St Peter & St Paul

South Petherton, with the Seavingtons

and the Lambrooks

Church History

Although the route of the Roman Fosse Way passes only about a mile from South Petherton, it seems probable that a settlement grew up here, just away from the Roman Road system, because in Saxon times a minster (monastery) church was established here. In time this became the chief place of the “Hundred” district of South Petherton. Something of this tradition was maintained in the middle ages when, from the late 12th century, this parish and a large part of the surrounding area came under the care of the Augustinian Canons of Bruton Abbey.

The Canons of Bruton were responsible for two significant building campaigns here - in the early 13th century and in the late 15th/early 16th centuries. This latter work was probably under abbot and bishop William Gilbert, who was also (in his spare time!) vicar of South Petherton and a great builder.

After the Reformation and the commotion of the civil war, good order was re-established by the late 17th century but not before the church had lost much of its furnishings.

In the 18th century Thomas Coke - later to become the first Methodist bishop - was for a time curate here. Three restoration programmes in the 19th century left the church largely as it is seen today although it was not until the last century that the current organ was installed. Twelve bells were added to celebrate the millennium.

Despite the long history of our church we do not live in the past. On other pages of this website you will find more about our church life today centred as it is on the rhythm and patterns of a daily round of common prayer.