St. John the Evangelist

Cutcombe

Somerset

“The Heart of Exmoor”

 

 

Tower Restoration Appeal   2010

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

 

The Church is situated ½  mile off the A396 (Minehead to Tiverton) at the far end of Cutcombe Village, within Exmoor National Park.

 

We believe there was a church in Cutcombe prior to the Norman invasion when the Saxon, Almaer, held the village and  certainly the Doomesday Book states that William De Mohn held Cutcombe Manor with 3 Knights and about 30 Freemen and slaves. We do know that Cutcombe Church was Tithed to Bruton Abbey in 1147 by Dunster Priory, having been previously Tithed to Glastonbury Abbey.

 

The Tower was added in the 13th Century and in the following century the North Aisle was created by piercing the wall of the earlier nave to form the plain arches seen today.  The stem and pillars of the font also date to this period.

 

The base of the Churchyard Cross dates to the 15th Century as do some of the windows in the North Aisle, one of which was restored in 1993 in memory of Sydney Webber.  The North Eastern stained glass window is dedicated to the memory of Henry Hales Pleydell-Bouverie, the last “squire” and bears images of both churches.

 

The South Aisle, Lady Chapel and Porch were built when major work was carried out in the middle of the 19th Century.  The red sandstone pillars have capitals bearing carvings of Exmoor foliage, and the Beer stone pulpit has wonderful carvings of biblical scenes.  The fine but badly eroded carved stone reredos of the Last Supper was moved into the Lady Chapel when the colourful Arts and Crafts reredos and the East window were placed in the Sanctuary by the Bouverie family in 1896.

 

The excellent Henry Willis organ was acquired from the Hucknall Methodist Church, Nottingham, in 1965 with the support of the Amhurst family who also contributed to its restoration in 1998.

 

Since 1977, St. John’s Church has been served by a Rector as part of the United Benefice of Winsford, Exton and Cutcombe with Luxborough.

 

“Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy House and the Place where thy Honour dwelleth.”

 

Heavenly Father

Our ancient stones and history are your creation.

Guide our wisdom and understanding by sharing with us your vision for the future.

Help us to preserve your Church in Cutcombe for prayer, learning and peace.

Bring our community together in meeting this challenge

so that we can renew and multiply the Eternal Faith of Your Son,

Who makes all things new,

Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen