Woolavington Calendar

May 26, 2022
  • Ascension Day service May 26, 2022  7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Church of St Mary, Woolavington Churchside, Causeway, Woolavington, Bridgwater, TA7 8DN, England   See more details

June 5, 2022
June 19, 2022
July 3, 2022
July 9, 2022
  • Coffee morning July 9, 2022  10:30 am - 11:30 am Shirley’s, Vicarage Rd Woolavington   See more details

July 10, 2022
July 17, 2022
August 7, 2022
August 14, 2022
August 21, 2022
September 4, 2022
September 11, 2022
September 18, 2022
  • Holy Communion September 18, 2022  9:30 am - 10:30 am    See more details

  • Harvest Tea September 18, 2022  3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Bitham Walk Hall   See more details

September 21, 2022
  • Art exhibition September 21, 2022 - October 9, 2022   Woolavington church   See more details

October 15, 2022
  • Barn dance October 15, 2022  6:00 pm - 10:00 pm Village hall   See more details

October 16, 2022
November 6, 2022
November 13, 2022
November 20, 2022

Bawdrip Parish Hall

There is a parish hall in the village that was built during the inter-war period on land given to commemorate the Great War. It is of wooden and metal construction and has a small stage and kitchen area. The size of the hall (it is licensed for 75 people) means that it has an intimate feel to it and a group of just 30 can fill it. It has been refurbished  a few years ago and further refurbishment is planned.  We use it for our events and there are a number of external groups that are also using it on a regular basis. It is available for hire. Bookings from £5 per hour (£4 for village or charitable events).

For bookings contact:

Jenny Stromberg

01278 684742 email strombergshome@gmail.com

or

Lynn Brum 01278 684783

Rental cost £5 an hour (£4 for village or charitable events)

 

If neither are available then do contact either of the churchwardens:

Mike Murkin 01278 686278 or Simon Peel 01278 684222

Bawdrip Church History

A History of Bawdrip and its Church

The Parish of Bawdrip was formed long before the present XIVth century parish church was built. It embraced Bawdrip, the separate hamlets of Bradney, Crandon, Knowle, Ford and Wood. Crandon had been a river port in Roman times and the southern slopes of the Polden Hills had been a Romano-British arable farm centred on a villa. This was found in the field known as Churchie Breeches and had corn drying kilns. The general rise in the water level destroyed the port and radically altered the use of the land, changing from corn to grass. The flooding also created a broad island of Bradney where Bradney Farm stands today. The physical changes in the landscape may have encouraged the cranes (giving rise to the name of Crandon) as well as badgers (giving Bawdrip its ancient name of Bagetrepe or Baggedrippe). Today cormorants are regularly seen along the King Sedgemoor Drain which runs through the area.

The Domesday Book of 1086 records the settlements at Bawdrip and Bradney as being owned by the great local landowner Walter de Dowai or Douai.  Walter de Douai, son of Urso of Douai near Lille in Normandy was also at the Battle of Hastings and held 37 manors including extensive lands in Devon. For several centuries his descendants, the Lovells of Castle Cary, were the feudal overlords.

In the Middle Ages the real powers in the parish were the families of Baggedrippe, Bradney, Ford and Wroston (or Worston and later Wroughton). The Baggedrippe’s took their name from their native village and appointed the rectors in the early Middle Ages. In 1291 Robert de Baggedrippe gave the church of Baggedrippe, which belonged to him, “jure patronarus” to the abbey of St. Athelwin of Athelney. In 1292 the living of Baggedrippe was taxed at 12 marks. The other families were not entirely subservient to the Baggedrippes with the Fords and Bradneys building private chapels for themselves – Adam de la Ford building his in 1305, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

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The list of Rectors of the Parish starts in 1312 with William d’Edington. In 1333 Robert le Fitzours was Rector and then there is a gap until 1402 when Thomas Kele took over. In 1330 Sir Simon de Bradney founded in the Lady Chapel a chantry for one priest to pray five consecutive days each week for him and his father, Joachim. He further endowed it with a house and 18 acres of ground. Sir Simon was a knight of the shire in 1346 and had considerable possessions in the neighbourhood. At the end of the North Aisle his effigy in armour lies under a large Gothic arch. Between his hands there is a heart cut in stone indicating that only his heart is buried there. It was common practice for knights who held land in more the one parish to have the heart buried in one and the body in another. It is also known that if a knight fell in battle far from home then only his heart would be returned for burial.

