Everybody is welcome to all our services!
July Church Services:
Wednesday 4th July 3:00 pm Evening Prayer
Sunday 1st July 9:30 Family Service
Sunday 8th July 9:30 Holy Communion
Sunday 15th July 9:30 Morning Worship
Sunday 22nd July No service at Cranmore
9:15 & 11:00 Shepton Mallet
Sunday 29th July 10:00 United Benefice Shepton Mallet
Sunday 5th August 9:30 Family Service
This month we give thanks and remember all those involved in local council and other groups in Cranmore.
All services are listed on the
Lunch at Saint Bartholomew’s
On Wednesday 27th June the twelfth monthly LAB was held in the church – an anniversary. A draw was held in celebration and flowers given as prizes. Two birthdays were also celebrated with gifts of flowers. The next LAB lunch will be on Wednesday 25th July. All are welcome, please reserve a place by calling Gerry Lock on 01749 880 430.
Saint Bartholomew’s is in the early stages of developing plans to install water, a kitchen and WC. Please watch for fund raising activities!
St. Bartholomew’s, Cranmore is a parish church in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, in Somerset. West Cranmore has an Electoral Roll membership of 27. The church is open between 9am and 4pm daily.
We are part of the Benefice of Shepton Mallet with Doulting and West Cranmore. Our Rector, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Hunter Dunn, was licensed as Rector on Monday September 7th in Shepton Mallet Church. Despite a busy schedule, his preference is to minister at least once a month in Cranmore, and he actively supports local events. He is always very welcome, as are his wife, Emma, and their young son, Zachariah.
Rev. Richard Priestley, who has a role as Associate Vicar and Mission Enabler within the benefice. In Cranmore we have a Reader, Mr David Dixon, living in the Parish, who is also our organist. Other church members have been given permission by the Bishop to do various tasks, including helping to lead services, help administer Communion and take Communion to local residents.
At Christmas and Easter, services and celebrations vary from year to year. Harvest Festival is celebrated in the Autumn. Last year it was preceded by a delightful Community Harvest Celebration, in Jill’s Close. We gratefully acknowledged the willing participation of the Community Group in this event.
Although we do not have a youth programme running, we have people who do the church flowers and clean the church on a weekly basis.
Our own keen team of 6 bell-ringers ring for our morning services, and is sometimes augmented by other visiting ringers to ensure the full ring of six bells is heard. Thursday at 7.30pm is the weekly practice night. The bells were not used, and fell into disrepair, during the Second World War, but they were restored and rehung moving to a ground floor ring in 1999 and a ground floor screen was added to the ring chamber after their restoration.
From 2004-2010 a project of Church Reordering took place, to bring the church as far as possible in line with the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. There is a file in the church recording, in diary form with photos, the gradual progress of this process. As well as the Sanctuary Altar there is now a Nave Communion Table with two prie-dieux and two priests’ chairs, which now stand where the pews (introduced in the early 20th century) forward of the cross aisle, were moved away. The pews to the west of the cross aisle and in the north aisle remain. The choir stall and the original priest’s stall were removed from the chancel, and reconstructed to form a larger plinth for the organ manual/stool area as well as providing an organ screen. A partly glazed inner south porch door, the main church entrance, was also made and fitted, replacing the former door which was of no significant history or construction.
We welcome all who visit the church and invite those visiting from outside the area to sign the Visitors Book found on the table at the Church Entrance.
Rector for The Benefice – Rev. Dr. Jonathan Hunter Dunn
Rev. Richard Priestley is Priest in charge at Ashwick, Oakhill and Binegar and also Associate Vicar and Mission Enabler in Shepton Mallet, Doulting and Cranmore.
Benefice Office, Peter Street Rooms, Peter Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 5BL – 01749 342163 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Hours 8:30am to 6:30am Tuesday and Friday (NB Open to personal callers from 10am to 1pm only)
Reader at Cranmore:
SPECIAL DIAMOND JUBILEE CONGRATULATIONS TO HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Cranmore Churchwardens: The duties of Churchwarden are currently being undertaken by a group of volunteer helpers. Though this arrangement is working very well, there is a vacancy for two Churchwardens, so please make yourself known if you would like this highly regarded position of responsibility!
A quiet and friendly service of Evening Prayer is held in church every month on the first Wednesday of the month. Time: 4pm during summer time; 3pm when the clocks go back in winter.
Bellringing Practice is held weekly at 7.30pm on Thursdays (except Maundy Thursday and the week after Christmas)
Pastoral Visits/Home Communion – if you are unable to attend the church for communion or would like a member of the church to visit you, please contact Mr David Dixon or the Churchwarden.
Cranmore Parochial Church Council (PCC)
usually meets four times a year at 6pm on a Tuesday in the Jubilee Rooms.
Notes are available to Electoral Roll members. Currently, a new Lay Chairman, and one or two Churchwardens are required. If you know of anyone who is interested please ask them to contact the Benefice Office 01749 342163.
Church Cleaning Rota & Flower Rota – These are pinned up in the church porch. Do speak to someone if you think you could help!
Church Contact Numbers:
Shepton Mallet Benefice Office 01749 342163
West Cranmore Main Contact: Joan Dixon (Secretary) 01749 880284
History of St Bartholomew, West Cranmore Church
The Church on a bright spring morning 2012
Cranmore – or rather Crane Mere, the Lake of the Cranes – first comes to our notice about the time of Bishop Jocelyn in the 12th century. For some reason, probably to do with tithes and their collection, the parish was divided into East and West, it having previously been only one village. Any churches or chapels of that period are certainly not those of today.
As regards West Cranmore Church dedicated to St Bartholomew, you can see at a glance that its style of architecture is perpendicular Gothic, which dates its construction towards the end of the 15th Century. Some windows, for example, are quite sharply pointed, not more rounded as in the early English period which followed the Norman. The crenellated tower and ornamental pinnacles, not strictly functional, also help us to fix this date, although happily it remains basically a simple country parish church, which is all it ever aspired to being, and which is the way we hope people will continue to look on it today. The Ministry of Environment list of historic buildings describes the church as ‘14th/15th Century – Perpendicular nave, north aisle, chancel, south porch, west Tower (good perpendicular tower of 3 stages, angle buttresses with pinnacles up 2 lower stages, embattled parapet with sprelet. Other window pointed arch perpendicular except square headed to North aisle. Cross (in Chuchyard 14th/15th Century. Restored shaft and head in square socket on base of two square steps’.
During the Middle Ages the power and wealth of the Church grew immensely – far too much, some would say. Nevertheless it was very much an age of faith, unlike our own, and it was this faith which invented and saw the growth and fine flowering of Gothic architecture. This style has been described by the writer G.K.Chesterton as ’infinity made imaginable’, and we can see what he means. Our older parish churches and cathedrals do give us a strange sense of God’s mystery and beauty, in a way which somehow more modern church buildings find it hard to convey, but of course the materials and craftsmanship available today have altered enormously, as indeed has the whole sociological structure and environment in which we live.
It seems certain that from early times Cranmore came under the authority of Doulting, which was itself under the patronage of Glastonbury. Thus the Somerset Record Society of mediaeval wills gave no hint of benefactions towards the building of the church, which is not surprising, since it would have been financed through Doulting. But if, in the Ecclesiastical hierarchy, Cranmore was thought of in subordinate terms, as a chapelry of Doulting, it does not follow that the villagers thought anything of the sort. Indeed, rumour has it that on high days and holidays, a kind of football was played with a pig’s head, placed at the kick off midway between the two villages which themselves served as the goals. A certain friendly rivalry still exists between them today.
The 16th century saw the end of the Pope’s domination in England and the breaking up of the great monasteries and abbeys such as Glastonbury. Patronage passed increasingly to great families, in the case of West Cranmore the Strode family, after whom the local hostelry, the Strode Arms is named. But should you require refreshment of body as well as soul, take a look at the open fireplace, obviously mediaeval, and the date 1492 scratched rudely upon the beam.
The Strodes were actively associated with West Cranmore from the 17th century onwards, and many plaques to different members of the family can be seen in the church. The one to Admiral Strode in the Chancel, is particularly fine. Note also the hatchments under the tower at the West end, which incidentally has some fine fan vaulting. The Strodes were followed by the Spencers, and a very fine memorial to Lieutenant Spencer, killed in action in Italy in 1944, is also to be seen in the Chancel.
The Chancel itself was rebuilt in the 19th century and restored in Early English style. This was a period of great religious upsurge and revival in the Church, which often took the form of church building, although, of course, there were many other ways in which it was expressed, such as foreign mission.
What the Church can provide is something hard to define, but perhaps for the local resident and the visitor the building does help to express something of the inexpressible longing of every human soul for God, as they cast their eyes towards the striking stained glass east window depicting the Crucifixion, and ponder on spiritual spheres beyond space and time.
(This page was last updated on June 26th 2016)