...keeping Somerset's churches & chapels alive

Ride+Stride will be taking place this year on 12th September.

Good News! Grants of up to £2,500 are available direct for Allchurches Trust.

We very much regret that due to the ongoing coronavirus situation our event planned for 15th August is cancelled. We are hoping to run all of the 2020 cancelled events in 2021.


The full programme of events for 2020 is now available.

Due to coronavirus we are constantly monitoring the situation to see if events can go ahead. Unfortunately we have had to cancel the event planned for 15th August. 

For full details of this and all our events click here.


"The Trust is alive and well, and hard at work in the historic county of Somerset promoting issues of importance to churches and chapels." Read the rest of Axel Palmer's Chairman's report together with a range of articles and a review of the year in our 2019 Annual Report.


Click here for the following: Books for Sale, Annual ReportsTrustees Annual Reports and Accounts, Press Releases, Church Card Archive, Churches and Chapels Visited by DateChurches and Chapels visited by Location, Policies and Procedures

Our Patron Kevin McCloud, the presenter of Grand Designs says:

“Our churches are literally our historic and cultural touchstones – in our landscapes, built environment, family histories and our communities. They embody faith, beauty, craftsmanship and collective memory. So we should cherish them.”

Links Page

The Somerset Historic Environment Record is part of the much larger South West Heritage Trust website. Our Links Page has links to this website and over twenty other organisations concerned with religious and historic buildings.

Fine Churches in NE Somerset
Start Date/Time:
17 August 2019 14:00
End Date/Time:
17 August 2019 17:00
Recurring Event:
One time event

Tour led by Julian Orbach, such an expert in the field of historic buildings that he needs no introduction. He wrote the latest (2014) Pevsner Guide of The Buildings of England for Somerset South and West.

Start at St Mary Magdalene, Great Elm BA11 3NZ, a small village church built in the 12thC that has a wall with early Norman herringbone stone courses, saddleback west tower of c1240 and an Elizabethan gallery approached from an external staircase (both the latter quite unusual). Also 17thC box pews, 14thC porch, 18thC north transept and a Norman font. On to St Mary, Orchardleigh BA11 2PH, in a secluded spot on an island in a lake, with no electricity, on a former estate, now a golf course. It has 13thC origins but is mostly 18thC. There is a stone screen dated 1879, Jacobean pulpit, Norman font, Royal Arms and other hatchments. There is a tribute to poet Sir Henry Newbolt (1862–1938), who was inspired by the story of a faithful dog called Azor, to whom there is a monument. Then toAll Saints, Lullington BA11 2PG, one of Robin Bush’s (author of Somerset, The Complete Guide) top churches in the county, notable in particular for its Norman north doorway and inside, its Norman tower arches. It also has a fantastic decorated font, elaborately carved stone capitals and ancient pulpit, 13thC south chapel and c1150 tapering tomb slab cover.

We finish at about 5pm at St George, Beckington BA11 6TD,with a 12thC west tower, lofty nave with clerestory and north and south aisles. There are several notable military memorials (1780, 1856, 1922 and 1940) as well as a 1485 brass of two figures, and three stone effigies dating from 1360–1400, and a monument to Samuel Daniel (died 1619), Poet Laureate. Tea here – donations please. Total drive between churches: 10.8 miles.

Book with William Newsom, email, tel: 01963 441533.

This year's event will take place on Saturday 12th September. 

Cycle, Walk or just make a donation. Sponsorship Forms are now available or you can set up a fund raising page with Virgin Money Giving. Go to the Ride+Stride page for more information.


Easter 2020 has seen the successful completion of Somerset Churches Trust’s roof alarm grant campaign in conjunction with Allchurches Trust, the charitable owner of Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Against a background of continuing lead thefts from churches, Chris Hawkings (Trustee) led Somerset Churches Trust (SCT) in a pioneering project with Allchurches Trust. The partnership was to use SCT’s existing grant giving scheme to distribute funds to mainly rural churches in Somerset to enable them to install roof alarms.

Click here to read the full press Release

Roof Alarm Grants Still Available

We are pleased to announce that grants for roof alarms are now available direct from Allchurches Trust. Allchurches are offering grants of up to £2,500 subject to a maximum of 50% of the cost of the installation. Systems must have the approval of the church insurers and be subject to a five year maintenance contract. 

APPLY NOW by clicking on this link to Allchurches website where you will find an Application Form.

Annual Report and Accounts 2018-2019

Our Accounts for the year ending 30 June 2019 are now available.
Click here for the full report.

A Welcome from the Chairman

Welcome to our website. We are an independent, non-denominational trust raising money for the repair and improvement of churches and chapels open for Christian worship in the historic county of Somerset. The Trust, founded in 1996 under the name Friends of Somerset Churches and Chapels, exists to encourage interest and the involvement of all members of the community in the magnificent heritage of our fine religious buildings. Already, since its founding, the Trust has made grants of almost £700,000 to over 300 churches and chapels in Somerset. I hope to meet you at one of our church crawls. If you need any information about our activities or how to apply for a grant do please get in touch. All the information you need is on our contacts page.
 Dr Axel Palmer Chairman

Grant Applications and Closing Date

We welcome applications from churches and chapels of all denominations for grants towards repairs and improvements to enable wider community use subject to our grant terms and conditions. Applicants who are not already members of the trust must become members for at least three years in order for a grant to be paid. Grant applications must normally be received one calendar month before the date of the trustees meeting at which the application will be considered. In view of the current coronavirus situation we are unable to visit churches to undertake assessments, but please continue to submit applications. We are planning  a trustees meeting in October so please  submit applications for grants by 18th September for consideration at that meeting.
Click here for more information on Grant Applications.

See Where We've Been on our Church Crawls!

A complete list is now available of every church and chapel we have ever visited since the trust was formed in 1996. You can search by the date of the first visit or alphabetically. Click on the links below to go straight to the lists. If there is somewhere we have missed where you would like to visit then do let us know.

Churches and Chapels visited by date of first visit.
Alphabetical list of churches and chapels visited.

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