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Six Somerset Churches

We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

– Romans 12:5

St Mary’s Church, North Petherton
St Peter’s, North Newton
St Michael Church, North Newton
St Giles, Thurloxton
St John the Baptist, Durston
St Peter’s and St John, Northmoor Green (Moorland)

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

1 Corinthians 1:10

The Six Churches

The Alfred Jewel Benefice is a group of six churches, namely St Mary’s Church in North Petherton, St Peter’s and St Michael Church in North Newton, St Peter’s and St John in Northmoor Green, St Giles in Thurloxton, and St John the Baptist in Durston, that provide sacred space for the local communities and are united yet distinct.

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St Mary’s Church

North Petherton

The Church of St Mary in North Petherton, Somerset, England dates from the 15th century and has been designated as a grade I listed building. It is on the Heritage at Risk Register due to the condition of the roof and north aisle parapet.

There was a church in North Petherton before the Norman Conquest and the site belonged to Buckland Priory from the 12th century. The current building dates from the expansion of the town around 1490, although it does contain some fabric from the 13th century.

The minster church has a highly decorated tower which, at 112 feet (34 metres) high, was described by Nickolaus Pevsner as one of the finest towers in the county. The tower was built around 1508. It contains a peal of six bells, and a clock built in Bridgwater in 1807. On the stonework are hunky punks in the shape of animals.

The interior has a minstrel gallery from 1623, a carved wooden pulpit from the 15th century, and a brass chandelier which was added in 1984.

The parish is part of the Alfred Jewel benefice within the Sedgemoor deanery.

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St Peter's and St John

Northmoor Green (Moorland)

The church is Victorian, built in the 1840's. It is the parish church of Moorland, also known as Northmoor Green and Fordgate. The villages comprise of approximately 140 properties and is situated about 4 miles from Junction 24 of the M5.
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St Giles


The Norman Anglican Church of St Giles in Thurloxton dates from the 14th century but is predominantly from the 15th century with 19th-century restoration including the addition of the north aisle in 1868. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.

The church consists of a two-bay nave which has a south porch and three-bay north aisle, and a two-bay chancel with vestry. The two-stage west tower is supported by diagonal buttresses. The interior includes an octagonal Norman font and 18th century rood screen.

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St John the Baptist


The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, dedicated in the 1540s to St. Nicholas, is a small building of stone comprising chancel, nave with south porch, and western tower, all but the tower rebuilt in 1852-3 to the designs of C. H. Knowles in the Decorated style. The furnishings include a communion table of 1635. There was a gallery in the tower in 1873.

There are five bells, the oldest dated 1633. The registers date from 1712 and are complete. The plate includes a cup and cover of 1695, a paten of c. 1655, and a saucer dated 1728.

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St Peter’s

North Newton

The Anglican Church of St Peter in North Newton within the English county of Somerset has a tower believed to date from Saxon times. It is a Grade II listed building.

In 1186 the chapel at North Newton was granted to Buckland Priory by William of Erleigh.

The two-stage tower believed to date from Saxon times but was altered in 1635. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1885.

The parish is now part of the Alfred Jewel benefice within the Diocese of Bath and Wells. It was separated from North Petherton in 1880.

The church consists of a nave and chancel with north and south aisles. Inside there is a pulpit from 1637. The carved reredos and altar are made from wood panelling which was reused from another site.

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St Michael Church

North Newton

The church of ST. MICHAEL comprises an undivided chancel and nave with north and south aisles, and a north tower above a porch.

The proportions of the building and part of the north wall of the nave apparently survive from the 11th century. Some rebuilding took place in the 15th century at the west end. The east window is of the 15th or early 16th century and in 1840 the church retained square-headed windows of the same period.

The lay rectors were regularly presented in the 16th and 17th centuries for failing to maintain the church. In 1663 it was said to be ruined and to have been so for some years, and the parishioners received support from the parishes of the diocese to pay for its rebuilding. After 1823 a long south transept at the west end of the nave was removed. Later in the century north and south aisles of three bays were built, the north known as the Maunsel aisle and the south built by Sir Alfred Slade in 1868, possibly by the architect who was extending Maunsel House the same year.

In 1840 the church had a west gallery with an outside staircase. Communion rails dated 1635 were said to have been removed to the Priory, Chilton Polden. There is a plain octagonal medieval font. The tower contains one bell dated 1670, recast in 1938.

The church possesses a small Elizabethan cup and cover.

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