Churches celebrate another year of community engagement

A group of churches celebrated much of their successes last Sunday at a series of annual meetings. St John’s Church in Peasedown St John, St Julian’s Church in Wellow, and the Parish of St James’ the Less Foxcote with St Julian’s Shoscombe, took a break from their regular Sunday schedule to look back at some of the highlights of the past 12 months.

The Revd Matthew Street, who is the Leader of the three Anglican parishes, known collectively as the St J’s Group, says they have a lot to be thankful for;

“Members of all our churches take God’s call of making a difference in the community in which we serve very seriously. 

All of our churches have seen a lot of positive things happen this past year that we would like to celebrate. 

These include the arrival of our first ever curate, Tom Benyon; the welcoming of interns to the church to help with youth and children’s work; the growth of Movement – a Sunday evening meeting for young adults; the success of the new Peasedown Credit Union at St John’s Church; and the establishment of SJs – a new community charity which runs a Thursday evening youth work session at the youth centre.”

The St J’s Group has published a report which can be found online on their website

The meetings also saw the appointments of new people to join the Parochial Church Councils – the group of people who work along Revd Street in each parish to oversee God’s work. In Peasedown St John, Cat Savage, Kim Cottle and Tom Morgan were appointed.

Matthew added;

“Our annual parochial church meetings do have a serious element of elections, annual reports and seeking God’s guidance for the year head. But they also do have a much lighter, celebratory side where we look back at our success stories in the areas in which we serve.”

Other achievements include:

  • Two more church members being sent to theological college to train as vicars
  • The doubling of the church staff team from 9 to 18.
  • The launch of ‘Place of Peace’ counselling run by church member Helen Attenborough.
  • The creation of ‘IMPACT’ - a new men’s ministry that seeks to draw men together to encourage them on their journeys in life.
  • The continued success of the Women’s Ministry ‘Inside Out’.
  • The growth of the Outreach Breakfast Club as its plans to look after up to 30 children per day.
  • The launch of the renewed St J’s Group website ( in September 2015. Since launch in September 2012 the website has improved communication within the benefice. Over the last three years more than 12,000 unique visitors have been to the site spending time interacting with its growing content.
  • As a church playing a key role in the ongoing management and delivery of the Somer Valley Foodbank.

To keep up to date with all the latest news from the St J’s Group, visit

Equally, anyone is welcome to attend any of these Sunday services to meet Revd Street, church leaders in each parish and members of the congregation:

St Julian’s Church and School, Shoscombe – 10am

St John’s Church, Peasedown – 10.30am

St Julian’s Church, Wellow – 11.15am

St John’s Church, Peasedown – held at Peasedown Youth Centre – 4.30pm