ST MARY THE VIRGIN, COMPTON PAUNCEFOOT
The church of St Mary's acts as a centre for the small village of Compton Pauncefoot and its seventy inhabitants. Two services are held each month, one as a joint service with the nearby village of Blackford. Special services attract good congregations and refreshments are always served after those services with the new elegant benches in the nave being cleared to produce appropriate space – for Easter Day, a Patronal Service in early June with a visiting preacher, Harvest Festival with a light lunch, Remembrance Sunday, the Carol Service. Events are also held in the church.
The church, sitting between the Manor House and the Old Rectory, is a lovely place to visit and has special features. The chancel, nave and south aisle were originally 15th century, but the church was expanded in the 1850s with a new north aisle, a new floor and barrel-vaulted roofs. The spire, put on in 1804 (the date is on the weather vane), is one of the few in Somerset. The stained glass is exceptional, featuring work by Charles Kempe, Jean Baptiste Capronnier and Hugh Easton. The barrel-vaulted roof in the chancel depicts sixteen angels holding symbols of the Passion Cycle, and is a rare example of such work. The three medieval bells were restored and re-hung in 2004. The walled churchyard with ancient yews provides an attractive setting for this lovely church.
(Compton Pauncefoot is one of the nine parishes that make up the Camelot Parishes - more information can be found on the Compton Pauncefoot page of the Camelot Parishes website.)