Our Church Warden
Telephone: 01963 440461
Our first service of public worship following the easing of lockdown was a Communion service at St Mary’s on Sunday 19th July and our next service will be a Communion service at 9.30am on Sunday August 16th. Because of the significant limitations on the capacity of the church due to social distancing, this service will be focused on those who have regularly attended in the past, mainly those who are resident in Compton Pauncefoot and Blackford.
The church building will also be open for private prayer for an hour from 9.30am on Sunday August 9th and Sunday August 30th. Please maintain social distancing and use the hand sanitiser provided.
Amenities and Activities
In a normal year we have
- a Coffee Morning on first Bank Holiday in May, in aid of Fabric Fund.
- an annual Carol Service which is always followed by a special party.
- We sometimes hold concerts and it is useful to create space by moving the pews.
Last year we served coffee after the Easter Day Service when we had a large congregation.
- For Harvest we move the front pews after the Service and serve a light lunch in the Church.
a joint Remembrance Service with Blackford. When the Service is held at Compton Pauncefoot we have a reception afterwards in the church.
- Everyone welcome to join us!
St Mary’s Church, the focal point for community life, sits attractively towards the north end of the village between two particularly fine houses – the Georgian Old Rectory to the south and the Manor House to the north. Sir Walter Pauncefoot left money for the building of this perpendicular hamstone church in 1485. Consisting of nave, chancel, south aisle, porch and tower, it probably replaced an earlier building. The church remains substantially perpendicular, but much restoration was carried out by the Husey Hunt family thus honouring their seigneurial obligations to the church.
A matching north aisle was built in 1864 shortly after an elegant spire had been added to the medieval tower. John Hubert Hunt, a bachelor, built the present Compton Castle in the 1820’s and the Revd James Senior (later Husey Hunt) was Rector of Compton Pauncefoot and Blackford 1839-97. The Chancel was refurbished in the 20th century.
Significant features in the church and churchyard
In the south aisle – Lady Chapel with squint to allow this side altar to sychronise the elevation of the Host (bread symbolising The Body of Christ) with the main alter; by south-east winder a stone inscribed Anne Whyting 1535 with frieze of shields bearing the arms of the Whyting and Pauncefoot families, who were related; substantial Gothic memorial to John Hubert Hunt and his ancestors which sadly blocked up the west window in 1830
Stained glass windows – the chief glory – five biblical scenes from the New Testament illustrating episodes from the life of Jesus by Jean Baptist Capronnier, Brussels 1865-77 (there are eight stained glass windows by Capronnier in St Andrews, Corton Denham); west window by C E Kempe 1896; two chancel windows by Hugh Easton in memory of the Blackford family, owners of Compton Castle 1911-74
Panelled barrel vaulted ceilings with Christian symbols, especially the chancel ceiling with angels bearing the Instruments of the Passion (items associated with the Redemptive Suffering of Christ on Good Friday)
Medieval piscina by the 20th century altar with its simple reredos incorporating Christian symbols
Furnishings – simple medieval font; Gothic stone pulpit; handsome wooden eagle lectern
Panelled chancel arch, typical of local perpendicular architecture
Wide nave with it’s arcade and adjoining aisles
Tower arch with beautifully moulded capitols
Three bells in the tower (two medieval, one 1627)
The view of the church with its stone roof, finials, and tower with banded spire, one of only a score in Somerset. Dont overlook the dinky Victorian vestry chimney!
The fine war memorial lych gate (shelter at entrance to churchyard where at a funeral the priest met the coffin)
The south porch with statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus and mass or scratch dial (type of sundial)
John 15: 16-17 (ISV)
“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. I have appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. I am giving you these commandments so that you may love one another.”