In 1348 special prayers were said in the Church, praying that the plague called the Black Death, which was raging abroad might not visit England. Unfortunately by the following autumn it had come as far west as Somerset and many people died. The plague revisited the area towards the end of the century and the break in the list of Rectors may owe something to the confusion and panic of the time with no record of the appointment(s) being kept. It is also possible that no-one was available to fill the post.

In 1440 the Woughtons succeeded the Baggedrippes as patrons and by 1548 the chapel and chantry at Bradney had gone although the chapel at Ford was still in use. By that time the parish church had seen considerable changes. Although its central tower harks back to its Norman origins, the present building owes much to the work done in the 13th century. It was then that the transepts were added and the tower and chancel rebuilt. In the 15th century the nave was renewed and two of the current ring of four bells date from this time. Both bells have the RWL shield which is the mark of Roger London of Wokingham who died in 1448. One bears the inscription “Sancte Thoma Or” (St. Thomas pray for us), the other “Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum” (May the Name of the Lord be Blessed). Of the two other bells, one dates from 1671and bears the initials “A.S.-C.W.-T.P. Anno Domini 1671”. The fourth bell (the treble) has the inscription “Thomas Bayley, fecit anno 1745, Henry Parsons, Rector; William King, Churchwarden.”

In 1554 the churchyard walls needed repair – a common complaint down the years! Part of the reason is that the level of the churchyard is some three to five feet above the level of the road along side it. It was also reported in 1554 the Edith Harle was reputed to be a witch. In 1568 the parish complained that the rector, Hugo Bagwell did not preach his quarterly sermon and that his house was in decay. In 1598 John Atherton was born in the Rectory. He went on to become the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore and was hanged at Dublin in the year of the great rebellion. There is a tradition that his body was buried in the Chancel.

In 1633 a declaration was read in the church on three separate Sundays before Easter condemning Sunday amusements. This was done by the command of the Judge on the Western Circuit. As a result the Judges were severely taken to task by the Archbishop for taking this course of action without his consent. Two years later in 1635 a visitor to the parish wrote that the sermons of Parson Chapman were so bad that “the parish dog-whipper could do as well”.

In 1665, the year before the Great Plague in London, there was an outbreak in Bridgwater (which was a thriving sea port). The country round about escaped the plague but the country people were afraid to venture into the town to trade. As a result a meeting place was arranged in this Parish near Horsey Lane at what was called the ‘Watch Elm’. A large stone is said to have marked the spot where the tree stood. It was here that the country people and the town’s people met to trade their produce and wares.

In 1681 one of the most tragic of stories reputedly unfolded in Bawdrip.

“Edward Lovell married Eleanor Bradford, by who he had two daughters, Eleanor and Mary. Eleanor, the daughter, heiress of the family honour and estate, died June 14, 1681. Her most sorrowing husband mourned her, taken away by a sudden and untimely fate at the very time of her marriage celebration, and wished this monument to be put up”.

Tradition associates the tragic death of Eleanor Lovell on her wedding day with the woeful ballard ‘The Mistletoe Bough’, compiled by Thomas Haynes Bayly, son of a Bath solicitor, some time after 1820. He tells of a fair young bride of one Lovell, son of a medieval baron, who, playing hide and seek in the revels of her wedding day, hid in an ancient chest. Its spring lock shut firmly behind her and she was imprisoned and not found for many years. This tragic fate has long been believed to have occurred in the Rectory. It has also been linked to Knowle Manor – Knowle Hall being the newer building on the same site and being at one time the residence of Cromwell’s General-at-Sea, Admiral Robert Blake (the most notable son of Bridgwater). Thomas Bayly was born in 1797 and lived until 1839. His ballad, based on medieval times, was composed of the happenings and stories gleaned in his own lifetime and can not be related to historical fact. However Thomas Bayly may be related to the Thomas Bayley recorded on the treble bell of 1745. In addition the Lovell family were not only associated with Bawdrip but were descendants of Walter de Douai who owned the Parish in 1086.

In 1720 many repairs to the church were carried out. It is probable that the lead roof of the central tower was replaced at this time, as there are a number of initials carved in the lead at the top of the bell tower. There is also the outline of a shoe.

