of the nave ceiling.
The spire. Somerset has many beautiful towers but few spires. The upper stages of the tower and the spire are 13th century
The central position of the tower.
The Norman arch. This was discovered in 1911 in pieces built into the tower walls. When reopening the church after restoration, the then Bishop of Bath and Wells said that the re-erected arch must be at least 800 years old and favourably compared its "grandeur, strength and solidarity" with work done during the 19th century restoration.
The font is thought to be 15th or 16th century
The chancel is 17th century, built on the foundations of an earlier chancel, traces of which can still be seen , notably from the outside, above the north wall. The chancel is now used as a vestry and church room, hidden from view by a modern screen in front of which stands the altar. The bell ringers stand in front of the altar in the space under the tower.
The nave is eary Victorian, replacing an earlier and smaller one which was very dark and short of "free" seating.
The Altar and Pulpit are modern and the work of local craftsmen.
The Childrens' Window. In 1988 four windows in the church required replacement, work on the others having been carried out in 1982. It was decided to dedicate one window to the children associated with the village - "With Thanks for Children". The 99 panes, each of which cost £5, were kindly purchased by parents and relatives on their behalf.
To commemorate this, photographs of the children have been placed in an album in the church and which it is hoped will be of interest in years to come. The panes and photographs are all numbered so that each child will be able to identify his or her particular pane in the south side window.
The bells, which are rung regularly for services, are of interest to campanologists.The oldest bell dates from 1363.
Plate. There is an Elizibethan silver communion cup and cover dating from 1571, which is in regular use along with a plated chalice, paten and flagon of Victorian origin.
Records. The registers (births, marriages and burials) date from the first year of Queen Elizabeth I (1558). There are also Churchwardens' accounts from 1676 and accounts of the Overseers of the Poor from 1677.
The shields in the west window are those of the Strangways family (Earls of Ilchester) and of the Wyndhams, both of whom at various times held the Manor of Chiselborough and the patronage of the living.
In the passage leading to the vestry is a slab commemorating the Gawlers, after whom "Gawlers Hill" (to the north east of the village) is named. Chiselborough had two Gawler rectors, in the time of Charles I and during the civil war.
The two blue slabs in the central aisle (much defaced by foot traffic) are in memory of a "chirurgeon" (surgeon) Morgan Lodge (died 1695) and Steven Burredg (died 1640), presumably one of the family after whom is named "Burridge Copse" on top of the hill to the south of the village.
Go close up to the diamond shaped memorial on the south wall of the nave (Agnes Baker, died 1730) and find the scull!