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Where next for Burrowbridge?

On 27th September just gone 29 people gathered in the parish church of St Michael, Burrowbridge to listen to each other, to eat and drink and to seek visions. Thanks to Julie, Sue and Pat Mennim in particular, we had a wonderful spread of food and drink; and thanks to everyone we had a valuable conversation, a feast in itself. Food and drink always helps. It gets us chatting and it encourages us to be sociable.

People came from across the benefice, but most of all from the villages around the church. We shared what was great about Burrowbridge Church, the locality and a little beyond, and we discussed what might be set in motion to grow and nourish all that matters to those of us who have some kind of interest in the parish.

So, what was decided? Well, not much was actually decided. That is still to come. But ideas are where plans begin to grow, and there were lots of ideas.

Like so many villages, for many years Burrowbridge and the surrounding communities involvement and participation has been falling, and the pandemic didn’t help matters. Even so, there was a terrific sense of enthusiasm in our discussion for what might be possible in Burrowbridge, what might plant seeds, what might help them grow and what might nourish a good harvest.

We shared some of the features that people enjoy about Burrowbridge. Things such as The Mump, the pub, the market garden, the village hall (including yoga and the WI), friendly neighbours, community spirit, a warm welcome in the church, a monthly market, the natural environment including swans, otters and herons, the rivers themselves, the history (including the old toll booth)… We stopped listing things at that point and started looking at how we could ensure they help make something happen in the church and around it.

It seems like there are two general themes: spiritual and environmental. Both have something to say about the other.


There’s an awful lot of wonderful countryside around Burrowbridge. Startng with the Mump (of course!), there are rivers, levels, fields, broad vistas, the big sky, lots of footpaths, some of which are old pilgrim routes and all of which are a draw for ramblers of all ages and stamina.

There are rare animals and plants, there is an historical and geographical story to be told about the draining and management of the levels… and, of course, none of this is of any news at all to anyone who has lived in the area for any time. It is a beautiful part of the world, with a mystery all its own, which leads to the other theme: spiritual.


The church presents the opportunity for fellowship, for worship, for sustenance and for contemplation. It is a quiet corner, beside a busy road and it “nestles” in the middle of the countryside. It is a link between the harsh world and the kingdom of God. 

A very important basic point, perhaps, but: we have a lovely building in a terrific location. We need to use it as a resource to combine these two themes.

The way forward

For one thing the church needs to be open during the day. For another we need to gather these reflections and consider how we can make Burrowbridge Church a place that help people discover God is present.

So, as a start, and already underway, Burrowbridge Church will be open for a coffee morning from 10am on the first Saturday of each month. We’ve done one, and it brought in a lovely gathering of people, chatting, eating, wandering. The next coffee morning will be 5th November (remember!) at 10am. All are welcome and the cakes are fabulous.

We are working on having the church open each day, for as long as possible. We are exploring how we might enable the church to be a focus for ramblers, we are having some thoughts about the potential for the church as a concert venue. And there will be other ideas as we keep thinking.

Ultimately, as the saying goes, where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov 29:18). So, we are beginning to create our vision. What comes next will be as a consequence of that vision.


Coffee Morning

The first Saturday of every month, at 10.30am, in Burrowbridge Church.

Come along and have a chat, a cuppa, a piece of cake or two. Just hang around and be part of things.