In 1866 The Rev J. M. Warren died. He is remembered as the restorer of the church in the dedication at the base of the stain glass window above the altar. As well as saving the church from certain ruin he also sought to increase the grandeur of the small country church. During the restoration services were taken in the tithe barn (destroyed in 1886). Its cruciform shape remained unchanged, being one of only a few in the country to be of this shape. The floor level was lowered by some two feet with the result that there are now three steps down into the church. He also was responsible for raising the roof in the north and south aisles, the original roofline being still visible on the tower wall, removal of the mezzanine floor in the north aisle and creation of the new external door and steps up to the tower. The roof was also replaced during his time and the Victorian nails used are almost completely rusted through. The building was in an increasingly decrepit state in the mid-1800’s and this had become critical by 1864 as the following extracts from the minutes book demonstrate….

“Sept. 2nd 1864, … the best and wisest course, is to take down the fabric – with the exception of the tower, which is in good preservation – and to rebuild it from the ground.“  However by the following year the plan had changed somewhat and it is due to this change that the church we see today is as it is.  The rebuilding was abandoned as being too expensive…

 “June 5th 1865…it was unanimously agreed that the plan for rebuilding the church be abandoned and in lieu thereof that the sum of £600 consisting of – loan from the from the Government Public Works Board.” Public Works Board of £200, Rev John Warren donation £200, promised contributions £170, sales of old material £30, – be expended on the general repair and restoration of the church. The Rev. John Warren undertook to repay all expenses hitherto incurred and engaged to provide the following, 1st to repair and secure the foundation and piers of the tower, 2nd to roof and floor the church throughout, 3rd to repair and point the external walls and stucco the inner surfaces, 4th to repair and glaze anew the windows throughout, 5th to provide a new entrance to the belfry outside the church.”

To quote from the British newspaper archives (Summarised by Carol Hudson):

“The rebuilding of the church was carried out by Abraham Squibbs from Bridgwater, took nearly two years and  cost around £1500.   The tower was the only part of the original building to survive, much of the old stone was reused and any extra required was quarried locally.    The Bridgwater firm of Major & Major supplied the roof tiles and the red floor tiles.  The high-backed pews were removed and modern pews installed.   The pews reserved for the use of the Greenhill family who lived in Knowle Hall were moved to the site of the vestry which, it was believed, had once been a hermitage where a hermit lived behind an iron grating from which he could watch the Services and where food and drink were handed to him.   Many people in the neighbourhood had made gifts towards the rebuilding, the most generous being:  Benjamin Cuff Greenhill, the three stained glass windows which represented the baptism, crucifixion and resurrection;  Mrs. Page, widow of a late rector, the new stone pulpit and The Sisters of Mercy a richly embroidered crimson velvet altar cloth.   The reopening of the church in May 1867 was a joyous celebration.    The bells rang out, a Union Jack was raised on the tower and the church was beautifully decorated with flowers both inside and out.  Holy Communion was celebrated at 8.30 a.m., followed by a Morning Service at 11.00 which was attended by 217 ticket holders.   A large number of clergy formed a procession into the church, followed by lunch at the Rectory.   A third service was held in the evening and on the following day, the Rev. John Warren entertained everyone who had helped with the restoration.”  

It becomes clear why the Rev. Warren has his name on the window above the altar with the words of the dedication remembering him as the ‘restorer of the church’.

The year before he died a prayer request was received and was to be read out on the 8th October. This was a prayer for relief from plague in cattle and for protection against cholera. He was succeeded by his son Rev. John Warren (1886-1901). Another request was received by post from the Bishop of Bath and Well in 1892 and was related to the ‘ravages of influenza’ and removal of the plague and to express sympathy with the Queen and Prince of Wales (Jan 19th 1892).

Oil and candlelight was used to light the church and this was replaced by electric light in 1950 – the installation work being carried out by F. W. Welsh of High Street, Bridgwater. More recently the old pot bellied stove that stood outside the vestry area was replaced by electric heating. Whilst it did throw out a lot of heat when it got going the stove also got dangerously hot and at least one bride had to be saved from singeing by her husband! The organ was also moved from the chancel to its current location in the South Aisle.

Although we are now part of a United Benefice with Woolavington, Cossington and Puriton and Pawlett, a sense of independence is still to be found in Bawdrip and worship continues in the church with services every Sunday. Details can be found on the notice board by the South Gate. We hope you have enjoyed finding out a little more about our church and some of its history and that you will visit us again.

Support Bawdrip Church

This is how to support St Michaels and All Angels

We rely on donations and your generosity to sustain the ministry and mission of our church.

 

Give now by scanning the QR Code

You can also support  St Michael’s and All Angels, by clicking the button below :

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REGULAR GIVING

If you would like to set up a regular standing order or obtain a gift aid declaration form, please speak to our treasurer, Justin Philcox.(01278 686351) or email  STMAATreasurer@outlook.com 

If you are a UK taxpayer, you will also have the option to gift aid your donation and increase its value by 25%.

