... the website for the Benefices and Parishes of the Ilminster Deanery in the Taunton Archdeaconary of the Diocese of Bath and Wells ... in the Church of England


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Updated - 2nd November 2021

South Somerset Monthly Prayer Diary - November 2021

Somerset South Deanery Monthly Prayer Diary - print

Somerset South Deanery Monthly Prayer Diary - screen reader



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Welcome Ilminster Deanery


Thank you to all those who have shared their kind wishes, prayers and congratulations following our Ordination on 25th September at Wells Cathedral.

It truly was a day full of wonder and celebration. 


John and Nick


We're now all looking forward, with eager anticipation, to serving all those in our parishes, benefices and wider deanery as Deacons in the the Church.

Please do stop us for a chat if you bump into us, but in the mean time, please be sure of our prayers and blessings as we journey together on our adventure with Christ!


Judith Swan


John, Judith and Nick


Deanery Cream Tea 2021

It was very good to see many members of both Crewkerne and Ilminster deaneries at the Celebration and Cream Tea on August 25th. There were 40 of us, from almost all the benefices, enjoying perfect summer weather in the lovely and spacious garden of Jo and Mark Woodcock's home. We do thank them for their generosity and welcome.


We were slightly ahead of ourselves in terms of celebrating the Union of the two deaneries, as it won't be official until the legalities are completed at the beginning of October, but I hope that the sunny, friendly and generous time we shared is a foretaste of times to come as we move forward together.




We were sorry that we couldn't extend an invitation to each member of all the 50 congregations in the combined deanery, but were glad that there were Synod Reps, Churchwardens, Readers, Clergy including two new Curates, or parishioners from all the benefices except one; so a good representation overall.




Jim Webb, our new Lay Dean led us in outdoor worship, encouraging us to bring our whole selves to worshipping God in our Churches and in person. We appreciated the reflective time he gave us, and the freedom to move around the various ‘stations' with the suggested points for quiet prayer. Lay leadership in our parishes is quite rightly becoming more and more significant as times change in the Church, and Jim led the way very capably on this occasion.

creamtea5It was altogether an afternoon for thankfulness - also to the kitchen team for supplying tea, and to everyone who brought such a wonderful variety of scones to share, which was a real treat. Thank you to Bob Hicks for the photographs!

with warmest thanks to all who helped to make this gathering such a pleasure,

Judith Abbott (Area Dean) & Jim Webb (Lay Dean)


Dear friends,

I am delighted to be able to tell you that at Synod meetings in June, both Crewkerne and Ilminster Deaneries voted very positively to be united. It will take some months for the legal process to be completed, but in practical terms we are now working together.

There has been much discussion about the name of the newly combined Deanery. We didn't want to revert to the old ‘Crewkerne and Ilminster', and we need to have a name that is consistent with Diocesan policy of a name that gives some indication of where the Deanery is situated geographically. The most acceptable name we have proposed is ‘Somerset South', so that is how we will be known.

To celebrate our forthcoming Union, we are holding a Worship and Cream Tea afternoon on August 25th, and hope very much that there will be people from each of the 50 parishes there - all are welcome! Your local church will be able to give you details of place and time.

Times keep changing, and we are all relieved and thankful that restrictions on worship in church will soon be lifted. Being able to worship God in freedom and together is a priceless gift.

There are very significant challenges ahead in the Church of England as in the wider world, and I trust that as a united Deanery we will be further inspired to share the love of God and to grow in our witness to Jesus Christ.

One very positive development is a fresh appreciation of the gifts and leadership of Lay people, and here we must thank Greg Hoare for all the years and commitment he has given to being Lay Dean. At Ilminster Synod we were able to thank him as he now comes to the end of his term and retires at the end of this month. Thank you, Greg!

We are very appreciative also of our present Assistant Lay Dean, Jim Webb, who is willing to step into the role as Lay Dean. Thank you in advance to Jim too.

Looking to the next stage of our journey together, in Christ,

Revd Judith Abbott

Area Dean


On this website, you will find various pages including:

Prayer, Art & Music, and What Matters, for our ongoing engagement with community and global matters such as modern-day slavery and Green issues.

We hope that many people will want to send items, so please do contact Jon Mayled, the website administrator at jonmayled@btinternet.com, or me at judith754@btinternet.com

For now, while our physical space is confined, may our hearts and minds be free to love God and neighbours in all the ways we can, and we continue to pray for all who are suffering or working to relieve the ill effects of Covid-19.

We are a group of six Benefices and two single Parishes in South Somerset; we are part of the Taunton Archdeaconry. As members of the Church of England and in common with all Christians, we are inspired by the love of God and are committed to following the Way of Christ in our lives and our worship.

If you would like to know more about Christian faith, please do be in touch with any of us and we would be delighted to talk to you. We aim to make all of our 36 churches open and accessible, and you will be welcomed at any service on Sundays or weekdays.

We also want to share the love of God and the hope we have been given in our communities.

Our particular Deanery mission is to ask ourselves:

 What matters? WHo cares?

which means; what is important to the people of our parishes? What are the real concerns of daily life? What kind of issues are there for communities or the natural environment in our area?

And then: Who is part of the response to these matters? Which are the organisations involved already, or might become involved, and how do we as Church members join in or initiate a caring and effective response?

What matters a great deal to us is the safety and well being of all members of our communities and as churches we operate careful Safeguarding Policy practices.

We hope that you will be able to use this website to find information, and to join in our vision of deepening and extending the work of the Holy Spirit in the Deanery.

Revd Judith Abbott

Area Dean



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