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Over Stowey Church Appeal

We Need Your Help

Click for Gift Aid donation form (pdf format)

Church from the airThe Church of St. Peter and St. Paul has been a place of worship for more than 800 years for the people of the picturesque village of Over Stowey and the surrounding area of the Quantock Hills.

The great events of national life over the centuries have been celebrated here, as have events in the lives of its parishioners - the births, marriages and deaths of the people who have worshipped in this Church every Sunday throughout the centuries.

A service still takes place each Sunday in addition to the special days of the calendar, such as Christmas Day. The church is open every day for people to come and go as they please, and the remarks in the Visitors' Book show the building is greatly appreciated as a place of tranquillity and beauty.

Interior of churchThere has been a church recorded on this site in Over Stowey from 1144 AD and probably from much earlier. The oldest parts of the existing Church of St. Peter & St. Paul date from the 13th century. The Tower survives in its original form; the old nave and north aisle were substantially rebuilt in 1840 when the Church was extensively restored and extended. Its historical importance is recognised by its Grade II listing. There are many interesting artefacts in the Church, including a 15th Century font and fourteen early 16th Century Tudor carved bench ends.

AltarTwo of the Church's six bells were cast in 1470 (or thereabouts) and have been rung from then until the present day. In the nave there are four ledger stones from the early 17th century and a locally made brass 24 double-decker chandelier which was presented to the Church in 1775 and which is still in regular use. The collection of twelve 19th century stained glass windows is particularly noteworthy, and includes windows attributed to Burne-Jones and William Morris.

Interior of church roofAll this is at risk. A recent architectural survey has identified damage resulting from age and many years of wear and tear. The Church will not be able to remain open unless urgent repairs are carried out - and this will only be possible if new funds are found.
The people of Over Stowey raise enough each year for the normal running and maintenance of the Church; however, the scale of what is now required is way beyond the means of this small rural community. Your help is desperately needed to raise an additional one-off sum of £100,000 to restore the Church, so that it can continue into the future as a place of worship and as the centre of the community, ensuring that this important old building is preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Tower Repairs £ 40,000
Roof and Guttering £ 30,000
Stone, Metal & Woodwork £ 20,000
Churchyard, Landscaping & Repairs
(including provision of disabled access)
£ 10,000
TOTAL £100, 000

Bench endThe challenges of rural life in the 21st century are different from those in the cities, but no less severe. In both cases, a sense of community is vital. The church provides such a centre for the inhabitants of Over Stowey, and those in the outlying hamlets and isolated Quantock farms and cottages. On Bank Holidays local volunteers serve lunches and teas to visitors; throughout the year social and fund-raising events are held, and these provide an opportunity for our widespread population to meet in an enjoyable atmosphere.Afinely-observed portrait of the church’s place in the community in 1799 was recorded in the diaries of William Holland, the parson at the time, which are in the County Archives. Extracts have been published as “Paupers and Pig-Killers”, published by Alan Sutton. Some of the local families he described still live and are active in the parish, 200 years later.

Millennium stampThe people of Over Stowey were delighted when the Royal Mail chose their lovely church to be the official First Class stamp for Christmas 2000, choosing it from a large number of beautiful churches.

We Want Your Money!

Our target is for this Appeal to raise the £100,000 needed to safeguard the future of the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Over Stowey, and we shall be glad to receive any donation, large or small.
Please send to:

The Treasurer
Over Stowey PCC
Brook House, 2 Castle Street
Nether Stowey
Somerset, TA5 1LN
Please make cheques payable to “Over Stowey Church Appeal”

Please Note
If you are a UK taxpayer the Church can reclaim the tax on your donation (equal to 28p for every £1 you donate). Please sign the gift aid form (pdf format) and return it with your contribution.

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