St. Mary ' s Berkley is an essay in elegant classical formality, having been built by Squire Prowse in 1751. Churches of this style are rare in Somerset and few can compete with its domical vault upheld by ionic columns and ornamented with exquisite plasterwork. The Victorians marred the Georgian purity with coloured glass and a perpendicular font, presumably to complement the Newborough monument which links the Prowse family to William the Conqueror.

These churches are not, and must not become mere objects of artistic or antiquarian curiosity. They must continue to serve their primary purpose as houses for the worship of God. Services have been held in them for centuries and this unbroken pattern of prayer must continue.

But we hold these buildings in trust for ourselves and future generations. May we be faithful to that trust, and may they continue to reflect the Glory of God.

This article was written by Michael McGarvie FSA,
a local historian.