Village curate makes it ‘official’ at Wells ordination

A group of local churches in the Peasedown St John, Shoscombe, Foxcote and Wellow area celebrated the ordination of their curate last Saturday as a special service at Wells Cathedral. Tom Benyon, an English and Drama teacher in the UK and abroad before taking up church ministry, moved into Peasedown St John with his wife Sara and their three young sons a year ago. Ever since, he has immersed himself into church and community life.


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

St Julian’s Shoscombe, St James’ Foxcote, and St John’s Peasedown 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:

“It’s been great to have Tom and his family with us in the benefice as our curate over the past 12 months. He really has got himself stuck in with a variety of projects such as our children’s holiday clubs, the new Credit Union services we run, and the Somer Valley Foodbank we coordinate.

And, the great news is, just because he’s now been officially ordained as a priest it doesn’t mean he’s leaving us any time soon.”

In the Church of England, those seeking ordination as a priest must undergo a period of training beforehand known as a ‘curacy’. Kind of like a probation period, a curacy can last anything from 3-4 years.

Church rules mean that Tom can now preside over all rites of passage, such as baptisms, weddings and also administer Holy Communion. Previously he was only permitted to conduct funerals.

Rev Tom Benyon added:

“I feel hugely honoured and humbled to have been ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church. 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. 

My first year in the benefice has been lots of fun, very exciting and fulfilling. I’m looking forward to continuing to work alongside Matthew and the church family in the years to come.”

As well as getting fully behind the church’s work in the community, Tom has also actively joined other local projects and last September joined Peasedown St John’s Party in the Park Festival Team as a Volunteer Manager.

Festival Chairman Nathan Hartley said: “Tom has been a great addition to the Party in the Park team. He’s hard working, enthusiastic, committed and extremely sincere. He has done a great job in his first year as one of our Volunteer Managers, and all of us on the management team would like to wish him the very best in his new role as a priest.”

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.