Churches makes history as new Curate moves into Peasedown St John


A group of local churches in the Peasedown St John, Shoscombe, Foxcote and Wellow area are about to make history with the appointment of a new curate.

Tom Benyon, an English and Drama teacher both in the UK and abroad before taking up church ministry, has moved into Peasedown St John with his wife Sara and their three young sons.

For the St J’s Group, the collective name of the Anglican parishes led by long-serving Vicar Revd Matthew Street, it’s an historic occasion.

St Julian’s Shoscombe, St James’ Foxcote, and St John’s Peasedown have never had a curate in their 100+ year histories, and St Julian’s Wellow hasn’t hosted such a role since the 1930s.

Revd Matthew Street commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have Tom and his family join us in the benefice as our new curate. We are richly blessed with a large, dynamic group membership that is really making an impact in the communities in which we serve.

There will be plenty of opportunities for Tom to get stuck-in – whether it’s with one of our many children’s holiday clubs, the new Credit Union services we run, or with the local Foodbank we coordinate.”

Tom is currently finishing his second year of ministry training at Trinity College, Bristol. Prior to moving to south west he lived in London and has been involved in Men’s and Children’s Ministry, and led a number of Alpha courses.

Tom said:I heard about the St J’s Group whilst training at college and was struck by the enthusiasm with which people talked about St J’s, Matthew Street and the churches here. Once Sara and I came to visit Mathew and his wife Jane, our decision was made that much easier. We were struck by their warmth and candour as well as the overall enthusiasm and authenticity of the St J’s group.”

Aged 40, Tom felt ‘called’ into ordained Ministry when he was 20 years old but the timing, he believes wasn’t right until now. Now twenty years later he says he is more than ready to take up the new challenge;

“I’m looking forward to working with and learning from Matthew, making friends, getting to know people in the villages, and doing my best to put two years of theoretical training into practise. We are also sure that our three boys are going to love it in Peasedown too.”

 Tom will be ordained on 5th July in Wells Cathedral ready to start work the day after in the parishes. Church of England formality means his ordination will give him the status of ‘Deacon’ before being ordained a ‘Priest’ in 2016.

Tom and his family will take up residence at 1 French Close, Peasedown St John which has recently been bought by the Diocese of Bath and Wells.

Parishioners living in all three villages will be able to meet the new curate at the many events and activities held by the St J’s Group throughout the year, or every Sunday at one the benefices regular church services.

For more details about the work of the St J’s Group, readers can follow them on Twitter, @stjsgroup, or visit their website,, which includes details of future events, the church’s work in the community, activities going on during the week and live recordings of Sunday sermons.


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