St John the Baptist, Weston-super-Mare

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Parish History

There have been Rectors of Weston for at least 866 years and a church has probably been on this site for the same period, indeed the name Weston-super-Mare (place in the west above the sea), accorded the settlement by clerks at Wells in 1314, springs from this very spot. It was and remains just above marine flood level.

For centuries this fishing and farming village slumbered through life until ‘discovered’ by the Georgians then rapidly developed by the Victorians. Little of antiquity remains:  Iron Age earthworks; remnants of a Medieval street pattern; manorial parkland; 17th century rectory long since converted into private apartments and a solitary seafront thatched cottage built at the behest of an 18th century ballad-composing clergyman. The town’s historical ‘feel’ is that of a Victorian seaside resort built for middle class sojourn and retirement, and for working class amusement.

In the process of aspiring to better things the tiny medieval church was demolished and in its place arose the current building.

The re-built tower and nave date from 1824 (tower’s top stage added 1840), chancel 1837, north aisle1844, south aisle 1890. As the town’s population grew so did the need for extra church seating. Galleries were added and though still in situ  are nowadays seldom used.

The chancel, arguably the most attractive part of the building, was re-ordered by Stephen Dykes-Bower in 1962 when graceful chestnut stalls were added. Traditional pews feature throughout the nave, though a more recent re-ordering at the west end has removed excess seating and provided clear space for social interaction linked to purpose-built kitchen and meeting space facilities.

The south chapel with neo-Perpendicular screens and reredos was executed in the 1920s with elegant architectural taste.

The Norman font and external plinth of a Puritan decapitated (possibly) calvary remind us of the longevity and accompanying trials and tribulations of Christian worship at St John’s. 

Individual items of note within the building include: a fine Edwardian pulpit carved of Caen stone and green marble; two remaining 1901 frescoes (by Alfred Octavius Hemming); heraldic hatchments; and a number of wall monuments, tablets and memorials by Chantrey, Weekes, Tyley and Hems. 

A hint of 15th century glass can be seen in the north aisle but it is the east window which has pride of place and is of national significance. Reputedly a gift from Bishop Law the work is by Thomas Willement, armorial painter to George lV then artist in stained glass to Queen Victoria, who with ingenious ability to recreate the 13th century style produced much work for St George’s Chapel Windsor.  The glass was blown out during an air raid then subsequently restored by Clayton & Bell in 1949.

St John’s is the only ‘modern’ church in Weston-super-Mare with a ring of bells. Six are 19th century by Jefferies & Price; two are early 20th century by Mears & Stainbank.

In 1962 the organ was moved to the west gallery and a new console installed in the quire, then a complete overhaul was undertaken in 1998

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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The Revd Julie Birkett
St John the Baptist
Lower Road
Weston Super Mare,
BS23 2AG
(01934) 623399 (Associate Priest) or 01934 632573 (Peter Tottle)

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  • Special Events
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Printer friendly list of events
St John's Fellowship
Each meeting has a different speaker who will talk about local issues and items of interest
Every second and fourth Thursday at 2:30 PM for 1½ hours
Refreshments
 
Healing Service
Service of meditation and reflection with the laying on of hands.
Every first Tuesday at 7:00 PM until Saturday 30th November 2019 for ½ hour
 
Lunch
Come and join us for soup and sandwiches - just 3.50
Every Wednesday at 12:00 PM for 1 hour
 
Good Friday Vigil
The Church will be open from 12 noon for quite reflection and the Service will start at 2 pm. The service followed by hot cross buns and coffee
Friday 17th March 2017 at 2:00 PM for 1 hour
Refreshments
 
Maundy Thursday Supper
Celebration of the Last Supper during a meal. Booking required. This service is candle lit and very informal. The food and wine are served as part of the service with each table celebrating communion together at the end of the service. We then depart in silence to reflect the fleeing disciples leaving Christ after his arrest.
Thursday 13th April 2017 at 7:00 PM for 150 minutes
Refreshments
 
Printer friendly list of events

Sunday

Holy Communion
Said Service
Every Sunday at 8:00 AM for ½ hour
Book of Common Prayer
Holy Communion
Common Worship
Every first Sunday at 9:30 AM for ¾ hour
Common Worship
Matins
BCP
Normally held on the first Sunday of every month
Every first Sunday at 10:30 AM for 1 hour
Refreshments Book of Common Prayer
Holy Communion
Common Worship
Every second third fourth and fifth Sunday at 10:30 AM for 1 hour
Creche Refreshments Common Worship
Evensong
BCP
Every Sunday at 6:30 PM for 1 hour
Book of Common Prayer

Tuesday

Healing Service
Service of meditation and reflection with the laying on of hands.
Every first Tuesday at 7:00 PM for ½ hour
until Saturday 30th November 2019

Wednesday

Lunch
Come and join us for soup and sandwiches - just 3.50
Every Wednesday at 12:00 PM for 1 hour

Thursday

St John's Fellowship
Each meeting has a different speaker who will talk about local issues and items of interest
Every second and fourth Thursday at 2:30 PM for 1½ hours
Refreshments

Friday

Coffee in the town
Join members of ST John's for coffee. The group support the fund raising for the YMCA by meeting for coffee at the YMCA each week. Coffee is just 50p - come and join us in this good work.
Every Friday at 11:00 AM for 1 hour
Printer friendly list of events
Good Friday Vigil
The Church will be open from 12 noon for quite reflection and the Service will start at 2 pm. The service followed by hot cross buns and coffee
Friday 17th March 2017 at 2:00 PM for 1 hour
Refreshments
Maundy Thursday Supper
Celebration of the Last Supper during a meal. Booking required. This service is candle lit and very informal. The food and wine are served as part of the service with each table celebrating communion together at the end of the service. We then depart in silence to reflect the fleeing disciples leaving Christ after his arrest.
Thursday 13th April 2017 at 7:00 PM for 150 minutes
Refreshments
Easter Sunday Morning Service
Sunday 16th April 2017 at 10:30 AM for 1 hour

Features

Toilets

Wheelchair accessible toilets

Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome
Stained Glass Wall Paintings Floodlight
Organ

 
     
Guidebooks
Church Open The Church is open on most weekday mornings.

Foodbank or foodbank collection point
Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 11149
Style of worship: Central
Archdeaconry: BATH (512)
Deanery: LOCKING (51203)
Benefice: Weston super Mare St John (01/416BH)
Parish Legal Name: Weston-super-Mare St John (510342 )
CofE Church Info: (601342 1/342)
Short URL: acny.uk/11149/
QR Code:
This page was last updated on Saturday 31st December 2016
 
 
 
St John the Baptist : Lower Church Road, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS23 2AG - On hill side above Weston College

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