History of St. George's

May 11th to 15th inclusive

2011 is an important date in the long history of St. George's Church - the 700th anniversary of the installation as Rector of Martin de Sutton, whose name appears first on the list inscribed on the wall in the bell tower. Of course, he was not the first Rector, but an unbroken record covering seven hundred years is a perfect reason to be thankful for the faithfulness of our forebears and celebrate the continuing importance of St. George's in our community.

St. George’s 700 - something to celebrate…

Dates to note:

Wednesday 11th May: 7.30 p.m.

Talks in the church – Michael McGarvie will talk about the history of the church and Richard Hoare will talk about life in Beckington over the past fifty years. There will be refreshments and a chance to share your memories.

Thursday 12th May: 7.30.p.m. to 9.0.p.m. Bellringers’ Open Evening – a chance to see the bellringers at work and learn what is involved.

Friday 13th May: 7.30.p.m. Concert in the church. Following the success of last year’s concert, bel Acapella have kindly agreed to return. They will be joined by a number of other local musicians in a rich and varied programme. Wine and canapés will be served in the interval.

Saturday 14th May: All day - St. George’s Gift Day. This is your chance to see the church beautifully decorated with a variety of exhibits and activities. Light refreshments will be served in the church. From 2.0 p.m. there will be various children’s activities in the school field, including performances by both Beckington and Springmead schools and a treasure hunt, following by a children’s tea.

Sunday15th May: Benefice-wide service of Holy Communion celebrated by the Bishop of Taunton, followed by a shared lunch in the church/school hall.

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Saxon origins have been claimed for Beckington, but its outstanding feature is the finest Norman tower in Somerset. Inside, its array of aisles and chapels, stately perpendicular arcades, splendid open timber roof, carvings and brasses make Beckington the most sophisticated of our five churches.

Among its ornaments are a memorial to Samuel Daniel the Jacobean poet, and the coat-of-arms of Queen Elizabeth I, an early acknowledgement of her place in the Church of England.

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.