Who we are
This is a Parish and Benefice consisting of three villages in the Deanery of Bath in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. The total population is approximately 1,500. The villages are all situated about five miles from the City of Bath surrounded by open countryside on the fringe of the South Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
St Peters, Freshford
St. Peter’s is a Grade 2 listed building in the heart of the conservation area of the village. Parts of the church date from the late fifteenth century. It has a fine peal of 6 bells. The church can seat approximately 150 people in the pews and is open each day. The last quinquennial inspection was held in November 2013, which raised no major problems. The building’s main difficulties concern disabled access, inside and outside, and poor parking Across the road from the building is the Old Bakery, converted for church use approximately twenty years ago. It is held in trust by the Diocese for St Peter’s. In recent years it has been increasingly difficult to fund the maintenance of both the church and the Old Bakery. The church committee has now recommended the sale of the Old Bakery, with the funds being used to completely re-order the church. This would allow us to create disabled access both inside and outside the building, remove the pews and replace with more suitable furniture and decorate internally. The vision is to create a building which will not only include the facilities now provided by the Old Bakery, but which will have wider use for the community, especially the church school which is within easy walking distance and which uses the church for its school services. Our hope is that a building can be created which will complement the other two churches in the parish.
St Mary the Virgin, Limpley Stoke
St Mary the Virgin is the village church for Limpley Stoke and is a very beautiful, small, medieval church of Saxon origin with a substantial early 20th century addition; it is listed Grade 2*. The church can seat approximately 105 people comfortably in pews. Two years ago the church was developed internally to include a cloakroom and kitchenette facilities which now allow much greater support of baptisms, weddings, funerals and other events such as fundraising concerts, children’s afternoon services, “Mums and Toddlers” etc. Externally the Church sits in approximately 1.5 acres of ground with an adjoining car park. The church is open during daylight hours. St Mary’s is the only one of the three churches in the parish which currently offers BCP services in the form of one Communion service and one Evensong a month. The last quinquennial inspection was conducted in 2013.
St John the Baptist, Hinton Charterhouse
St. John’s is in a Conservation Area a short distance from the centre of the village and is Grade II* listed. There is a sizeable walled churchyard and parts of the church date from the 13th and 14th centuries. A quinquennial inspection was undertaken in July 2014 and the only major recommendation was that the lead covering of the tower roof should be renewed and a faculty is with the Diocesan Advisory Council to undertake the work, the cost of which will be met from reserves. The report noted that the church is in a good state of repair. St. John’s can seat about 170 people and is open during daylight hours. St. John’s has been encouraged by a small group from a nearby church visiting once a month to help establish informal Morning Worship. This service is planned by a small team and is often lay led. There is a small choir at the monthly service of Holy Communion.