Burrowbridge as a place did not strictly speaking exist—aside from the toll bridge—until the foundation of the ecclesiastical parish. This was carved out of seven others when St Michaels District Church was built in 1838 by public subscription, after a previous aborted attempt. Thus Christians, and the Parish they founded, are both origin and raison d’être for today’s Burrowbridge.
That said, the history of Burrowbridge is long and curious.
There is the Mump—our very own mini-Glastonbury Tor—which dominates the skyline and presents a mysterious backdrop to the levels. The Mump is topped out with the ruined ancient building of St. Michael’s church. According to which narrative you follow, the church was either built and then not used, built and then used by fell into disrepair, or used but then made unusable during the Reformation or never actually finished. Or, perhaps there’s another story. Please do let us know. In any event, the current church building at the foot of the Mump is where we worship. There are services in St Michael’s every other Sunday.
Now the local school has closed, the pub and church are the two main focuses for community activity in the centre of the village. In the view of the vicar these two premises go very well together.
The bridge at Burrowbridge has its own history, having been a toll bridge until 1946. The ruins of the toll booth can be seen on the south side of the bridge, and are embryonic ideas to rebuild the building. It was a very important route across the levels, and one of the few river crossings between Bridgwater and Langport.
Burrowbridge is a small community of Christian worship and discipleship. Even so, the passion runs deep and the need for a church in the parish is clear.
A public meeting to talk about St Michael’s Church, Burrowbridge. Tuesday 27th September at 7pm. Come along and listen, speak, learn, think, plan … just take time to be part of the future of St Michael’s Church. This is just the beginning…
The Parish Church of St Michael in Burrowbridge is the “youngest” of the four churches of Athelney. It was consecrated as a district church in 1838, and only became a parish church in its own right during the first half of the 20th Century. The church is a lovely example of early 19th Century architecture, and nestles beneath the Mump, with the older, derelict St Michael’s Church at the summit.
There is a lot more history than this, however, but that is not for now. What matters now is the future of St Michael’s church: not solely as a building and a geographical feature, but as a community of Christian disciples and a beacon of hope in a wide-spread collection of small villages and hamlets.
The church is right next to the King Alfred Inn and on the side of a busy road carrying traffic between Well, Glastonbury and Taunton. It is in a major location and we, the worshippers at St Michael’s, want to look seriously at how the church can be a resource and focus for anyone either passing by on their journeys or who live locally.
The meeting is intended to be an informal natter. All are welcome. What matter right now are ideas. Getting things done comes next.
Given the significant rise in cases locally (not just among the clergy!), I think it is important that we reconsider the way we distribute communion. For the present time, until things settle down again, we will be reverting to the previous system of “priestly intinction” whereby the president offers an “intincted” wafer to communicants. Please do not feel obliged to receive the wine in this way. It is perfectly acceptable to receive only the bread: please let the president know.
Get your thinking caps on for a fun flled quiz evening kindly hosted by Chris Barrington. Prize for the winning team. Followed by raffle. £10 per team of 4. In advance.
A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.
Father of all,
We hold before you today the country of Ukraine and its people. We have no words to express the sadness we feel for them. We pray that your Holy Spirit will act to bring peace; that violence and brutality will have no place in its lands; that you will hold your people safe
Lord have Mercy
We pray that the people of your world will work together
To protect the poor and the afraid To heal the sick and the dying To free those oppressed and in prison We hold them all before you
Christ have Mercy
We hold before you those we know who are caught up in the situation. We pray for our armed forces. We pray for all those who stand for good in the face of evil. We pray for those hurting and grieving for their country. We hold them all in your love
And above all we pray for hope.
Lord have Mercy
Almighty God, who made all things and sustains all things, we come together remembering the past and full of hope for the future.
We thank you for the part you call us to play in our Benefice's continuing story.
Lord, bind us more closely together and unite us in the work of your kingdom in our communities. Help us to draw on the gifts and talents in our midst and to use them in your service.
May we be a welcoming and loving community, united in worshipping you and open to your guiding Spirit.
Holy Spirit guide us and fill us with vision and energy; make us faithful in prayer and worship, that we may discover your way for the future and see your kingdom grow.
We ask these things in the name of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Merciful Father and Lord of all life, we praise you that we are made in your image and reflect your truth and light. We thank you for the life of our late Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, for the love she received from you and showed among us. Above all, we rejoice at your gracious promise to all your servants, living and departed, that we shall rise again at the coming of Christ. And we ask that in due time we may share with your servant Elizabeth that clearer vision promised to us in the same Christ our Lord; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. For the Lord will not reject for ever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.’
Father in Heaven, whose Church on earth is a sign of your heavenly peace, an image of the new and eternal Jerusalem: grant to us in the days of our pilgrimage that, fed with the living bread of heaven and united in the body of your Son, we may be the temple of your presence, the place of your glory on earth, and a sign of your peace in the world; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.