Church History - Street Mission Church
The site of the Mission Church was Hartry's cottage, a thatched cottage, which was destroyed by the 'great fire' of 28th February 1863, along with similar cottages in what is now Vestry Road.
The church bought the land with the intention of building a permanent church nearer to the centre of the growing village.
Money was raised and a rectory built together with a block for school rooms. The need for a rectory was considered urgent as the Rector was housed in rented accommodation. Likewise, accommodation for children's Sunday School was also considered a primary need.
A temporary building, the 'tin church', was built with the intention of building a permanent 'stone church' around it. In the event there were insufficient funds to build the permanent church and such money as was available was invested until money became available.
The temporary 'tin church' was opened on the 5th February 1898 and it lasted until 1989. The west end had sunk and a gap developed between the floor and the back wall behind the organ, allowing easy access for plagues of flies in the summer. Then, a broken window frame, the result of a stone thrown from the footpath, revealed the basic framework to be in need of urgent attention. The decision was made, we needed a new building. The last service was held on the 31st December 1989.
The PCC looked at the buildings that were within our available budget, but the Diocesan architect came up with the design for the present building, way above the funds available:
£120,000 Sale of land and the old school building
£15,000 Promised funding
A considerable sum, but about £100,000 less than needed, hence the 'Mission Possible' appeal was launched. All money needed was raised.
The new church was dedicated (not consecrated) on the 7th November 1990 by the then Bishop of Taunton, Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch.
The bell tower and the bell were transferred to the new building, as were the organ and some suitable items of furnishings which included the communion rail kneelers designed by Mrs E R Openshaw and dedicated by Bishop Henderson in 1969. Over the years the organ has gone and the bell tower has been restored, but essentially the building has remained the same and it serves the people well.