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Our focus is on the fellowship aspects of our Parish life. Ministry is important and we are at present looking forward to the appointment of a new Rector. We hope our efforts in this area will continue to be nurtured and supported by our new incumbent. Worship is the third pillar and whilst we have a mix of traditional (BCP Evensong) and Common Worship Communion we are always open to new forms. The whole PCC and church membership are always fully supportive of any measures that we put in place to provide opportunities for outreach and to welcome new people into church.
We are part of a larger Benefice and much takes place to hold the Benefice together.
The church building is located in the centre of the village and we always aim to ensure the church is also the heart of the village. There is widespread support for the church throughout the village and this is reflected in the support that we get whenever appeals go out.
We have the following committees in place:
The PCC, Standing Committee, Parish Hall Committee and Events Committee.
Our PCC is nine strong and drawn from a church electoral role of 15.
The regular church attendance varies from 2 to 10 with 13 regular members. The churchwardens have been in post for many years but are always supportive and encourage change within the church and have always worked well with the incumbent. We have had two new members join the church in the last year and they are both on the PCC and are making a valuable and appreciated contribution to our church life.
There is a small but talented Flower Guild in the village. In addition to the weekly flowers and decoration for festivals, in 2010 they put together a very successful Flower Festival.
We have our own pages in the Benefice ‘Link’ magazine that is published 10 times per year. In it upcoming events and reports of events are published along with general parish news.
The Benefice is blessed with five readers and one retired minister who are all actively engaged with the parishes and working hard to make the interregnum run smoothly. We are particularly fortunate in Bawdrip in having Bill Hubbock living here. With his 40+ years of experience as a Reader and extraordinary energy he is very active within the village and the Benefice as a whole. Since his arrival in the village we have seen a significant increase in the activities that we undertake and linked to this the significant improvement in relationships between the church and the village and also amongst the villagers as well.
As part of our vision of improving fellowship within the village we run, for a small church, a wide variety of events. In 8 months in 2011 we held the following:
May: Spring Dinner Dance, Church clean, Rogation Walk
June: Coffee morning
July: Coffee morning, Cream Teas on the Green
August: Coffee morning
September: Village Bar-B-Q
October: 10-week dance class
November: Coffee morning, Remembrance Service, Autumn Dinner Dance
December: Christmas Fayre, Strictly Finals Night, Carol Singing round the village
We also run a regular monthly Luncheon Club providing meals for up to 35 people from across the Benefice. We have established a good link with the village pub and, with the Landlord, we have run several well supported traditional pub games evenings there. The events, in addition to providing income for the church, are also aimed at providing fellowship opportunities within the village. We are also fortunate in having a very contented Benefice and events are always well supported by members from across the Benefice.
The population of Bawdrip is around 490 with 195 households and the electorate is 396 – a recent development in the centre of the village has added 9 households. Bawdrip is located to the east of Bridgwater, and the A39, which follows the Polden Hills to Glastonbury forms the North and West boundaries of the village. To the south there are views across the levels towards the neighbouring village of Chedzoy with which Bawdrip shares its school. Approximately half of the houses in Bawdrip are located in and around the centre (the Church being the focal point). The remainder are located along the A39. National cycle path 3, part of the Sustrans network, passes through the village and links Bawdrip with Cossington via the old railway track. There is a wide spread of age groups within the village, with people coming from all walks of life. There are a number of long established families in the village and we are now beginning to see a population with a more transient nature. Whilst in general not an affluent area, Bawdrip could be classified as ‘comfortably off’. It currently supports a garage, a touring caravan site, a pub and four farms. Just outside the parish is an agricultural supplies company that provides anything you need from cheese to railway sleepers!
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 and we have our own bell-ringing group in the village who are completing their training. The church has a very comfortable atmosphere and visitors regularly comment on how attractive a building it is. The last Quinquennial survey in November 2009 reported that the church is in generally good condition. The seating capacity around 140. There are no other churches in the parish.
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 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 copy of the 2010 accounts is available from the Diocese on request. Bawdrip has been able to pay its common fund in full.
We have a regular pattern of Sunday services (1st + 3rd Sunday 11am Communion and 2nd and 4th Sunday BCP Evensong at 6.30pm). The fifth Sunday is dedicated to a Benefice Communion. We also have two services of Morning Prayer in our church on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 am.
We are small in number but not afraid of trying different styles of worship – last year we have held a Taize Worship evening that was proceeded by a Taize workshop. In previous years we have held family services and ‘Big Breakfast’ events in place of the regular services. We are committed to being as open and inclusive as possible and are therefore always open to different ideas and styles of worship.