Huish Episcopi cum Langport

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St Mary's Church, Huish Episcopi

A newpaper article from well over 100 years ago:

Out with the Old, in with the New        

July 1892, after long ruminations it was agreed the time had
come to replace the harmonium with an organ. In the inimitable manner, often
experienced in St. Mary’s, a second hand organ was acquired from Chudleigh
church in Devon.

So, little doubt on a pleasant summer’s afternoon, in the
presence of the congregation and the vicar of Huish, the vicar of Langport, the
rector of Pitney, the rector of High Ham, the rector of Pitney, the vicar of
Long Load and the rector of Bridport the music begun and the hymns were sung
from a new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. It appears ‘Rejoice ye pure in
heart’ was the first hymn to be sung. Psalms and anthems were also sung,
Bridport’s rector sermonised and Langport’s vicar intoned the prayers.

Such was the celebration that an evening service was held
and the organ was given a thorough test through recitals and hymn and anthem
accompaniment. The conclusion was that the music was well rendered by Huish
choir and their friends from Langport and it made it a day to remember.

May we continue to be uplifted by the sounds of the current
organ and the joy of singing.   Clive Sills

A brief history

The name 'Huish Episcopi' derives from the lands or household ("huish" from the Old English hiwisc) and episcopi meaning belonging to the Bishop of Wells. The bishops held the manor from Saxon times until 1859 when it was sold off to tenants.
Romano-British remains, including burials, coins and tesserae dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries have been found south of Wearne.

St Mary's, built in blue lias with golden hamstone decoration, the church is most noted for its classic 100 feet (30 m) Somerset tower, deemed to be an architectural companion piece to St Martin's Church in Kingsbury Episcopi. St Mary's tower dates from around 1500 and was built in four stages. It is extensively embellished with pinnacles and quatrefoil panel bands. In the north-east corner is an octagonal stair turret which reaches the full height of the tower. A stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones is also noteworthy. It is a Grade I listed building.

The church is famous for its Burne Jones window which depicts the nativity scene in vivid colours.

If you would like to speak to someone about the church please contact Mr Clive Sills 01458 251 399

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