ANOTHER WAY TO SUPPORT OUR CHURCH

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2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.

3. After you’ve checked out, the retailer will make a donation to St Michael’s and All Angels, Bawdrip at no extra cost to you whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and St Michael’s and All Angels, Bawdrip will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support.

Bawdrip Calendar

May 24, 2022
  • Pause for thought May 24, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

May 31, 2022
  • Pause for thought May 31, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

June 5, 2022
June 7, 2022
  • Pause for thought June 7, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

June 12, 2022
June 14, 2022
  • Pause for thought June 14, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

June 19, 2022
June 21, 2022
  • Pause for thought June 21, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

June 28, 2022
  • Pause for thought June 28, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

July 3, 2022
July 5, 2022
  • Pause for thought July 5, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

July 10, 2022
July 12, 2022
  • Pause for thought July 12, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

July 17, 2022
July 19, 2022
  • Pause for thought July 19, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

July 26, 2022
  • Pause for thought July 26, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

August 2, 2022
  • Pause for thought August 2, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

August 7, 2022
August 9, 2022
  • Pause for thought August 9, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

August 14, 2022
August 16, 2022
  • Pause for thought August 16, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

August 21, 2022
August 23, 2022
  • Pause for thought August 23, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

August 30, 2022
  • Pause for thought August 30, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

September 4, 2022
September 6, 2022
  • Pause for thought September 6, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

September 11, 2022
September 13, 2022
  • Pause for thought September 13, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

September 18, 2022
September 20, 2022
  • Pause for thought September 20, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

September 27, 2022
  • Pause for thought September 27, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

October 2, 2022
October 4, 2022
  • Pause for thought October 4, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

October 9, 2022
October 11, 2022
  • Pause for thought October 11, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

October 16, 2022
October 18, 2022
  • Pause for thought October 18, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

October 25, 2022
  • Pause for thought October 25, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

November 1, 2022
  • Pause for thought November 1, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

November 6, 2022
November 8, 2022
  • Pause for thought November 8, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

November 13, 2022
November 15, 2022
  • Pause for thought November 15, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

November 20, 2022
November 22, 2022
  • Pause for thought November 22, 2022  7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Bawdrip Church 

    A quiet time for prayer

      See more details

Bawdrip

Bawdrip St Michael and All Angels

Welcome to Bawdrip and the village church- St Michael and All Angels.

Bawdrip is a village of 506 people [census 2011]; bordered by fields leading to the A39 on the north boundary and the King Sedgemoor Drain to the south.  Sustrans National Cycle Path 3 passes along this waterway and links with Cossington. The church is in the centre of the village, next to the village green.

The majority of houses in Bawdrip are clustered within the centre of the village. Kingsmoor primary school caters for 175 pupils and is located opposite the church. Bawdrip’s friendly village pub ls across the main road.

Whilst the population is mixed; the largest demographic is the 45 – 59 year range, with a high level of employment; 29% of households have children. A significant majority were born in the UK and 70% identify as Christian. [Census 2011]

Community life

Church members are actively engaged in the range of groups and activities within the village.

Weekly groups include the craft and table tennis groups and monthly, the community café, led by volunteers, with profits benefitting the village. It links with community services and local events. It is currently promoting a recycling initiative for charity.

The Church

The Church, dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels, is of 14th century origin. The outstanding feature of the church is its cruciform, aisle-less structure with a central tower, believed to be one of only seven of its type in the country. The tower houses a peal of four bells. The church has a very comfortable atmosphere and visitors regularly comment on how attractive a building it is. The last Quinquennial survey in 2019 reported that the church is in generally good condition. The seating capacity around 140. We recently removed the pews from the North Aisle to provide a more open air for a wide variety of activities. We are currently seeking funding to restore a section of our churchyard wall. We are launching a ‘Friends of St Michael’s and All Angels’ group.

Parish Hall

The parish hall in the village that was built during the inter-war period on land given to commemorate the Great War. It is of wooden and metal construction and has a kitchen area. The size of the hall (it is licensed for 75 people) means that it has an intimate feel to it and a group of just 30 can fill it. It has been refurbished recently.  We use it for our events and there are a number of external groups that are also using it on a regular basis. It is available for hire. A working group is currently engaged in planning and seeking funding for further refurbishments.

Our parish hall serves the community, being the only venue for a variety of lively social and other events throughout the year.